Concert Review: The Expendables/Jet West

Courtesy of Jet West Facebook

Courtesy of Jet West Facebook

Juan Barragan

The Expendables / Jet West

Belly Up Tavern

17 October 2014


The Expendables were in town this past weekend, and this time they decided to give North County some love by choosing to play at the iconic and independent Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. The venue, with a capacity of approximately 600 people, had every ticket sold prior to doors opening, leaving many outside hoping to get tickets from whatever source possible, even scalpers. To ticket holders, however, the night was going to be packed with sick reggae inspired music. Opening the show was San Diego’s very own Jet West. By the time they took the stage, the venue was already packed. San Diego fans know better than to show up late to a show, and in this case, they were in luck, as many in the crowd had never heard of the band Jet West. By the time they were in a couple of songs, it was clear that the band was worthy of making a couple of hundred new fans that night.

The first memorable song the band played was called, “Mexico,” which is about having a great time south of the border, whether in TJ or the surrounding environs. While listening to the song, it was clear that Jet West boasts a level of talent that is uncommon nowadays in the Reggae scene. The vocals, by Scott Floquet, were spot on and enjoyable to hear, and the rhythm section was creative and innovative. Another perk of this band is that they have a trumpet player, Jack Taylor, which really completed the soothing feel the band was going for. The reason the song was memorable was because it featured a calm verse with a somewhat heavy chorus, and then a heavy breakdown near the end that brought the crowd near the front of the stage near the verge of commencing a full-blown mosh pit. It’s very important to distinguish the fact that these guys were able to pull it off by being original. Although the layout of this particular song is reminiscent of Sublime or even the very own Expendables, Jet West managed to get creative in their delivery of their music.

Jet West added a playful addition near the middle of their set by telling the crowd one of the very important causes that they believe in as a band. They even made a song about it, called, “T.D.’s”. This song, featuring a very southwestern influenced rhythm section, is about the delight and pleasure associated with doing what the band likes to do after shows. Needless to say, the crowd went nuts, and the level of interaction between the new fans and Jet West was easily seen. The band was able to cash in on the crowd’s energy throughout the rest of their set. The band chose to end their set with one of their heavier songs, and the crowd didn’t mind at all. A lot of opening bands fail to get the crowd to move a muscle. This band was not like that. The very last song was “It’s Over,” and the band changed genres to make this song a hard rock song with some elements of reggae. The crowd went wild, and the pit in the center of the open floor took form and maintained a healthy size, to the point that security had to step in to make sure nothing got too out of hand. Overall, a great set by an upcoming band that prepared everyone adequately for The Expendables who would take the stage next

The Expendables took the stage at approximately 10:30PM, and the crowd was ready for a good set. The band lost not time in trying to get the crowd pumped, and started to sing one of their hits, “Positive Mind.” This was well-received, since a majority of the crowd was familiar with the song, so they sang along loudly and happily. Singing loudly wasn’t going to cut it for The Expendables though, and they quickly unleashed a fierce version of Eek A Mouse’s “Ganja Smuggling,” that got even the most relaxed fans on their feet and in the mosh pit. If fans were wondering what the status of the new album was, they got an update in the form of new music by the band. They played a couple of new tunes, including an instrumental hard rock tune that reminded us of “War Cry.” The name of another new song was “Music Moves Me,” and based on the crowd’s reaction, it looked like they loved the new song.

Some very important guests were in the house that night. Spotted in the crowd was Marley Williams from the band, Rebelution. He seemed very excited for the show and admitted that he hadn’t seen The Expendables play in a minute. With positive vibes all around, it was clear that The Expendables were in good company that night.

The band peppered their set with a few hits, including, “Down Down Down,” “Sacrifice,” and “Minimum Wage.” The band knows how to end their sets, though. They picked “Bowl For Two,” as a way to end the evening. The place got loud, but the good vibes were in the air, and everyone had a blast, eager to hear the band play San Diego again.