Sunday, August 28, 2011


I headed over to catch a ride with Chase and Kyle of openers Tropical Popsicle, we showed up to much delight of Iceage sound checking and sounding supreme! Spent some time setting up merch, mingling and drinking some beers with the folks there early enough and it was time for Spirit Photography to start. Comprised of Craig Oliver and Brian Carver from Christmas Island with Mark Schmidt and a drummer I haven't met before. These guys just shred, full cab set up needless to say if you were up front you were near def after their set. I really hope they play out more, cause they've got something going for them. Drunk nerds with their swag bags in tow had started to make their way in and just as Ale Mania took the stage I was bombarded by a handful of friends eagerly wanting a high five or hug. Oh ComicCon, what you do to these folks is hilarious! Ale Mania took the stage with their full group set up, Cory Stier on drums and Andrew Montoya on vocals and thunderous rhythm section pounding out those grooves. These guys have come a long way and are definitely starting to win over much of the SD music scene. I haven't missed an AM show in a while so I'll spare you my biased review.

Tropical Popsicle started up with their first of two sets in the Atari Lounge complete with smoke, strobe lights, neon light cords strewn around their mic stands and amps. Tribal drums, pop melodies, psych vocals and their own brand of "Beach Goth" has taken the blogosphere over and now most of San Diego. As I looked around the room I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of smiles and bobbing of heads I saw along to their playful dark brand of pop. Always Awake In Shadows seemed to grab the crowd pleasantly, I did my time a the merch booth slinging some wears for Trop Pop. A couple laughs with Anton from the Iceage camp and Cult of Youth had taken the stage back in the main room.

Cult of Youth's frontman Sean has got some damn good stage presence and energy that's for sure, his bands take on The Pogues meets post industrial folk wowed over the crowd. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's definitely different that's for sure and didn't really win me over. Nonetheless they put on an energetic set and their violinist Christiana won over more hearts than not. They had just finished up a tour with Cold Cave and were thrilled to be hitting the road with Iceage for thirteen dates. Tropical Popsicle continued to turn heads and win over some new fans with their second set of the evening in the Atari Lounge. Unfortunately I was outside doing merch and mingling to catch all of it, but I did hear it all!

It was just about that time, so I headed to the bar and grabbed a whiskey/ginger. Talked to a few friends and got my spot in the front, Elliot was spinning some old school rap bangers from Ludacris and NWA...kinda different for this kinda show but I like it. Touche! The seventeen/eighteen year olds took the stage with the bitten lip looks, tight jeans rolled up and punk scowl on their faces. A couple of snafu's with the sound and they ripped right into New Brigade single White Rune, the crowd already in complete madness; bodies being shoved and pushed, people singing along. Others with their arms crossed waiting for the Copenhagen teens to appease them with something gone wrong or anything to say "I told you they weren't that good, they're kids, they're not punk". The band blasted through their album a blistering pace, with the lead singer spending most of the duration of the set getting mauled in the pit. One of Casbah's security guards jumping in to grab a hold of Jojo almost strangling the poor guy. Blood splattered on his face and a look of "alright San Diego, that's what I want to see" he returned to the stage played New Brigade and looked over at me to lower him to the ground. Thats it, he said. Short, fast, and to the point just like all punk used to be. The Danish teens did not disappoint me, but thats me. In my eyes, if they can keep it up they should have quite the career. Overall Iceage put on a hell of a show and my hats off to them, Casbah, Craig Oliver and Volar Records for putting on a great night! Such an awesome start to the weekend.

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