He was billed with Earth, Wind and Fire at the KBLX Soul Festival at the "Sleep Train Pavilion" in Concord. (But officially, that is the last time I'm ever calling it that. It's the Concord Pavilion. Jeez. When did it switch from being the "Chronicle Pavilion" anyway?)
It's only a 40-minute drive, but it really feels like a day trip once you get out into those rolling, golden hills (and tract homes).
I love daycationing. (My friend Kate made that one up. It's a keeper.)
Here's the problem: I hate big arenas. I hate big venues in general. The hassle, the prices, and the draconian security all make me twitch. How was this going to play?
We decided to dive right in. I don't usually shop big festival vendors (as you can imagine from my weensy rant), but my friend Amber has an eagle eye.
Smack. Like you were just thwacked across the face with a whip made of sass.
Gave a girl the goosebumps, it was so casually amazing. Lots of good hats in that crowd, too.
Was loving the modern Philip Bailey, and loving the Concord Pavilion experience in general.
Twas mellow and comfortable. Wide, comfy seats with lots of legroom underneath a giant shade topper. A small hike to the bathroom, but then a totally manageable little food court. No annoying sprawl. Chair rentals for the lawn seating behind the seated areas. Plushy lawn. A sunny 85 degrees turning to light jacket weather at night. Very little traffic congestion. Niiiiiiiiiiice.
I might just give big arenas a chance again.
Because even a San Francisco venue snob can undergo a sea change. Just so there are snacks to shape the tide.