Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
Pam@VenturaRocks.comI’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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.