Ventura Music Scene 7/26/23 – 8/8/23

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
Pam@VenturaRocks.comartworkI’m happy to report Ventura survived the X Games. You’d think by some of the social media posts that the city was going to be shut down with gridlock and overtaken by outsiders. The traffic was no worse than it is for the fair (which opens August 2), in fact, it was better. Great traffic control and I was amongst those who chose to ride their bikes. Though the “live music” turned out to be DJs (not live in my book), I loved watching the competitions, and well…just being a part of this fantastic event! Plus, Tony Hawk was hanging out after the event downtown. Well done, Ventura!!

Now they’ll be tearing down all that was built up for the X Games, and the Ventura County Fair will run August 2 – 13 with eight free concerts: Midland, Patti Labelle, Collective Soul, Ashanti, Dia de la Familia, Trace Adkins, 38 Special and Tesla. Of course, outside the grandstand arena, live music abounds on a couple of different stages featuring lots of your favorite local bands including Shaky Feelin’, Operation 90s, Sean Wiggins & Lone Goat, and more.

Ventura Music Hall has added a number of shows several of which piqued my interest. First off, Keanu Reeves is back at it and touring with Dogstar making a stop here in town on Saturday, August 26 (already sold out!) with what is being called the “Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees” tour which is the name of their next release which lands on all platforms October 6. Next on my personal list, The Struts on December 6, and then Black Flag on January 14. It’s interesting that past Black Flag lead singer, Henry Rollins, will be there November 7 with a “Good to See You” spoken-word sit-down show.

Harbor View Park 2023 Concerts by the Sea series continues with shows 4-6 pm on Saturday afternoons. Nautical Thrust plays July 29 and Ray Jaurique and the Uptown Brothers on August 5. This one is located at 3850 Harbor Blvd. in Oxnard, where you’re welcomed to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs.

The Grape continues to bring stellar jazz musicians to town. Earlier this month Poncho Sanchez played two sold out shows. Coming up soon they have Max Haymer who has won 2nd place at the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition and the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville Florida.  Ronnie Foster returns with a promoting is first record in 36 years; you’ve most likely heard his soulful playing, whether from his standout performance on “Summer Soft” from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 masterwork Songs In The Key Of Life, best-selling George Benson albums including Breezin’, or A Tribe Called Quest’s classic hip-hop track “Electric Relaxation.”  And no stranger to Grape patrons, Doug Webb returns with Danny Carey of Tool for a special Sunday evening performance on August 6.

Quick Notes: Perla Batalla plays a sold out show at the Ojai Underground on Friday, July 28; Andrew DeVries plays Surfers Point Café on Saturday July 29; Dreamland, a celebration of Joni Mitchell featuring Kimberly Ford will be at the Grape on July 29. Libbey Bowl concerts include Which One’s Pink on Saturday, August 5, and Chris Isaak on Sunday, August 7; Friday evening Heritage Square Summer Concert Series continues with Los Xiquenos on July 28 and The Reunion on August 7; Rey Fresco plays the Deer Lodge on Saturday, August 5; the Saturday evening Music Under the Stars at the Historic Olivas Adobe will host the K-Tell All-Stars on July 29, and Louie Cruz Beltran on August 5; and the Red Hot Cholo Peppers play Copper Blues on Saturday, August 5.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Music Scene 7/12/23 – 7/25/23

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

I’m super excited to catch the X Games at the Ventura County Fairgrounds over the weekend of Friday July 21 through Sunday, July 23, I secured tickets as soon as they went on sale. I’ve read there will be live music entertainment, what if any remains to be seen, but of course the main show will the skateboard, BMX and Moto X competitions.

Having lost their location at the Fairgrounds due to the X Games setting up for the show, Tequila and Tacos Music Festival will be held at the Ventura State Beach this year with more traditional music from Ezequiel Pena, Vilma Diaz y la Sonora and Adelaide (tribute to Selena) on Saturday, July 15, then it’s rapper/singer, Flo Rida, headlining with Vilma Diaz y la Sonora, and Upstream on Sunday, July 16.

The Happy Together Tour lands at Libbey Bowl on Thursday, July 13. Along with The Turtles are Little Anthony, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, The Vogues, The Classics IV and The Cowsills. Between all the bands you’re sure to hear some of the best pop tunes from the 60s including “Happy Together,” “Goin’ Out of my Head,” “Young Girl,” “Turn Around Look at Me,” “Spooky,” and “Hair.”

Heritage Days Midsummer Block Party in Old Towne Camarillo runs the weekend of Wednesday, July 12 through Sunday, July 16 with live music (Friday – Sunday). Admission is free, but tickets are required for the carnival rides. Bands scheduled to play include Highway Starr, Todd Stanford Country Band, Hard Six, SkaDaddyz, Shaky Feelin’ and more.

Harbor View Park 2023 Concerts by the Sea series has kicked off with shows 4-6 pm on Saturday afternoons. The Dive Bar Messiahs play July 15, and Psychedelic Summer on July 22 (you’ll want to sport your best hippie attire for that one). Located at 3850 Harbor Blvd. in Oxnard, you’re welcomed to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs.

The Rubicon Theatre has a couple of live music concerts coming up in August. Get tickets now before they sell out. First, it’s Kids for Kids Benefit Concert featuring the music of Burt Bacharach on August 19; this one helps to raise scholarship funds for young people who might not otherwise be able to afford to participate in Rubicon’s education programs. And then it’s “The Platters: Many Voices ONE Name” show with five performances over the weekend of August 25 – 27. You know their hits such as “The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “Harbor Lights,” and more.

Advanced tickets went on sale this week for Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band for two shows on Saturday, September 9, at the Grape. This one is sure to sell out. Goodwin won the 2006 GRAMMY Award for his Instrumental Arrangement of “Incredits” from the Pixar film The Incredibles, along with three Emmy Awards, and thirteen GRAMMY nominations. Click here to secure your tickets.

Quick Notes: “Brit Floyd, Celebrating 50 years of the Dark Side of the Moon,” plays the Ventura Theater on Friday, July 14; Bombay has a special day of live music on Saturday, July 15 with Hol!day, Aaron Orbit, Brian Mikasa, Kyle Edward Hunt, Joey6Strings, and Ardi; the monthly Channel Cities Jazz Club dance event at House of Dance will feature Flattop Tom and the Jump Cats on Sunday, July 16 (1-3:30 pm); and Iam Tongi (Season 21 winner of American Idol) plays two shows at the Ventura Music Hall on Saturday, July 22.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to