Tag Archives: concert

Strangelove: The Ultimate Depeche Mode Tribute Band in Concert!

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Earlier this month, I attended a fantastic night of music at San Diego’s House of Blues with my sister Rholnna, and my best friend Janice, featuring three tribute bands: Only-U, a tribute to Kraftwerk; SIN, a tribute to Nine Inch Nails; and Strangelove, a tribute to Depeche Mode.

Unfortunately we missed Only-U, but I swear it was for a good reason!  But we did catch SIN, and they were fantastic.  They played the staples like Closer and Head Like a Hole, but it was good to hear them include NIN’s version of Joy Division’s Dead Souls.

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The highlight of the evening was of course, seeing Strangelove.  Prior to the show, we had the honor and privilege of interviewing the band (coming soon), which allowed us to have a backstage view like I’ve never had before.

IMG_6108 (2) (1280x961)STRANGELOVE is (left to right):

  • Jim Evans as “In The Fletch” – keyboards, sequencing, backing vocals, percussion

  • Freddie Morales as “Devotional Dave”– lead vocals, visuals, lighting design, sequencing

  • Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin”– music director, keyboards, vocals, guitar, melodic, sequencing, percussion

  • David Sepe as “Alan Wildest” – keyboards, sequencing, backing vocals, percussion

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With Janice and Rholnna backstage.

As a Devotee to the religion that is Depeche Mode, I must insist that you see Strangelove live.  If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know how big of a fan I am Depeche Mode, and when I closed my eyes at the Strangelove show, I not only hear them, but I feel them.  It is truly amazing how much they devote to not only sounding like them musically, but Freddie (“Devotional Dave”) and Brent (“Counterfeit Martin”) also use British accents to complete the authenticity.  Since Dave is the main visual focus of the group, Freddie turns it up a notch by taking the audience through a history of Dave Gahan’s looks, like the fringed jacket in the Personal Jesus video, the white outfit from the World Violation Tour and Dave’s more current sleek suited look from the Delta Machine tour.  Freddie truly does Dave’s live persona justice to the point where is it almost uncanny, not just with his near exact replication of Dave’s vocals, but by the way he dances and interacts with the audience.  But really all of the members take their rightful place in their true-to-life rendering of when The Mode were a fabulous foursome.  Jim (“In The Fletch”) may be in the back, but he is incredibly energetic with his tell-tale Andrew Fletcher glasses.  I nearly cried when Dave (“Alan Wildest”) played a spot on version Somebody on piano and Brent had me breathless at how much he sounds like Martin Gore on his amazing renditions of Home and Somebody.

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With Brent Meyer as “Counterfeit Martin” (Violator dress by Idil Vice, Some Great Reward clutch purse by Sugar Shox Crafts)

From one song to the next, their set list reads like the greatest Depeche Mode show that would ever be played, and the sold out crowd loved every minute of it!  In my upcoming interview with the band, Brent explains that some of the sounds are authentically Depeche Mode, received from none other than Alan Wilder himself!  Still need convincing?  I’ve included their version of Get The Balance Right below from the HOB show.

I want to thank the gentlemen from Strangelove for taking the time to talk to me and especially to Brent for inviting me, Janice and Rholnna backstage to experience their live show.  I hope you enjoy the pictures, and stay tuned for the upcoming interview post!

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IMG_6607 (2) (1280x1280)All live photos of SIN and Strangelove were taken by Rholnna Jiao.

Pay Tribute & Go See Strangelove in Concert Tomorrow!

Strangelove Tickets

I have concluded my week-long mind, body and soul refreshing experience, and I’m ending it in spectacular manner by finally seeing Strangelove, “the ultimate Depeche Mode tribute band” tomorrow at San Diego’s House of Blues.  My BFF Janice and my sister Rholnna will be in attendance with me, and I believe tickets are still available here.  I’ll have a full review of the show, and hopefully a little more.  If you go, please make sure come up to me and say hi!

Frequent Flyer Tour: Chromeo in Concert

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Last Wednesday, my husband and I went to see Canadian duo, Chromeo in concert at SOMA.  SOMA is a venue I’ve always wanted to see a show at, but never really had the chance to, because any show I would attempt to see there would be sold pretty quickly.  I’m not sure what cosmic synergy happened with Chromeo, but as soon as I saw the date on their Instagram (original post here), I dove in and scored tickets!

