Date: Friday November 11th, 2011
Line up: The Expendables & Stranger
Location: The Belly Up Tavern. Solana Beach, CA
11-11-11. Make a wish! Wishes came true when the Expendables and Stranger played Friday night at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. After the Last Calls and Liabilities Tour, The Expendables brought it back to California with a solid Cali lineup. Starting in Solana Beach, the Expendables always bring the metal, punk, rock, reggae all in one and their unique sound keeps the fans coming to their ragin’ live shows. Tour after tour, the Expendables have been constantly on the road since the infamous release of Prove It topped the scene back in early 2010. San Diego local band Stranger, joined in and brought the California reggae to a hometown show. The legendary Belly Up Tavern held the sold out crowd ready to rock out to the amazing stage presence of the Expendables.
Stranger started out the night with an eight-person band on stage with a galore of strings, horns, and percussion. As the sold out venue filled up, Stranger played those reggae rock vibes welcoming people into the venue. Stranger exercised all their range by having each instrument take their turn showing the crowd what they could do in every song they played. They played a song from their latest album, World Underground called “Body Connection” which got the crowd joining in on the cool vibes. They also played “Go Leave” from the new album with a sick beat box intro by the lead singer, David. Stranger closed out their set with a cover of one of the best, “Come Together” by the Beatles. The crowd loved the song choice and sang aloud to the classic hit. Each instrument took turns closing the set with an extended dub version of the song, getting the crowd amped for the Expendables.
The loaded crowd anxiously awaited the Expendables on stage while the band prepped back stage. Drummer Adam said he was stoked to play “War Cry” for the crowd, who was definitely anticipating the moshing scene that was about to start. The Expendables welcomed the crowd with the always awesome “Tight Squeeze” which got everyone pumped for the night. With their classic guitar and bass manhandling, the Expendables quickly brought the rocking out vibes with them.
The first mosh song that came on was “War Cry”, enabling a massive pit going ecstatic with raging fans. The Expendies played their legit cover of Eek-a-Mouse’s “Ganja Smugglin,’” which is a song that has become one of their own. The Expendables graced the fans with “One Drop” from the recent album, Prove It, in honor of playing a “good old fashioned bar show.” The bar show at Belly Up got dark when the Expendables followed up with the infamous “Sacrifice” that is such a great escape from reality into the natural high of a sick show.
The Expendables also played “Come Get High With Us,” “Wells,” and “Trying to Focus”, all from their latest album. Killer hits like “Down, Down, Down,” “Burning Up,” and without a doubt, Bowl for Two,” got the audience screaming the lyrics of the love song before closing out the set with “Burning Up”. The Santa Cruz band came back out with four more songs including a Bob Marley Medley. A crowd of Reggae-Rock fans knew all the lyrics and sang aloud to “One Love,” “Stir It Up,” and “Jamming.” “Let Loose” hit the crowd with a final wrap up of the guitar rockin’, drum poundin’, and bass throbbin’ sound of the Expendables with the most rowdy mosh pit of the night.
The Expendables raged at the Belly Up Tavern and their fans just joined right along with them. The insane mosh pits, crushed front row fans, and tight venue tied it all together with the irie yet hardcore vibes of the Expendies. Stranger’s opening lineup set the mood for the night with sick horns, guitar riffs, and overall mellow mood. The Expendables continued their weekend in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo with Mike Pinto Band and Seedless before they are welcomed home to play two nights at their local venue, The Catalyst, December 9th and 10th.
– Article by: Alyssa Torres
– Photos by: David Norris
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Courtesy of David Norris, here are more photos from the night. Click each photo to view our Photo Album on Facebook!