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Company of Thieves Makes their Debut in San Diego

Company of Thieves
The Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
April 29, 2009

Written by Nadia Ibanez

Genevieve Schatz – Vocals
Marc Walloch – Guitars
Mike Ortiz – Drums
Dorian Duffy – Bass
Ryan Gray – B-3 Organ, Rhodes, Piano

Company of Thieves The Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA April 29, 2009The Company of Thieves have been creating quite the buzz around San Diego lately. FM 94.9 DJ Halloran, who is known to showcase some of the best artists still flying under the radar, played the album several weeks ago in full. Since then, the band has been ecstatic about hearing their single “Oscar Wilde” all over the local and national airwaves.

Last night, as part of the FM 94.9 “About the Music Series,” Chicago-based Company of Thieves played tracks off their debut album “Ordinary Riches” along with some amazing covers. I came to the show with only one expectation: this chick is going to rock it out. Little did I know, Genevieve was lightning in a bottle.

Her voice was as smooth as buttah and a mix between Leslie from Feist and Maja Ivarsson from The Sounds; I’d like to say she’s a modern day Etta James without all of the Beyoncé hatin’. With every song, the band took us through new and different sounds, starting a song off with a sensual bluesy vibe and upping the guitar riffs in the middle for a hard rock sound and then flowing into a whimsical resonance that you’d hear from your favorite acoustic summertime album.

Genevieve is a five foot nothing, petite woman with so much character. Her sporadic giggling, twirling around the stage, jumping and dancing defined her as a great performer. But don’t let her feminine antics fool you; she can rock out like the rest of them. You could tell she was putting her whole soul into the performance.

“Pressure” was awesome to see live; Genevieve and Marc wrote the song in their car after a rough day and right before they sang at an open mic night. Genevieve sang and wrote while Marc stuck the neck of his guitar out the window and played. I definitely foresee “Pressure” as the next single.

The band also belted out an amazing version of The Smashing Pumpkin’s “1979”. It was a softer version of Billy Corgan’s rendition, but with harder guitar riffs and drum beats. Although I’ve never seen the Pumpkins in concert, I’m sure Company of Thieves would have made excellent front runners to steal the spot light.

The band got the crowd amped up for “Oscar Wilde,” their current single on the airwaves. Urban chicks, scruffy hipster guys and even some old men belted out the lyrics with Genevieve. The performance was life-altering and it was at that point that I knew the show was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Amazing musicians, a magnetic vocalist and a minor crush on the drummer; it doesn’t get any better than that. If it wasn’t for the deafening lead guitar amp, I’d say the Company of Thieves show was in the top 5 of my best shows list. The band beautifully executed a cover of “Piece of my Heart” by Janis Joplin. There’s something pretty amazing about a new band on the rise that takes something from music from the 60s and the 70s, but still correlates it to today’s generation. The band also premiered a new song at the finale, which had no title. Between you and me, it’s amazing and you’ll want to be on lookout for their future endeavors.

Also opening for Company of Thieves was Wendy Darling, a band of San Diego that somehow manages to incorporate a xylophone, electro piano and a banjo without skipping a beat. Their music reminded me of soft lullabies you would hear when you were a kid, blended with new school sounds that you’d hear on “The Hills” or one of those other hip “reality” shows that uncover some of the best indie music. Their cover of Justin Timberlake’s “My Love” was edgier and more hip hop than JT could ever imagine. San Diego’s own Stripes and Lines also opened the show, but I’m sad to say I only heard their last couple of songs.

I think Genevieve said it best on the Company of Thieves website. “This is a scary time for a lot of people, government-wise, art-wise and especially business-wise. But at the same time, there’s a new gutsy energy coming out right now, almost a generational thing. Today’s youth, and to some extent their parents, are really wanting a change, and there’s a feeling that we’re at the edge of big change right now. Great art always rises up when change is going on.”

And so it is.

Tour Dates:

Date Venue City State

05.02.20009 Lola’s Portland OR
05.05.2009 Tractor Tavern Seattle WA
05.07.2009 Murray Theater Murray UT
05.08.2009 Walnut Room Denver CO
05.09.2009 Danny’s Lenexa KS
05.22.2009 Bottom Lounge Chicago IL

Photos of Company of Thieves in Solana Beach:

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  1. dawnb says:

    Thanks, so much, for your awesome review! It’s great to finally see and hear others get as excited about Company of Thieves as I am.

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