San Diego Music Thing was nothin’ but a good thing

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by Hannah Beausang

This past weekend marks the 6th annual San Diego Music Thing, a two-day stint of daytime speakers and panels and late nights filled with alcohol-fueled shows.

The event showcased San Diego at its finest, inundating local haunts with eclectic crowds. Bearded PBR-toting weekend warriors to more laid-back, long time fans. As a San Diego Music Thing first-timer, I was impressed with the solid lineup of bands and the diversity of the participating venues, which ranged from grungier dives such as The Void and The Casbah to the more sophisticated feel of The Office Bar and U 31.

San Diego Music Thing struck the right chord on Saturday with a top-notch bill for the evening, including local hard hitters Transfer and Hills Like Elephants, along with dynamic out-of-town acts such as Virginia natives Wild Nothing and Chicago’s Disappears.

Despite the extensive list of talented bands, funky San Francisco outfit The Soft White Sixties was undoubtedly the best act of the night, delivering a flawless performance at Bar Pink. Charismatic frontman Octavio Genera pranced boldly onstage dressed in a star-spangled shirt and skin tight jeans, flaunting an elaborate turquoise necklace and gleaming white pointed toe shoes—an outfit that would have looked absurd on anyone else, but somehow perfectly fit the mood of the band. Genera’s over-the-top emotive style mixed with upbeat lyrics boasted an infectious energy that made it impossible to stand still during the lengthy set.

One of the perks of the 21-and-up local music scene is the intimacy of the venues. There’s just something slightly magical about being packed into a bar with sticky beer-coated floors while cramming as close to the stage as possible. Being front row for The Soft White Sixties was the high point of the night, and the band was a tough act to follow.

Other Saturday night highlights were homegrown rockers The Silent Comedy, who played the outdoor stage and came through with a gritty, riff-laden set. The band is big on theatrics, and there was never a dull moment in the set. North County outfit the Paragraphs also delivered a hearty dose of their indie rock at The Office Bar later in the evening. The Paragraphs are a local staple, nominated by the San Diego Music Awards for Best Rock Album of 2013 and never fail to impress at live show with their earnest vocals and vivacious instrumental backing.

All in all, the event was a unique San Diego experience that brought the city together for one frenzied weekend to celebrate local music and community.

The only qualm I have with San Diego Music Thing is there were too many must-see acts and too little time. If the event were spaced out during the day, attendees would have a better opportunity see every band on their bucket lists. However, the problem of having too much of a good thing when it comes to music isn’t really something to complain about.

Information about San Diego Music Thing can be found at sandiegomusicthing.com.

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Photo by Hannah Beausang

Sources: sandiegomusicthing.com.