Cavetown at the Music Box

Robin Skinner, better known as Cavetown, released his breakout album, Lemon Boy, in 2018. On Tuesday, October 22, he played an emotionally evocative set at the Music Box

Opening with “Hug All Ur Friends,” Cavetown exhibited a playfully nervous demeanor, similar to what is exhibited on his YouTube channel and across his collection of music videos. His passionate fanbase eats it up. Between each song, people exclaimed their love and admiration for the singer, with some even proclaiming, “You’re precious!” His response to this remark was simply, “Thanks friends!”. Friends is an accurate attribution to this devoted group of fans. The energy of the show was intimate but still larger than life.

Videos of Skinner’s hairless cat, Fig, looped on the television screen to his right for the duration of his show, which he endearingly explained early in the set. Not to mention, the bumper music played between the opening and headlining sets was entirely from Spongebob Squarepants. 

I found that the concert brought out an innate sense of nostalgia within me. Cavetown’s music has always held a special place in my heart, as it details the struggles of introversion in a whimsical, digestible manner. At the midpoint of the set, the audience was treated to Skinner’s most popular track, “This Is Home.” The live version of the song well exercises live instrumentation, without relying much (if at all) on the prerecorded track. As someone with a special connection to the song, I can surely say that the image of flashlights in the air as the words “I’ll cut my hair to make you stare” filled the room is not one that I will soon forget.

San Diego was lucky enough to be treated to some unreleased music as well! “Things That Make It Warm,” which may be available by the time this post goes live, is a warm, acoustic song that Skinner described as being “about some birds building a nest together.” It is yet another instance of the singer’s deceptive songwriting, having a message far deeper than its “manifest content” if you will.

After closing his set with “Boys Will Be Bugs,” Cavetown was cheered back to the stage, playing “Fool” as his encore. With live drums and an electrifying guitar solo, the song was a satisfying conclusion to a fantastic experience. If the chance presents itself, be sure to catch Cavetown on tour in the coming months.

Check out Cavetown’s music here.

Written by: Grant Jordan
Photos by: Grant Jordan

flor at the Music Box

On Saturday, October 12, 2019, flor ended their tour presented by Ones To Watch at the Music Box for a night of dancing, good music, and memories.

I first saw flor earlier this year as an opener and I had honestly never heard of them before, but I instantly fell in love with them and their music. This time, flor headlined the Music Box and I was more than excited to see them again.

Anticipation began to build up once fans at the barricade started getting prepared; passing out paper money to throw during “money,” and receiving photos of a bird that flor’s tour manager handed out to hold up as a surprise for the band later in the show. These little projects brought the crowd together and made the show feel more like somewhat of a family reunion, which I know is how a lot of flor’s fans see their shows, and rightly so.

flor kicked off their set with “slow motion” and “heart” and saying the crowd was excited for them would surely be an understatement. At every corner of the Music Box, people were dancing and singing along. flor is quite talented at creating an atmosphere where you feel more than welcome to just let go and have fun.

One of my favorite songs off their sophomore album ley lines is “dancing around.” Its refrain “I can’t wait I’ve been longing to be dancing around again” had been playing over and over in my head since I found out I’d be seeing them again, to hearing this song live.

The night ended with three of flor’s most popular songs: “rely,” “hold on,” and “warm blood” off of their first album come out. you’re hiding. These three tracks were also my favorites when I first heard them live, and are still some of my favorite live songs.

From beginning to end, flor knows how to put their all into an energetic show; and so do their fans in the crowd, making for an incredible night full of dancing and of course, good music. Their San Diego show was a bittersweet one, being the end of the tour, but still packed with an intensity that kept me from wanting the night to end. Being at a flor show is definitely a special feeling, and I cannot wait until they’re back.

Listen to flor here.

Written by: Emerson Redding
Photos by: Emerson Redding

The Best Parts of Seeing Mt. Joy at the Music Box

Mt. Joy

The Four Best Things We Saw at the San Diego Music Box’s Mt. Joy Concert!

