The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a time warp, filled with general hibernation from the holidays all-around. Yet, despite the odds of staying in, one reggae-rock-alt band managed to sell out a San Diego venue, not once, but TWICE. That’s right, Stick Figure — a band on top of the music scene this year — packed two nights at Solana Beach’s Belly Up Tavern, to the point that just getting in the place was a challenge! The Belly Up is usually a snug place to catch a concert; it’s intimacy is half its charm. Yet, walking up to the building on the first Stick night of December 27th, a line stretched several blocks down the street with Stick Figure fans waiting for doors to open — an enigma that rarely is experienced. The line was INTIMIDATING. As a professional photojournalist, I hopped over to the adjoining restaurant bar to sneak in that way… waiting in line is a fool’s game. I’m glad I did, for the minute the doors opened to the general public, a mad dash to the front of the stage happened, making it seemingly impossible to maneuver the joint long before opening band Iya Terra took the stage.
Woodruff thanked the crowd, declaring how overwhelmed he felt to find that they had sold out that night within four minutes of ticket sales going live.
And, Iya earned every sardined spot in the house, rocking the already sold out attendance in stride! Iya Terra, a more rootsy band than Stick, is made up of very talented boys, entertaining all with dreads waving around as they go. Taking a minor interlude to play “War Pigs” between their originals, Iya Terra delighted both fans of the band and new faces in the crowd. With Stick’s rising fame, the people at the Belly Up that night was divided between lifelong admirers and new fans. You could tell the difference.
With Cocoa the Tour Dog, Scott Woodruff’s canine companion, taking the stage first, the crowd went wild for the rest of the night. The excitement compounded as Stick Figure ran through hit after hit, even inviting horns onto the stage for the first time! They mashed well, without skipping a beat despite the first live ensemble together. Woodruff thanked the crowd, declaring how overwhelmed he felt to find that they had sold out that night within four minutes of ticket sales going live. What a feat. Back again the next night, the Belly Up closed to happy fans exiting and buying last minute merch items. Cheers to Stick Figure in 2020!
Photography by Kristy Rose