Monday, July 02, 2007

Date Night and a Shameless Plug

We finally got out of the house to spend time somewhere other than at a doctor appointment! Our friend David invited us up to Escondido to check out the "Saturday Backyard" concert series he put together at his church, Community Reformed Church. When Brad and I were dating we attended several concerts at the Redlands Bowl. In fact, Brad proposed to me one night before a performance of The Barber of Seville. Ever since, outdoor concerts (and concerts in general) are something of a very fond memory for us.

When David invited us, we couldn't say no. We packed up a little tote bag with some bottled water, Rice Krispy bars and grapes, grabbed the plaid picnic blanket, our sunglasses and hopped in the car. We arrived early to say hello to David, then headed over to Subway to share a pastrami sandwich for dinner. Mmmmm. (Not every Subway has the pastrami, so it's extra special when we find one that does.)

After dinner we went to the church to stake out our places in the outdoor amphitheater. It was much nicer than I expected. I had envisioned it as something from summer camp--creaky wooden benches in semi-circles around a charred fire pit. This place was nicely done up with
white Christmas lights lining the awning over the stage area. Two high-backed barstools stood centered on a round rug where the musicians would position themselves. As the sun set and the moon rose, the Christmas lights proved a wonderful touch. David said that there was a problem with some of the lights, but honestly, I don't think anyone noticed. The mics were a little hot too, but that was a minimal issue. Overall the sound was well balanced and carried well.

David has drummed up some local talent to showcase their stuff throughout the summer. The
venue is delightfully small and intimate, almost like a coffee house setting. The only thing I found disappointing was that more people weren't in attendance. I sincerely hope that by the end of the summer the size of the audience at least triples.

Here's what David has to say about "Saturday Backyard" on his MySpace page abou
t how it all came to be:

Sometime during my first visits to CRC, I noticed the quaint outdoor amphitheater. As the weeks went by, I had conversations with CRC Senior Pastor John Bales about it. With his blessing, I began talking with local musicians about an idea for a summer concert series. It turns out, they've been searching for just such an environment to perform in.
Brad and I enjoyed the evening together on Saturday night. It wa
s fun to be there to lend our support to David and the artists he invited to play. Since Brad and I are very enthusiastic music hobbyists (well, Brad's a music professional and I'm the hobbyist around our house) we often find ourselves attending things like this. It's always interesting to hear and independent artist and wonder about who their influences are, what their songs are about, and what they might get to do with their music in the future. When the musicians are people we know personally, it's even more exciting to watch their talent develop and have their goals materialize. The guys playing for the July 1 "Saturday Backyard" were Caleb Jude Green, and Ivan Cheong.

Caleb is from Encinitas has some of his music available for download and available for purchase on his MySpace page

Ivan Cheong is an 80's enthusiast and likes to sprinkle his original work with sampling of cover tunes. Saturday night he managed to include a short riff from the "Growing Pains" theme in one of his songs, as well as a Radiohead cover. What's on the horizon for the rest of the "Saturday Backyard" series? The schedule is below along with links and photos of the artists. If you're looking for a relaxing, no fuss event to occupy your time on a Saturday night, please consider stopping by Community Reformed Church in Escondido. It's such a laid back atmosphere and well worth the price of admission (which, by the way is FREE!) Brad and I will be sure to include "Saturday Backyard" in our future summer dates.

Oh, and by the way, it took me upwards of two hours just to construct this blog post with all the photos and links and stuff. You can imagine how much more effort David put into arranging to have these musicians perform, getting some publicity going about "Saturday Backyard," setting up the lights, the sound, and so forth. And let's not forget the musicians themselves, taking time to rehearse, go through sound checks, and ultimately put their best foot forward for a new audience and potential fans. I hope
you'll find time to reward their hard work by coming to check them out at Community Reformed Church, 777 Felicita Avenue, Escondido, CA. If you find a sound you like, please consider supporting them b y purchasing their available audio tracks and CDs.

I hope to see you at the shows!


July 7: Jamie K. Crawford


July 14: Katie Christine

July 21: Rheanna Downey (opener) and Gayle Skidmore and the Eskimo Friends

July 28: Kim Divine

August 4: Brenda Xu

August 11: Lindsey Yung with special guest, Dave's Son

August 18: Josh Damigo of Josh Damigo and the Pickpockets

August 25: Ian Gallagher

September 1: Free Air

September 8: Len Guarzon & Friends

September 15: Matthew Blake

September 22: Jordan Reimer

September 29: The Larson Sisters with Chris Clark

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