Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Backyard BBQ

May 2010

It doesn’t happen very often; maybe this will set a trend. I hope so because this weekend was one of the best pick-me-ups i’ve had in a while. The Backyard BBQ hosted by Journey’s was just killer lovely. In this economic crush, it was so welcome to go to a completely FREE – and very cool – event. Those two don’t usually go hand-in-hand. Generally you get crap for free and pay through the nose for real talent. Not this weekend. Saturday rocked. Hello Sacramento and event organizers – T-H-A-N-K- Y-O-U!!!

Journey’s hosted a Backyard BBQ Tour with some great talent – BMXers, skaters, some rad FMX boys, and the sweet tunes of rockin’ bands – simply fantastic. To get the negative heads out of the way – yeah not everything was bliss. The parking was confusing. It took an hour to park and would have taken longer if i had not turned around and parked down the street in an undeveloped lot. There weren’t enough “blue rooms” – either that or they were darn well hidden. I ended up going into the mall and using the facilities there. Maybe that’s what the event organizers wanted – get people in to buy stuff. Then the title to the event was based on the laid-back, down-home goodness of the word BBQ. I didn’t see a food vendor unless you count Rock Star as a food group. But honestly, i wasn’t coming for food anyway. Food at events tends to become a smelly mess. I was fine without the food – i just thought it odd for an event named BBQ.

I’m not going to pretend i knew the BMX, skate, or FMXers. But talent is talent and damn hard to miss. And it was a fine display all around. Skaters – Rob Dyrdek (check out his “Journey Across the Internet” at robsjourney.dcshoes.com), and Chaz Ortiz. BMX talents like Dave Mirra and Chris Doyle. FMXers – i have no idea. I couldn’t find a listing of players on the official site. The sponsor, Metal Mulisha, has a great site but doesn’t list who’s doing what event. Maybe because they don’t know till the event. Whatever. I had a blast watching; i’m particularly attracted to “sports” that developed out of the primal need for fun. The guys turned, twisted, flipped, and levitated boards and bikes alike. Sweet.

Then there was the music. Awesomeness. The event organizers wisely kept the tunes coming – whether live or not – it was head-banging, heel-stomping, thrust-your-fist-in-the-air good times. If i had been driving a car i would have broken the law numerous times. High energy was flowing. I had arrived at the event later in the day and only saw two of the five bands that played. All are CA based, and FFG, A Lover’s Plea, and Hero’s Mission are local to the Sac Valley area. I was sorry to miss Hero as i really dig their sound. But i got the opportunity to hear the opener, Fight Fair, who made me smile with their head-banging rock. And it was obvious from the numerous young girls who thronged to the front, they felt equally pleased – though certainly for different reasons than mine!

But the real all-round treat for me – was Switchfoot. They were the main drive for me being here. Not to take away from any of the talent i had seen or heard, but i’ve followed Switchfoot off and on over the last 7 years and they’ve only gotten better. The kicker is that they are an awesome concert band too. Not all bands can pull that off. And they seem genuine. Real. Like family playing a reunion. I have family members who are in bands, so i know that feeling. Switchfoot is like that. To the heart. They smiled easy. Laughed. They were having fun and radiated energy – and the crowd felt it. When Jon Foreman, the lead singer, gave a little talk on Love – i mean really – there’s a subject that can turn cheesy in a blink. But the sincerity behind it hushed the crowd. Everyone listened. Almost gave me goose bumps from the positive energy that powered his words. It was a perfect moment in a perfect day.

So a shout out to Journey’s, sponsors, and event organizers – Thanks for taking a chance during strange times and bringing good times to Sacramento.


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