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We arrived really early, which meant jockeying for position as close to the stage as possible, without compromising comfort.  I like hearing the music played prior to the concert, because I understand that it’s the artist’s choice as to what gets played during that time.  The music ranged from 70’s to 80’s, consisting mostly of R&B, soul and pop.  I loved that they played “Right on Track” by The Breakfast Club, and I could see the kids all around me using their Shazam app to find out other tracks throughout the early evening like “Meeting in the Ladies Room” by Klymaxx or “No Parking (on the Dance Floor)” by Midnight Star.  Little did they know they had an encyclopedia of 80’s music right next to them!

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The night began with an hour set by Australian EDM producer/DJ, Wave Racer.  His upbeat and incredibly danceable set was quite popular with the mainly Millennial crowd, and my husband was very interested in what he played, being a DJ himself.

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Later, Dave 1 and P-Thugg stormed the stage with all kinds funkiness and groove, accompanied by a dynamic light show and the crowd chanting loudly “CHROM-E-O, WHOA-OH!”.  I’m pretty sure we danced the entire night, and it was nice that they acknowledged that the crowd was a mix of their more seasoned fans, along with those of us who really jumped on board with the album “White Women”.  Now that we’ve heard a nice little spectrum of their music, my hubby and I are on a mission to go back and grab the rest of their library.  We heard everything we wanted to hear from their latest album, and a full set list of their show is below, courtesy of Setlist.fm.  It truly was a fun evening filled with great dance music from beginning to end.  If you get the chance, go catch Chromeo in concert, you won’t regret it!

DSC05043 (2) (960x960)My favorite shot of the evening, no filter needed!

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My first piece of vinyl bought at a concert.  Check that off the list!

Weezer: Dominic's First Concert!

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This past weekend, we took Dominic to his very first concert:  Weezer at the Del Mar Racetrack!  It was a bit gloomy, raining on and off throughout the day.  We even considered not going at one point, thinking the reports of “thunder showers” would be correct and we didn’t want to subject our boy to the potential of catching a cold.  But we decided to brave the weather since we would be inside for a bit watching a few horse races prior to the concert.  Anyone who arrives prior to the last race can see the concert for free, and I have to thank my co-worker, Rene, for giving us passes for free stretch runs!  We had dinner first, then my hubby wanted to place his first bets on horses. There was three races left for the night, and Deon won the first two!  He had a blast and wants to return again this season.  After the last race, we all headed for the venue area and rocked the night away to Weezer.

The music lover in me has always wanted to see Weezer in concert.  When we found out about the show, I just thought how awesome it would be to have this be Dominic’s first concert, and he could say “When I was five, my parents took me to see Weezer!”  They performed all of the popular alternative radio station hits:  “Hash Pipe”, “Island in the Sun”, “Beverly Hills”, “Say it Ain’t So”, “Buddy Holly” and my favorite, “Undone – The Sweater Song”.  They even did a Blur cover, which was a pleasant surprise.  To commemorate the day, I bought us all concert shirts.  Dominic’s is still a bit too big, but it will allow him the chance to grow into it, giving him more chances to wear it.

Below, I’ve included the set list for the show, and I will upload the video of “Undone – The Sweater Song” soon (you’ll be able to see it underneath the set list) Dominic said he had fun, and it made for a wonderful day at the Del Mar Racetrack!

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A tiny big gloomy, but nothing torrential.

Weezer Concert 2014 Collage 1Someone was a winner!

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Really good line up this summer!

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My boys are ready to rock!

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Not only was it Dominic’s first concert, but it was the first time for me and Deon to see Weezer as well.  They were fantastic!

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Dominic is a natural. He took a look around at the crowd and emulated the Weezer hand symbol (his daddy decided to follow suit). 

Note:  I got Deon’s shirt in London two years ago, and boy did it get a lot of attention that night!  If you can’t tell, it says “If found please return to the pub.”  When Janice and I were in London back in 2012, I saw a guy wearing it as we were going up an escalator in a Tube station.  I then found it at a souvenier shop towards the end of our stay and had to get it for Deon.  He loves it!

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Mark this one in the history books for Dominic’s very first concert! 

Weezer Setlist Del Mar Racetrack, Del Mar, CA, USA 2014, 2014 Summer Tour

(Video coming soon!)

