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Big Bloom showed up to the sold out Ty Segall show at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach and cut in line with a panda.
The San Diego born and bred band consists of lead singer Katie Howard, guitarist Alex Packard, bassist Grant Gilbert and drummer Sean Daly. They’ve been playing together for the past three years but their roots go way back.
“Alex and I have known each other since elementary school, but we didn’t reconnect until after I went to art school at San Diego State. I didn’t like him,” Katie laughs. “Yeah, Katie was prissy back then,” Alex retorts.
We cruise into the sold out venue, grab a few PBR’s and watch Los Angeles based Meatbodies destroy their set. “God, they rule. I love the dueling guitars,” Katie tells Alex. The bassist Grant is stoked. “They sound way better than the last time they played in San Diego, opening for La Luz.” He purchased their 2014 self-titled album on vinyl. We take a few swigs of our tallboys and head outside.
The foursome certainly get around San Diego. Besides Big Bloom, Katie is co-owner of Little Dame Shop on Adams Avenue in North Park, the front woman of Citrus and Katie, a visual artist, and a barista at Holsem Coffee. Grant plays in the band Splavender and Sean plays in Slay Dean.
After releasing a full-length album Heavy Angel last year with an accompanying wild music video, Katie says her hope for the band this year is “just to create more. Write more songs, do more with music videos and incorporate more visual art.”
When asked on where their inspirational for song writing comes from, she says, “a lot of our music is fictional, it’s storytelling. Our songs have this riot girl attitude but I don’t always feel that way. Sometimes you have to step into a persona and bring a lot energy into the performance.”
“Katie does a good job of going into other people’s heads to write a really relatable song on universal themes.” Katie and Alex have eight new songs written and are working on five more to release this year. The have an upcoming show at Tower Bar on February 11th with Ex-Girlfriends and Fruit & Flowers of Brooklyn.
We head back inside and get lost in the pandemonium that is Ty Segall, accompanied by familiar faces like long-time collaborator Mikal Cronin, Emmett Kelly of Cairo Gang and old pal Charlie Moonheart on the drums.
Ty played a bunch of songs off his brand new self-titled album, just released on Friday, including “Orange Color Queen” dedicated to his new wife / merch woman. He got everyone hyped on his signature rock cocktail of garage, psych, glam, metal, and folk, keeping the energy insanely high.
The middle of the mosh pit turned into a security guarded beer-coasted slip ‘n’ slide, causing a dangerously good time as several people face planted (myself included).
The packed tavern, mixed with grunge-y downtown folk and bleached North County bros, had a damn good time that ended far too quickly. Special shout out to Pabst Blue Ribbon for supporting local artists and musicians in San Diego. Check out the Pabst Music Society at www.pbrmusic.com and follow @PBR_USA to learn more.