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A Moment Away From Home
updated: May 24, 2014, 1:00 PM
By Jenny Schlax
Eric Burdon with Dishwalla @ The Libbey Bowl, Ojai ~ May 17, 2014
Sometimes we get spoiled in Santa Barbara, enjoying life so much in the bubble we don't necessarily want
to go anywhere else. Even when we have really great "escapes" next door. I don't often think about
escaping to Ojai to see great music, but the Ojai Libbey Bowl is definitely worth the fifty minute drive.
Established in the 1950's, The Libbey Bowl provides that quaint feeling of being "home." Set amongst a
forest of oak trees stands the outdoor stage with a beautiful shell roof in a space that accommodates
about 1300 people, including the lawn area. Depending on the event, patrons can bring food and blankets
into the venue to picnic on the lawn while enjoying the music. It's a real comfortable space.
The Libbey Bowl
This day's event was to celebrate the 73rd birthday of Eric Burdon, an Ojai residents and former member of
the Animals and War. Pretty much a rock legend. In our very own backyard - or at least our neighbor's.
But being a true Santa Barbarian, I only made the trek to Ojai (50 minutes!) to see a Santa Barbara treasure
- Dishwalla. With original members Rodney Cravens (guitar), Scot Alexander (bass), George Pendergast
(drums), and Jim Wood (keyboards) officially touring with new frontman Justin Fox, former frontman of the
SB band Tripdavon, Dishwalla proved themselves worthy of sharing the bill with a rock legend.
Dishwalla (Photo by Paul Dunkley)
I had forgotten about Dishwalla, if I had ever thought about them at all. They were big before my time in
Santa Barbara so I did not have that connection yet - they were just another 90's band that had made a
cameo once on Charmed. But they are damn good! I had also forgotten how many hits they had: "Counting
Blue Cars," "Charlie Brown's Parents," and "Once in a While" to name a few. They even went "full Eagles"
according to Fox, as they pulled up seats and played "Every Little Thing" and "Somewhere In The Middle"
acoustically, mixing in a little Led Zeppelin's "All of my Love." Dishwalla version 2014 was polished and
tight, and definitely worth the trek.
Soon the man of the hour was brought out by none other than Malcolm McDowell, of A Clockwork Orange
fame, affectionately calling Eric Burdon a geezer from New Castle. Burdon took the stage and immediately
went into "It's My Life," successfully emptying the seats of the Libbey Bowl onto the dance floor. One hit
after another kept the crowd going - he's 73 and rocked the house!
Eric Burdon (Photo by Paul Dunkley)
It was an unique experience with an icon worthy line-up and a special space to celebrate. I'd say if you get
the opportunity, definitely see Dishwalla and definitely make the trek to Ojai to experience music at the
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If you are in a band, know a band, or know of a rad show, please message Jenny to give her the info at
saves her work and keeps it real!
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