Category Archives: Photos

Live Photos: Lime Cordiale bring beachy rock, trumpets, and a clarinet

Soda Bar brought Australian rockers Lime Cordiale this month. Check out these photos of them performing live. Continue reading Live Photos: Lime Cordiale bring beachy rock, trumpets, and a clarinet


Live Photos: The Used at the House of Blues

Never one to disappoint, So Cal favorites The Used rocked the San Diego House of Blues to a packed and spirited full house! Continue reading Live Photos: The Used at the House of Blues

Live Photos: Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday has been through a whirlwind over the past few years, Continue reading Live Photos: Taking Back Sunday

Meet and Greets: Cory Monteith was in an indie rock band

cory_monteith_glee_bonnie_dune_the_indie_sdSometimes we come across an artist who is not only beautiful as a person, but also as a musician. And sometimes those artists struggle with various things, including addiction. One of those artists was Cory Monteith: star on Glee, but who I knew as the talented drummer for Bonnie Dune.

I heard of this band many years ago while I was in high school. I knew some of the people who were in the band. Years passed, and I heard of them again, this time with a new drummer, one many people recognized for his vocal and acting skills on television. My friend’s band The Honey Trees was opening up for Bonnie Dune, so I decided to go. After their set it was Bonnie Dune’s turn. I instantly fell in love with the amazing harmonies, the vocals, and the way all the instruments came together so beautifully, you felt yourself plucked out of where you were, out of everything that was going wrong or worrying you, and out in the middle of a story. It was only you and the band. That’s how those artists made you feel, Cory included.

After the show, he came out to sign autographs and take photos. I knew I had to meet him. When it was my turn, I looked at him and I said “You were phenomenal. I know a lot of musicians, I’ve known every drummer this band has had. You were amazing. You played beautifully. I just had to say that you’re a great drummer. ” He looked at me, with genuine eyes and an authentic smile, and said “thank you”. We took our photo then I left.

Years passed, and I heard of him entering rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. I heard a lot of negativity about this and I thought of musicians, artists, actors, and other people who have gone through similar. Imagine yourself going through the pressure of what they deal with. It’s not so easy. Addiction is a disease. There are artists who can push through it such as Russell Brand,  and some that even after trying so hard, just can’t, such as Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.

Months later, I heard of his passing. Heroin and alcohol is what they said. I am brought back to my good friend, an amazing musician as well, who died from an overdose just months before Cory passed; and it all seems real again. I break down. I think of his band mates, friends, loved ones and family. I break down for a bit and it’s hard.

People talk about the actor and celebrity factor of it all, but others have come to forget he was a musician as well. This was someone whose drumming could calm the most panicked hearts. I cry to think we will never hear it live again. We are just left with his memory, the recordings, and photographs. This amazing musician, gone too soon. This amazing artist, we will always miss.

Addiction is real and it affects millions around the world daily. If you or anyone you know is affected by this, talk to them. Talk to someone. Get help. Music culture is a family, and we are here to help.

By Toni Rivera

Each week, would like to feature your true and personal stories about meeting your favorite musician. Indie bands have some of the most social and outgoing musicians, and many times people have been given the chance to speak with them after shows, take photos, and simply discuss how their music has touched our lives! If you want to share a story about meeting your favorite indie artists, let us know by sending an email to, and it could be featured on the site!

Drug Addiction Help Online. Suicide Prevention Online: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Live Photos: Atmosphere

Hip hop duo Atmosphere wowed audiences in San Diego, proving that these two are still great connoisseurs of tour, with an electric stage presence that keeps fans coming back. Their Kickin’ Up Dust Tour is still underway so make sure you catch them with Slightly Stoopid, but if you still need a little convincing, here are some live photos from Atmosphere’s performance at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre.


Photos by Nicholas Wong.

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The Plastic Revolution: It’s not Rock ‘n Roll without a little blood!

What do you get when you mix the heavy, shredding energy of The Plastic Revolution and a burned out guitar pick? A very excited crowd and one bloody guitarist! Check out these photos I snapped of TPR live at the Soda Bar, where they opened up for alt rockers The Material.

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Imagine Dragons, appropriate band name is appropriate

Check out these photos of Imagine Dragons when they performed at their SOLD OUT San Diego House of Blues show.

With a band name that is oddly appropriate, Imagine Dragons churned out an energy packed show that was almost tribal in nature, backed by a “magical forest” of lights and stage design, which conveniently illuminated different colors to match the mood of each song. It was like being in a Pixar movie about tree spirits who play dance music and occasionally paint with all the colors of the wind. It may be hard to imagine, pun intended, so the photos below will do a much better job of showcasing the brilliance that is Imagine Dragons.

Photos by Christian Rodas, Soul Venture Productions.

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