Concert Reviews

Hypnotic Califone

Califone's show at the Soda Bar fell on a Sunday night, five days after New Year's Eve. The event was a mellow "last hurrah" for the holiday season. A subtle transition into the standard workweeks ...

Sweet sates Solana Beach

Pop artist Matthew Sweet played a 15-song show and 2-song encore to a partisan, enthusiastic crowd that seemed to know the words to every song. Sweet has been a regular visitor to San Diego since ...

"The Last Time" for Exile on Kettner?

At first glance, the three-page set list that Mario Escovedo and friends followed during their annual “Exile on Kettner” show looked like little more than an intimidating list of randomly assorted Rolling Stones songs. But ...

The Blood spills at Brick by Brick

Coagulating in 1980s London, the Blood is a unique punk band led by “Cardinal Jesus Hate.” This show did not disappoint, even though the crowd at Brick by Brick maxed out at 25 (including the ...

Timberlake takes back the night

Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids brought "crowd surfing" to a new level. Multi-colored laser beams gleamed throughout the arena as Timberlake and his crew opened the show with "Pusher Love Girl" and danced across ...

Queens highlight this year's Wrex

The annual holiday event known as Wrex the Halls is a production of alt-rock radio station 91X. Usually composed of a smorgasbord of choice acts, 2013's Wrex was an exceptional bill. One attendee told me ...

Besnard Lakes — rock and roll at its chilling best

Not the first time the Besnard Lakes have been to town, but I can say with certainty that it was the best time. The Canadian indie-rock quartet has honed their skills to perform live a ...

Pearl Jamming Viejas, intimately

You know a band is gigantic when they refer to a concert at Viejas Arena as being “intimate.” When Eddie Vedder announced this to an audience of 12,000 fans, he was not joking. Circa 2013, ...

Ben Harper gets personal at the Copley

Ever wish you could host one of your favorite musicians in your living room, interacting and listening to your favorite songs? Ben Harper turned his show at the Copley into just such an event, dishing ...

How cool is Buddy Guy?

Buddy Guy is cool. Leaning on an amp and playing his Fender Strat with one-hand cool. Wiping down his face and strings with a towel mid-song cool. Taking the drummers stick and using it like ...

The 1975 — second time around

"And this is how it starts..." Ambient, synth-heavy, and loaded with pop hooks, the music of Manchester, England's latest breakouts, the 1975, met a friendly crowd at the Belly Up just three months after selling ...

With a curse like a knife

Deer Tick brings Negativity to Belly Up

Rhode island–based alt-country act Deer Tick belted out the lyrics to “The Bump” — "We're full grown men, but we act like kids, we'll face the music next time we roll in!" — as the ...

Jack Johnson fans win lottery

The last time Jack Johnson played in the Gaslamp, the crowd watching his 2004 Street Scene set seemed to stretch a mile from the stage. So when his latest gig at the intimate Balboa Theatre ...

Sabbath: Once in a lifetime

On tour with Ozzy for the first time since 1979, Black Sabbath reciprocated the over-capacity crowd’s energy tenfold, the way only a truly great rock band can. While this tour is in support of this ...

Bugged at Bugg show

The popular young British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg was either being very polite to the chatty attendees in the back of the room, or the monitors facing Bugg were loud enough so that he could not ...