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San Diego’s Top Weekend Events: Two Alternative Giants And A Pop Star

UK sensation Sam Smith sings “Stay With Me” and others from his debut.

Credit: Courtesy of Scott Newton for KLRU

Above: UK sensation Sam Smith sings “Stay With Me” and others from his debut.

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This Labor Day weekend brings two giants of alternative rock, one from Mexico City and another from Chicago, plus, a concert by current radio giant Sam Smith.

Sam Smith with Beth Ditto


Sam Smith is a radio-friendly pop/soul artist known for the hit "Stay With Me." The British artist grew up singing in choirs and admiring musicians like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.

Smith's debut album was released in 2014 and it earned four Grammys. He's beloved for writing earnest love songs and even more heart-wrenching breakup anthems.

Opening the show is Beth Ditto, former frontwoman of the punk band The Gossip.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District. $31 to $121; find tickets to Sam Smith.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Cafe Tacvba

A promotional poster for the band Cafe Tacvba.

Café Tacvba


The Del Mar Summer Concert series comes to a close this weekend with one of Mexico’s greatest alternative rock bands, Café Tacvba.

The innovative group blends Mexican folk music with punk rock and electronica. Together since 1989, Café Tacvba was a Rock en Español band that managed to cross over into the U.S. and play festivals, including Coachella.

The band will perform after the final horse race on Friday. Tickets are free with racetrack admission. Also performing this weekend at the race track will be Slightly Stoopid on Saturday and Ice Cube on Sunday.

Don’t forget, these shows are only for audiences over 18 years old.

Details: After the last race on Friday (around 8 p.m.). Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. Free with race admission or $30 after the races; Find tickets to Cafe Tacvba.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist

A 2018 promotional photo of The Smashing Pumpkins.

Smashing Pumpkins


The Smashing Pumpkins, one of the seminal bands from the 1990s alternative rock scene, celebrates its 30th anniversary with a reunion concert.

Most of the original lineup — Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha — will be performing music from the group's first five records: "Gish," "Siamese Dream," "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," "Adore" and "Machina/The Machines of God."

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday. Viejas Arena, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, SDSU. $53 to $565; find tickets to the Smashing Pumpkins.


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