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[March 17th 2023 – Solana Beach, CA] On March 17, 2023, Solana Beach, CA’s renowned concert venue, The Belly Up Tavern, played host to the Alt-Country band, The Old 97’s, and the emerging musician Caitlin Rose, for a raucous, sold-out Saint Patrick’s Day show. The Belly Up Tavern, which opened its doors in 1974 as a bar with some mics, has since evolved into a gem of a concert venue that holds its own place in music history with the likes of the iconic Toad’s Place of New Haven, CT. Over the years the venue has played host to the likes of The Rolling Stones, George Clinton, The Killers, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, amongst others, cementing its place as a legendary music venue.
As concertgoers made their way into the Belly Up Tavern, they were transported back in time to the days when fans would line up early, hoping to secure a spot in the crowd for their favorite artists. Enthusiastic music lovers awaited along the sidewalk to enter the sold out show, eagerly anticipating the performances to come. As they entered the building, the crowd’s energy was contagious, with fans interacting as if they were lifelong friends. People from all walks of life were united by their passion for music, ready to dance and singing along to the tunes that would soon fill the room.
The staff of ‘The Belly Up’ was professional yet friendly and accommodating, ensuring that everyone was well taken care of. One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering this legendary establishment is the resident red-eyed glowing great white shark hanging above the bar, a symbol of the venue’s unique character. The bartenders expertly mixed cocktails and mingled with the quick moving barflies, keeping the crowd well lubricated while not once having a line more than three deep.
As the evening progressed, the sold-out crowd at the Belly Up Tavern continued filling in everywhere from the side stands that wrapped around the stage to every inch of standing room.
Caitlin Rose, a talented musician originally from “Tennessee by way of Dallas” as she put it, took to the stage to kick off the night’s performances. With her charming stage presence and unique brand of alt-country, she immediately captured the audience’s attention. Performing a two-person acoustic set-list, Rose kept the audience engaged and entertained throughout her performance, with fans enjoying her music and her personable interactions with them. The audience was so absorbed in her performance that not even Caitlyn was sure what time it is was as all lost track of time, fully immersed in the moment.
One of the highlights of Rose’s performance was the live debut of her latest single, “Johnny Velvet,” which is set for release on April 22nd as part of the upcoming Record Store Day. The song was met with enthusiastic cheers and applause from the crowd, who were clearly excited to be among the first to hear it live.
As her set concluded, fans were left eagerly anticipating the upcoming performances and future releases from this talented artist. For those interested in learning more about Caitlin Rose and her music, be sure to check out CaitlinRose.com, and be sure to check out her previous release Cazimi.
During the intermission following Caitlin’s set, she was found at the merchandise stand interacting with fans eager to meet her. Her genuine personality and charm shone through with every interaction of the occasion; she took the time to personally engage with anyone and everyone who came her way.
Then as the lights dimmed the crowd roared, and The Old 97’s made their grand entrance with the lively tune, “Cecil Ann” playing upon the PA, the track perfectly matching the beachy, surf vibe of the area. The band greeted the audience with a quick and warm “Hello” and launched into their hit song “Won’t Go Home.” From that moment on, the night was a non-stop, high-energy ride for both the band and the fans, as they played a fan-pleasing set-list of their earlier material in celebration of their 30th anniversary. The crowd danced and sang along to fan favorites such as “Niteclub,” “Just Like California,” and “Barrier Reef,” and were treated to a duet performance of “Good With God” with opener Caitlyn Rose.
The band fittingly included the tune “Four Leaf Clover” on the fine Saint Patrick’s Day evening before wrapping up their set. As their performance came to a close the audience clamored for an encore, and The Old 97’s obliged, returning to the stage for not one but three more songs. Impressively, after 30 years of being together, the band’s energy never wavered, and their final performance of the night, “Time Bomb,” was a high-octane crowd-pleaser that had everyone on their feet, dancing and cheering.
As the lights came up and the band bid their farewells, the energized crowd slowly filed out into the streets, still buzzing from the high-energy performance they had just witnessed. Excitedly recounting their favorite moments of the evening to one another as they made their way out into the night, their spirits lifted by the unforgettable experience they had just shared.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening of music that left everyone feeling uplifted and energized.
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