Lenguas Largas, Vacation, The Murderburgers, City Mouse @ Bar Pink, San Diego

The first Monday in September in America is Labour Day. For the past ten years that’s meant Awesome Fest weekend. However, the curators of that glorious pop-punk family reunion decided this year to move Awesome Fest to February, when most of the country in covered with a blanket of snow, and the attraction of a visit to sunny San Diego will be even more tempting. But, never fear, Labour Day weekend in San Diego wasn’t void of good music this year, as four touring bands converged on the city for a magnificent matinee show in the same North Park neighborhood that hosts the annual festival.

From Tucson, Arizona came Lenguas Largas, whose dark and lonely western rock sounds burrow into the soul. From further east came Ohio’s Vacation. Their album ‘Non-Person’ was arguably one of the best of 2015. From even further east came Scotland’s The Murderburgers. Fraser’s unique brand of pop punk was a welcome sound during a weekend that’s normally been a pop punk overload. And Michigan’s City Mouse opened the afternoon, Miski Dee Rodriguez’s amazing voice filling the room with joy.

Awesome Fest may have moved out five months, but its spirit was still strongly felt.

By Paul Silver