South Pasadena has had a reputation of being a sleepy town with an early bed time, but over the years that reputation has changed dramatically. A major contributing force to that change has been The Eclectic Music Festival and Arts Crawl.
Put on by the Chamber of Commerce The Eclectic certainly lives up to its name, with a kaleidoscope of musical acts spanning not just genres, but the nation; what initially started as a showcase of local artists has now become a vital stop for touring acts as well.
A hotbed of innovative and classic acts, the Eclectic, in its 11th year, has proven to be a festival to be reckoned with.
With 12 stages dotting the heart of South Pasadena there was a tremendous amount of musical talent to appease any palette.
In its past it has been known to foster some young acts that later gained international recognition (Kitten, The Buttertones, Upstream). But on the other end of the spectrum is the Electic’s strong suit as a stage to feature legendary artists, both who have risen back out of relative obscurity or retained a strong fan base.
After last year’s solid roster of groups featured Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as the headliner many wondered what the next year’s edition would hold.
2019 did not disappoint.
In a double header, Dustbowl Revival – So-Cal hometown champs with a seamless folk-groove sound – opened for the closers for the evening, 90’s jangle pop pioneers, Gin Blossoms on the main ‘Eclectic West’ stage.
Thousands packed into the intersection of Mission and Fairview to experience an electrifying performance from the Multi-Platinum artist.
Not to be overlooked however, was the Library’s Carnegie Stage – which saw a room filled to capacity throughout the day.
Grammy-Award winning Jazz singer Luciana Souza accompanied by composer and pianist Otmaro Ruiz headlined the stage with a sentimentally intimate performance.
Earlier on in the day, household name David Plenn saw an overflow of attendance with a note from the fire officials to keep the aisles clear.
But it wasn’t just about the music. A number of visual artists, artisans, and food vendors set up shop along Mission and Meridian.
With over 50 acts to flesh out the line-up it was almost impossible to absorb the sheer amount of artistry on display on Saturday.
From big to small, veterans and newcomers, South Pasadena was transformed into a formidable musical hub.
And that’s really the essence of a music festival, or at least what it should be: a collection of the familiar and the unknown meshed together to create an epicenter in which one can be exposed to a grand stage of musical flavors.
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