How in the hell do four guys from Iceland end up playing dirty-good, bluesy rock that sounds so, so good? My best guess is that they were Mississippi Delta bluesmen in a former life. Kaleo brought their sound to the fans at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater.

They started off their set with moody lighting to play “Broken Bones,” “Can’t Go On Without You,” and “Save Yourself.” They changed up the tempo of the show with “Automobile” which got everyone singing along. Lead singer, JJ Julius Son said, ”This is a song I wrote in Spain, even before I came to San Diego, just dreaming of San Diego.” And everyone sang, “Oh, I’m going to San Diego, here I come San Francisco, it won’t be long Sacramento, yeah in the sun I just might go.”

One of the band’s biggest hits, “All the Pretty Girls,” should have been a highlight of the show. Julius Son’s one-of-a-kind falsetto must be quite a thing to hear in a live setting in its purest form. I would have quite enjoyed to hear him sing at least the beginning of the song without interruption. However, that was not to be. The whole crowd began singing along with great gusto. Not everyone can quite master Julius Son’s magnificent falsetto and range. What should have been a sweet moment where his vocal abilities were highlighted, turned into a sound akin to baying wolves as the fans enthusiastically and drunkenly sang along. I know I sound like a party pooper, but all I’m saying is, there are moments when it is okay to just listen and not sing along. Thankfully, my mood recovered quickly when the band followed with two scorching numbers “Get up and Dance” and “No Good.”

Supporting band The Shelters, opened up the show with an energetic, rock-n-roll experience. You can’t help but feel oh-so-good when you see them perform hot songs like “Birdwatching,” “Rebel Heart,” and “Lost Woman. Don’t miss these guys next time they are in town. They are a Los Angeles band, so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch one of their shows in Southern California.

Nashville, Tennessee band Wilder kicked off the evening.

Review and Photos By: Sylvia Borgo

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