I remember the first time I heard "Babylon" on the radio. I was driving home from work, listening to KPRI, and I was stuck in traffic. "Babylon" was playing on the radio and I remember the hair on my arm rising. I also remember paying attention to the station, waiting to hear the DJ announce who was singing the song. It was David Gray, and besides not caring that I was stuck in traffic, I recall running out and buying his CD immediately.
In the many years since then, Gray has released several albums, and I've seen him countless times, including at least three different "private listener" concerts and meet-and-greets, and his voice still has this effect on me that gives me chills when he hits a certain key or sings a certain phrase, or when his voice hits that gravelly place. Tonight he performs at the Open Sky Theater at Harrah's Rincon Casino, and though it will be my first time at the venue, I have no doubt that his voice will still have that effect on me ... making it totally worth that crazy drive out to Valley Center.
If you're sticking around central San Diego, check out a night of burl at the Casbah, some local indie rock at the Tin Can, the Johnny Cash covers of Cash'd Out at the Belly Up, or any number of other shows going on around town. Just keep in mind that any show marked with the Awesome Fest tag is sold out.
Saturday, Sept. 4:
- David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Tift Merritt @ Open Sky Theatre, Harrah's Rincon Casino
- The Long and Short of It, Rats Eyes, Terremoto, Gloomsday, in the Red @ Casbah
- The Moviegoers (7-inch release), Roxy Jones, Bryan Bangerter and the Whole Shebang @ Tin Can
- Awesome Fest, featuring the Soviettes, Chinese Telephones, Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Mexico City Rollers, Sin Remedio, the Bertos, Broloaf @ Soda Bar
- Awesome Fest, featuring Toys That Kill, Know Your Saints, Everready, Be My Doppelganger, City Mouse, French Exit, Lauren Measure @ Eleven
- Awesome Fest, featuring the Crumbs, Madison Bloodbath, Credentials, Slow Death, White Night, Republican Dick Army @ U-31
- Awesome Fest, featuring RVIVR, Shark Pants, New Creases, Homewreckers, URTC @ The Office
- Cash'd Out, Pushin rope, Off 0the Wagon @ Belly Up
- El Monte Slim @ Riviera Supper Club
- Pelican Sam, Jeffertitti's Nile, Immovable Objects, Owl Eyes, Tte Shantyannes, DJ the Tooth @ Beauty Bar
- Destruction Unit, Cat Party, Stalins of Sound, the Spectres @ Tower Bar
- The Mighty Diamonds, the Wailing Souls @ Sound Wave
- The Experiments, Stangely Strange @ The Shakedown (formerly Rhythm Lounge)
- One I Red, the Nineteen, Logans Theory @ O'Connell's
- Mimes of Wine, Jon Ji, Aaron Bowen @ Lestat's
- Kids Are Noteworthy Fundraiser, featuring Ladwig, Lauren de Rose, Tori Roggman, Bitter Sober, Star @ Brick By Brick
- The Devastators @ Winston's
- Tatanka, Watch Us Burn, Boom Culture @ 710 Beach Club
- Abandon the Harbor, the Day Sets Fire, the Cost of Salvation, Endure the Fall, For the Legends @ Soma
- Opium Bride, Within the Swarm, Axxion, Name, Florentine Camerata, Trumpet the Harlot @ Epicentre
- Drain'd, Metal Priestess, Bread and Bruises, Dre Allen Project @ Dreamstreet
- Labor Day Blues Festival, featuring Laurie Morvan Band, Chet and the Committee, Red Lotus Revue, Mercedes Moore, Stoney B and Harmonica John, Robin Henkel @ Humphreys Backstage Lounge
- The Fabulous Rudies, Los Bullets @ Hensley's Flying Elephant
- Septeto Nacional @ Anthology (early show, 7:30 p.m.; late show 9:30 p.m.)
- Mower/Slower, Dave the Butcher, Fuzz-Huzzi, Royal Campaign, Josh Lawson @ Ramona Mainstage
- Heloise Love @ Templar's Hall, Old Poway Park
- Stepping Feet @ Marble Room
- Gregory Michaels @ Donovan's Circle of 5ths
Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events, and sometimes whatever creeps into her head on her music blog San Diego: Dialed In. Check it for even more listings. Follow her updates at twitter.com/sddialedin or submit your music listings.