Joshua Radin Brought New Meaning to UNPLUGGED at the Belly Up

Joshua Radin
Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
2/18/2009

Joshua Radin Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA 2/18/2009By the time Josh hit the stage the Belly Up was packed. It was not only packed it was noisy. The noisiest I have heard it and I have been to the Belly Up numerous times for different types of performances. This was the worst considering this was singer/songwriter type show. AKA QUIET. As Josh pointed out the TV’s were playing the Lakers’ game that did catch the eye of opener Meiko. He entered the stage with absolutely no lights on at the Belly Up, which again, is odd. After his first song the band stopped. He waited…and waited…and waited. Everybody was trying to figure out what he was doing but it was very apparent to me. It brought me back to the school days when the teacher would just stop and stand in front of the class waiting for the two people in the back of the room to notice they were the only ones talking and they needed to stop. Literally he spent minutes on stage waiting for the place to quiet down. He mentioned how beautiful San Diego was and maybe if you wanted to talk you take it outside. Which to me was a polite way of saying shut the fuck up or get out! Everyone did quiet down but not for long.

I felt I was at a VH1 Storytellers, which was really cool because Josh explained how most of the songs came about. Sky was written out of a re-occurring nightmare. He even told us the story about sitting on his porch playing and writing music and he saw the same car day after day pass his porch with a beautiful woman inside. He wanted her to stop and roll down the window but it never happened. He hoped one day he would write here a radio pop hit and she would be listening to it in her car and drive by his porch just so he could say he wrote it for her. The name of the song is “Vegetable Car” because that’s what she drove. It’s a very catching tune. Dare I say a car song?

Again, between songs and even during songs people were shhing each other, which was more annoying than people actually talking. It did eventually get so quiet that people around me could hear me typing my notes into my Blackberry. Scary huh?
He played “No Envy” and expect this early on in his set because that’s the way he wants it. He wants to brainwash himself to eventually have no fear and no envy. “One of Those Days” hit me. I was surprised with his range and the way he can sing very softly for impact and then really belt a chorus out.

His favorite song he wrote is “Growing Up.” He says that it’s a good breakup song. I didn’t know there was such a thing. I listened to it and Josh; no it’s not a good breakup song. If a guy sang that to me I’d be giving evil eye and a few choice of words, but more power to you for using it. He made a great transition from breakup song to a song that moved the audience with “We’re Ok.” It is one of the few upbeat songs Josh wrote.

I must say, before “Fear You Won’t Fall” he was coaching the men in the audience how to make your friends that are girls into girlfriends. He even demonstrated and walked them through positioning your hands and kissing her when she least expects it. It was actually very funny to watch. The next to songs after that is when the crowd was getting noisy again. Great solution, UNPLUG your electric acoustic which was a mart move on his behalf. He also stepped 2 feet back from the mic to make people actually listen to his songs. He really got a kick out of it because it was dead in there.

For the last song he covered Sam Cook’s 1961 “Bring it.” It was a great way to cap off the night. It was truly rock and roll with very talent musicians at the helm.

Josh is out supporting his hit album Simple Times. It already shot up to number 1 on the iTunes charts. Congrats to Josh!

Setlist:
Free of Me
Sky
Winter
No Envy
Vegetable Car
One of Those Days
Growing Up
We’re Ok
Fear You Won’t Fall
Today
She’s So Right
What if You
Rather Be with You
Closer
Bring it

Josh’s Tour Dates:

Date Venue Location
20 Fri Downtown Brew San Luis Obispo, CA

21 Sat Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, CA

23 Mon Belly Up Aspen, CO

25 Wed Black Sheep Colorado Springs, CO

27 Fri Bottleneck Lawrence, KS

28 Sat Fine Line Music Cafe Minneapolis, MN

March 2009
Date Venue Location
2 Mon Pabst Theatre Milwaukee, WI

3 Tue Park West Chicago, IL

4 Wed 20th Century Theatre Cincinnati, OH

6 Fri Kent Stage Kent, OH

7 Sat Headliners Louisville, KY

8 Sun Exit/In Nashville, TN

11 Wed El Mocambo Toronto, Canada,

15 Sun Sugar Club Dublin, Ireland

17 Tue o2 Academy 2 Liverpool, UK

18 Wed o2 Academy 3 Birmingham, UK

19 Thu Bush Hall London, UK

20 Fri King Tut’s Glasgow, UK

22 Sun Sentier des Halles Paris, France

23 Mon Studio 672 Cologne, Germany

24 Tue 59:1 Munich , Germany

25 Wed Lido Berlin , Germany

27 Fri Prinzebar Hamburg, Germany

29 Sun Debaser DFB Stockholm, Sweden

Photos of Josh Radin:

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