Concert Reviews

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Everything but the kitchen sink from Stanley Clarke

Jazz-fusion bassist brings down the house at Music Box

Jazz-fusion bass man Stanley Clarke, fronting a well-oiled band that included a second bassist (Cameroonian Armand Sabal-Lecco), Ruslan Sirota and Lincoln Cleary on keyboards, and 21-year-old drum prodigy Mike Mitchell, delivered an incendiary set to ...

Was Guns 'N Roses worth the wait?

After 23 years, a packed Qualcomm stadium screamed to think so

“Do you know where the fuck you are? You’re in the jungle, San Diego!” Axl Rose screamed as he and his Guns N’ Roses bandmates launched into “Welcome to the Jungle” at Qualcomm Stadium, the ...

Guided by Pollard

At over two hours with two encores, you got to wait for the GBV nugs

In 2014, five guys played the Belly Up under the moniker of Guided by Voices. A pair of these musicians was present at this year’s show — Robert Pollard (singer) and Kevin March (drummer) — ...

What is a bass player?

Rodrigo y Gabriela slay Belly Up flamenco style

On night one of two evenings of sold-out shows consisting of four musicians comprising two bands, the Belly Up became a stage for dynamic duos. Warming up the crowd was the Irish acoustic guitar-and-drum bundle ...

Radiohead: Dialed in at the Shrine

The English quintet sends 6300 fans into frenzy

Shrine Auditorium has a gorgeous personality, a haunting elegance that paired well with Radiohead’s bipolar extravagance, as the English quintet performing 24 intimate songs to a sold-out crowd of 6300. The night looked like a ...

Dead and Company rock-roll in Sleep Train

Three old hands, three new hands, including blues-rock star John Mayer

“Shakedown Street” is one of the Grateful Dead's funkiest songs, and it’s also the name given to the funky traveling market that has been springing up in the parking lot at Dead shows for decades. ...

Savages turn Observatory into a cauldron of punk-metal

British band riding a mighty, high wave behind this year's Adore Life

What to say about Savages…these are some badass ladies. The English quartet is known for their fierce and eerie delivery. Atmospheric guitar feedback, constant rumbling of bass and drums, topped off by Jehnny Beth’s maniacal ...

The soft, loud, soft, really loud Wye Oak

Baltimore indie-rock duo packs 'em in at the Irenic

Wye Oak is a Baltimore indie-rock duo formed in 2006 whose music ranges from laid-back and spare to noisy guitar freak-outs. They showcased these dynamics mid-set at the Irenic with the galloping soft/loud/soft/really loud structure ...

Yoni & Geti park the Testarossa at Casbah

Why? trio lights a fire under Chicago rapper Serengeti

Serengeti and Yoni Wolf’s second collaborative full-length, Testarossa, is a concept album speaking to the difficulty inherent in maintaining a relationship across distance, specifically in a profession requiring perpetual travel, and of the longing, infidelity, ...

One hot Headache

Aussie pub-rockers Royal Headache get Soda Bar bouncing

Before Royal Headache started their set, I spotted their bassist, Joe, taking a stab at the NFL Blitz ’99 arcade game nestled in the club’s main room. Perhaps he was using it to learn the ...

Stage sick — Flight of the Conchords

Music-comedy duo use the sore throat for comedic effect

Musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords didn’t care that several fans in the front row had brought small children to their sold-out gig at San Diego State: nothing was going to stop them from boasting ...

Buckethead — mad scientist of electric guitar

Worshippers wore buckets on their heads, played along on air guitars

Without a live band, Buckethead kept the packed Music Box of hardcore fans salivating over his axe handling. A souped-up guitar capable of making you breakfast and doing the dishes, buzzed, ripped, soared, and dominated ...

Fusion nostalgia with Al Di Meola

...and there's no better band leader to get you there

Jazz-rock guitarist Al Di Meola brought his Romantic Warrior Meets Elegant Gypsy Tour to the Music Box for a standing-room-only exercise in fusion nostalgia that leaned heavily on crowd favorites. Di Meola’s concept has always ...

Takin' It to the Fair with Michael McDonald

Doobie Brother infuses jazz and his husky voice into classic rock favorites

“Nothing says rock ’n’ roll like whipping up the crowd with a bingo game,” quipped Michael McDonald, referring to the pre-show entertainment at his San Diego County Fair appearance. Actually, one might argue that the ...

Switchfoot — a perfect kickoff to summer

Alt-rockers highlight opening night at the Fair

San Diego natives Switchfoot made a triumphant return to the main stage at the San Diego County Fair. Opening night saw the band in fine form as they delivered a tight set of favorites and ...

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