Festival season is definitely in full swing. I like to think that it begins with EarthFair in Balboa Park and ends after Oktoberfest in La Mesa. Some like to think it ends at the Adam’s Avenue Street Fair at the end of September, but with our Indian Summers extending into October, and sometimes November, I firmly stand by festival season ending with Oktoberfest.
Anyhow, I skipped over EarthFair in order to clean the house or hang out with family, I don’t remember which. But this past weekend we managed to get out both Saturday and Sunday to the Adam’s Avenue Roots Festival, bypassing ArtWalk in Little Italy completely.
We intended to get there around 2:30-3:00pm on Saturday to catch Steve Poltz, but Thomas slept for 3 hours (of which we actually scored a 2 hour nap). So we showed up around 4pm, as Steve was finishing up chatting with the fans after his set. We caught up with a few friends and headed over to the toddler playground. I actually never noticed this playground before. I guess that’s what happens when you become a parent; street fairs become this whole other experience besides jumping in and out of bars like we used to. My friend and I discussed how it will only be a couple of years before we are one of the parents arms crossed waiting around for their kid to get off the inflatable slide.
Anyhow, the only act we caught on Saturday was John Doe. Hearing “The Golden State” live with Cindy Wasserman was made butterflies goes through my gut and my hairs stand up from the chill, and it was more than just the weather. Stewie, John Joe’s drummer, and Thomas connected instantly. Right before the show, Stewie ran up to his kit and grabbed two old battered drumsticks as a gift to Thomas. The smile wrapped around his face was priceless. Thomas drummed on a cardboard box throughout the set and continued to grip those sticks and drum on everything in site for the rest of the weekend.
Sunday we made it to the festival a bit earlier and were able to catch Carlos Olmeda’s entire set on the 34th Street stage. He continues to call his music : tri-cultural acoustic pop with the three cultures being American, Puerto Rican and Irish (because we all wish we were Irish). His music varies much more than just pop. Beautiful ballads and songs telling stories of history and love round out Carlos’s musical repertoire.
After some time at the big kids playground on Mansfield Street, we were able to catch Steve Poltz and the Flight Attendants. I was bouncing up and down to “License Plate Eyes” and “Rain”. Stinky mesmerized Thomas with his familiar “drum anything and everything” technique in “Quarter Inch”. I was cracking up watching the street fair organizers scramble as Steve pushed the limits of time for their sound permit. Been there.
Afterwords, we connected with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and headed over to Blind Lady Ale House where Thomas decided that the jam from the cheese plate was the better choice for dinner. Let’s just say we had a wild child that crashed and burned hard that night. Festival season, I think we are ready for you.