Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disturbing the Peace

Although I haven't gotten to enjoy as many summer concerts as I expected or would have liked, last months Ludacris show at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach was one of the best shows I've seen in a while.

For those of you who haven't been or read any of my previous pieces on this venue, the Belly Up Tavern is not only a perfect image of San Diego's live music scene, but the Belly Up has been continually voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” by several publications including the Union Tribune, The Reader and San Diego Magazine as well as heralded as one of the hottest clubs on the west coast by Rolling Stone Magazine. The laid back look and feel is complete with surf memorabilia and giant stuffed shark hanging from the rafters, with lots of tasty beers on tap and the yummy Wild Note Cafe just next door.

Ludacris is a unique artist for this eclectic venue, chart topping the pop and hip hop Top 100 on a regular basis, appearing in multiple major motion pictures, and a half dozen hit albums under his belt. With such a large array of hits over a 10 year period, it is no wonder that his performance, sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft, was essentially a catalog of all of his most popular songs (at least those of his devoted fans). To Luda's pleasant surprise, fans front and center in the crowd donned old tour t-shirts and righteously propped up old album covers for Luda's autograph.

Ludacris went back in time to the very beginning, and took a cognac laden stroll through his musical career. Starting with his classic anthem "Southern Hospitality", he performed his party jams, R&B influenced hits, and more recent tracks. All the while, Luda promoted his new liquor Conjure Cognac by giving a quick press bit and pouring heavy drinks for the crowd. Recently, Luda appeared on Jay Leno to promote his newest business venture, demonstrating that "Conjure is a collaboration between the [himself] and the famed cognac house Birkedal Hartmann" (www.cognac.com).

Music (and smell, arguably) are the most potent nostalgia inducing agents, and this concert proved that. Hearing all the party hits from high school really took me back, and was a little glimpse into a time period I had forgotten for a minute. Even more, viewing the show from the upstairs balcony in one of the most timeless and killer venues in the country made the experience even that much sweeter!

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