Photos By: Summer Luu
By: Amanda Martinek
ListenSD celebrated our one-year anniversary with a BANGER on Sunday night at U-31 in North Park. With live music from Gardens & Villa, Tropical Popsicle and Colourvision, original artwork showcased from local artists, airbrushing and friends all around, we had a blast and certainly felt the love.
The sunny Sunday afternoon started with a LOUD at Sound Check session with FM 94/9, where some lucky listeners got to hear Gardens & Villa run through a few songs before the night’s show. A huge shout-out to FM 94/9 for being awesome and helping us promote the show, we love that team.
After equipment was set up and the band’s fingers and pipes were warmed up, we took the band to chill at Balboa Park to catch the sunset and give the van-trapped band some much needed nature time.
I learned that Gardens & Villa is comprised of some of the nicest, silliest and genuinely friendly guys on this planet. The bassist Shane told me I look like Stevie Nicks. The lead singer Chris broke out a session of hilarious “Would you rather?” The keyboardist Dustin made the most hilarious prank phone call I’ve everwitnessed to the drummer Levi.
“Hello, this is detective Garcia. We have evidence that you were an occupant at an underage party last night…”
“I was NOT at that party….”
The sun set and we headed back towards the venue. Another round of “would you rather?” broke out with San Diego as the topic. “San Diego or Idaho?” “San Diego or Los Angeles?” “San Diego or Santa Barbara?” I’m happy to say that San Diego was rated highly by everyone, but the band’s hometown of Santa Barbara ultimately took #1. The final verdict on San Diego can be nicely summed by up Shane, “San Diego is like San Francisco meets Jurassic Park.”
We grabbed pizza and headed to the venue. The place was already getting packed. Colourvision spinned an epic DJ set that seemed to keep getting the response, “I LOVE this song!” Tropical Popsicle played next and got everyone in a fun and psychedelic mood. The drinks were slinging off the bar at U-31, with the Macedonian Mule being my favorite of the night.
Gardens and Villa took the stage, and what happened next was a magical experience. The crowd swayed and bounced in pure joy. They played tracks off their newest record Dunes and favorites from their 2011 self-titled release. They even covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy” which literally almost made me cry.
“ListenSD, tonight we play for you” Gardens and Villa tweeted right before the show.
And they did. And it was the best one-year anniversary we could have ever asked for.