Live Music in San Diego: Nostalgia Rocks

Push past the throngs of bodies to the front of the room. The anticipation builds as everyone waits for the headlining act to take the stage. You eagerly sip your drink, chatting with a friend, and then…the lights go down and the music kicks out. Nothing compares to seeing your favorite band live, and whether you prefer under-the-radar punk bands at a dingy dive bar or elegant jazz at a sleek and sophisticated club, you’ll find live music to suit any accoustic taste in San Diego.

If you’re heading to San Diego this winter, you might start feeling a little nostalgic. Not because of the Victorian buildings decked out in classic holiday decor, but because of the great 80s and 90s-era bands gracing San Diego stages during December and January:

Camper Van Beethoven plays at the Belly Up Tavern

The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach offers up some seriously good music with a not-so-serious attitude when Camper Van Beethoven takes the stage on Dec. 27. Describing themselves as “surrealist absurdist folk,” the band is known for their 1985 classic “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”

Public Enemy plays at 4th and B

The legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy comes to downtown’s 4th and B on Jan. 15. Don’t miss this chance to check out the music that influenced everyone from the Beastie Boys to Nirvana.

Wilco plays Copley Symphony Hall

Since their first album didn’t come out until 1994, Wilco may not be considered a nostalgic act, but their bittersweet ballads can make you long for a past that may have never existed in the first place. Their show at Copley Symphony Hall on Jan. 22 is sure to sell out.

With so much great live music coming to San Diego, which shows will you go see?


Brent Bernasconi

Live Like A Californian Sweepstakes

Live Like a Californian SweepstakesThe California Travel and Tourism Commission wants you experience life as a Californian. You can enter a weekly quiz with a chance to win a $250 Visa Gift Card, round trips flights, or a grand prize trip. I know that you will want to win the San Diego Grand Prize trip! Below is what you could win:

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz calls San Diego home. Get the star treatment when you and three (3) of your friends are chauffeured in a VIP Mercedes to and from a Jason Mraz concert in Southern California. Go backstage before or after the show and meet the rocker in person! You and your crew can make the rock ‘n’ roll life last a few days longer with $200 in Karma Kash for dinner at the legendary House of Blues San Diego and nights hanging out at the trendy Siren Pool & Uber Lounge conveniently located inside the Sè San Diego Hotel in the historic Gaslamp District where you will stay for three (3) nights of luxury.

This Rock Star package also comes with round trip airfare provided by Travelocity and a four (4) day rental car voucher, as well as a CityPASS that gets you into must-see San Diego attractions.

Make sure to answer this weeks quiz for your chance to win a trip to San Diego and live like a Californian (you know, like me!).

Enter the Live Like a Californian Sweepstakes!


5 to Try This Weekend

OB Chili Cook-off

  1. The 31st Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Newport Avenue.  This FREE event will  feature more than 200 vendors, art, food, rides, a children’s area, a SkateJam, entertainment on five stages and of course, delicious chili!
  2. Tantalize your taste buds this weekend with a downtown dine around.  The 17th annual Taste of Gaslamp Quarter will be held both Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., offering more than 30 food samples each day. This self-guided tour will introduce you to a number of downtown San Diego’s best restaurants so “come hungry and leave happy.”  Tickets are $30 per person.
  3. This Saturday and Sunday is the 24th Annual La Jolla Festival of Arts and Food Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the UCSD campus.  This event will showcase amazing art from over 200 artists, live entertainment, celebrity chef demos, an amazing street chalking exhibition and more.  Admission is $10. 
  4. On Saturday, the San Diego Zoo will kick-off of its Nighttime Zoo summer celebration when guests get to stay late and explore the park until 9 p.m. As the sun sets, fun after-hours entertainment begins including an interactive show in with Dr. Zoolittle, high-energy animal art; amazing acrobats, tropical musical performances and a high-flying bird show.  Nighttime Zoo is included in park admission and will be offered until September 6.
  5. Celebrate 100 years with the San Diego Symphony’s Bridgepoint Education Summer Pops concerts.  The outdoor concert series will kick-off this Saturday with the Tux N’ Tennies Summer Bash, staring Toni Braxton. Concerts take place all summer long along San Diego Bay and feature food, fireworks and fantastic music. This year’s 100th anniversary pop series last through August and will includes performances by Gladys Knight, Marvin Hamlisch, LeAnn Rimes, and more. Click here for more concert information; ticket prices vary.

In other news: Don’t forget to cheer on the US soccer team this Saturday as they battle it out with Ghana.  You can catch the game at any of these places.