City of the Sun: “If you came here for a chill acoustic show, this ain’t it” – The Cornerstone in Berkeley (Nov 7, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26828077_10100636480115579_1835085773_o

SO STOKED to have met the TREMENDOUSLY TALENTED TRIO (John Pita, Avi Snow, Zach Para) that is City of the Sun after their MIND-NUMBING SHOW at the Cornerstone Brewery in Berkeley.  I may have been tired and jet-lagged from Iceland Airwaves music festival (for which I only just returned the day before), but that surely did NOT keep me from SEEING THE SUN, City of the Sun. This EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING band blends post-rock and flamenco style guitar with unique percussion (learned in Peru) to create soundscapes that SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. I first discovered City of the Sun at BottleRock Napa back in May and remember my knees getting weak (yes, THAT GOOD) as I ran to the stage half-way into their first SONG. They reminded me a bit of both Explosions in the Sky and Rodrigo y Gabriela, two of my ALL TIME FAVORITE bands (but with very different styles). They also had a bit of a Vancouver Sleep Clinic vibe, which (oddly enough), they told me they met a few months back at a music festival in Vegas and considered Tim Bettinsons‘ vocals a great fit for their music.  🙂

Having honed their craft as buskers in NYC, their stage presence was pretty phenomenal for a band new to the festival circuit, and you could tell they were thirsty for a rowdy crowd. It’s pretty cool that they wrote a song (‘You and I… And New York‘) about the city that provided much of their influence and inspiration, as well as a platform to play to a world full of strangers. NYC pedestrians are def a tough crowd!

I smiled SO FREAKING WIDE when John Pita (lead guitar) stuck his head over the crowd and shouted “LET ME SEE ALL YOUR FUCKING EYES!” Haha. YAAAAAS. You better believe I took that command to heart and waved my big-eyed puppet face his way the entire set. Whelp, he must have liked the puppet participation, cause during the encore (‘Everything‘), he launched toward me at 2 min in and yelled “HEY!” as if to raise the roof of the joint! That song is EVERYTHING I could ever want and need! So FREAKING SICK; a true TIMELESS, UNIVERSAL TRACK that will have EVERYONE and EVERYTHING moving their bodies in ways they never knew how! It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between.’ (name of their debut album).

Another standout track (but let’s get real they are all amazing) is ‘Explosions.’ (video below) If this song does not make you FEEL EXPLOSIONS all over, I am concerned for you. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful instrumental tracks I’ve heard in a long, long time. ‘Brothers‘ (video below) is another track that has my heart, for when is hits, I simply “feel no pain” (and I’m pretty sure Bob Marley would agree). It’s probably not a coincidence then that they kick off their album with this one. The build-up is so damn gorgeous. What a slayer.

Lucky for us they happened to perform two amazing covers: (1) Santana‘s ‘Jingo‘ and (2) The xx‘s ‘Intro.’ WHAT A TREAT to hear City of the Sun brand this XX masterpiece with heir own unique flamenco guitar/post-rock signature. SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD.

They also treated us to a new song called ‘Firefly‘ (which def flew right into my heart and lit it up) as well as an unreleased song with no title (video below).

I will never forget John Pita’s last words to the crowd: “If you can here for a chill acoustic show, this ain’t it.”  DAMN STRAIGHT. You came for something that words simply cannot describe. You just gotta show up and see for yourself. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos from their set at BottleRock Napa:

 

 

 

 

Ben Howard: “So happy hearted in the warmth…Free as a bird that flies.”

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters of all time who I discovered waaaaay before (from my buddy in the UK) he was known in the states (now a global icon). So glad I got to see him twice (Sasquatch music festival and The Independent) before he blew up in the states. His story is very much a Cinderella one, and it’s cool to think the he was a hard-core surfer (Cornwall’s coast) that never thought his campfire guitar sessions with friends at the beach could ever lead to global RockSTARDOM. We have London’s independent record label, Communion, for scooping him up early and helping him develop international success. He’s now already headlined many major festivals (Bestival, Latitude, Green Man, GLASTONBURY…) and has won many critically acclaimed awards all over the world. His fan base has grown IMMENSELY since seeing him back in the states (May 2012), and so seeing him a year later at Summer Stampede (London) and Green Man (Brecon Beacon, Wales) was a much different experience. In fact, I met two girls up at Sumer Stampede who came all the way from SWEDEN to see Ben (since their Peace and Love festival was cancelled). People from ALL OVER THE WORLD to become “so happy hearted in the warmth….free as a bird that flies.”

VIDEOS:

Only Love:

Promise:

Black Flies:

Old Pine:

PICTURES:

IMG_1173IMG_1175IMG_1176IMG_1178IMG_1183IMG_1184IMG_1185IMG_1186IMG_1187IMG_1191IMG_1192

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard had been on my radar for over a year and so to see him TWICE IN ONE WEEK at Sasquatch and The Independent was absolutely SURREAL. He is seriously one of the most TALENTED and unbelievably HUMBLE musicians I’ve seen. Last night was even further confirmation that I am in love with his music, and everything he represents. And better yet that I got to share it with Jen!  🙂

He opened the show with Depth Over Distance, an unreleased song that showcases his lap top percussion-style guitar skills. (SO GOOD, and wish I got a video!)….Another unreleased song that I love of his is called Soldier. MAGICAL, just magical…

VIDEOS:

Old Pine:

Only Love:

“Untitled”:

The Wolves:

Everything:

Black Flies:

Keep Your Head Up (Part 1):

Keep Your Head Up (Part 2):

Promise:

The Fear:

PICTURES:

IMG_1305IMG_1308IMG_1309IMG_1311IMG_1312IMG_1317-1IMG_1317-2IMG_1317-3IMG_1317-4IMG_1325-2IMG_1325-3IMG_1325-4IMG_1325-5EIMG_1325