May 3, through May 6, 2019 were days and nights where I was consumed by amazing talent playing amazing music at the First Annual BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach California. Wow isn’t it great to be in SOCAL? I say 1st annual because of the way the entire production flowed, from logistics to timing of the sets, to the great food (including Jamaican Vegan), to the 100% well-behaved staff and audience. There were designated VIP and ADA areas that afforded great views without all the crowds. There was a captains section for one level above VIP, which included food and beverages. One spectacular idea was the Side Stage Restaurant, which not only gave the attendees a marvelous food experience, but they were also allowed to watch the set from the side of the stage. All this and more guarantees many more BeachLife Festivals in Redondo Beach.
Day one I arrived and was pleased to be able to park within one block of the main stage. There were clear markings on the floor and walls to lead us to the different gates for entry. There were three stages, The Hightide Stage for the main events, a smaller but still significant, Lowtide Stage on the sand, and a third smaller stage in the parking lot. My first memory of the 40 bands is of Bruce Hornsby’s beautiful piano sounds floating through the beach air. I called it a miracle, and it only got better and better as the night rolled on. As The Crow Flies was the next headliner. They really rocked a full house.
The headliner for the evening Bob Weir & Wolf Bros followed. Their set brought the house down and at the end, Chris Robinson joined Bob to sing Not Fade Away, that’ll never happen again. I loved it!
Day 2 began with Terri Nunn and Berlin knocking everyone’s socks off. Terri actually sat on her road manager’s shoulders and came out shaking hands with the audience. Great fun. Thanks Terri. Chevy Metal, Violent Femmes, Sugar Ray and more were just the appetizer for the main course, Brian Wilson and his Pet Sounds. The set was terribly nostalgic in a very positive way. Lots of fun and great memories. Thanks Brian.
Day 3 exceeded my wildest expectations with 4 supersets back to back. First Blues Traveler, then Grace Potter, who was beyond amazing, followed by Ziggy Marley and then one last set by an unbelievably energetic 86 year old man, Willie Nelson and Family. His family that performed with him is his younger sister and one of his sons. Willie is perhaps one of the best acoustic guitar players in the country if not the world. I loved his set and fell in love with his voice, guitar playing and songwriting skills, and mostly his “young attitude”.
As a regular music festival attendee, this is rated right up there with the best. Kudos to all the attendees, the musicians, the production company and their crew. It was an event that was easy and fun to attend. Bring your children and they can play in the sand while you rock out.
All in all the BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach, CA is already on my calendar for 2020.
See you all there.