LIVE REVIEW: St. Lucia, Maren Parusel + Dr. Seahorse @ Casbah, San Diego 7/25/12
As someone who has seen their fair share of shows, this Owl was not in a hurry to see opening bands last night. We were not about to hurriedly shove our last tacos in our mouths, or gulp our beers. We were holding out for the headliner, but somehow, we arrived at the Casbah just in time to see Dr. Seahorse go on. Our first reaction was: “Huh. Very minimalist.” Two men, a couple of mics, two toms, a drum pad, and a Mac, of course. But from the minute the lights went up, Dr. Seahorse brought the house down. Vocalist Trevor Davis brought such energy to the stage; the audience was easily on their feet and laughing at his fantastic Prince-like dance moves. We were seriously blown away. Trevor described his music as “electro-swag,” which is dead-on. It reminded us of a soulful Mayer Hawthorne backed by Hot Chip. Dr. Seahorse’s energetic cover of Genesis’ “That’s All” was easily the highlight of the set. He sounded like Phil, but on fire!
After Dr. Seahorse, local darling Maren Parusel took to the stage, giving us a taste of her newly released album. A full band backed her and the crowd had no problem getting into her music. Maren is quite a talented artist, but her guitar-heavy indie rock felt a little out of place in the lineup.
St. Lucia did a quick set-up and started off with “Before the Dive.” It was great to see the crowd get charged up right away. The band worked perfectly together and it was clear that each member enjoyed what he or she was doing. They sounded crisp and in-sync. Vocalist Jean-Philip Grobler was notably taken by the crowd’s reaction to his music, as he kept saying, “San Diego, you guys are great!” It’s truly great when an artist enjoys the night as much as the fans. St. Lucia played nearly all of their released material, complete with “Closer Than This,” and “All Eyes on You,” which may be a new favorite — the lyrics are sweet and the arrangement flows. St. Lucia really pulled out the stops on Wednesday in San Diego, and is sure to do the same in your area as well.
Check out more photos of St. Lucia, Maren Parusel, and Dr. Seahorse here.