By: David Israel

Band of Skulls gave San Diego a return visit worthy of the band’s reputation, touring in support of their new album, Himalayan. Fresh off of supporting Queens of the Stone Age, the Southhampton trio showed off a new rock star swagger not seen in their previous visits to our fair city. When last seen at the soon-to-be-departed Griffin, the band played every song they had from the existing two albums, putting on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, especially in a venue small enough to fit on the stage at House of Blues.

Lead singer/guitarist Russell played like a non-fictional incarnate of Almost Famous’s Jeff Bebe, connecting with the House of Blues’ pit and balcony both, rocking just as hard, or harder, than anybody on that stage, and connecting. He looked for that guy who wasn’t getting off, and made him get off (and that we printed!).

Band of Skulls peppered the start of their set with the hits off of their third LP. After rocking through Asleep At the Wheel and Himalaya, they strummed in to I Know What I Am, the first single to hit the radio.  Even the slower songs played well live, with the crowd giving in to the band’s cues and singing along to Cold Fame in the later part of the set.

While the band continues to fly slightly under the radar, failing to sell out the House of Blues (blame it on a Monday night, hopefully), they also continue to put on incredible live shows. With any luck, they’ll be back soon, continuing their rise and becoming a top tier band.