Gomez at House of Blues in San Diego

By theajaysharma

San Diego, House of Blues
Sunday, May 20, 2006

Gomez is one of those "must-see" bands for me. No matter how many times they play or how good/bad their most recent album is, I need to see them every time. Despite being a fan, their last two records were kinda weak. There were some highlights, but overall they were just missing something. Thankfully their latest record, "How We Operate" is fantastic so I don't mind if they focus on new material.

The San Diego House of Blues is just like the LA and Anaheim House of Blues. I imagine that it's the same venue in every city across the country. And what's the fun in that? House of Blues is like the McDonalds of concert venues. Everything has a trendy "hip" look which ends up just being a very generic version of a club. And maybe it's just me but I like going to different new venues to see concerts. Since HoB is the same from city to city so there's nothing new about it. The one good thing about the venue is that my brother's drinks were all free since he was the designated driver.

David Ford was the opener and he's up there by himself but you wouldn't know that if you weren't watching him. He's mastered that digital looping thing (yes, that's the techincal term) where you can play a bit of a song and loop it, then play another bit and loop that. After a while of creating these layers you can sound like 3 or 4 people on stage. During a few tracks he would loop keyboard bits, acoustic bits, and then even some backup vocals. It was actally really cool to watch him perform all these pieces by himself. And it didn't sound that bad either. Overall I enjoyed his performance.

What's there to say about another Gomez show? I'm having a hard time trying to describe it since it's great. The new stuff is good, their old stuff is good, they had a nice balance of songs from all the records with an obvious slant towards the newer material.

If you like Gomez and haven't seen them live, then you are missing out. They extend and rework some songs live like their title track of the new album, "How We Operate". Instead of ending where it ends on the record, they stretch it out for a few more minutes. Some people hate this stuff, but I appreciate the extra music. It just makes it like *I'm* seeing something special because I went to the show.

Some other odd treats at this San Diego show were, "The Cowboy Song" which is like a minute long but nice to hear them mix it into their set. Also I don't remember hearing "Rhythm & Blues Alibi" live since the Liquid Skin tour from years ago. I'm still disappointed every time they don't play "Tijuana Lady" (even though I've heard that live a bunch of times back in the day) or "Revolutionary Kind" which is probably my favorite Gomez song. When a band gets to their fifth album, you're usually iching to hear their old tunes, but I was dying to hear "Charley Patton Songs" live. That's easily the best song on the new album, it's classic Gomez and the show wasn't complete without it.

The songs that I remember them playing in no particular order:

Shot Shot
Ping One Down
Blue Moon Rising
Las Vegas Dealer
Fill My Cup
Rhythm & Blues Alibi
Nothing Is Wrong
See The World
How We Operate
Devil Will Ride
Hamona Beach
Bring Your Lovin' Back Here
Make No Sound
Free To Run
All Too Much
Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol
The Cowboy Song
Whippin' Piccadilly