One of the first industries to fall dark last year, and the most recent industry to reopen in Southern California has been live music. It’s been fifteen months without a concert in sight. Although an increasing number of artists did live-streamed shows, it wasn’t a replacement for a live concert. The energy of the crowd reciprocated by the artists and feeding back and forth is impossible to mimic with technology.
The Silverado Showdown opened its gates at noon on Saturday, May 15, and the weather was perfect. Presumably better than a high school reunion (not that I’ve ever been to one of mine), seeing so many familiar faces, giving hugs, and making friends, made us all feel alive again!
The opening act kicked things off at 12:30, beginning with Greg Antista and The Lonely Streets , a groovy rock ‘n’ roll quartet hailing from Southern California. Lead singer Greg shared a few words of honest reflection with me before hitting the stage, “it’s not always the best thing in the world to open, but playing the first chords of a new era I’m pretty excited. This is the first festival in Southern California. It’s wonderful to be back again!” These guys are a great live act, and their performance was the fix I needed. Their tunes are catchy, and I even got a cd of theirs at the merch booth.
Next up was The Reckless Ones, a three-piece modern rockabilly band that played a good set, and Dave Elliott of Lowlife Soundsystem was on fire with his 45’s, playing Gang War & X on the turntable in between sets. The Delta Bombers of Las Vegas, Nevada followed up and they absolutely blew me away. Native Texan Jesse Dayton spoke on the mic about his contributions to country musicians including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, as well as his collaborations with horror film director Rob Zombie. From the Salton Sea, an OC favorite, Throw Rag stole the show, and I would have liked to have seen them on stage for more time. Sean Wheeler gave some heartfelt commentary about being 24 years sober as of that very day. And finally, without hesitation, Nekromantix took the stage and proceeded to kick ass. Of particular resonance for me was their hit, “Gargoyles Over Copenhagen.” So refreshed to experience live entertainment yet again and more to come this Summer!