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So, we're walking around UCSD looking for the Loft in the airport-like Price Center and locate it tucked up among students tapping on laptops. Upon entering, the Loft continues the airport vibe, with an upscale but impersonal feel to it. But, they have beer — a good Belgian white, even — comfy couches, and decent sound.

The smell of jet fuel faded as Joe Pug took the stage. The guy exudes humble charm and earnestness for his craft that bleeds into the music. Poignant lyrics, such as those of “A Thousand Men” off of EP In the Meantime, silenced the crowd into hushed reflection. Pug finished up with a couple of standouts, “Hymn #101” off of his Nation of Heat EP and the catchy “Messenger” off of the new full-length, Unsophisticated Heart.

Although often compared to Dylan (what guy with earnest lyrics and a harmonica isn't?), I got more of a Josh Ritter sound and demeanor. The upright bass, electric guitar, and accordion of his Hundred Mile Band fleshed out Pug’s soulful tunes.

  • Concert: Joe Pug and the Hundred Mile Band
  • Date: November 1
  • Venue: The Loft at UCSD
  • Seats: GA
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