Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’

Glassjaw (FB) performing Two Tabs of Mescaline at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 2, 2013.

The largest Irish festival in Southern California returns this weekend for its 42nd year running. The BIG Irish Fair returns to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm both days, delivering two days’ worth of Irish fun in the sun, filled with many activities, live entertainment, animals, merchandise, vehicles, food, drinks, kids’ activities, games, and much more. Just to name a few of the things guests will experience at the Irish Fair:

  • Spectate thousands of Irish dancers participating in numerous competitions at the various stages at the far end of the festival.
  • Listen and dance to dozens of live Celtic bands, including the Irish Ska Pirate band California Celts.
  • Watch marching bands compete for best in show, with plenty of bagpipes to go around.
  • Pet lots of animals from Ireland, such as sheep, border collies, and more.
  • Gasp in amazement at the athletic feats of the sports competitions in the far field across from the entrance.
  • Stroll through reenactments of older times in the countryside of Ireland.
  • Cheer for all the participating individuals in the grand parade, including the Rose of Tralee.
  • Peer at the Irish vehicles, including real DeLoreans like the one from Back To The Future.
  • Taste the Irish culture with authentic Irish food, such as bangers.
  • Peruse through the various merchandise vendors, selling lots of Irish souvenirs and memorabilia.

The BIG Irish Fair will contain plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family. The festivities run from 10am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. General admission presale costs $15 per adult per day, while a 2-day adult admission costs $25. Seniors and students can enter for $13 each. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Admission will increase by $3 when purchasing at the gate. Parking will range from $5 to $10. This festival takes place entirely outdoors, so dress appropriately for hot weather, and apply sunscreen prior to leaving home. The venue does not allow attendees to bring chairs, coolers, canopies, or any other large camping item; however, the park will provide more than enough tables and benches in the shaded areas. If you plan to purchase anything, bring cash, as the vendors cannot accept cards.

Returning to the Anaheim GardenWalk for its 22nd year, the Taste of Anaheim took off last Thursday evening. This annual event covers most of the northern portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests could enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. Due to the House of Blues relocating from Downtown Disney to here, all of the walkways leading to it had to remain open to the public, so the space normally taken up by the Taste of Anaheim went away. As a result, the Taste of Anaheim had to condense the participating businesses into less space for this year’s event. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees received admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees could sample all the food they could handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more.

After browsing through all the participating businesses at Taste of Anaheim, one could almost call this a Taste of Disney & Friends, as Disney generally takes up most of the space. Can a city continue to live under a notion that one business entity represents the entire city? When you have great local establishments like Slater’s 50/50, Noble Ale Works, Anaheim Brewery, The Ranch, and more, why settle to puff the space up with corporate entities that operate only for themselves and not the locals? Sometimes, event planners need to scale back and plan smaller, more intimate events. By hosting a smaller food fest consisting of only local establishments and no corporate entities, visitors can truly receive a taste of the city. For example, if I traveled up to San Francisco for a food fest, I would want to try food from restaurants only found there, not from standard corporate entities like Hooters or Buca Di Beppo. I suppose that if a corporate donates enough money, they can earn a good spot in the food fest, which explains Bubba Gump Shrimp Company’s position at the front of this food fest. Because of this, I always advise visitors to start from the back, since most attendees start from the front, where the corporate vendors usually set up, whereas local vendors set up in the back. Regardless of this all, I still enjoyed my time at the Taste of Anaheim, as I got to try lots of great food and talk to lots of great people. Always stay on the lookout for local businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The 22nd Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

  • Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.
  • A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.
  • Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.
  • While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.
  • Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.
  • Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

The second Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up along Pine Avenue to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste one more time in late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

Glassjaw (FB) performing Tip Your Bartender at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 2, 2013.