I have never shown someone Mt. Joy’s music and had them dislike it. I would even be as bold to say that mostly everyone who I’ve shown them to has started listening to them and grown their own obsession. The first time I saw the Mt. Joy perform live, I had never heard their music before. My friends had insisted we stopped by their performance on the way to see a different artist at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas. After that show I could not stop listening to them! To this day, I distinctly remember specific songs from their live performance that gave me a truly intimate connection with their music. Since that festival in September, I somehow have managed to fit at least one song from Mt. Joy’s first self-titled album into my music shuffle everyday. 7 months later, and Mt. Joy made their final tour stop over at the San Diego Music Box . Here’s the best 4 things I saw at that show:

1. New Music

The band premiered 2 new songs “Bug Eyes” and “Ruins.” I am not always the most excited when artists debut new songs at shows but these songs brought me to tears. Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals silenced the room as everyone peered onto the stage in complete admiration. I didn’t know if the band’s new music would live up to their debut album which I cherished so deeply but after they performed these songs, I know now that whatever is coming is going to be incredible. The songs mirrored the themes of the first album, topics on loss, life and nature.

2. The Encore

The band left the stage after performing one of their greatest hits, “Silver Lining.” Afterwards, the crowd didn’t budge as they begged for an encore. When the band stepped back onto the tiny stage they played another new track and then concluded with a fan favorite, “Julia.” The song is smooth, melodic and hypnotizing. A simple story of a man too nervous to order food from a beautiful waitress.

“Don’t say you love the old me” Quinn poured out. The song then switched into a cover of the song “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers before returning again to “Julia.”

3. The song “cardinal

While listening to this song on any streaming service, the beginning feels nearly recognizable from the whistling melody which introduces the track. Although I anticipated to see this song live, I wasn’t sure if the whistles would be apart of the performance but sure enough, Quinn whistled to the tune as perfectly as the recording. The song builds upon itself and then breaks back into a peaceful melody much like some of the band’s other songs.

4. The live music

Lead singer Matt Quinn’s vocals were more powerful and raw than anything I have heard before. The show was filled with guitar solos and keyboard solos. Performances like these remind me why I love going to live shows. Often, I’ll see a band perform live, and while the performances are still incredible, the music doesn’t sound as great live, but with Mt. Joy that was not the case. Each song live relayed the authenticity of the songs and the stories that were told in each. The songs on the album vary from many different music styles. “Dirty Love” sounds like an upbeat ukulele tune whereas “St. George” feels like a slow ballad. The band’s ability to perfect playing these differing songs live show the full range of talent Mt.Joy encompasses.

Written by: Kelly Kerrigan

SwuM & TVBOO at Music Box

The SwuM/TVBOO show at Music Box was a bass thumping, energy-inducing high of good-vibing music.

Held at the Music Box in downtown San Diego, the show catered to people of all ages, but targeted the young in the community (18+, although I did see a couple 12 year olds running around). Although the advertising mainly promoted SwuM & TVBOO, there were several opening acts consisting of talented/young DJ’s & musicians who are breaking into the industry. I am proud and honored to say that not one, but two of my coworkers performed that night and amazed myself and the audience with their immense skill.

Doors opened around 7pm and people flooded in ready to experience a great environment.

The venue itself had a bar for those who were of age, and a merchandise shop to pull in some extra revenue. While there was little to no sitting room (not including VIP), it was not really needed as the crowd preferred a more open area to jump along to the bumping music.

Kastro opened the evening as the venue opened to the public, and introduced us to the wonderful evening and mood that would be set for the evening. My coworker, Domoniqxe, went on next and showcased some amazing original compositions that the crowd really enjoyed. She then handed the floor to Lydon (another coworker of mine) & Zuma who really got the crowd moving with some bass-heavy mixes. Both of them served as DJ’s as well as MC’s and worked well with one another. From there, there were a few more wonderful openers before the main acts came on stage. SwuM is notorious for the lo-fi genre and catered to audience seamlessly.

TVBOO is a more hype edm/dubstep type artist and was saved for later in the night. Some people only went for the latter of the two as TVBOO creates a different atmosphere than SwuM. Having the two perform in the same night was a good move though because electronic artists have such a wide variety of fans that can vibe together.

All in all, it was a wonderful show made possible by talented artists, dedicated people, and a great venue. I hope to see everyone artist again in the future, maybe even on a bigger stage.

A major shoutout is also in order for Lydon & Domoniqxe as they publicized the event to a large majority of San Diego State University students.

Written by: Eduardo Orozco
Pictures by: Eduardo Orozco