Date: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Line up: Mike Pinto, Seedless, Shoreline Rootz
Location: House of Blues. San Diego, CA
Mike Pinto Band Hosts EP Release Party!
On the eve of Thanksgiving, reggae-rock fans in Southern California mobbed out to the House of Blues, San Diego for Mike Pinto Band’s EP Release Party for The West is Still Wild. Fans of Mike Pinto Band were given the opportunity prior to the show to be able to win tickets and a meet and greet with the band through The Pier’s Forum. At the show, which was put together by the wonderful Polynesian Underground & Co, the Pier and Mike Pinto Band organized a signing and photo session for everyone at the merch tables. Mike Pinto and the guys generously greeted and chatted it up with fans, who were all stoked to meet the guys they listen to online and in their headphones.
The opening line up consisted of Seedless, Shoreline Rootz, and The Skains who got the pre-party right with some reggae vibes. Opening up the night, The Skains from Mission Beach, CA, the new kids on the scene brought a youthful addition to line up as a few of the kids in the 5 piece line up were still in high school. Shoreline Rootz followed the young band with a large nine-person group bringing some authentic irie sound while the lead singer had a similar look as Ziggy Marley. Fully equipped with a horn section, who were sporting matching rasta colored Seedless shirts, the Encintas based band got the crowd jamming right along with them.
With their awesome stage presence, Seedless (the band, not the clothing company) took control of the venue with their strong vocals and demanding presence. The Orange, CA, based Seedless occupied a 5 piece line up with 2 vocalists sharing mic. Island, yet rootsy, poppy, but with street credit, they slammed the audience with hits like “911,” “In Time,” and “Twisted Love.” In every song that Seedless played, they moved from rock, to reggae, to that soulful vibe found in the vocals from lead singer Matt Liufau. The Southern California band broke out into sick dubs throughout the show, expressing their musical talents and abilities to bring different styles of music to the crowd. They played a handful of new songs all of which can lead us to believe that we can expect some great music in the near future!
The show wasn’t quite sold out but security said that there were over 200 pre-sale tickets sold and given how big the House of Blues is, 400 people can look humble. The dance floor was a different story as kids rubbed elbows to get the best position in front of the stage. It was an all age crowd and you could see most kids trying to make out that funky smell in the room, but had a hard time since the house DJ wanted to test the boundaries of blowing speakers, if not our ear drums.
Mike Pinto Band started off the night with the ever so classic song “Backburner,” which showcased all the strengths of the band. Pinto’s amazing voice and guitar skills, Matt’s pounding bass, Todd’s enthusiastic drums, Max’s legit trumpet and keyboarding inserts, while Josh rocks away on the trombone brought the show home for the San Diego crowd.
Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Mike Pinto calls San Diego home but certainly brings both coasts together in his musical abilities. Mike Pinto Band, or MPB, followed up with “Bill’s Song” and just for the special event, busted out with “Bill’s Song II (Crime and Punishment).” Part two of the song is recorded acoustic on the album Everything I Got, but that night MPB rocked “Crime and Punishment” with the whole band including Pinto’s electric guitar.
MPB enchanted the crowd with the alluring sound and charismatic vocals with new song “Turn You On,” from the celebrated new EP. They followed that with “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” from the EP and on the official track, DeLa from Slightly Stoopid plays a saxophone solo but at the show, Max O’Leary rocked his own sick rendition on the trumpet.
The band continued to celebrate the new EP with “Everything I Got,” and drummer Todd Elrod presenting his passionate musical style. As the horns sections left the stage, the trio went into “Temptation,” which was the first Pinto song wrote when coming to CA. Starting with Mike Pinto’s impeccable whistling skills, they played a fourth song from the EP, “The Cool and the Deadly.”
As a part of the album release party, Mike Pinto brought out the acoustic guitar to play some crowd favorites. Pinto played a solo acoustic version of “One More Time,” which the crowd absolutely loved. “Shades of Brown” was also played acoustic before Todd and Matt snuck back on stage with drums and bass. Pinto then switched to the electric guitar before the band jumped into the new “The West is Still Wild.” The all ages show got the fans moshing around to the ska and surf sound the band produced.
MPB played the last song from the new EP “Fears and Phobias” with the whole band including the horns section. The band closed the set with a “Wasted Days” cover of the New York City band The Slackers, a band favorite. With the crowd still wanting more, MPB came back out to play the crowd-requested “Dear Senoritas” and “Full Speed” which got everyone raging around the venue.
The album release party was the last show of the year for the Mike Pinto Band but it was a successful one. Playing in their hometown city of San Diego, CA, the band was able to reach their fans with signings, meet and greets, pictures, and merch. The scene definitely awaits the next move that Mike Pinto Band will be making in 2012!
– Article by: Alyssa Torres
– Photos by: Ryan Daley and David Norris
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Here’s a video courtesy of Irie Live from the release party. It’s Mike Pinto during his acoustic set playing “One More Time”. Enjoy & big ups to IrieLive.com