Summer in LA: Love the Free-Concert Frenzy

It’s hard to believe that summer’s so close to over. Los Angeles becomes a veritable playground of free music during the summer and we’ve enjoyed every moment of it. A few of us even took a field trip downtown one day last month to catch a Brookfield 7th and Fig afternoon concert just because we’re suckers for some good Flamenco guitar.

It seems like more free concert series crop up every year, in increasingly unique venues and artist pairings. James Murphy merged seamlessly with the crazypants visuals of MOCA’s unique and funky Transmission L.A. installation early in the summer. Last month, EDM statesman Moby merged not-quite-as seamlessly with the Annenberg Space for Photography, which was clearly not emotionally or logistically prepared to handle the frenzied loyalty of the man’s Los Angeles fan base. Still, once settled, a great time was had by all who made it in and all the kinks seemed to have been worked out by the following weekend’s albeit tamer frenzy for the bombastic groove of Portugal the Man. CAP UCLA’s student arm SCA hosted this up-and-coming group in Royce Hall in May in a show that surely inspired some lifelong fandom.

Moby at Who Shot Rock N Roll by Leslie Kalohi via Flickr

Tonight’s another interesting pairing with Zola Jesus and Active Child at MOCA. I’m heading down there myself, hoping to make the trek from the Westside to downtown in time to catch some quality weirdness from Ariel Pink’s DJ set.

That’s another thing I love about this summer phenomenon, it forces us gleefully out of our usual routines and neighborhoods and into situations and locations where we might not normally interact. I’m a decade-long Westsider who rarely roams east of UCLA (except for concerts) and judging by the Thursday night Santa Monica traffic battle in the summer, seems like the reverse is true when it comes to the Twilight Concert series on the pier.

Tomorrow night’s another great one that will probably set me roving eastward—Fool’s Gold at Levitt Pavillion Macarthur Park. We’re thrilled to have Fool’s Good on the bill this year with Vieux Farka Touré. They never disappoint. And dancing in the grass to a singularly danceable sound? What better way to spend a Saturday night.

The summer concerts may come to an end soon, but the great weather will last for a bit, so let’s all take advantage of this amazing place we call home, maybe hit up a few Hollywood Bowl shows before the season ends?

Happy Friday, go out and play.