Festival Music Review: Adams Avenue Street Fair
By Bria Higginbotham. Adams Avenue Street Fair. Setpember 26-27th 2015 .
The Adams Avenue Street Fair is an annual event celebrating the Normal Heights community hosted by the Adams Avenue Business Association. This free two-day event celebrated its 34th anniversary this past weekend. Food and clothes of various countries, such as Jamaica, Africa and Vietnam, which could be found in local businesses, were present as vendors. Other vendors featured local artists and showcased their artwork which ranged from oil paintings to spray paintings to caricatures. The event included 104 music acts on 8 stages: Casbah Rock, LeStat’s, Starbuck’s, Roots Rock, Hawley Blues, Adams Park Groove, Dimilles and Java Joes. Although the music genre was primarily indie and rock, there were also some pop, blues, country, folk and even hints of gospel to be found.
As most of the stages were outdoors, with the exception of LeStat’s, it was easy to travel from stage to stage, forcing each performer to earn their audience. Performers such as Kid Ramos & The 44’s and Raelee Nikole, started out with a few passersby before attracting larger crowds. Even headliners, such as HoneyHoney, began their set with a small group of people.
The acts that performed on the Roots Rock and Hawley Blues stages seemed to draw the more active crowds. The Gino & The Lone Gunman audience created their own dance floor near the stage as the band performed. The Backwater Blues Band also drew the attention of many couples who showed off their partner dancing skills.
Many of the performers were singer-songwriters with cool, calm, and easy performance styles, like Sven-Erik Seaholm and Katherine Terrien. Casbah Rock hosted a few of the more high energy acts, particularly Creature & The Woods, in which every member was equally into the music. On the other hand, Zak Meghrouni-Brown of The Blondies had enough energy, and face, in himself for the whole band. Definitely, the most spirited performer I saw was Tim Connolly at LeStat’s. After a few very emotional songs, Connolly ended his set with some well-known covers accompanied by some fun and fierce dance moves, twerking including.
Sunday saw slightly smaller crowds than Saturday, but many of the performers took this as an opportunity to engage with the audience. Jordan Sandness was able to add more background to the songs he wrote, one of the better being “Pitter Patter,” and somehow, in true West Coast fashion, he ended up barefoot. The singer of Phil Villalobos was able to try out some new covers, including The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and slightly older “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean, both of which were well liked by the crowd. Alaina Blair and Tim Connolly gave several shout-outs to their moms in the back.
The Adams Avenue Street Fair is a fun event for anyone in San Diego, highlighting the area’s small businesses and over 100 musicians from all over the West Coast. The fair drew an audience of all ages. It is a fun, and free, hence a great way to experience some excellent regional talent and see a small piece of what San Diego has to offer.