Show Review: Vinyl Radio @ Belly Up Tavern, 6/20/2007

I’ve known about Vinyl Radio’s existence for quite some time, so I really don’t know how I managed to avoid seeing them until last night. They were already on my list of local bands to check out, so when Matt asked me to come and take some photos at their show, I was in.

It was a pretty good end to a day that seemed to last forever. I’m in the part of the research cycle where nothing I’m doing seems to work, so I just get really frustrated and fed up with science. Example: yesterday I had a four-hour period of time where I was just waiting for bacteria to grow, and I just couldn’t deal with the proposition of sitting in lab that whole time. Fortunately, Pete was in the same mood (2 hour meetings will do that to a person, I guess), so we went to Roundtable to grab a beer. The pub on campus has limited hours due to summer session, and so does Roundtable, it seems, since they started shutting down right after we got our drinks. After we finished our beers, we decided to head out from campus for a little while and down to La Jolla Shores. And that, my friends, is one of the good things about working at UCSD.

The beach left me in a much better mood than I had been previously, so we came back, showered (or at least I did – in the creepy shower by the animal facilities in the basement of MTF), and finished up whatever work we had left in lab. Then we headed up north, with the plan of stopping at Pizza Port for some food and beverages. But somehow, Pizza Port is always packed. Even on a Wednesday night. So we ended up just going to the Belly Up and ordering food there.

While waiting for the bands to start, Rosie and Andrea showed up, and we chatted with Matt for a bit. I asked him to tell the lighting guy to keep the lights bright during their set so I could get better photos for them, and he said he’d do what he could. I later felt a little bad, because during their set, Matt mentioned, “We’ve never played a venue with lighting this good before – it gets really hot up here.” Oops.

But regardless of the heat, the band put on a great set. Even though the crowd was sparse (them being the first band and all), everyone was enjoying their version of rock ‘n roll. Matt is an incredibly energetic frontman, bouncing and jumping around the stage for most of the songs. All the other members are pretty energetic too, moving around while they played and sometimes switching up instruments. I think the only thing that would have been an improvement on their performance was if the vocals had been mixed just a bit higher. It was sometimes hard to hear the lyrics clearly. Other than that, everything sounded great, the lighting was awesome, and I think I got some really good shots of the band. Unfortunately, I have to wait until the hard drive on my laptop is replaced to upload and process them. Damn technology, always breaking.

Get Back Loretta was up second, but we headed out a few songs in. From what I heard, they sounded really good, even though the singer has sort of an emo-type voice which threw me at first. They were also incredibly animated during their set, and the fact that we left early says nothing about the band itself. It was just that kind of day, and today is going to be another long one for me. It was nice to go out and be home by 11, for once.