Sample the sounds, sights and sensations of spring/summer in San Diego. Wipe the snow off your parka and ditch the ice scraper - America's Finest music scene is heating up, promising local folk another scorching season. The following highlights some of the bands, shows and venues to which San Diego music fans will lend an ear in the coming weeks and months.
Flip around (just like we used to do on FM), create your playlist, and then
Fall Out Boy
Florida Georgia Line
Lana Del Rey
Marco Antonio Solis
Get spun by the world's top DJ talent
As promised - by billboards all over town and the inside front cover of this magazine - the world's biggest names in EDM are finally set to arrive in San Diego. OMNIA San Diego, the West Coast megaclub sister of Hakkasan Group's OMNIA Las Vegas, opens downtown on April 30. And from day one, the lineup, like the club itself, promises to be over the top.
OMNIA Las Vegas' opening weekend in March featured performances by Calvin Harris , Martin Garrix and Justin Bieber (who celebrated his 21st birthday at the venue, although he may have consumed his first drink sometime earlier in life). Following suit, OMNIA San Diego's debut is sure to bring A-list celebs to America's Finest's nighttime playground.
With celebrities on stage and in the audience, these guys are really shooting for the stars.
5/1: Calvin Harris
5/16: Fergie DJ
5/21: Armin van Buuren
5/30: THE Chainsmokers
OMNIA San Diego
454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp
East Village, where bands booked through the GigTown app sometimes perform; photo by John Mireles" src="http://www.pacificsandiego.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mireles_Pacific-Gig_Town_2105-1024.jpg" alt="Andy Altman (right) and his father, GigTown co-founder Steve Altman, at Quartyard in East Village, where bands booked through the GigTown app sometimes perform; photo by John Mireles" width="580" height="435" />Tune Town
New app consolidates local music community
By Tony Lovitt
Want to book a local musician to play at your next party, listen (Pandora-style) to the music of a broad spectrum of local bands, or rate the performance of a local group that just rocked your favorite bar? Well, now you can, thanks to GigTown (gigtown.com), an innovative new app that, for the first time, puts San Diego's diverse and dynamic local music community at the fingertips of Smartphone users.
"We're putting a lot of functionality in it," says GigTown CEO Andy Altman, 25, a student in USD's JD/MBA program. "You can basically explore your local music community in terms of listening for songs by local artists, see videos of them playing, and check out their bio information and ratings and reviews from people that have previously booked them for gigs."
GigTown is the brainchild of Andy and his father, Steve Altman, former president and vice chairman of Qualcomm. Each year, Andy's parents produce a fundraising event for Type 1 diabetes called Rock the Cure, at which one or two local bands open for a big-name act like Styx or Foreigner.
"From that, they were exposed to the difficulty in booking live music," says Andy. "I had relied really heavily on Uber while I was at Coachella and, like so many other apps, we kept thinking of, you know, how do you 'Uber-ize' different industries? So, [GigTown] sort of started as that 'Uber for music' concept, but it evolved into so much more than that."
Andy cites a couple of his personal favorite bands - Super Groupie and Sandollar* - as being among the nearly 200 (and steadily growing number of) local acts that have created artist profiles on GigTown.
"There's so much talent out there," he says. "Essentially, we're trying to put the local music community in your pocket."
Backed by a father who helped put the phones in so many pockets in the first place, Qualcomm's prodigal son seems destined for success. Stay tuned...
*PacificSD used the GigTown app to book Super Groupie and Sandollar for a
For Love of Country
Downtown club kicks up its heels with next-level talent
By Stephanie Eng
Dust off your cowboy boots - if you're into country music, you'll want them for a night of good, clean fun out at East Village's Moonshine Flats, billed as a "honky-tonk bar with a sexy edge."
Moonshine Flats (formerly Block No. 16) opened in February 2014 and features live country music and line dancing. The venue also has an open-roof bar, The Deck at Moonshine Flats, where a "backyard barbeque" vibe, outdoor games and a smaller stage for acoustic shows set the scene.
Having hosted regional acts Frankie Ballard and John Pardi, Moonshine Flats will up the ante in May, according to Ty Hauter, CEO of Good Time Design, which also operates Bub's @ the Ballpark and Blind Blurro among other popular downtown destinations.
"It's the caliber of going to a larger-scale concert in a small venue," says Hauter.
Country music fans can expect to see an impressive lineup that includes James Otto, American Young, Old Dominion, Dallas Smith, Jason Charles Miller and Blackjack Billy in the coming weeks.
344 Seventh Ave, East Village
SD's Vokab Kompany gives fans something new to talk about
By Stephanie Eng
MC Robbie "Rob Hurt" Gallo, who describes himself as an "adventurous kid" from Lake Tahoe, and his band mate, a former teacher and current vocalist Matt "Burke Baby" Burke, don't look like typical rap stars. Nor would they want to be pigeonholed as representing just the one genre.
Co-founders of San Diego-based band Vokab Kompany, Gallo and Burke headline local concerts and get booked for sold-out gigs in Las Vegas, Seattle, New Orleans and beyond.
