May 31, 2015

Robert Plant ~ May 31, 2015 @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Whole Lotta Love

Robert Plant; photo by paul dunkley
When a rock legend comes to your backyard, you better recognize. And at 66 years old, Robert Plant is a living legend.

Better known as the voice of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant is responsible for defining his generation with such hits as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Dazed and Confused,” and “Ramble On.” Not to mention “The Rain Song” and “No Quarter.”  But his career has lived strong since his dazed and confused days and on May 31, 2015 a packed Santa Barbara Bowl was lucky enough to receive the legend.

Tall in stature and humble in demeanor, Robert Plant emerged on stage in a shiny pink shirt under a near full moon ready to rock the house down.  With his signature high pitch-vocals echoing throughout the Santa Barbara Bowl, Plant worked his way through some classic hits, throwing in some new material along the way. Impressively, his voice was still as golden as it must have been nearly 40 years ago.

Not to be overlooked, The Sensational Space Shifters added their own flavor to the set, nicely remixing the classics to be reflective of a more modern era. Heavy guitar, bright lights, and added keyboard rejuvenated the songs, giving the hits a new edge.  

The Englishman took note of his age, joking with the audience as he played through the night. But in the end, there was nothing but a whole lotta love for this gent.


May 10, 2015

92.9 KjEE’s 11th Annual Summer Round Up ~ Sunday May 10, 2015 @ the Santa Barbara Bowl.


GET UP AND DANCE! 

Of Monsters and Men, photo by paul dunkley
The Summer Round-Up is a full day of music with performances from some of the hottest up-and-coming artists currently playing on 92.9 KjEE, Santa Barbara’s Modern Rock station – and 2015 may have been their biggest Summer Round-Up yet!

This year’s showcase ranged from Folk, to Electronica, to Indie Rock, drawing a very diverse crowd to the sold-out show. But let’s be honest, the Summer Round-Up is one of the Santa Barbara Bowl’s biggest parties, more like a homecoming than a music festival. It is not uncommon to see people running towards each other with excitement when seeing friends for the first time in a long time. It’s that kind of local party.

Supporting local music, more than 1000 people were in
The Blues and Greys, photo by paul dunkley
attendance at 5 o’clock sharp to catch Santa Barbara favorites The Blues and Greys.  The five-piece Indie band created a dark, new-wave sound while front-woman Lindsey Ann Waldon impressed the crowd with her contrasting, angelic voice. Local or not, they had the stage presence of international professionals.

As more people filtered into the SB Bowl under the bright late afternoon sun, Family of the Year took the stage. Widely known for their hit “Hero,” a catchy folk melody featured on the soundtrack of the film Boyhood, FOTY was well received by the crowd. With a quiet enthusiasm, the band whisked through a solid toe-tapping set.
 
Walk The Moon, photo by paul dunkley
The surprise stand-out performance of the night was from Walk the Moon, a four-piece rock outfit from Cincinnati. The SB Bowl was near full by this time and the audience was rowdy. WTM worked the crowd effortlessly, and had them baited on every word of every song. Ending the set with their hit “Dance with Me,” singer Nicholas Petricca exclaimed “If you want to dance, now’s your chance!” And apparently the crowd did - the entire SB Bowl got up and danced.


Perhaps the most anticipated artist of the day was Banks, the newest Electronica diva on the scene. With her recent hit
Banks, photo by paul dunkley
“Beggin for Thread” in regular radio rotation, Banks has generated quite the buzz. Strutting out on stage, Banks looked flawless in a gothic black pant suit, short cape, and high stilettos. Backed by only a keyboardist and percussionist, the set was all about her dark moody beats and sultry voice. Banks worked the stage like an experienced model on a catwalk, ending the set by thanking the audience for “filling her up” after she had been feeling so deflated before scampering off stage.  

Of Monsters and Men headlined the Summer Round-Up with a monster of a performance. Lights blazing in the dark night, they opened with “Thousand Eyes,” a dark, brooding song on their new album that is quite a departure from their usual foot stomping folksy music. OMAM’s performance was deeper and dramatic, demonstrating a maturity in their art. That’s not to say they didn’t deliver on the good-time tunes, tearing the SB Bowl up with their hit “Hey!”

Whether one was familiar with all, one, or none of the bands, the KjEE Summer Round-Up always delivers a good time and an opportunity to get acquainted with some new music. And perhaps even the chance to get up and dance!