Concert Reviews

Carnival of danger

Our border reporter braves a new Tijuana punk fest

“Someone will die,” posted Carlos Arreguin on his Facebook page minutes before the Carnavalito Peligroso I music festival began at Plaza Fiesta. The singer of the power-violence band Calafia Puta was one of the organizers ...

Arcade Fire lights up a Chula Vista night

Canada band encourages dress-up and dancing

On a cool August night in Chula Vista, Arcade Fire performed to an audience that ranged from children in animal costumes to hip grandparents and every kind of character, weirdo, and geek in between. Although ...

The Hold Steady hold up

...despite the missing piano man

Cheap Girls got the crowd warmed up for the Hold Steady. The trio from Lansing, Michigan, fueled by Ian Graham’s crooning vocals, was a throwback to ’90s alternative rock, most notably the Smoking Popes — ...

OK Go showers hot fans with confetti

Thanks to an unusually hot Belly Up Tavern, fans attending the club’s OK Go concert may have felt during the show like they would need to rinse off once they got home. The band, however, ...

Too Short in your whip?

Rapper pumps up Extreme Autofest to ear-ringing effect

I've been following Too Short since I was hella young, and tonight, after listening to his raps about bosses, biatches, and Oakland, his music never gets dated. Even his newer music (2012) is reminiscent of ...

Cher and Cyndi Lauper turn back time

Ageless pop stars pack the Valley View Casino Center

Cher's Dressed to Kill farewell tour, with Cyndi Lauper as the "special guest," sold out the Valley View Casino Center in the Midway District. But right before the event, "obstructed view" seating was released and ...

World Party trio stirs Solana Beach

Wallinger and company re-imagine the hits

World Party concluded its U.S. tour with a dynamic performance at the Belly Up Tavern. The Karl Wallinger–led trio transcended the expectations of the crowd, which led to several standing ovations. Wallinger, comfortable in his ...

Off the chain, in the flow

A rambunctious festivus finishes this year's Mainly Mozart Festival

The final concert of the Mainly Mozart Festival was off the chain. "Off the chain" — what does that even mean? From Urban Dictionary: "Out of control, wild fun. Just like when your pitbull gets ...

Mystic Braves delivers sounds of summer to Soda Bar

“One more! One more!” A packed Soda Bar begged the evening’s headliners Mystic Braves to continue playing as their hour-long set neared its end. Eager to continue, the Los Angeles–based quintet responded without missing a ...

Chamber musicians light the path

The final chamber music concert at the Timken.

The final Timken Museum Mainly Mozart concert was a rough one for me. There were two pieces of music on the program, Kodaly’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 9. ...

Guided by Voices is back on beat

Indie stalwarts deliver rock-and-roll salvation to Belly Up

There is an old saying in the music biz that a band is only as good as its drummer. On this evening, Kevin March proved that theory. March recently replaced another Kevin (Fennell) on the ...

Entirely not Mozart, entirely badass

All-star symphonic performance neatly frames the master

What would happen if you brought an orchestra together which was comprised of principal players from a slew of different organizations such as The LA Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, ...

Lionel Richie rouses Sleep Train

...revisits hits to everyone's delight

Lionel Richie launched the show with the latter-day “All Around the World,” but then dismissed any critics by playing a full set of hits from the ‘80s and earlier. He began with a rendition of ...

Wanda Jackson's still one hard-headed woman

The Queen of Rockabilly graces the Casbah stage

Just one night after appearing at Long Beach’s Ink ’n’ Iron Festival, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson played for a smaller, but no less enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at the Casbah. For many, ...

Where punk rock and comedy commingle

Black Fag and Meatmen split a bill at Soda Bar

While watching the “absolutely fabulous” Black Flag tribute band “Black Fag” at the Soda Bar, the major flaw with the current touring version of Black Flag finally dawned on me. There is no joy in ...

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