New Diplomat headlines Noise Pop festival at Bottom of the Hill

Never miss a Sunday show; festival-going-music-lovers know this. Personally, I’d like to also add, “never miss an opener.” 

Thankfully, I didn’t. The night before Thanksgiving last year, I found myself at The Independent in San Francisco, drawn by the allure of covering the headlining band, We Are Scientists. Among the roster of performers were two opening acts. One of them was New Diplomat. With diligence, I arrived at that show well in advance of the venue’s opening, determined not to miss a single moment of the musical odyssey on which I was embarking.

That night (and for many weeks later), I found myself declaring unequivocally that

New Diplomat stood as the undisputed best opening band I had seen in 2023.

So, when the opportunity arose to witness their own headline performance during the illustrious Noise Pop festival—a sprawling, ten-day celebration spanning multiple venues across San Francisco—I seized it eagerly.

Stepping into the hallowed halls of Bottom of the Hill, I sensed immediately that I was in for an extraordinary evening. The ambiance, the illumination, the palpable aura of musical history enveloped me from the moment I crossed the threshold. Renowned by none other than Rolling Stone as “the best place to hear live music in San Francisco,” this venue was the perfect setting for the musical journey ahead. 

To recap, I found myself entering one of the city’s premier live music venues to experience the captivating sounds of a band that had captured my soul as the finest opening act of the entire previous year—courtesy of a longstanding, revered independent music festival with a three-decade legacy. It was an occurrence that defied expectation, a convergence of musical excellence and serendipity that left me awestruck.

And New Diplomat did not disappoint. The trio is as unique as their sound and after a few “off the record” jokes, the guys took the stage. Their performance was a testament to their individuality as artists, each member contributing to a sonic tapestry that enraptured the audience. Amidst the shared camaraderie and pulsating energy of the venue, I couldn’t help but contemplate the sheer improbability of three musicians from disparate corners of the globe finding one another, uniting their talents, and crafting a sound that resonates so deeply with a room full of music enthusiasts. What were the chances? How fortunate are we to bear witness to such creative beauty? These questions lingered in my mind long after the final note had faded into the night.

In subsequent conversations, I discovered that Paolo Von Giordano (bass, guitar) hails from Italy, while Horacio O’Brien Ferres (lead vocals, producer) calls Uruguay home. Meanwhile, Mikey Rhinehart (the drummer) is a product of Napa, California. Their paths converged several years prior, with Paolo and Horacio initially pursuing separate musical endeavors before recognizing the symbiotic potential of their collaboration. After a little while and a few drummer changes, Mikey took on the role having already solidified himself in the Bay Area music scene. Collectively, their vision began to take shape, culminating in the mesmerizing performance that had enraptured me that unforgettable evening.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the landscape of music genres is undergoing a transformation. Boundaries are blurring, genres are melding, and the pace of adaptation surpasses our ability to neatly categorize. It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s chaotic – just as art should be.

New Diplomat stands as a vanguard amidst this evolution.

Drawing inspiration from a diverse array of influences, spanning from Bob Moses to LCD Soundsystem to Tame Impala, their musical repertoire defies classification (their innovative rendition of Harry Styles‘ “As It Was,” serves as a testament to that)

On this final note, I implore you to let the harmonious echoes of New Diplomat be a melodic testament to the boundless creativity in the ever-evolving realm of music. Their unique fusion, drawn from diverse influences and embodied in captivating notes, not only challenges genre constraints but also mirrors the rich cultural tapestry foundational to San Francisco. Embark on a musical odyssey with the enthralling sounds of this extraordinary trio, recognizing that art’s beauty lies in transcending boundaries and embracing the wonderful, chaotic evolution of creative expression. Join the ranks of witnesses to the serendipitous convergence of Paolo , Horacio, and Mikey—musicians who found each other against all odds to craft a sonic masterpiece resonating deeply with every note. Explore the captivating soundscape of New Diplomat, becoming an active participant in the ongoing narrative of musical innovation and inspiration.

Artist Links: Website | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook

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