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As my roommate and I drove through Highway 17, knots of excitement and adrenaline started to arise. It was February 19th, Sunday night and no matter what we had the next day nothing would stand in our way of seeing No Vacation at the Catalyst. 

Photo Credit: Genius

As we entered to the right, it was a smaller, intimate room where we got a close view of the stage. Wabie opened the show and played an upbeat rendition of the original song “Hey Lover.” I haven’t heard Wabie’s music before and am happy to have been exposed to his artistry live. He also played music from his most recent album Double Superfine (2022), which has a dream-pop sound I enjoyed.

As the lights shifted to fluorescent blue, anticipation rose within me as No Vacation came onto stage and started to play “Estranger,” with a soft melody and nostalgic message. One of the things that I love about music is when I can’t express my thoughts, I can rely on music to do just that. No Vacation has a timeless discography that discusses love, the past, and changing as we get older, which are all topics I can relate to and songs I consistently keep in my music rotation. 

I got the chance to meet the members of No Vacation after the concert and it felt like we were friends as we talked about the show, how I won tickets from the SJSU radio station KSJS, and about living in the Bay Area. When speaking with Harrison Spencer, he said he enjoys playing music with his band and encouraged my roommate and I to learn how to play bass. I have always wanted to venture into music but never made the time, so hearing support from a musician I listen to was motivation for me to pursue my interest this summer. 

Overall, I had a great night listening to a band I admire and nothing compares to hearing my favorite song “I Will Always” live. Furthermore, I appreciate how No Vacation builds a community through their love for music and genuinely connects with their listeners. As a fan, it’s nice that I can support local artists, like No Vacation who started in SF, and see them reach audiences beyond where we live. To other fans of No Vacation, I recommend waiting after the show for an opportunity to meet them and joining their discord to be a part of their online community!

Written by Elisa Ramos

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your review of the No Vacation performance at the Catalyst. I’m about to see a show there soon and your description of the venue’s atmosphere has me anticipating an amazing experience. Two things that stood out to me about your review were the intimate setting and the band’s ability to connect with their audience. It sounds like the smaller room created an up-close and personal experience, which is not always the case at concerts. Additionally, your description of the band’s interaction with you and your roommate after the show shows that they truly value their fans and enjoy connecting with them on a personal level that you might not get at any other venue.

  2. There’s no better feeling than getting to see your favorite artists or bands perform live. I too get that euphoric feeling of being able to listen to a favorite song in person. It’s great that you were able to meet them as well, and have a personal talk about things outside of their shows.

  3. Thanks for your insightful review Elisa! I am vaguely familiar with No Vacation but have not actually taken the time to listen to their discography thoroughly. Reading your experience of how welcoming and kind the members of the band were is super inspiring. Always gotta love it when a cool band has cool members too. This definitely has encouraged me to give them a try. Especially since I’m personally inclined to support local bands with positive energy.

  4. Two things that stood out to me in this amazing and informative blog post was the intro and the amount of personal presentments in it. The hook of the first paragraph was good because it demonstrated how excited Elisa was about the concert. She also was able to include a good amount of personal anecdotes in it, which made it more fun, more interesting, and more personal!

  5. I adore the fact that Harrison Spencer encouraged you to start playing bass, they all seem like great people! Meeting and speaking to musicians from the Bay Area is always a great experience! In my experience they are always very down to earth and open to conversations, which is the type of people we always need in the community.

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