june 2004 - the diary

Tuesday 22nd

Having spent the last 2 days driving south I'm finally here in San Diego ready for another Juliana show. And if you need to travel more than 500 miles by car HWY 1 is exactly the way to do it - what a great trip! Made it to San Luis Obispo yesterday with a nice stop at the Point Lobos State reserve on the way. Even though the sea otters managed to hide (as usual) it's still a beautiful place to visit.

South of San Luis Obispo things turn a bit less breathtaking but I was determined to stick to the coast line all the way to LA. Having never previously made my way this far south it was also quite exciting approaching that weird city. Even though it has so much movie coverage it's still difficult to grab what LA is all about. First impressions while driving through - well this is one large flat city with a surprisingly small downtown!

Compared to LA which can seem a bit alienating, San Diego makes you feel much more welcome. The concert takes place at Cane's which is located right next to the ocean at the south end of Mission Beach - certainly a change from the dark basement of Cafe du Nord. The establishment includes a nice mexican restaurant where I enjoy a tasty dinner while watching the sun disappearing into the Pacific.

Regular openers The Damnwells are in place but tonight they're preceded by a local "girl with acoustic guitar act" - Anya Marina. She comes up with an OK but not terribly interesting performance in front of a sparse crowd. While the Damnwells perform another OK (and a bit more interesting) set, Juliana has taken charge of the merchandise booth - something that rather quickly results in a long line of fans wanting t-shirts, autographs and pictures taken.

The massive attention keeps Juliana busy all the way through the Damnwell's set and she only gets a really short break before having to be on stage herself. Doesn't seem to affect her a bit though - everything seems really spot on right from the opening chords of Jamie's in Town. After a few songs she gets into a short rant about the fact that the club has a bunch of TV's mounted everywhere showing a (pretty lo-fi) broadcast of what goes on on stage. "Is anybody actually watching the stage?". Well believe me they are and they see a very cool and down to business Juliana serving up a set list that is pretty much identical to the one in SF.


We get another update on Ed's hand - he's now been given a treatment by one of Juliana's chiropractor friends. Still fighting the pain but he seems to be in good spirits. He's got a great down to earth appearance with a good sense of humor and I like both his style of play and his bass sound which has got more of an edge to it compared to someone like Josh Latanzi who played with Juliana on the 2000 tour.

Another splendid delivery of What a Life and Mabel makes me give up the fight against nostalgia - these are simply great songs. Juliana comes up with a small chat about how bookers seem to assume that once you've reached LA you'll have to travel eastwards - this to explain the fact that she doesn't turn up in San Diego every time.

Really neat guitar work from both Juliana and Joe in Because We Love You. Initially I wondered how that song could become a single but the more you listen the better it gets contrary to some of the catchier stuff on IED. In Prettiest Girl Juliana almost gets away with the guitar part that she struggled with in SF. One more try and I'm sure it'll be perfect. I guess that's one of the admirable things about her guitar playing attitude - she doesn't mind going right to the edge in the live situation, while most (and I'll have to say male though it might not be relevant) guitarists either stick to things that they're 100% safe with or alternatively just suck at everything they play :)

Tonight it seems that Your Eyes has been replaced by Forever - another of those IED songs that doesn't stick out at first but end up among the favorites - this live version doesn't do anything to change that! Juliana never ever forgets to thank her openers and tonight she even encourages us to go and buy Damnwells t-shirts so that their kids can go to college sometime in the future!

Once again the regular set ends with a very emotional rendition of My Enemy - this time Joe even gets the backing vocals spot on. When Juliana returns alone she gets into the first chords of Tomorrow Never Comes but then decides that she'd rather chat a bit and gets into a conversation with some Aussies who are visiting California for the LA film festival. They agree with her theory that Australia is really a weird mix between England and California.

We do end up getting a version of Tomorrow Never Comes to complete a really really nice show - biggest difference from 2 days ago was probably that Juliana's voice held up all the way through. Outside - even in the middle of the night the temperature is the mandatory San Diego 71F - no wonder housing is getting terribly expensive in this part of the world!


Next day    Previous day   Picture Gallery   June 2004    Home