Party in the Peach Pit

On December 6th, Peach Pit sold out SOMA in San Diego for an unforgettable performance. Opening for them: Sunflower Bean, an exceptional band that carried high energy and awoke a vast crowd. The New York based trio had a stellar opening, which quickly captured the audience’s attention, gaining many new fans and creating an unforgettable night for the day-one supporters.

An aspect many audience members find essential to setting the mood of the concert is the pre-show playlist. Peach Pit took that to their advantage. The last song of the pre-show playlist before Peach Pit took the stage was “Get Low” by T-pain, in which the laughter and cheers quickly transitioned into excited screams as the houselights grew dark. Chills covered the crowd as the band entered the stage preparing to start the show off with a bang.

Peach Pit started the concert off strong with an instrumental cover of “Raining Blood,” by Slayer where lead singer Neil Smith brought the energy with him on the stage, as his band members played, he approached them all, butting heads with them…literally. Not even a minute into their first song, Neil was already surfing in the crowd.

The band proceeded to play many songs from their newest album: “From 2 to 3,” which provided a more chill and melancholic vibe. The crowd swayed and couples slowly danced to the calming, perfect sing-along music. Following the consistent performance of slow songs about struggling with addiction, Neil Smith shouts a chaotic energetic statement: “San Diego I just realized something man, it’s frickin Saturday frickin night, okay? And we’re playing these sad-boy f***cking yawn-factory bulls*** songs for you guys, I think it’s time we went back to the Rock and Roll.This kicked off a string of exciting songs, including “Drop the Guillotine” and “Black Licorice.” Mosh pits could be seen occurring from a variety of different sections of SOMA just as the beat drops. 

After their ‘last song,’ which was “Tommy’s Party,” the crowd sang every word they demanded an encore. The venue was filled with screams and chants, refusing to allow for the show to end quite yet. “One more song” and “Peach Pit” the crowd screams in unison. Peach Pit fulfills their desires and returns to the stage with a memorable encore. The band then followed up the excitement with “Psychedelics in LA” and “Shampoo Bottles.”

Upcoming Shows in San Diego

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: 

  • Kesha: May 2nd
  • Russ: May 6th
  • Alicia Keys: September 11th
  • John Legend: September 25th
Written by: Delaney Weidner

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: Motion City Soundtrack

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.