You know when you walk into a bar and there's a song you love blasting, and it literally makes your butt go rogue, swaying and gyrating on its own, to the point that you don't even stop to order a drink? You head straight to the dance floor to shake that demon out. That's what it's like at Whistle Stop Bar's Soul Stompin' First Fridays. It's Reefer Madness for folks who love '60s-era soul.
CityBeat's Seth Combs recently wrote that San Diego is suffering from a severe drought of good soul music. As someone who's shimmied on a few go-go podiums in her day, I feel the pain. So, it's not surprising that Soul Stompin' is becoming a monthly go-to for the papas who've got a brand new bag and ladies whose hips are all “tell mama what you need.”
Walking into the Whistle Stop on this night is like entering the secret party barn from Dirty Dancing, only you don't have to carry a water melon to get in. It's loud and a bit sweaty, and people are losing their shit to classic soul and Motown stompers like “Twenty-Five Miles” and “Something's Got a Hold on Me,” all played with gusto by The Amandas (who feature our columnist D.A. Kolodenko on drums).
The band is decked out in vintage suits while frontwoman Amanda Suter throws back her sky-high, fire-engine-red bouffant and struts through each song like she's double daring you not to move your feet. Spoiler: No one takes the dare. Well, no one but the chronic smokers who might as well rent a space in the Whistle Stop's smokers alley. If there were a piss bucket and a whiskey dispenser in there, they'd never see the rest of the bar.
When The Amandas aren't jamming out the '60s goodness, DJ Claire is spinning it. Those combined musical forces are lethal to your leg muscles, but damn if it's not worth it.