Photos + Review: Brooks Nielsen @ Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA)

Brooks Nielsen (Dana Point, CA)
August 13th, 2022
Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA

the growlers seem to live on as founder, Brooks nielsen mesmerizes a packed observatory with a magical first solo performance that leaves you hoping he has way more than one match left in him.

I am not exactly sure what it was that made The Growlers so special. I always knew that they had something unique, something that eluded even the best of words. I have seen them quite a few times, and with every review I tried to write, I found myself at a loss. I searched in vain for words that could even remotely capture the essence of their shows. They were one of those, “you just gotta experience them live,” kinda bands. But also, I think it was a little more than that.

I mean even through their ever-changing band lineup, or their album-to-album musical evolution, they maintained a pure core identity that just loudly and unapologetically stood firm in their ground. They were just The Growlers. But I have to say after seeing tonight’s show, I am not quite sure where The Growlers ended and where Brooks began.

What I thought was the unmatched result of a great collaboration among friends, perhaps was just a well delivered and clear vision of a single beautiful charmer. Tonight, Brooks Nielsen took stage without his beloved Growlers, and no one noticed. Or at least no one seemed to care. He delivered an amazing set that effortlessly navigated through his recently released solo album, One Match Left as well as some of The Growlers’ classic material, and the crowd couldn’t have enough of either.

Fans seemed as familiar with each of his new tracks as old time favorites from The Growlers, singing along pretty much the entire evening. Nielsen surrounded himself with new musicians who delivered that same old cozy and familiar feeling of a perfect summer evening. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a fire pit and the waves.

The evening felt like another passage in his musical journey, one I was more than happy to see. One that sent me home a little bruised up and without any voice left. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.


All That You’ll See is Everything
Sham Rock Rock
Love Test (The Growlers cover)
One Million Lovers (The Growlers cover)
Virgin Lady Luck
Open Up (for Clizz)
Look Down (Fringe of the City)
Lo Siento
One Match Left
Dope on a Rope (The Growlers cover)
Life Ain’t a Riddle
Empty Bones (The Growlers cover)
City Club (The Growlers cover)
Chinese Fountain (The Growlers cover)
Living in a Memory (The Growlers cover)
Oh Melisa
Right Between Your Eyes
Hanging Around (The Stranglers cover)
Rock and Roll with All of You
I’ll Be Around (The Growlers cover)
Rip It Up
(Orange Juice cover)
Long Train
Going Gets Tough (The Growlers cover)
Gay Thoughts (The Growlers cover)
Night Ride (The Growlers cover)
This Old World Was Always Broken

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