As promised, I attended Pete Escovedo’s concert last Sunday night at the Levitt Pavilion at Memorial Park. I got my picnic ready, my blankets, ice cold water to fight the heat wave we’ve got going on, and left home early so that I could get a good spot.
Arrived at 6:30 p.m. and the park was PACKED. This was my first time there this year so I don’t know if this heavy crowd has been the rule or if Pete Escovedo has that many fans in Pasadena. The point is that there was barely any room left. But eventually I found a space.
Unbeknownst to me, there is sort of an open mic thing going on prior to each concert. One of the participants was rather good… another one’s poetry was rather weird… but that’s here nor there because most of us were busy getting our area ready for concert time.
Promptly at 7 p.m. Pete and his band were ready on stage. You gotta love this man. He’s 79, sharp, funny, and good looking. His two sons, Peter Michael and Juan Escovedo, are part of the band, and he has some seriously good musicians in it as well, the likes of Joe Rotondi and Oskar Cartaya. It’s almost a competition of which one of them will get the most applause, seriously.
Of course, that “competition” can be better measured when those in attendance are paying attention, which, at least where I was sitting, was hardly the case.
You see, at one particular place in the amphitheater there is a human-marked walkway – the volunteers put some tape on the ground to indicate to the crowd that they should sit either north or south of this marked space. The area in the middle is for traffic.
However, that tape seems to also indicate who will be paying attention to the music and who will be just talking non-stop to their friends, laughing, messing around with their dogs, and so on and forth. People south of the walkway sit nicely and listen to the music. People north of the walkway laugh like hyenas, eat grapes and chew like Romans, and basically pay to the music coming from the stage the attention they would pay to a CD that would play while they go about a barbecue at home.
Well, because I knew none of this, I sat north of the masking tape. So the noise was impossible, and although I know this program is for families to enjoy, children and grandpas alike (and apparently dogs too), I would have thought a tiny itsy bitsy of concert etiquette would have been expected.
It is often said that you get what you pay for and I paid nothing. Therefore, in exchange, I got lots of noise, which apparently is free. My recommendation to you is, when you want to catch a concert at Memorial Park make it there early, and mind you, half an hour early is NOT early enough if your wish is to sit south of mayhem.
Bring a chair, forget blankets. The most abundant of ladies will sit on their very high chairs right in front of you even if they see you sitting on a blanket right behind them.
Also, be nice and take the space you actually need, without saving space for ten other people who will never materialize, like the folks that camped next to me.
I’ll be honest, the experience could have been better, but at least I got some nice photos. Pete Escovedo was great – at least he was the times I got to listen to him in between the hyena-laughs of my extremely happy and flirty neighbor.
Dena Burroughs photo