The Coast News Group
Scene and Heard

Hot summer shows on tap at the Belly Up Tavern

One of North County’s little musical gems — the Belly Up Tavern, tucked away in between a couple of quaint shops and restaurants in downtown Solana Beach — has always been known to host some great music. Just a stone’s throw away from the Coaster station, Belly Up is one of the most ideal places in San Diego to catch great live music.
An unassuming exterior gives way into a wonderful venue inside, with a full bar and full stage setup suitable for any local or national act whose name might be featured on the bill that night. Directly adjacent next door is their own Wild Note Café, a 56-seater neighborhood bistro-style restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. There’s an added bonus if you eat here: you don’t have to wait in line to see the concert going on next door. And this summer the Belly Up has given San Diegans a lot to be excited about.
On July 3, the Belly Up featured one of the biggest names in music when they signed on indie rockers Death Cab For Cutie, who played a very exclusive show for their fans that night. Tickets were only offered and sold through the Belly Up’s VIP e-mail list and the tickets (only two per person allowed) sold out very, very quickly.
Don’t worry — there are still quite a few really good shows that are still coming up this month and next that are just as exciting. On Aug. 17, you can watch a little bit of rap history unfold as heavy-hitters D12 will be storming their way to the stage with Mob Nasty in tow.
As you probably already know, D12 shot onto the main stage of the rap scene when one of their members, Eminem, blew up with his solo career. Their debut album, “Devil’s Night sold more than 4 million copies which the guys followed up with the release of D-12 World in 2004. This album featured the hit single ‘My Band.” No word for sure on whether Eminem will actually be there to perform in person (it’s been hit or miss on their past tours) but either way, D12 is still one of the most talent rap crews coming out of Detroit today.
If a heavy dose of San Diego-bred punk rock is more your speed, then Sept. 6 at the Belly Up is your day. 91X will be featuring the punk rock return of two of San Diego’s most prolific punk outfits Pivit and Agent 51, with their second annual Punk Rock Reunion. Pivot rose quickly to fame in the late 1990s opening up for acts like Blink 182, Incubus, Unwritten Law, Pennywise, and much more. The Carlsbad/Encinitas outfit quickly dissolved after their 1996 release “Pressure,” a highly critically acclaimed punk album and what is now a proud footnote on an otherwise strong San Diego punk scene.
Poway’s Agent 51 shares a similar story of a quick rise to popularity in the late 90’s, followed by a fast spiral down into obscurity. And much like Pivot, Agent spent a long time on hiatus before only recently reemerging on the local scene playing a few select local shows here and there over the last few months. No word on if either of these bands plan on creating any new music together or if this is just simply a treat for all of their fans to enjoy, as fleeting as it is.
Also coming in the following weeks to the Belly Up are The Meat Puppets (Sept. 17) with Dead Confederate, Common Sense (Sept. 19), indie masters Portugal.The Man (Sept. 28), and tons more. For more information, visit