The FAIM and Stand Atlantic at SOMA

On Thursday, October 17th, The FAIM and Stand Atlantic brought the Australian heat to SOMA San Diego for their co-headlining U.S. Tour.

The co-headlining bands brought along UK band WSTR to open up the show. WSTR’s performance was their second in a year on the SOMA side stage and they had some returning fans happy to hear their music once again. An intimate crowd greeted the energetic band and started a mini mosh pit to let out all their lively frustrations.

The pop-punk band’s lead singer Sammy Clifford led the crowd as they all sang along to their hits like, “Eastbound & Down” and “Featherweight” both from their 2017 album Red, Green or Inbetween. One benefit of this being their first local performance of the year was their new hit single, “Filthy.”

Released on September 10, this was the band’s first time performing their new single live. The song only being a little over a month old did not stop their true fans from singing all the words along with Clifford and the band, and it was a hit.

Wrapping up their brief, but energetic performance, WSTR performed two of their singles from May of this year. The songs were, “Give Yourself A Try,” and “Gives You Hell,” both released on the Hopeless Records label. The band warmed up the stage just right for the next performance from the co-headliners, Sydney Pop band Stand Atlantic.

Ending a heavy silence during the short intermission, Stand Atlantic came in with a bang. Their last performance in San Diego came in March at the North Park Observatory. With this long wait in mind, the Hopeless Records label-mate of WSTR started the show off with their fan favorite, “Push” off of their 2017 Sidewinder EP.

As the room filled with energy, crowd members started a small moshpit that only grew bigger as lead singer Bonnie Fraser pumped up the crowd. Fraser mentioned, “This is the biggest and most dispersed pit I’ve ever seen.” The intimate crowd made use of every inch of space in the building.

Switching gears while maintaining high levels of energy, the band came back with their new single, “Hate Me Sometimes!” Released on September 17, the track’s lyrics were already engrained in the membranes of the fans in the crowd. Clifford of WSTR even came onstage to sing along. After screaming the first two hooks, the r&b breakdown brought the crowd in; only to be followed up with the whole room screaming the lyrics, “you should probably save yourself!”

Stand Atlantic followed that scene up with, “Toothpick” and then came back with, “Burn The Afterthought” after instructing the crowd to put their arms around each other and experience the music together. Stevie Beerkens of The FAIM brought his sticky fingers out on stage early and played keyboard for both of the aforementioned tracks from the 2018 Skinny Dipping album.

Dressed in all black, Stand Atlantic killed the stage and had the crowd jumping the entire time. Performing their first-ever single, “Coffee At Midnight” the performers turned the crowd up for one of their final songs. Beerkens remained on the keyboard and his fellow band member, and lead singer of The FAIM, Josh Raven made an early entry to sing the final hook along with Fraser and Beerkens. This dazzling performance showed the shared love for music amongst the Australian bands.

Looking to follow up 2 quality performances, Josh Raven and The FAIM came in by storm with, “Infamous” a song from their debut album State of Mind. After the first hook of the emotionally charged tune, keyboardist Stevie Beerkens breaks it down yet again and draws the crowd in with a touching keyboard transition.

With the final seconds of the track winding down, Raven personally went into the crowd to make sure everybody in the building was as close to the action as possible. This would not be the last time Raven entered the crowd on this action-packed evening.

After gathering the crowd in the front of the stage, Raven lead the BMG Rights Management talent into their song, “A Million Stars” from their 2018 Summer Is A Curse EP. The crowd sang along as Raven and his bandmembers shook the stage. Still hype after their second song of the night, Raven decided to coordinate the crowd’s movement. He told the crowd to put their hands up in the air. After some hesitation, he repeated his statement, following it with, “the sooner those hands go up the sooner we’ll play some fucking music!”

With all the hands of the crowd levitating in the air, the co-headliners brought back the bass with, “Make Believe” from the same 2018 EP. Raven made a movie of the last verse on the track as he ran into the center of the crowd. As a circle formed around him and he ran around in circles, both he and the crowd shouted, “I wanna feel something!” until there was no breath left in the room.

In their first performance at SOMA, The FAIM played some of their fan favorites from their debut album State of Mind, released on September 13. On top of, “Infamous” and they performed their top Spotify track, “Summer Is A Curse” along with, “Buying Time” and early album single, “Amelie.” Guitarist Miki Rich of Stand Atlantic joined the band on stage along with her lead singer Bonnie Fraser for the latter two tracks.

The FAIM chose to close out the rock-filled evening with a slower ballad, “State of Mind” the emotionally charged final and title track of their debut album. As the crowd yelled, “state of mind! state of mind!” along with Raven and his bandmembers, the energy of the evening was culminating with this showstopper. Thanking their tour mates prior to this final goodbye, the Perth act sent the crowd into the San Diego night with a sense of contentment and appreciation for the evening that had occurred.

Written by: Alexis Camel
Photos by: Alexis Camel

Neighborhood Jams: Alive & Well

Happy Monday, KCR readers!  There’s something happy about this Monday, and I think it has a lot to do with this week’s neighborhood jams.  On my morning show from 9:00-11:00 a.m. I got the opportunity to sit down and interview a member of Alive & Well. We were also joined with Hard to Hit’s lead singer, Jason Kubo.  You can check out my write up on Hard to Hit right here. It was a fun morning of discussing music, boy bands, middle school nightmares, and hitting up the San Diego music scene.

