Since 1974, The Belly Up Tavern has become a landmark in the Southern California music scene. Located just north of central San Diego in Solana Beach, the legendary venue has become a major attraction to all artists traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States from all regions of the world.
In addition, The Belly Up has recently incorporated a new staple to their top-notch live shows, making this spot even more desirable for musicians seeking to spread their music to So Cal and beyond.
Beginning in late 2012, the staff at The Belly Up Tavern decided to start recording the live shows and making the audio available for purchase. Known as “Belly Up Live!” this new feature gives fans who were at these specific shows a chance to relive their favorite concerts at any given time while also giving those in other areas across the globe an opportunity to own memorable live performances with high-quality audio production.
Meryl Klemow, Show Promotions Manager at The Belly Up Solana Beach, explains, “For years we (Belly Up) have been asked by our customers, fans and the bands to start something like this. We started gearing up about 2 years ago and then sent our ideas and recordings to some industry insiders. Once we got back the very positive feedback on the site and downloads, we moved ahead and got some bands recorded, tested out how the whole thing would work and now we are here today with a fantastic product and catalog of dozens of popular artists.”
The “Belly Up Live!” recordings include both headlining artists as well as supporting acts. Blues-rock band, The Grass Heat, was the first live recording to be featured on this exclusive series with their performance held on October 15th, 2012. Notable reggae artists to have their sets available for purchase consist of Stranger, The Simpkin Project, Groundation, Third World, Big Mountain, B-Side Players, Pato Banton, Hi Roots and more.
Most recently, J Boog performed two sold out nights at The Belly Up Tavern on September 2nd, 2014 with Hawaii’s Inna Vision and September 3rd with Mike Love as opening acts. Backed by the Hot Rain Band, J Boog delivered an unforgettable performance that led to tracks from both nights being mixed together to compose a 13-song feature on the “Belly Up Live!” installments. This live J Boog album will be available for purchase on Nov 4th, 2014.
[Related: Live – J Boog, Hot Rain, Mike Love 9-3-14]
Meryl adds, “For me personally, I love the ability to market, not only our nightly concerts, but an entire album or just a single to people living all over the world. We wanted to focus on the core of our business – which is of course the nightclub, but then expand into something that made the most sense – and that is capturing the magic of a night at the Belly Up and offering it to those who wanted to relive it, or couldn’t be there the first time around.”
Although there are a multiple number of House of Blues locations found throughout Southern California, The Belly Up Tavern has established itself as a must-stop venue for many of the world’s most renowned bands due to the experience of fine dining and great music in a comfortable surrounding. However, with the addition of the “Belly Up Live!” recordings made available for purchase, this venue has once again set itself apart from the rest of their competition around the region and possibly the entire country! In addition, the band has the option to make these albums available through all digital retailers and not just exclusive to the site if they choose to do so. “Our biggest challenge moving forward will be downloading vs. streaming. Nowadays everyone just wants to stream for free, so a subscription based streaming site may be in the future plans. Who knows!” says Meryl.
In October alone, the venue was host to sold out shows from Matisyahu, Katchafire, and The Expendables along with packed performances by Passafire, The Expanders, One Drop, Tribal Theory, Jet West, Aloha Radio and more.
When asked what makes the Belly Up stand out as a must-stop location for some of today’s biggest artists, Meryl responded, “The quality and diversity of our booking calendar. In the past week I have gone to see a sold out rock show with The Afghan Whigs, a sold out Matisyahu show, and blues legend Leon Russell. We get acts that play at stadium level, and we also get the ones that are about 5-7 months away from breaking into the mainstream scene. Our customers trust us to be the live music tastemakers, and we take that responsibility very seriously. After that I would say just the venue itself. Free parking, cold drinks and an awesome marketing team (winks).”
Although the unrivaled music venue has yet to announce any more recordings to be made available for purchase, it goes without saying that The Belly Up Tavern will continue to move forward with great performances and legendary artists to hit their stage in the months to come. Currently, Anuhea, Pato Banton, and The Wailers have all been booked for future shows in January of 2015.
For a full list of upcoming performances, you may visit their calendar at www.bellyup.com. If you are visiting from out of town and are a fan of live music (as are most of our readers), make sure to check the calendars in order to treat yourself to a music experience unlike any other!
J Boog – “Live at the Belly Up” tracklist:
1.) Coldest Zone
2.) Give Thanks
3.) Break Us Apart
4.) My Audio
5.) Love Affair / Lifetime Lover
6.) Police and Thieves
8.) Every Little Thing
9.) Bomb Buds
10.) Let It Blaze
11.) Love Season
12.) Let’s Do It Again
13.) Sunshine Girl
– You can pick up J Boog’s The Belly Up Live album by clicking HERE!
J Boog Website
J Boog Faceobok
Belly Up Tavern Website
Belly Up Tavern Facebook
Article By: David Garcia
Photos By: David Norris
J Boog – Live at the Belly Up promo
J Boog – “My Audio” (Live @ Belly Up 9/3/14)