By: Juan Barragan
Belly Up Tavern
29 March 2014
Southern California veteran punk rock band, Strung Out, packed the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach this past weekend. The Belly Up Tavern recently suffered a loss when veteran talent buyer, Eric Milstead, went to work for AEG in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, his replacement, Peter McDevitt, seems to be on the right path to maintaining the venue’s popularity. McDevitt booked Strung Out, and the band sold out the show very easily. It was undoubtedly going to be a great night for those who managed to get tickets.
Strung Out took the stage later on in the night, and opened with a song off of their album, The Element of Sonic Defiance, “Mission to Mars.” The crowd went wild. Although the audience reflected the band’s tenure in the music industry, more than 23 years, that didn’t stop the energy from radiating all over the entire venue. They followed that song with the fast-paced “Deville,” off of their Twisted By Design album. The band honed in on the crowd’s energy and used this to power through most of the songs they would play that night. Near the end of their set, they played “Match Book,” which was one of their more popular hits from the same album “Deville” came from. The band called it a night a bit early and headed back stage. The crowd had other plans, however. The crowd relentlessly asked for more songs, wanting to give the band that last bit of energy they had left before they could go home. A little time went by and the band ultimately couldn’t resist the temptation; they came back out on stage and gave the crowd the encore they wanted. They played “Dead Spaces,” off of their Agents of the Underground album. At this point the crowd couldn’t resist moshing. The front part of the standing room began to open up as a number of fans started to give all their energy they had left to give in this mosh. This was, after all, a punk rock show. The standing room would not close up for the remainder of the show. Strung Out continued their encore by playing “Too Close to See,” and the infamous, “Soulmate.” The response the band received from the crowd was surreal. The fans gave away all the energy they had left, and although the show was a tad bit short, no one could tell based on the amount of sweat everyone had after being in the pit and jumping around. Some members of the band were nice enough to stick around for the show to sign fans’ ticket stubs and set lists they had just acquired.
Overall, Strung Out provided the Belly Up Tavern with a sick show this past weekend. Hopefully they will be back again soon. For those of you who are new to Strung Out and would like some guidance, in addition to listening to the tunes mentioned above, it is also recommended you listen to “Cemetery,” “Analog,” and “Black Crosses.” All of these songs can be found in their album Top Contenders: The Best of Strung Out, which is available for purchase or streaming wherever great music is sold