This Is What I Do: Boy George in Concert

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In the wake of Culture Club’s UK tour announcement (dates here), I’m finally posting my pictures from the Boy George concert my hubby and I attended last month.  With Dominic in Las Vegas at the time, we were able to travel to LA for the concert, which was at The Belasco Theater, right next to The Mayan (Boy George had a concert there the following day).  We were lucky we arrived early, not only because the line ended up going around the block, but because the police were in full force due to the Clippers game.  In fact, we met a really nice cop while filling up at a gas station, who is a huge 80’s music and Depeche Mode fan, but regretfully didn’t know Boy George was playing that night.  Later while in line, we met a lovely couple, with whom we ended up hanging out with for the duration of the evening.

Other than a near altercation between my husband and an overeager and inebriated concert goer during Church of the Poison Mind, the show was absolutely fantastic.  Boy George sounded better than ever and his band was wonderful.  Hats were the featured accessory, and my husband received recognition from Mr. George from the stage at the start of the concert, complimenting him on his choice of fedora for the evening.  I read a lot of reviews to get a feel for what the show would be like.  So I was not at all surprised to find that The Boy featured a fabulous mixture of songs from his new album This Is What I Do and crowd pleasing Culture Club songs.  Comments from concert goers on different forums criticized the song choice, but I liked the mix of music: this was a Boy George concert, not a Culture Club concert.  Although I would have loved to have heard Time (Clock of the Heart) live, I was nearly in tears to at least hear Victims.  Deon’s favorite song was Karma Chameleon, and I really enjoyed Nice & Slow from the new album, and Everything I Own, although one obvious omission was The Crying Game.  The full set list for The Mayan show can be found below, which was the same as The Belasco show, and I will add Nice & Slow live from the concert, as soon as it uploads.  Oh yeah, another exciting part of the evening was hearing that Matt Goss was in the same building (I included a picture from Matt’s Twitter account).  I’m so glad we made the trek to LA to see such an incredible show!

(Edited to add: Nice & Slow is now up!  See the video below.)

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That line went around the block!

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The Boy himself!

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Matt Goss with Boy George after the concert from his Twitter account *sigh*.

The set list from The Mayan concert, which was pretty close to the show at The Belasco.

(Nice & Slow live!)

Electric Hit Music – The Pet Shop Boys In Concert

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Back in the beginning of October, I saw the Pet Shop Boys at Copley Symphony Hall, with my husband, my sister and best friend Janice.  Later, we met up with my friend Merrick and his friend Alan.  After checking out Facebook that night, I saw that 80’s DJ extraordinaire, Richard Blade was also in attendance!  I finally have a chance to share some pictures and a video of the fantastic night of hit music by this iconic band.  When I think of “Godfathers of EDM”, I think of Depeche Mode, New Order and certainly Pet Shop Boys.  They have been successfully marrying thoughtful lyrics with perfect dance music for decades, and this concert was a culmination of everything they were and still are.  The audience sang many of the lyrics word for word, and you can tell so many of us have waited for this night for a long time.  Yet another band to cross off from my “bucket list” and they did not disappoint.  I heard everything I wanted to hear, with the exception of “Love Comes Quickly”, but that’s ok because hearing “Rent” more than made up for it (the line “I love you/you pay my rent” is one of my all time favorite lyrics).  We were most impressed with the lighting, which truly was a show in itself.  In addition to the pictures, I’ve included the set list from SetList.fm, and a video I recorded of “Suburbia”.  Enjoy!

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All of the costumes were fantastic, but we all wanted to take this disco ball hat home!

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Did I mention there were stunning visual effects?

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The lighting was so spectacular and made the stage larger than life.

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Photo 1: Wearing my Dextrose shirt by designer Dexter Simmons (Styled to Rock participant); Photo 2: Selfie with my husband, Deon.

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With Rholnna and Janice after the concert.  I opted to buy just one item at the concert.  I was SO glad I bought the program, because it is not available online (the tour shirt is currently available on their online shop here).

I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing…

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I hope you don’t mind the interruption to what should be all about Fashion Week San Diego.  I just attended the Pet Shop Boys concert last night at Copley Symphony Hall in Downtown San Diego, so I couldn’t finish editing all of my pictures for day two of the runway shows.  In the meantime, I’ll post a couple of teaser pictures of the concert.  The Pet Shop Boys were AMAZING and the concert was a sweet and constant assault on all of my senses, and I couldn’t be happier to add them to my concert bucket list.  I guess you could kind of count this as a bit of a runway show because there were several costume changes, and some of their wardrobe pieces were fabulous!  I will resume with Fashion Week San Diego on Friday and next week, followed by a post about this visually stunning concert, including a couple of videos of my favorite songs (which will be a surprise).  If these EDM masters come to your town, I highly, highly recommend catching the Pet Shop Boys in concert!

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