San Diego is mostly known for laid-back surfer attitude and for being second fiddle to Los Angeles. However, this city down south is still part of the SoCal music scene and is willing to show they are worth the visit. Nearly nine years after its opening, SOMA still packs in teens and twenty-somethings from all around California.
This legendary venue caters to an eclectic mix of music fanatics – feeding the masses spoonfuls of bands such as 30 Seconds to Mars, 311, Stamps, Best Coast and even recent OC Music Award Nominee The Adolescents. SOMA even played the part of stepping-stone for Blink 182, as the band first gained a following at this SoCal venue. Although their long list of acts establishes the fact that they are worthy of being called decent hosts, SOMA proves that you do not need to be 21 to get in.
Holding up to 2,300 occupants in their main hall alone, SOMA distinguishes itself from its competitors by promoting a safe environment and deciding not to serve alcohol. Longtime attendant, Ailene Tineo, says, “SOMA is the spirit of the youth.” Being that this venue is all ages, it provides nostalgia for those revisiting memories of their teen years. However, it is not just fans that come back for the entertainment. Bands, too, choose to share their talent by repeatedly returning to perform at SOMA.
Its raw, stripped-down and grungy fervor are indicators of its patrons’ attitudes. General admission seating provides advantages for fans and musicians alike, as it allows for intimate shows even with larger crowds. First time visitor, Anthony Moreno, states, “It screams, ‘This is who we are.’” SOMA’s graffiti and sticker-infested walls not only resemble the sanctuary of CBGB, but its unapologetic atmosphere does not look to replace or imitate. They’re choosing to pay homage to their predecessors.
Whether it is seasoned veterans or first timers, SOMA thrives on support from the community. They gladly support several local organizations, including those helping to combat youth homelessness and those that focus on at-risk kids. Through every ticket purchase made, SOMA looks to humbly return the favor. Visitors can leave at the end of the show feeling sincerely accomplished, having supported local music and community charities.
3350 Sports Arena Blvd Suit 1
San Diego, CA 92110