Soma Sidestage – San Diego, CA
Written by Nadia Ibanez
When I first heard that I was going to Soma to check out Kate Voegele, I was stoked. I was amped to check out one of this year’s hottest new teeny bopper bands that was causing a raucus on Myspace and teen focussed sitcoms on the WB. I didn’t know too much about Kate other than that she was gorgeous and her music sounded typical bubblegum pop, which I’m totally okay with.
First of all, Soma is a pretty cool venue. I heard through the grapevine that the venue used to be an old movie theater. I’ve checked out the Soma calendar previously and there are some great alternative and Indie bands that make a stop at Soma while in San Diego. As soon as we walked into where the stage was, it was ridiculously hot and stuffy. There was absolutely no air conditioning, no ventilation system, nada. We waited 20 minutes after 9:00 for Kate to come on and my crew and I were sweating bullets.
The crowd was a typical teeny bopper crowd: uber trendy teenagers that consisted of about 95 percent female, a couple parents hanging out in the back of the concert area and a few peculiar older men that seem to be abnormally infatuated with the scenery. To each his own, I guess.
As the lights turned down for Kate to come on, Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady” came on — always a great sign that the show will be awesome. As me and my friends danced around to the female empowered anthem, the rest of the crowd woo hooed a little but stayed completely still. No one really started jumping up and down in preparation for their teenage idol to come on. A few years ago when I was in my teeny bopper phase, I went ape shit before the Britney Spears and N Sync concerts which I frequently attended. My younger self knew of all of the words and dance moves and busted out my handmade t-shirts that proudly sported “I heart Lance” and “Backstreet’s Back, Alright!” But I guess that’s just my style.
Kate came on and the girls went nuts for the first song. All of the sudden, everyone started breaking out their digital cameras, iPhones and camera phones and started taking pictures and videos of Kate during her performance of “99 Times.” It was at that moment that I realized that this crowd of concert goers were in a whole other generation than mine. They were way into their “apps” and youtube accounts and were barely putting any attention into Kate and her sweet voice. It was like they really couldn’t enjoy the show until they updated their status on myspace and Facebook to let everyone know what was on their mind. Totally weird, and I felt so old. No one was dancing around or jumping up and down. No one was really singing along. And a couple songs in, Kate said something to the affect that everyone was really quiet and that in her Chicago shows people were actually crowd surfing, which was totally acceptable if we wanted to jump in on the fun. Still, everyone stood nearly completely still.
Kate’s music was good. It’s hard to really judge an artist when you have no background on them or are familiar with their music. Her lyrics were sweet, mostly about falling for a boy and finding the silver lining in even the most awful situations. At one point, she reminded me of a new school Debbie Gibson: paving the way for fellow singers and fashionistas with too many bangles and too many accessories on one hand.
We stayed for about ten songs, waiting for the crowd to get all feisty and nothing. I think I spent more time scoping out the audience than Kate herself. Which was kind of a bummer, because her music was in fact really good. Either way, the experience was totally enlightening and I think my friends and I were the oldest ones in there. If you’re into bubblegum music about boys and falling for puppy love, I’d totally check her out.
Kate’s Tour Dates:
Jun 5 2009 5:30P Borders Los Angeles, California
Jun 5 2009 8:00P El Rey Los Angeles, California
Jun 6 2009 8:00P The Boardwalk Orangevale, California
Jun 7 2009 3:00P BORDERS San Francisco, California
Jun 7 2009 8:00P Slims San Francisco, California
Jun 10 2009 8:00P Hawthorne Theatre Portland, Oregon
Jun 11 2009 8:00P Neumo’s Seattle, Washington
Jun 12 2009 7:00P Media Club Vancouver, British Columbia
Jun 13 2009 2:00P HMV@Londonderry Mall Edmonton, Alberta
Jun 14 2009 7:00P BRIXX BAR & GRILL Edmonton, Alberta
Jun 15 2009 7:00P HI-FI CLUB Calgary, Alberta
Jul 24 2009 8:00P Alabama Adventure Bessemer, Alabama