Upon gaining entrance, the Senora and I started to get a lay of the land and headed to the Zarabanda Stage, isolated from the other four stages at Street Scene, where Carney, a good-sounding, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll quartet performed. Even nearing five in the afternoon, the downtown streets of San Diego were hot, making a shade a prized commodity. We decided to get beer and learned the powers that be unfortunately decided to forgo the traditional ID bracelet for age-appropriate alcohol drinkers. Instead, we had to deal with the annoyance of taking out our driver’s licenses every time we wanted to grab a beer.
With so many other bands playing at the same time, we determined we had maxed our pleasure potential considering we didn’t know any of the band’s material. As we walked away from the stage, Carney announced they were going to cover The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” which turned me right around. The band nailed the smoldering intensity, and just like the original version, I was disappointed it had to end.
Over at the small Casbah Stage, we came upon Extra Golden. They appeared to be delivering some nice, laid back Afro-reggae rhythms. The drummer sang a song, but we couldn’t understand what he was singing, but that was immaterial as the beat was infectious. My cohort Fumo Verde is missed because no doubt he’d be dancing and smoking up a storm.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave opened up the Fulano Stage with his jazz, rock, hip-hop jambalaya. As we approached, he had the whole band dancing side to side in unison. Then he should have rang a bell because school was in session as he delivered the classic “St. James Infirmary” that included a Cab Callowayesque scat call-and-response. His trumpet solo was awesome.
We made our way into the Microbrew Fest next to Casbah where I tasted some of the worst beer in my life. Hoptober tasted like bong water, and Green Flash was nauseating. For some reason, a few beer booths required to see our ID after we had shown our ID just to get in.