Culture Report: A Surge of San Diego Pride at Spreckels - Voice of San Diego

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: A Surge of San Diego Pride at Spreckels

Drive Like Jehu comes back from the dead to thrill fans at Spreckels, the top fall arts events to get stoked about, a sneak peek into Steve Martin’s “Bright Star,” eating your way through Rosarito and more in our weekly culture roundup.

If you weren’t at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion Sunday, you basically missed the biggest concert ever to grace the outdoor stage. After 19 years, seminal post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu reunited for a free, all-ages, five-song concert accompanied by organist Dr. Carol Williams. It was amazing for many reasons.

For one, the band sounded as tight as they did decades ago, and the addition of Williams gave the entire event an even more epic feel. Everyone there knew they were seeing something very special.

That leads me to the second reason the show rocked: Everyone was there, or at least it seemed like it. The sheer number of Jehu-va’s Witnesses in attendance to catch this moment of rock ‘n’ roll history was mind-blowing.

To give you an idea, the pavilion seats up to 2,500 people on its benches. The crowd not only filled the seats, but extended to the edges and back area of the pavilion. While no official numbers have been reported, I’d guess there were easily 4,000 people there. Again, this was for five songs.

At the end of the show, people I spoke with had one overarching thing to say about the event: It reignited their San Diego pride. I, and many others, hope Balboa Park and the Spreckels Organ Society organize more events like this.

And if you were so unfortunate to miss it, check out the concert in its entirety.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

The Rock, Homeless Art Collector and More Visual Art News

• A homeless Pacific Beach busker is saving up donations to buy original art pieces. (CityBeat)

• The East County Performing Arts Center, which has been closed for repairs since 2010, might become the new home of The Rock Church. CityBeat examines the possible move.

• San Diego Magazine lists the 20 visual art events to be stoked for this fall. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be an awesomely artful autumn.

Ion’s New Project, Bright Star and More Music and Performance Goods

• Hillcrest’s Ion Theatre Company is changing things up for its 10th season by incorporating more audience participation in the creative process. (U-T)

Get a sneak peek into “Bright Star,” Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s new musical premiering Sept. 13 at the Old Globe. (U-T)

• Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello are called the Jay Z and Beyoncé of opera, which is exactly how they should be marketed to people like me. They’re performing a recital for the San Diego Opera on Friday.

• Chamber music group Art of Elan is dedicating its 2014-2015 season to the San Diego Opera for overcoming everything it has in the last year. (U-T)

• The Reader responds to a New York Times story about the opera’s downsizing.

• Theater stuff is go! You won’t regret seeing the smart “Regrets Only” (U-T); “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is poignant (U-T); “Two Gents” is super fun and has a cute dog (CityBeat); “Fallen Angels” is ahead of its time (U-T) and there’s no going wrong with “My Fair Lady” (CityBeat).

• Greg Evans, creator of the “Luann” comic strip, is premiering a new musical at Broadway Theater in Vista. (KPBS)

TJ Designers, Thai Food and More Culture Crumbles

• San Diego Magazine introduces readers to some of Tijuana’s hottest fashion designers.

Eat your way through Rosarito. (San Diego Magazine)

• The city’s hosting a Thai restaurant week and now all I can think about now is a spice-level 4 yellow curry. (U-T)

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