The Northstar Session Opens for Matthew Sweet at the Belly Up

The Northstar Session
Belly Up – San Diego, CA

Matthew Szlachetka Guitar and Vocals
Kane McGee Drums, Vocals, Keys, Percussion
Dave Basaraba Keys, Vocals, Melodica
Chris Torres Bass and Vocals

The Northstar Session Belly Up - San Diego, CA 8/25/2008


This Belly Up show was a first for both The Northstar Session and The Dead Hub. Prior to the show Matt and I were on the phone discussing and hyping each other up about this particular venue. We were told The Belly Up is the best place to hear live music in San Diego, and since neither of us had stepped foot in The Belly Up before, we were exited to experience it. The Belly Up is, as everyone had said, one of the best places to hear music. The setup is really convenient and easy because they have different levels to see the show, meaning less visual obstructions. Most of the space is standing room only except near the back and side of the stages that have tables and chairs.

The Northstar Session Belly Up - San Diego, CA 8/25/2008The Northstar Session took the stage to a healthy crowd. As I stood in the crowd with the video camera I had people asking me questions about these guys. They are lucky I actually know the band and have that information at my disposal in my brain. On that note, here is a little history and an introduction of the band.

The Backstory (Short Version):

The Northstar Session was just Matt in 2002. It wasn’t until Matt moved from the East Coast to California and met Kane when the North Star Session became a band. They are now a four piece band with lots of talent on board including Dave Basaraba (keyboard) who has toured for the likes of Meredith Brooks, Becca, and Paul Freeman.

Currently, you can hear their music in the following movies:

Numb (Matthew Perry, Kevin Pollak, Helen Shaver, Mary Steenburgen, William B. Davis)

It’s Alive (Bijou Phillips, James Murray, Raphael Coleman)

Repo (Jason Mewes, Ben Gourley, Izabella Miko, Lindsey McKeon, Patrick Muldoon, Frankie Jay Allison, Sunny Maybrey)

When the four guys took the stage they were in the zone. Kane started off on guitar and lead vocals. By the song “Easier” he was at his drum kit singing lead. He took on lead vocals several more times for this set. When Kane’s not taking on the lead vocals, he’s singing the backing vocals for the song while drumming.

Matt encouraged crowd participation and rallied the crowd to the stage. Matt sang my personal favorite “Lovely Life” long with another favorite, “Poldy and Molly”.

The set list for the night included:

All At Once
Straight To You
Poldy And Molly
Lovely Life
Turn You Around
Worlds Apart
Crazy Jade > Mean Mr. Mustard > Crazy Jade
All Roads

They had a guest guitar player, Billy Clements, step in for the last two songs of the night. He drew much praise from the audience with his guitar solos and chops.

These guys are writers and session players; a well oiled machine. Kane and Matt have an undeniable chemistry on and off stage. The Northstar Session made a great impression on the crowd and as Matthew Sweet finished his first song of the night, many were commenting on the Nothstar Session blowing Matthew Sweet out of the water. They won over a new set of fans on that lovely, lovely Monday night.

Check out there latest release New Prehistoric Times on or it’s available at CD Baby.

Video clips coming soon..

The Northstar Session at Hotel Cafe Tonight!!

the Northstar Session Hotel CafeI had to drive up to Palo Alto for company business yesterday so I am not around to go to this show, but if you are in the Los Angeles Area tonight you need to check these guys out. They are talented guys with guaranteed great entertainment.

Can’t make it tonight? Here’s more of their upcoming shows:

8 May 2008 21:00 HOTEL CAFE Hollywood, California
10 May 2008 11:00 Pangea Day Festival @ Roadtrip Nation HQ Costa Mesa, California
15 May 2008 20:00 Experimental Cafe (Matt & Kane Acoustic Duo) Oxnard, California
20 May 2008 21:00 WILDCAT LOUNGE w/Shades Of Day [dave’s birthday!] Santa Barbara, CA
22 May 2008 20:00 Experimental Cafe (Matt & Kane Acoustic Duo) Oxnard, California
29 May 2008 20:00 Experimental Cafe (Matt & Kane Acoustic Duo) Oxnard, California
5 Jun 2008 20:00 Molly Malone’s w/ Stephen Ashbrook Los Angeles, California
6 Jun 2008 21:00 LAST EXIT w/ Stephen Ashbrook Tempe, Arizona
7 Jun 2008 21:00 LAST EXIT w/ Stephen Ashbrook Tempe, Arizona
12 Jun 2008 21:00 LUCKEY’S CLUB Eugene, Oregon
13 Jun 2008 21:00 WHITE EAGLE (Stephen Ashbrook CD Release) Portland, Oregon
14 Jun 2008 21:00 TRACTOR TAVERN w/Stephen Ashbrook Seattle, Washington
17 Jun 2008 21:00 Soho w/ Stephen Ashbrook Santa Barbara, California
12 Jul 2008 12:00 Private Event Grass Valley
26 Jul 2008 20:00 The Spirit Room w/ Stephen Ashbrook Jerome, Arizona

The Northstar Session

The Northstar Sessions
The Gypsy Lounge – Irvine/Lake Forest, CA

The Northstar Session is:

Matthew Szlachetka GUITAR | VOCALS

The Northstar Sessions The Gypsy Lounge - Irvine/Lake Forest, CA

It was a cloudy Saturday, yet it was a quick drive to get up to Lake Forest Dr. for the Northstar Session show. The Northstar session is a group of guys in Southern California, but not all originated here. They are transplants from around the country.

I got to the Gypsy just in time for Ms. Molly Jensen and her band. Molly stood out by a segway into one of her songs, after she got the crowd roaring with laughter, she told us to think of dead puppies. It was a sad sad song that she was about to sing, so sad she forgot the lyrics because she was too distracted thinking about dead puppies. It was great to watch.

The next band was the Pawn Shop Kings who opened with a bluegrass song that was dedicated to their grandma. That was on soulful and powerful song.

The Northstar Sessions were the last to play. Matt, Kane, Dave, and Paris started out with Lovely Life. Kane, the drummer, started the vocals in the song. The song was so Lovely and Kane’s mic was so shitty that Lovely Life was played again. It was much sweeter the second time around.

This band has great harmonies. I always love a band who can successfully have a drummer sing and play, at the same time, and still have the same amount of power behind each. I give these guys lots of props for that. All but their bass player was singing last night. I enjoyed “Been Here Before.” You can listen to the album version on their space. I actually like them playing it live better than the album version. It looks like I’ll be seeing them live more often. Check these guys out when they roll into your town.

The guys played for an hour and all looked truly happy to be up there playing to the crowd that stayed until 12:30 to see them.

Their set list for the night included:

Lovely Life
Straight to You
Handing On
Been Here Before
Let You Down
Poldy and Molly
Crazy Jade/Mean Mr. Mustard/Crazy Jade
Turn you Around
Worlds Apart
All Roads

I am excited to be attending their ACOUSTIC show April 9th show down in San Diego. I am a sucker for acoustic shows!

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