"I'm happy with being successful and not having to work any other job, except for music, for the rest of my life," says Gallo.
Given its electronic, hip-hop and pop elements - mixed with Gallo and Burke's signature lyrical styles - the band's forthcoming The Good Kompany Album (set to drop in June) promises to appeal to a wide audience.
"[It's] is our most positive album, for sure," says Burke. He explains that the record's title reflects the "good company" he and Gallo keep - their families, friends and fellow musicians.
Vokab Kompany consists of Gallo, Burke, bassist Vikingo "Viking" Burkhiser, guitarist Richard Galiguis, drummer Tyler Olson and Geoff Nigl on keyboard and guitar. Follow the band, find show dates and pre-order their upcoming album at vokabkompany.com.
*Catch an exclusive Vokab Kompany live performance at PacificSD's Margarita Month Grand Tasting
Margarita Month Grand Tastingevent, May 31 at the Horton Grand Hotel.
More than 100 musicians, comedians and artists to invade Del Mar this fall
Beginning September 18, San Diegans will be able to enjoy a Coachella-esque three-day-concert weekend featuring major headlining acts - without having to sweat the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Indio.
No Doubt, The Killers, Zac Brown Band, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, 311, Slightly Stoopid, Sheryl Crow and many others will perform on seven stages where the turf meets the surf during KAABOO. The Friday/Saturday/Sunday event will also feature live performances by comedians Joel McHale, Lewis Black, Chris D'Elia, among many others.
"The process of building KAABOO has been exciting and enlightening for the team," says Bryan Gordon, founder and CEO of KAABOO. "Everyone has offered input into what they would like to see incorporated into the event, and we're hopeful that we're crafting something special with our inaugural KAABOO."
Although the live outdoor music will cease nightly at 10 p.m., the Friday and Saturday night ragers will continue indoors until 2:30 a.m. Party-rockers will be able to refuel on grub from nearby eateries (including Searsucker, Cucina Enoteca and Puesto) and peruse public art and an on-site the contemporary art fair.
The Hang Loose pass ($299) grants general admission and access to all seven stages; the Hang Five VIP pass ($799) is good for VIP entrance and exit, SuperLounge access, luxury seating, charging stations, premium restrooms and more; the Hang Ten VIP pass ($2,499) includes Hang Five VIP items plus complimentary food and drinks, artist lounge access, valet parking, headliner meet-and-greet opportunities and more.
For the complete lineup, festival rules and to purchase passes, visit kaaboodelmar.com.
9/18-20: KAABOO @ Del Mar Fairgrounds, kaaboodelmar.com
Say hello to SoCal's new Sunday Funday
By Jessica Pelligra
San Diegans remember Intervention Sundays' final moment as the day the music died. America's Finest pool party, which rocked for six straight years at Float at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, has been silenced.
Picking up the slack and now making a splash on Sundays (for the past two summers, it's been on Saturdays), Dive Day Party and Harrah's Resort SoCal features a trifecta of pools, the county's only swim-up bar and a cool collection of more than 20 cabanas and daybeds surrounding powerhouse poolside DJs.
"Talent for the 2015 season will be well-rounded and focus on a variety of genres," says Omid Sabet, partner at Five Group, the entertainment operations and management company responsible for booking Dive's talent and overseeing the event series. "We're bringing a better balance to the day club experience, which has been missing for some time." If part of the fun at Dive is getting wet, then the venue's high-end offerings are certainly something to soak-in.
"We added a pool and increased our capacity so that we can have more people experience Dive," says Sabet. "We have also enhanced VIP this season, blowing it out of the water with the addition of helicopter rides from two airports in San Diego."
See Yellow Claw perform at Dive's opening day on Sunday, May 17. Find tickets and more info at divedayclub.com and be ready to call in sick on Monday (Harrah's has hotel rooms, BTW, and a float along the Lazy River beats going to work any day - just sayin'...)
Dive Day Party at Harrah's Resort SoCal
777 Harrah's Rincon Way, Valley Center
You Can't Always Get What You Want
But if you try, and/or are willing to shell out big for scalpers, you might just catch the Stones at Petco Park
The most classic of rockers, The Rolling Stones, kick off their North American, 15-stop Zip Code tour at Petco Park on May 24, marking a nearly decade-long absence since their last San Diego performance.
In November 2005, The Rolling Stones became the first band to perform at the then-new Petco Park, only to be followed by the likes of Madonna (2008), Avicii (2011), Paul McCartney (2014) and Taylor Swift (this coming August), among others.
A lucky 41,500 concert-goers will get to see Mick Jagger and company perform live in center field during the sure-to-be epic show and the only West Coast date scheduled for the Stones' 2015 tour.
5/24: Rolling Stones @ Petco Park, padres.com/rollingstones
Party Down South
San Diego's hit music radio station brings A-list performers to Chula Vista 's big house
On May 8, some of the planet's hottest Top 40 megastars will rock South County during Channel 933's annual Summer Kickoff Concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre stage.
