Chicken Wire scratched our way onto the San Diego scene in 2013, with the goal of distinguishing ourselves from the stagnation we saw in the area’s venues. Each time we’d show up to enjoy a night of music we found every band playing the same set list every night! It was as if only 60-70 songs existed to the complete exclusion of literally 1000s of popular ones that remind us of special moments in our lives. We knew we had hit on a winning formula: tap into that bottomless well of neglected musical memories and drag them into the light again! And here’s our resulting list of songs as proof of how far and wide our diversity takes us and our audiences
Once we started playing out we knew it was working. At each gig we have audience members — including owners, bartenders, bouncers, servers, even food truck vendors! — stop us and relate how unique we are. If we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard “We were passing by and decided to check you out for a song or two and stayed all night!” and “You don’t just play the songs, you sound like each band you cover!” and “Wow! we haven’t heard (insert name of song no one in San Diego plays, including radio) in ages. You guys rock! ” and “You played for 4 hours and didn’t play (insert name of overplayed song here)!”… well, we’d have a lot of nickels! 😀
Ok, so this is all talk and anyone can talk, amiright? Well, here’s the receipts. We are *THE ONLY BAND IN SAN DIEGO* that:
— *authentically* covers songs from the 50s – 2010s. Some bands claim to cover multiple decades, even the 50s, but when you look at their list it’s one song from that time period and played as an 80s-style hairband cover 😀 just like everything else they cover. Not us! In fact, we even have a stand-up bass to fit the 50s era sound!
— looks for new opportunities to expand the genres they cover. Our ability to spread out across multiple musical and vocal ranges and styles allows us to showcase rock, alternative, pop, oldies, country, R&B, new wave, metal and hard rock, soul, and more! And that list is always growing because we’re all about changing up our sound during shows. After all, who wants to hear the exact same vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard style/sound for 3-4 hours?
— can say that if you attend a show today and again in 2-3 months, you’ll be treated to a very different experience! Most bands add a few songs each year. We average 1-2 new songs each month! If you check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds we’re regularly posting about our new additions
— plays requests as a regular part of our show. We’ve been doing this for more than 5 years and we’ve seen some bands start to jump on the bandwagon but we’re the only ones who place our entire catalog out for the audience to select from. Venue staff and audiences routinely tell us how impressed they are and how we’re the only band they’ve seen do this. Often, we wind up playing entirely from requests shouted from the dance floor!
— breaks the fourth wall at every show. We love to get out and mingle with crowd! Our founder, Curtis, does the same with his guitar. We’re nothing without our audience and we’re delighted to expand the participation on a personal level. The audience, bartenders, servers, and venue owners all comment on how much they love seeing us engage like this and how unique we are… and we’ve been doing it for years!
Our formula is obviously working due to “the sincerest form of flattery” aka, imitation. Since we started broadcasting how diverse and unique our set list is, we’ve noticed others begin to do the same. We’ve seen posts, event notices, even show posters with exact phrasing lifted from our own… right down to the way we advertise the bands and styles we cover “and more!” 😀 We have to say we are both proud and flattered! As any regular concert-goer will attest to, the San Diego scene could use a good shake-up and we’re more than happy to lead the way
As we’ve said so many times there are 1000s of songs out there and none of us wrote or own them. We’ve always had the inclination to spread out and give audiences a reason to be excited to come see us. We’re supremely grateful to have the opportunity to share our vision, and watch our audiences smile and participate in whatever way they see fit. Some dance, some bounce in their seats, some just sit and smile. It’s all good, we’re all about having something for everyone, not just the dancers. Come to a show, say “hola” (we’re bilingual chickens!), and tell us you made it this far. We’ll have something special for you. See you soon!!