San Diego is home to some great venues like The Observatory and Soma, so it’s not a surprise that there are some great upcoming shows in 2020.
First, The Observatory in North Park, my personal favorite, holds 1,100 people, so it’s a pretty intimate experience. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
Hippie Sabotage: February 27th
Dr. Dog: February 28th
Olivia O’Brien: February 29th
Grouplove: March 23rd
Third Eye Blind: March 16th
COIN: April 3rd
Lovelytheband: May 16th
Airborne Toxic Event: July 1st
Next, Music Box in downtown San Diego. This venue holds 700 people, which creates an even more intimate experience than the Observatory. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
Drama: February 27th
Marc E. Bassy: March 17th
Goody Grace: May 14th
Nombe: June 5th
Peach Pit: June 17th
House Of Blues is also located downtown. The main room holds up to 1000 people, and the Voodoo Room holds 300 people, with a very cozy setting. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
Sleeping With Sirens: April 24th
Slenderbodies: May 20th
Azizi Gibson: May 22nd
Cub Sport: May 30th
Next up is Soma, located in the Midway neighborhood, near the San Diego Sports Arena. It holds up to 2,700 people, and they’ve got some great shows coming this year! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
SOBXRBE: February 29th
Nghtmre: March 5th
The Growlers: March 6th
Hockey Dad: April 4th
Yeek: April 10th
TV Girl: April 24th
Kaytranada: April 28th
LP: May 7th
Foals: May 19th
One of the bigger venues in San Diego is Pechanga Arena which holds up to 14,800 people. Due to its large capacity, some huge names are coming this year. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
Blake Shelton: March 6th
Tame Impala: March 9th
Celine Dion: March 31st
Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Jaden Smith: May 26th
Camila Cabello: August 11th
The Lumineers: August 25th
Harry Styles: August 30th
Next up, Petco Park in downtown San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres. This venue can hold up to 42,000 people! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
M3F Fest: Bon Iver, Rufus Du Sol, Stick Figure, The Growlers, LANY, Local Natives, San Holo, and more! March 6-8
Green day, Fall Out Boy, Wheezer, The Interrupters: July 24th
KAABOO: Lineup to be announced soon. Last year it included artists such as Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford and Sons, Duran Duran, The Black Eyed Peas, Onerepublic, Mark Ronson, Sublime w/Rome, Silversun Pickups and more: September 18-20
Lastly, Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, located right in the heart of San Diego State! It can hold up to 4,600 people. And if you can’t afford to go, you can always stand outside the gates and listen 🙂 Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:
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 SidewinderEP.
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.
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you took those sweaters, Uggs, and earmuffs out of storage because it officially feels like fall these days. On this week’s neighborhood jams I am featuring a band that recently performed in San Diego on their tour last Saturday. Motion City Soundtrack stopped by along with The Wonder Years, You Blew It!, and State Champs. They played at Soma in Point Loma – a venue that is famous for their intimate atmosphere yet always filled with punk rock youths.
Motion City Soundtrack consists of five members each bringing so much to the table. MCS was originally founded by Joshua Cain (guitar) and Justin Pierre (vocals and guitar) in 1997 in Minnesota. Soon after Jesse Johnson (keyboardist and moog synthesist), and Matthew Taylor (backing vocals and bass) joined along with former drummer Tony Thaxton. In 2013 Thaxton left the band and Claudio Rivera joined the group. Together the band has released six studio albums including their latest Panic Stations released in June, 2015. Now as a long-time, die-hard, fan I must say that I love this latest album. Pierre is known for sharing all of his feelings in his raw lyrics that soon become their hits – and this album does not disappoint. One of my favorite songs from Panic Stations is Lose Control. At the concert this song really got the people jumping and going, even surrounded by heartfelt melodies the audience was singing along every word. Check out the music video below:
Now being the big fan that I am (I have seen these guys every year at least once or twice a year for the past ten years…) I want to go on a tangent of one of my favorite MCS songs from the album Commit This To Memory, and it is called L.G. FUAD. If you know what that stands for then consider this a virtual high-five from me to you. Yeah! I love this song, and every time MCS plays a concert they play this song. I feel like it is a real go getter for the guys, and the audience always replies back beautifully by singing along perfectly and with complementary clapping. Hearing this song live is also a treat because Johnson will go crazy on his keyboards, dancing around, and cheering on the audience. I’ve even seen him do a handstand or two ON TOP of the keyboard. It’s pretty crazy stuff. Regarding Johnson, he was not at Saturday’s concert because his wife was in labor with their first child – how exciting! I hope everyone is happy and healthy! It amazes me that these five guys are getting married, having kids, yet still rocking out as hard as they were their first tour. You can really see the dedication each member has for MCS, and it is so admiring. With everything on their individual plates they are not just limiting themselves to music. A pretty cool thing they did with the release of their latest album was partner up with a local coffee shop called Five Watt Coffee. Here Pierre, Johnson, and Taylor tasted and comprised their own coffee blend to make Panic Stations: The Coffee. Very cool.
I wish Motion City Soundtrack much luck on the remainder of their tour. You can check out where they are going next here. Be sure to give their Facebook a like or two. And I strongly urge you to light a candle and listen to their acoustic versions of their own songs – it’s truly beautiful.
KCR College Radio: The Sound of State
KCR is an internet based radio station run by students at the San Diego State University that provides music, sports, and talk programs to the SDSU community.
KCR can be listened directly via the RadioFX and TuneIn apps. TuneIn is available on home, car, and portable devices, and works with Alexa and Google Home.