"Every year, San Diego knows summer is here because of this premiere music event," says Channel 933 program director Joe Haze. "To get so many different types of artists in the pop world on one stage is amazing!"
Check the full lineup of performers below and get amped for the big show by adding their current chart-topping hits (listed next to the artist's names) to your favorite playlists.
Artists performing at the Channel 933 Summer Kickoff Concert (listed in alphabetical order):
David Guetta (electro, house): "Hey Mamma" featuring Nicki Minaj and Afrojack
Echosmith (indie rock, alternative): "Bright"
Fifth Harmony (pop, dance): "Worth It" featuring Kid Ink
Jason Derulo (pop, R&B): "Want to Want Me"
Meghan Trainor (pop): "Lips are Movin"
Pitbull (hip-hop, pop): "Time of Our Lives" featuring Ne-Yo
Prince Royce (Latin pop, bachata): "Stuck on a Feeling" featuring Snoop Dogg
5/8: Channel 933 Summer Kickoff Concert @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre, channel933.com
Amp A Theatre
More than a dozen bands scheduled to rock Sleep Train
The 32nd installment of alternative rock radio station 91X's annual X-Fest brings rockers Modest Mouse, punk band Pennywise, hip-hoppers Public Enemy and more to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre stage on Sunday, June 7.
"The genres of 91X are far and wide," says 91X program director Mike Halloran. "We were the first local station to play Public Enemy back in the day, and Pennywise and The Cult and Modest Mouse - those guys are about as diverse as you can get. [X-Fest] is a great day to get out and see those and other bands."
Purchase tickets at 91X.com or head to the 91X studios in Sorrento Valley with a receipt showing a recent Bud Light purchase (of a 12-, 18-or 30- pack) to save $8.25 on lawn seats. And if that's not enough alt. rock action for one summer weekend, check out the X-Fest Warm-Up Show, featuring Unwritten Law and Ten Foot Tall, Saturday night, June 6, at House of Blues downtown (houseofblues.com/sandiego).
X-Fest 2015 performance lineup:
Modest Mouse (alt rock)
The Cult (rock)
Public Enemy (hip-hop)
Cold War Kids (rock, soul)
Death from Above 1979 (rock)
Yelawolf (rap, rock)
Atlas Genius (indie, alt)
The Orwells (rock)
Robert DeLong (electronic, rock)
Meg Myers (pop, rock)
Shady Francos (rock)
Moon Hooch (jazz fusion)
6/7: 91X X-Fest @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre, 91X.com
Now Ear This
A day of fun in the sun and sand in Mission Beach this May
From OMBAC (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club) - the folks behind the annual (and lascivious and sometimes topless) Over the Line softball-like tournament - comes the 3rd annual Beach Music Festival, to be held May 9 on Mission Bay.
"I'm excited about [this year's event] because it's our strongest lineup ever," says Patrick Vaughan, chairman of the OMBAC Beach Music Fest. "Very rarely in San Diego do you get the opportunity to have an adult beverage in the sand and enjoy a show."
Supported by Miller Lite and the Belly Up Tavern, the 21-andup waterfront festival will feature live performances by reggae/ hip-hop headliner Matisyahu, reggae act The Green, hip-hop/ electronica duo Vokab Kompany and '80s dance band Betamaxx. The beers and bands by the bay will blast from 2 to 9 p.m.
5/9: OMBAC Beach Music Fest @ Mission Bay Park, ombac.org
*Win tickets to OMBAC Beach Music Fest here.
Acts to Grind
Megastar music makers making their way to 'Merica's Finest
In July 1998, what had previously been a 72-acre dairy farm became Coors Amphitheatre (Cricket Wireless purchased naming rights in 2008; Sleep Train signed a five-year naming-rights deal in 2013). That same month, pop-rock group Chicago became the first band to take the then-new stage. In August 2013, British pop sensation The Spice Girls performed the first sold-out show at the venue, which seats 10,000 and has a lawn capacity of an additional 10,000.
Now, nearly 20 years since the amphitheatre's inception, Sleep Train's 2015 concert offerings include artists ranging from Brad Paisley to Nickelback, Van Halen to Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj to Chayanne and many more big-time artists in between.
Sleep Train Amphitheatre 2015 lineup:
5/8: Channel 933 Summer Kickoff
5/16: Lana Del Rey, Courtney Love
6/6: Brad Paisley*
6/7: 91X's X-Fest
7/10: Lady Antebellum*
7/17: J. Cole, Big Sean
7/18: 5 Seconds of Summer
8/2: Darius Rucker*
8/8: Fall Out Boy, Wiz Khalifa
8/13: Nicki Minaj
8/16: Dierks Bentley*
9/9: Ariana Grande
9/22: Def Leppard
9/24: Foo Fighters
9/30: Van Halen
10/3: Florida Georgia Line*
10/16: Luke Bryan*
*Miller Lite Country MegaTicket artists - see all six country shows with the purchase of one mega ticket. Find details and tickets at megaticket.com.
Sleep Train Amphitheatre
2050 Entertainment Cir., Chula Vista, 619.671.3500, sleeptrainamphitheatre.net