Rob Machado is San Diego royalty. He’s also a philanthropist, via the Rob Machado Foundation, which focuses on educating and empowering young people to make sustainable choices. In partnership with the new Alila Marea Beach Resort, a stunning venue with fantastic ocean views, the Marea Sessions returned for the second year to raise vital funds for the organization.

Each of the three Sessions features incredible food, drinks, and what can only be described as an intimate performance by great bands. Wednesday night featured Silversun Pickups members Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger performing an acoustic set spanning the band’s (somehow) 23-year discography.

But first: the food. The menu was unbelievably good, with the lamb barbacoa tacos standing out among multiple mouthwatering options. Templeton Rye sponsored the event and hosted a tasting table, and featured a blackberry cocktail perfect for the warm summer evening. The resort’s expansive patio hosted the 250 attendees, providing the perfect beach backdrop and cool ocean breeze for attendees mingling before the music began.

After a welcome from Machado himself, local Lindsay Perry, playing her first show since 2019, welcomed everyone with her soulful solo act. Perry manages to create a cacophony of sound out of her guitar, singing of heartbreak, life, and making it work, all encapsulated in standout song Little Black Heart.

Machado then welcomed SSPU to the stage. The duo were congenial and talkative, with Brian (via his trademark dry wit) admiring the incredible surroundings between songs. Brian and Nikki play together, and off one another, as only a pair together for so long can do, reinterpreting their full sound down to only guitar and bass. Crowd favorites The Pit, Panic Switch, Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance), and of course, Lazy Eye. The band also played some of their new acoustic takes from the newest album Physical Thrills, including Scared Together.

All in all, it’s hard to think of a better way to see a band you love than being, at most, 50 feet away while they serenade you all while supporting a good cause, in a beautiful venue, with great food and drinks. The final two Marea Sessions feature Matisyahu and Allen Stone; tickets can be found here.