What's Up, Chuck?
Festival Wrap 'n' Map--Monterey Live festival celebrates successful debut; recommendations for Blues Festival.
Thursday, June 24, 1999
Hoist whatever you''re drinking, and toast Matt Heimbold and the other guys at the Long Bar who produced last weekend''s Monterey Live rock festival. Although there were times during the day when the crowd seemed to get pretty thin (and mellow to the point of being sleepy), the overall organization and upbeat atmosphere carried the day.
And, while you''re toasting, knock one back for yourself if you were in attendance last weekend. Although the audience numbers weren''t overwhelming (between 2,100 and 2,500 people total), they were big enough to guarantee a second year for Monterey Live. According to Heimbold, attendance peaked during the time Southern Culture on the Skids was on the Main Stage, and Hate Dept. was on the Doc Ricketts'' stage.
"I thought it was a great success," says Heimbold, who was the front man and booking agent for the festival. "I was just thrilled that it worked. From what I''ve heard from people who have a festival experience, it was a very good first year."
Heimbold says he has already reserved Father''s Day weekend in 2000 for the second coming of the festival. He says that, as of right now, the plans are to keep the festival simple, limiting it to one day and allowing it to grow slowly.
Speaking of festivals we have a really big one coming up this weekend with the Monterey Bay Blues Festival. If you don''t already have mainstage tix, you probably aren''t getting them, so let me make a few Garden/President stage recommendations (see schedule, page 33 for times they''re playing and ticket info):
Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will definitely loosen up your dance bones with their jump/swing blues on Friday--and you''ll need to be loosened up if you don''t want to break your booty over the weekend.
Zakiya Hooker and John Lee Hooker, Jr.; their dad headlines the mainstage on Saturday night, but both of his kids have a ton of talent themselves, and you can catch both their shows, which are scheduled back-to-back on the two stages.
It''s been a couple years since guitarist Debbie Davies has been in town. Last we saw of her, she was developing into a real fine guitar slinger--it''ll be interesting to see how things are going.
The Sunday Lineups. Although there''s no real standout on either stage, the schedules are rock solid. Seeing as how a day pass is a piddly $20 and you have 12 hours of nearly non-stop music on two stages, you can''t beat the deal, especially if it''s a sunny day. Show up when you want, leave when--or if--you want.
And don''t forget, the party doesn''t necessarily stop when the music gets quiet at the Fairgrounds. Last year several of the headliners--and a slew of bluesin'' boozers (boozin'' bluesers?)--showed up at Sly McFly''s nightclub on Cannery Row after Sunday''s show. According to owner Jack Barham, he expects more of the same this year. For more info call 649-8050.
If you''re a musician in a band and all this music/festival activity has you spinning in circles wishing you could get in on the act, don''t fret; you have an opportunity. The first Monterey County Fair All-Star Band Competition is accepting entries until July 1. Bands will compete in four categories: blues/jazz, rock ''n'' roll, country, and ethnic/acoustic/other >(there''s a wide-open category for you). Preliminary rounds will be held in local nightclubs, with the finals being held during the fair. For more info, contact Steve Vagnini, 384-2609, or Rebecca Riddell, 646-0351.
And, if you''re a bluegrass lover, don''t forget about guitarist David Grier, who''s playing The Media Room on Wednesday. Grier''s one of those guys who has to plan his itnerary around awards ceremonies--because he''s a perennial winner.
David Grier, Wednesday, 8pm. The Media Room, 372-5641.