Alive & Well has three members right now including: Matt Vernon on vocals and guitar, Mike Mule on bass and vocals, and lastly Eric Brozgold on the drums.  This trio is really hitting up the scene all while looking for a new lead vocal and guitarist.  The band is labeled as a pop punk and alternative rock band, which I personally think fits them perfectly.  They sound like a combination of Saves the Day and The Starting Line. I spoke with Mike, and he gave me the inside scoop of where the band gets their inspiration for their songs – the answer is the struggle moving from the east coast to the west coast.  Their lyrics are real and relatable; their sound is happy yet extremely meaningful; they are a perfect combination for a great rock band.

Their single No Winter in the West has great visuals including locations all over Ocean Beach, San Diego and the east coast.  This is THE song and video that got me hooked.  Mike shared with us how difficult it was for the band to carry their equipment on Sunset Cliffs and people passing by thought there was going to be a show.  I would love to see Alive & Well performing right by the ocean.

The boys just performed at the Casbah last week, and they are scheduling more shows in the near future including Jawsfest at The Legacy Room in Chino, CA on May 7th. You can buy tickets here. They will also be playing at Soma in San Diego on May 21st – get tickets here! I also heard we should keep our ears open for a band spankin’ new EP in early June!

It was such a pleasure to interview Mike and hear all about the great things Alive & Well is working on. I am extremely excited to see where these boys end up – maybe main stages instead of Sunset Cliffs – either location I am rooting for you guys. Give them a like on their Facebook and let’s get them to a 1,000 likes – they are so close! Hope you guys are listening good!

Neighborhood Jams: Hard to Hit

Welcome to another rendition of Neighborhood Jams where I feature a local San Diego band. This week I am featuring the San Diegan band Hard to Hit!

Hard to Hit formed in late 2015, and their pop punk vibes are already hitting stages including venues like Soma in Point Loma. The band consists of five punk music lovers: Jason Kubo on vocals, Ian Elkerton on rhythm guitar, Richard Franklin on lead guitar, TJ Feasby slappin’ da bass, and Pierce Watkins on drums. Together the band recorded at Panda Studios and released a five-song self titled EP with songs including Houston, We Have A Boner and She Doesn’t Even Go Here. Which yes, I got the inside scoop directly from the band, and it is influenced from Mean Girls the film.

You’re Not My Real Dad is Hard to Hit’s first single, and it’s the most perfect song to introduce their sound to the crowd. With the catchy lyrics, heavy yet upbeat rhythms, and great crowd chorus it’s a recipe for pure pop punk success. They sound like a combination of New Found Glory and Blink 182 put together. At Hard to Hit’s last show at Soma the crowd was screaming and singing along with the band. It’s so great to see so much loyalty from their fans.

Hard to Hit will be performing on the side stage at Soma on April 22, and you can buy tickets here! The next day they will be in San Bernadino at The National Orange Show Citrus Faire. KCR College Radio also got to interview the band, and that video will be up in the coming week. You guys can be on the look out for that video on our website or on their Facebook page.

Also be sure to click HERE and let’s help out these boys play at San Diego’s Warped Tour this summer! With every view of their lyric video, they inch closer and closer to gaining the San Diego spot – wouldn’t that be awesome! Best of luck, Hard to Hit! I will definitely see you guys at Soma on the 22nd, and I have my fingers crossed you will play at Warped Tour. Good luck!

Fall into punk: Joyce Manor

Happy Caturday to the cool cats that read my blog posts! Fall is in full swing and it’s finally starting to get as cold as my little emo heart. But have no fear, I’ve got just the cure to warming my little emo heart up and that’s a band called Joyce Manor.

Based out of Torrance California, this  pop punk band formed in 2008 and has grown to become the most interesting fore front of this scene today. Explosive and unconventional, Joyce Manor take the liberty to dismiss the clichés of pop punk to create a sound that is both diverse, angsty, and weird, like a really weird movie.

Their most recent release, Never Hungover Again (I wish) dropped in 2014 and accurately depicts the charm that is Joyce Manor. Only 10 songs and 19 minutes long, the rowdy and wild tracks ooze of brash punk that makes you rock in your room like the star you are. The symbols of beach communities, the past, and toothaches are all just mirrors of lead vocalist and guitarist Barry Johnson’s infinite sadness. This album is a reliable staple for every sad boy and girl’s musical library. Personal favorites off of Never Hungover Again are Schley, a strange riffy anthem of a friend in danger, and The Jerk, which is quite literally about a jerk. Lyrically, Joyce Manor isn’t very poetic, but still has the ability to resonate and identify with. This is the band that you listen to when for getting drunk, taking roadtrips, acting lazy, and being surrounded by good friends, and good music too!

I have had the privilege of seeing Joyce Manor live, and let me tell you, I’ve never felt more punk than in their crowd. Just last Saturday, Halloween, they had a show at The Fonda Theatre. Their amped up sound and sad boy attitude makes for some of the funnest shows ever. On this particular evening, Joyce Manor were sad boys dressed up as bumble bees, an angel, and a Dolly Parton/cowboy hybrid. The crowd all dressed in costume, yours truly as Napoleon Dynamite. It was quite a sight, a constant sway of moshing and crowd surfers. Their inexaustable sound never fails to dissapoint, keeping true to the way of punk shows, they never miss a beat. Since Joyce Manor songs rarely exceed two and a half minutes, the band was able to play most tracks, ranging old and new, all well loved and sung very loudly. It was a magical experience, a Halloween to remember, and Joyce Manor will forever be the wiliest concerts attended.

Below are a few jams to show you what this band is all about. If you have even an ounce of angst in you, this is what your ears need to hear.