Jan 11, 2013
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The House of Blues: San Diego, CA Music Scene

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The House of Blues is an extremely well-known venue and it is a great place for any indie artist to get invited to perform at. Many well-known artists also have taken the stage at the House of Blues, including Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. There are several House of Blues locations (Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlantic City, etc.). Currently, I have only been to the Anaheim and San Diego locations, but I have noticed that each one has its own distinct vibe.
 
I recently went to the House of Blues in downtown San Diego, for my first time, to support a well-respected hip hop artist and friend of mine, J Sharif, who had been asked to perform for “Hip Hop Night”. Just a little tip, it is better for indie artists if you buy tickets in advance because it lets the venue know you are there to, specifically, see that artist. Advanced ticket purchases tend to be cheaper as well. This allows you to save a little cash for an appetizer or a beer to hold you over through what, in our case, was a five hour show.
 
There were actually three different performances going on when my friend Allie Bee and I arrived. We had arrived early so we sat at a cocktail table near the bar. What is great about the House of Blues is that it is a smaller venue so you really get the up close and personal performances where you can see the artists’ expressions and really feel the music rather than paying a lot of money to sit way in the back of a larger venue and watch the artist on a screen. I can do that from home, watching my TV.
 
It wouldn’t be the House of Blues if there wasn’t some blues music. Allie and I enjoyed soda and french fries as Lafayette and The Lease Breakers took the stage. Having taken several music history courses and being a long-time blues fan, I felt that their songs were very true to the traditional form of the genre.
 

 
After listening to several songs, we decided to head outside and downstairs to the ambient lit Delta Room where the hip hop performances were taking place. We had a good number of people that showed up to support J Sharif. But it wasn’t too crowded at all and there was lots of comfy couch seating areas to kick back.
 
The House of Blues provides an atmosphere that is comfortable for just about any size group, big or small, or even if you just want to take someone out on a first date. Also, the diversity of music being played at the House of Blues is pretty broad. Really anyone, at any age, can enjoy this venue.
 
It had been awhile since I had been to a hip hop show so I was ready for the music to begin when they announced the first act. I can appreciate and respect all different genres of music, but there were some hip hop acts I liked more than others. I felt that a lot of newer and/or younger artists really didn’t understand the history or culture behind hip hop’s origins. Before you innovate, you should know where the roots lie.
 
However, The Color Beige, who took the stage with his guitar player, was a refreshing change from the straight, typical hip hop beats that were playing prior. For me, as a lyricist myself, the lyrics in rap or hip hop are key. I felt that this performer’s lyrics had some depth to them and he didn’t result to what I call “lazy rhymes”.
 
Then J Sharif took the stage and showed those “school boys” how it is done. I really didn’t need to stay for the headliner after his performance. He stays very real without relying on swag or trying too hard to fit a particular image, which is important to keeping integrity in your craft. One person made a comparison between him and Busta Rhymes, yet I feel he has his own style he brings to the table.
 

 
Aside from the music, drinks and food weren’t too badly priced. The House of Blues is also a restaurant so you can get your dinner and enjoy some entertainment at the same time. Parking across the street was only $10, though I am sure there probably was cheaper parking to be found. I am all about convenience when it comes to going to events though.
 

 
I would definitely go back to this venue. In fact, Pentatonix, Social Distortion, and Sum 41 (“Wow, they are still playing,” said Allie) will be performing this month. I am getting ready to purchase tickets now!

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