Date: Aug 13th, 2011
Line up: Mike Pinto, Social Green, Stone Senses
Location: Belly Up Tavern. San Diego, CA
What: Turn You On Summer Tour
Saturday night marked the last date of Mike Pinto’s Turn You On Summer tour. The tour kicked off on July 6th and after 5 weeks of being on the road, showcasing new material, Mike Pinto made his way back to So-Cal for the last date of the tour. The show was hosted inside The Belly Up in San Diego, CA, a well-known venue known for its superb sound. It was a 21 & up event and opening the night were San Diego locals, Stone Senses, followed by Social Green.
I rolled into the venue at about 8:45pm and was led back stage to where Mike Pinto & the group were resting before their set. I can only imagine the toll it takes on an artist spending 5 weeks on the road from city to city, to be back home for your last show of the tour. Mike was in good spirits, excited to be back and excited to wrap up his new EP before setting out on a fall tour.
For all of you eager Mike Pinto fans, look out for a new 6 track EP to be released digitally on September 1st with the physical release of the album to follow about 2 weeks later. The name of the EP will be titled The West Is Still Wild & it’ll include new songs, ”West Is Still Wild”, “The Cool & The Deadly”, “Turn You On”, “Feed Don’t Fail Me Now” and acoustic song called ”Fears & Phobias”. In addition, fans will also be treated to a live band recording of the song ”Everything I Got”, which is pretty exciting considering there’s only been acoustic versions of the song.
Mike Pinto has had the same drummer & bassist over the last 3 years with former 3rd Alley, Bargain Music & Spoke Gun drummer Todd Elrod along with Matt Brein on Bass. Prior to that, Pinto was seen touring solo with various musicians, so one can only be excited to hear a new release complete with a band that Mike has been touring and playing with over the last 3 years. Mike described the cover art to the EP as a contrast between the old western days transcending into today, hence The West Is Still Wild. The art is being drawn up by Paul Carpenter, the same artist who drew up his previous releases. The EP was recorded & produced at 17th Street Studios by Lew Richards.
Stone Senses went on stage at about 9pm, but I missed the first half of their set, interviewing Mike Pinto back stage. It was about 9:30 when I made my way out to see Stone Senses firing up the crowd with their roots rock reggae. The venue was slowly filling in, but being that it was 9:30pm, I could tell this was going to be a late night crowd as the bulk of the crowd came in after 10pm. Stone Senses put on a great show with a real full sound, boasting over 5 members complete with keys, percussions & wailing guitars.
Social Green was an interesting group to see live. Their singer turns the mic-stand to the left, so when he sings, he’s not directly facing the crowd. I was talking to Ryan Daley, Mike Pinto’s photographer and he thought the concept was cool and made for interesting angles on photos. The only time the singer really faced the crowd was when he was dancing and kicking away, while the 6-piece group dished out some upbeat skankin & alternative reggae.
Mike Pinto made his way on stage a little after 11:00pm and the crowd was packed. Even though it was summer time, the weather inside was bearable & fellas, you’ll be happy to know the girl to guy ratio really worked out for the guys this night. Prior to Mike taking the stage, girls lined themselves up along the bar with 1 guy to every 3 girls trying desperately to get the bartenders attention in an effort to initiate their next move. Mike played all new songs and while back stage, I asked Mike if he had planned on playing all the new material and he said We wanna have fun and play new music. That’s what this is all about, is having fun, so we’ll be playing all of the new songs” and the band didn’t disappoint, opening up with West Is Still Wild and playing new love song & the tour titled song, Turn You On much to the crowds applause.
The best part of the night is when the horn section came out and backed the band during my personal favorite song and favorite performance of the night with Backburner. Ideally, Mike told me that he would like to have the horn section be a permanent part of the band and live sound. Josh Molle was the Trombone player while Max O’Leary worked the Trumpet. The energy carried itself over into the crowd shouting ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!, following the would-be last song of the set. Never wanting to disappoint a crowd, Mike Pinto & the group came back on stage to put the final touches the night & the Turn You On Summer Tour! Before play
Stay tuned for new music by Mike Pinto and a tour this fall to support the West Is Still Wild EP. We’ll have new information coming soon on when his tour will start and whom he will be sharing the stage with for the tour. We’d love to tell you now, but we were given strict instructions to hold off, so here’s your hint to keep checking back & be sure to keep your eyes on Mike Pinto, new music & new tour coming this Fall!
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