Corey Harper & Julia Michales @ House of Blues in San Diego, CA
Review & photography by Doug Krantz
Julia Michaels’ brought her Inner Monologue Tour to the House of Blues in San Diego for a sold-out night of outstanding live pop music. Julia is currently opening for P!nk on her Beautiful Trauma World Tour, but this night was Julia’s time to shine as a headliner. Corey Harper started the evening off with his unique blend of pop and rock, which had a folk sensibility to it with Corey playing his songs on just a guitar. He had us totally invested in his set, including his latest single “Don’t Hate Me,” with genuine crowd interaction and exchanges in between his songs. He made sure to get us pumped up for Julia, asking if we were excited to see her, and sharing a quick anecdote about how he was happy to be performing on this tour because Julia was one of his best friends. Before leaving the stage, Corey had the house lights turned up and took a selfie with all of us there watching his set.
Prior to Julia’s set, a banner was put up at the front of the stage letting people know that her show was a “JUDGMENT FREE ZONE” but encouraged “SINGING, DANCING, JUMPING, FEELING, LAUGHING.” It was an early precursor to the upbeat, positive tone that would envelop the entire night. Julia’s stage was adorned with inflatable flowers and a massive backdrop to match. Bounding onto the stage backed by her four-piece band, it was clear that the “LAUGHING” part of her sign was going to ring very true as Julia was all smiles. She opened her show with ‘Nervous System’ cut “Pink,” which had even more flavor and spice hearing it live and got every person in the room moving along to the beat.
It’s clear that Julia’s songwriting and knack for interpreting honest, real, relatable emotions in her songs completely translates to the stage. Her band seems like her family and her energy radiated positivity and gratitude from start to finish, even during some of her more somber songs. Early in her set after one-two-three-four-punch of upbeat songs, she talked to the crowd about seeing other artist’s notes backstage that have played there, and how exciting it was to be able to leave one of her own because “we sold this place the fuck out!,” she exclaimed as we all cheered on.
An early highlight was her collaboration with Clean Bandit, “I Miss You,” which elicited one of the loudest reactions of the night, as one of Julia’s band members donned a drum kit and made us feel like we were watching an emotional jam session on the stage. Julia’s energy never wavered as she bounced from one side of the stage to the other, making all of us feel like we were just hanging out with her rather than watching her perform.
Other highlights included “Worst in Me,” when Julia asked all of us to shine our cell phone lights, which made the ‘Nervous System’ cut feel like a dreamy moment in time. New tracks off of ‘Inner Monologue Part 1’ are clearly resonating with people of all ages because all of us there seemed to really have an emotional response to tracks like “Anxiety” and “What a Time,” another song that garnered a huge reaction. An unexpected CeeLo Green cover made for a very fun sing along, and of course no Julia Michaels’ concert would be complete without “Issues,” which definitely had all of us giving back everything we had when Julia said “Yea, I got issues,” we all replied earnestly: “AND ONE OF THEM IS HOW BAD I NEED YOU!”
It’s clear that Julia Michaels is going places, and it’s no wonder that her Inner Monologue Tour has been extended into the fall. You can follow Julia Michaels at:
As well as follow Corey Harper at: