Saturday, February 23, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on July 11th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 19

Gazebo a go-go: Local bands bring their sound outside for Summer Concerts at Solvang Park

By Joe Payne

Smack dab in the middle of all the windmills and bakeries in Solvang is Solvang Park, and right in the middle of that is a shady gazebo overlooking its sprawling lawn.

For many a local band and musician, like Dan Robinette, drummer for local rock group LiveWire, that's where the magic happens.

"We like to throw a good party," Robinette said. "Really anything that has a good, high-energy rock feel to it that will get people out on the dance floor, those are the songs that we like to throw out there."

Lompoc-based rock band LiveWire is set to jam out at Solvang’s Summer Concerts on July 18, performing favorite high-energy hits from the 1980s through contemporary pop covers.

LiveWire is set to perform on July 18 as part of the Summer Concerts series that takes place at Solvang Park as part of the Solvang third Wednesdays farmers market event.

Robinette said that LiveWire has performed at the Summer Concerts for several years now. The band often plays clubs where people like to dance, but summertime includes more outdoor concerts. Those shows are more family-friendly, he said.

"We all have families, so we understand going out to see a live band when you have kids can be hard, so we really like to bring the energy to these family events as well," he said, "so those who have kids can party with us."

For those who don't have an open Wednesday night and can't make it to Solvang Park, there's also a number of Friday night concerts at the same place and time.

Local classic rock band The Rincons are going to perform on July 13 as part of the series, and like LiveWire, the group has performed at the Summer Concerts before. Original member and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Curtis Lopez said that the majority of the band is from Carpinteria, but they perform in the Santa Ynez Valley all the time.

The Rincons are a four-piece classic rock band whose members hail from Carpinteria and Santa Ynez. They’ll perform at Solvang Park for its upcoming Friday night Summer Concerts event.

They play at wineries and popular venues like the Maverick Saloon, often as their country band Dusty Jugz, but The Rincons are known for a classic rock selection that appeals to a wide range of people.

"We kind of look at the crowd, see what's attracting them, and we kind of base our music on who's there, the age of the crowd, and try and judge what they're into and what to play," Lopez said. "It gets a good crowd. There's always tourists there, or just locals ... . 

"Solvang, it's a happy place," he added.

Because of its renown as a tourist destination, Solvang is a great place to perform for a diverse audience, Lopez said. The group performs classic rock covers like the Beach Boys or The Beatles, music that has a wide, often cross-cultural appeal.

"It's fun because there's a lot of foreign tourists there," Lopez said. "You'll have some Asian tourists there, they don't speak English, but they know all the words to the songs."

Tourists and locals alike are welcome to bring a picnic, lawn chairs, or blankets to relax and enjoy the music at Solvang Park, according to the Solvang Conference and Visitors Bureau.

The Summer Concerts series also includes a varied lineup of bands. In the case of LiveWire, the group performs faster rock from the 1980s and on into contemporary pop artists. They focus on music that compels people to move their feet, Robinette said.

"Once we get people out dancing, we like to keep them out here," he said.

Live in the park
Solvang’s Summer Concerts is a live music series happening each Wednesday and some Fridays through Aug. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Solvang Park, including a performance by The Rincons on July 13 and LiveWire on July 18. Solvang Park is located at the corner of Mission Drive and First Street in Solvang. More info: solvang3rdwednesday or (805) 688-6144.

Lots of different groups have, and will, perform at Summer Concerts. The folk/bluegrass/Americana group Grass Mountain performed on July 11, and upcoming shows include rockabilly bands Cadillac Angels on July 25 and Rock Cats Rock on July 27, with more groups performing through Aug. 22.

The concerts last for a few hours, which is great for visitors who just want to listen between wine tastings and for those who see the music as a main attraction.

For Lopez and The Rincons, Summer Concerts often includes a number of longtime fans looking to hear his music, and may even join in the fun.

"Usually we have quite a few locals that come up," Lopez said. "And normally what happens to is we'll bring people up out of the audience that like to sing and we have some fun. It's more fun if we can get people to participate."

Managing Editor Joe Payne is bringing a blanket and a picnic basket. Contact him at

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