Andy McKee Smothers Theater Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 1/10/2014

Pepperdine is a beautiful campus and this is a great theater.   I got kind of lost trying to find this place, but it all worked out. 

Parking is easy.   You can park right next to the venue or  take a shuttle up to the venue from the lower lot. 


There’s not a bad seat in the venue.    It’s a big room with high ceilings and good sound and lighting.  


He had two guitars on the stage and that was about it. 


There were some parents with a baby at the show.   That’s a lucky little kid right there!!!



Andy started his show a little after 8:00 PM.    This was my 3rd time seeing him play.    This was the best since he was the solo headline performer and put in almost two hours of playing. 

His playing style is very unique combination of percussion, technique and creativity.   He slaps, taps, and does all kinds of neat guitar work to achieve his incredible sound.      He plays many great musical styles and often sounds like 2 guitar players and a drummer at the same time all by himself. 

He played his popular original tunes including “Drifting”, “Rylynn”, his  arrangements of 80s songs “Africa”  by Toto and “Everybody Wants To Rules The World” by “Tears For Fears”.     He also played part of “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac as well as performing songs from his upcoming EP.  They sounded fantastic.   His guitars are tunes so differently from song to song.   He even sounds good while he’s tuning up.     He even did guitar picking on one song like normal people would.   It was weird watching him play in a conventional manner for a minute or two.    His bass lines and low playing on the new tunes were really cool. 

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His jokes and stories in between songs were entertaining.   He talked of touring with Dream Theater and told funny stories about his time touring with Prince.   He has a cool sense of humor.    Andy posted a video of himself playing a Dream Theater song on electric.  It was awesome.   I’d like to see him open for himself playing electric guitar in a hard rock band.  


There was a driver’s license /sobriety checkpoint on PCH on the way out.  As the police officer was checking my license, he said that several people in the cars in front of me were also leaving the concert.  The police officer asked me what concert it was.    He didn’t know who Andy McKee was.      He asked me what kind of guitarist he was.  I told him he was a mostly finger-style guitarist with hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. .    He even made a comment that YouTube makes people into stars these takes He was impressed.   He said that  I clearly hadn’t been drinking and I told him that the on campus  venue doesn’t even serve alcohol.   I said that he’s so good in concert that people don’t really need alcohol to enjoy his show.  Ha ha.     By the time he waved me through at the end our conversation, he seemed rather interested in Andy McKee.  Maybe he went home and watched some of Andy’s YouTube vids.



By Concertologist

California Rock News and Heavy Metal Hill

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