A Moment Away From Home
|The Libbey Bowl, photo via iPhone|
Sometimes we get spoiled in Santa Barbara, enjoying life so much in the bubble we don’t necessarily want to go anywhere else. Even when we have really great “escapes” next door. I don’t often think about escaping to Ojai to see great music, but the Ojai Libbey Bowl is definitely worth the fifty minute drive.
Established in the 1950’s, The Libbey Bowl provides that quaint feeling of being “home.” Set amongst a forest of oak trees stands the outdoor stage with a beautiful shell roof in a space that accommodates about 1300 people, including the lawn area. Depending on the event, patrons can bring food and blankets into the venue to picnic on the lawn while enjoying the music. It’s a real comfortable space.
This day’s event was to celebrate the 73rd birthday of Eric Burdon, an Ojai residents and former member of the Animals and War. Pretty much a rock legend. In our very own backyard – or at least our neighbor’s.
|photo by paul dunkley|
But being a true Santa Barbarian, I only made the trek to Ojai (50 minutes!) to see a Santa Barbara treasure - Dishwalla. With original members Rodney Cravens (guitar), Scot Alexander (bass), George Pendergast (drums), and Jim Wood (keyboards) officially touring with new frontman Justin Fox (former frontman of the SB band Tripdavon), Dishwalla proved themselves worthy of sharing the bill with a rock legend.
I had forgotten about Dishwalla, if I had ever thought about them at all. They were big before my time in Santa Barbara so I did not have that connection yet – they were just another 90’s band that had made a cameo once on Charmed. But they are damn good! I had also forgotten how many hits they had: “Counting Blue Cars,” “Charlie Brown’s Parents,” and “Once in a While” to name a few. They even went “full Eagles” according to Fox, as they pulled up seats and played “Every Little Thing” and “Somewhere In The Middle” acoustically, mixing in a little Led Zeppelin’s “All of my Love.” Dishwalla version 2014 was polished and tight, and definitely worth the trek.
Soon the man of the hour was brought out by none other than
|photo by paul dunkley|
Malcolm McDowell, of A Clockwork Orange fame, affectionately calling Eric Burdon a geezer from New Castle. Burdon took the stage and immediately went into “It’s My Life,” successfully emptying the seats of the Libbey Bowl onto the dance floor. One hit after another kept the crowd going – he’s 73 and rocked the house!
It was an unique experience with an icon worthy line-up and a special space to celebrate. I’d say if you get the opportunity, definitely see Dishwalla and definitely make the trek to Ojai to experience music at the Libbey Bowl.