For most music fans, if their favorite band or artist rolls into town for a show or performance, they will make an effort to go see that show. Some music acts occur quite often, while others rarely occur in a given area. For example, Social Distortion used to play so many shows in Southern California that local fans started to attend those shows less often. On the other hand, artists not from the west coast would rarely perform in California, so whenever they came into town, fans immediately flocked to see them. In extreme cases, some bands break up or some artists take an indefinite hiatus. So when a band reunites for some more shows, you can bet that fans will want to catch this act one last time until they disappear for good. This sparked the reason for me attending Coachella in 2012 when both At The Drive-In and Refused reunited around the same time. This also sparked the reason for me to jump at the opportunity to see my favorite band back in action after many years of missing them, Thursday.

Legendary post-hardcore band Thursday announced late in 2011 that the band had disbanded, approximately a day after Thrice announced their hiatus on Twitter. Prior to this announcement, I had not seen Thursday live since 2006, so of course my heart sank upon hearing the news. Many years later at the start of 2017, the Thursday Twitter account started to bustle with activity, followed with the announcement of a reunion tour. I acquired my ticket to see them again in Los Angeles, and that show wrapped up last Tuesday night at The Wiltern in Koreatown. This tour will continue onward across the nation, culminating with the end of their tour in New York at the end of this month. What Thursday will do following this tour remains ambiguous, but personally I hope they have a few more tours or shows left until they retire the band for good.

As the banner above indicates, a couple of bands open for Thursday during the tour. From now until the end of the tour, Cities Aviv will open the show. For the show in Los Angeles, we had indie rock band Wax Idols opening, as they opened for shows during the first half of the Thursday tour. UK rock band Basement played second in the show, followed by LA’s own post-hardcore band Touché Amoré, both popular in their own right. While every band had its fair share of fans in the crowd, obviously everyone present awaited the arrival of Thursday to the stage. For that hour and a half, the entire room went ballistic as the nostalgia hit from a band prevalent during much of the teenage and young adult years of all the fans present. Despite an all-ages show, since Thursday had their primetime in the mid-2000’s, most of the audience consisted of fans from the mid-20’s to mid-40’s. Everyone got their hit of nostalgia and got to relive their youthful years during this show. Hopefully this paves the way for other legendary bands to reunite soon and play some shows.

If you plan to party on this weekend a week prior to Easter, make it count by attending the 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday from 12pm to 9pm at its new home of Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival follows up on its previous years’ iterations of a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party, moves it a month earlier, and throws in lots of live music. Dozens of chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will make an appearance here to serve up some delicious gourmet tacos, all conveniently priced at $3 each. Unlike previous years, this year’s event will function more like Cali Uncorked or Ye Scallywag, other festivals from the same organizer. The unlimited beer tasting occurs until 4pm – after that, all attendees will need to pay for drinks. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live music all day. If guests choose to get involved somehow, they will find plenty of outdoor games to partake in, such as glorified Jenga, beanbag toss, and more. If guests simply want to relax, they can locate the cigar lounge and rest with some of the great cigars available. Though this event takes place outdoors, the event organizers will kindly provide free water to all the attendees.

The 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 8th, from 12pm up until 9pm. Guests may enter as soon as 11am, but will only have access to the food section. The gates to all the beer will open at 12pm. General admission costs $70 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $99, starts at 12pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $45 at the door. Read up on some more tips to make the most out of your visit:

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Absolutely nobody under 21 may enter the festival. Do not even think about bringing your kids or pets.
  • Arrive early to secure parking at the venue, since the venue has extremely limited parking. For those planning to arrive a little later, they should park at the Outlets at San Clemente and purchase a shuttle pass for $10.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra $1 bills.
  • Though the venue contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather. Southern California has seen a heat wave recently, and the combination of heat, salty food, and alcohol will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. The music will go on until 9pm, but guests will have to pay for drinks during this time.

Take a look back at last year’s Sabroso Fest for a glimpse at what may go down this Saturday:

The first Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up booths in the East Village Arts District to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste once again in early June and late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

The Dickies (FB) performing Paranoid at the 2013 Long Beach Zombie Walk Music & Arts Festival in Long Beach, CA. Filmed on October 26, 2013.