Concert Guy Picks: At Long Last, Concerts and Festivals Return To Southern California

The Marias and their light jazzy Lat-Am sound have crossover appeal - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
The Marias and their light jazzy Lat-Am sound have crossover appeal - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

By THE CONCERT GUY

Concerts and festivals are back and, as I expected, a lot of great shows and events have been announced ranging from Jane’s Addiction and Cage The Elephant at BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach, to The Marias and Father John Misty at The Ford Theatre.

Beach Life Festival (Redondo Beach):  The official Line-up has been announced.  My guesses last week were mostly correct.  Instead of Perry Ferrell solo, were getting all of Jane’s Addiction; Instead of Colin Hay solo, we’re getting all of Men At Work; and in addition to Ziggy, we’re getting Stephen Marley.  Friday September 10 Jane’s Addiction’s co-headliner is Cage the Elephant along with The Revivalists and Silversun Pickup and a blurred name of a band probably contractually obligated to remain anonymous due to a competing festival (Probably Outside Lands in August).  Saturday, September 11 Counting Crows tops the marquee, joined by bands like The Wallflowers, The English Beat and The Aquadolls. Sunday, September 12 The Marleys are joined by Gary Clark Jr., Thievery Corporation, G Love, etc.

  • The Coach House (San Juan Capistrano): Jack White’s Third Man record label produces Pokey LaFarge.  If that means nothing to you, skip his Sunday, June 20 performance because you probably won’t appreciate it.  And Florence LaRue is the only original member of The Fifth Dimension, but on Sunday, August 29 you can hear her bring one of the most impressive catalogs of 60s pop music to The Coach House.
  • Five Points (Irvine): Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams and the rest are at Five Points on Saturday, October 16.
  • The Ford Theatre (Los Angeles): The new season has been announced with some Free shows for frontline workers, including The Marias and Father John Misty. But Friday, September 3 is the return of the great Patti Smith with her son Jackson and her longtime bass player Tony Shanahan.  Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18 you get two more chances to see Faux Flamenco Metalheads Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
  • The Forum (Los Angeles):  I had the chance to see Billie Eilish a couple years ago right before she blew up.  It was a decent festival set.  But now that she’s turned into a pop phenomenon, I’ll pass on her arena shows.  But if you have kids that want to drag you out to a concert next year, you could do a lot worse.  She’ll have 3 nights at The Forum (Wednesday April 6, Friday April 8 and Saturday April 9, 2022).
  • The Glass House (Pomona): Two great shows were added this week. Dr Strange Records is celebrating 30 years on Friday, October 22 with headlinerVoodoo Glow Skulls, joined by D.I., D.F.L., Left Alone, Thee Azmatics andLos Kung Fu Monkeys.  And two of my favorite bands Together Pangea and The Paranoyds are joined by Sad Park, Reckling and Death Lens on Saturday, November 20 with proceeds going to the Border Angels Foundation.
  • The Greek (Los Angeles): On Saturday, September 11 you can catch Prince’s buddy Morris Day & The Time, along with Cameo, The S.O.S. Band, The Bar Kays, The original Lakeside, Club Nouveau and Yarborough & Peoples.  And on Saturday, September 18 is the legendary Smokey Robinson (my son named it his favorite concert that we saw together- over Van Halen, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Foo Fighters, etc.).  As a side note, I know there are fans of Greta Van Fleet and Future Islands out there, but I’m not one of them.  If you’re interested check out the Greek website: https://www.lagreektheatre.com/
St. Vincent at Coachella Donna Balancia
St. Vincent – Photo © Donna Balancia
  • The Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles):  In 2012 I saw St. Vincent with David and she blew me away.  She’ll be joined by Spoon and Mareba here on Friday, September 24Why spend your time watching those other Grateful Dead cover bands when you can see the official one (Dead & Company) on Saturday, October 30.
  • Pacific Amphitheater (Santa Ana):  This calendar wouldn’t exist if not for the band X.  They’re playing with longtime friends Los Lobos and The Blasters on Sunday, August 1.  You might say this will be my 51st X show, but I consider it show the 1st show of my next 50.
  • Pala Casino (Pala):  Since The Ohio Players dates back to 1959, they have had several changes in their lineup, but a few from the “Classic Line-up” of the 70s are still with the band and will appear on Saturday, July 10 at Pala in Pala.
  • Pappy and Harriet’s (Pioneertown): Modest Mouse at Pioneertown on Friday, September 24?  Of course, they sold out instantly.  But as of the time I was putting this calendar together, Drive By Truckers on Saturday, February 12 were still available.
  • The Redwood Bar (Los Angeles): They’re almost back.  They have limited seating for The Blue Shadows, featuring Bill Bateman and John Bazz from The Blasters on Friday, June 4.  But unfortunately all other shows, including Speed of Light on Saturday, June 12 are still livestreaming on Twitch.
  • The Regent Theatre (Los Angeles):  If you’re not up to driving out to Pioneertown and Pappy’s, you can catch The Drive By Truckers on Friday, February 11 at The Regent.
  • Santa Barbara Bowl (Santa Barbara):  Get fooled again by seeing Roger Daltry solo on Friday, August 27 and hope that his voice is well rested after covid (the guy is 77 this year); On Friday, September 16 even if you’re not a John Legend fan, opener The War and Treaty is worth the price of admission; Another chance to see Lord Huron opened up on Tuesday, September 28.
  • Theatre at Ace Hotel (Los Angeles):  Modest Mouse will follow up their Pappy’s show at The Ace on Saturday, September 25.
  • The Tiki Bar (Costa Mesa):  The Mystic Braves are a cool get for the Tiki, playing their retro psychedelic sound on Thursday, August 5.
  • Zebulon (Los Angeles): Another fine band from The Stooges backyard,  The Detroit Cobras are back on Thursday, September 16.