I managed to break out of my house once again to see some live music!
As someone who has been in radio for 5 years, I’m used to going to a concert nearly every weekend. Obviously that hasn’t been the case for anyone this year so when I caught wind of another weekend of drive-in shows at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, I jumped right on board.
This past weekend it was a double-whammy weekend. Both 311 and Sublime with Rome had shows! I didn’t go to 311 but I heard it was awesome from both listeners and personal friends who were able to go. My tickets were for Sublime with Rome. My husband and I could not be more excited to see them for the first time. We decided to take some close friends that we have already been seeing through the quarantine along for the ride with us. They had no idea what to expect but thanks to last month’s show, I was able to fill them in a bit on my last experience with Concerts in Your Car.
To recap, last month I saw Third Eye Blind for the same set up. That was my first drive-in experience and it only had a few bumps in the road! Really it was kind of my fault. We loaded the car up with all sorts of goodies. The site indicated to support local businesses beforehand and to me that meant BYOB. Looking back, that was dumb. We ended up having to forfeit like $40 worth of booze at the security checkpoint last time. I must note they did give us the option to take it home and come back- but we would have been late and it was a long drive in for us, so we opted to just let them have it so we get pull in.
Other than that- it was a great experience. They had tons of fair food styled vendors if you’re into that and alcohol for purchase inside. I most most impressed with the sound. Going to something like this, that’s probably your main concert- will I be able to hear anything? Will it sound like garbage playing through to my car? The sound was great actually. We didn’t even listen to it through our car radio. It sounded great outside and we were in the back! The 360 stage with screens on all sides allowed for easy viewing and most importantly I felt safe there.
So what was different the second time around? Honestly not much, but I view that as a good thing. If it doesn’t need to be fixed, don’t- because you might mess it up trying! There was some different stuff in play for me as an attendee but the quality of the show was still great.
On my end, this time we brought lots of snacks and slurpees. The security line was the same as last time only with with the addition of signs that stated “no outside alcohol permitted” BEFORE you got to the front of the line. This time they didn’t ask if we had alcohol in the car but that being said, it was a Sublime with Rome concert so alcohol smuggling probably wasn’t something they were concerned about if you know what I mean… 😉
Pulling in was only slightly more difficult this time as there were more people in attendance (which is great! I want these to take off!) so some drivers were a little more disoriented from not being there. Luckily they have plenty of workers who knew exactly where to lead you.
Once we got pulled into our spot, we popped out our chairs and the funniest thing happened. My neighbor who is a good friend pulled into the spot just one car away! Small world. He and his wife were having a date night and it turns out she’s a HUGE Sublime with Rome fan. She’s seen them several times before and was anxious to see how this show would stack up.
Our friends were in a truck so they propped their lawn chairs up in the truck bed and laid out a bunch of snacks. Since our cars combined was still the amount a single car, we dragged our chairs over to his truck and set up together.
Now I want to note something important. Since we opted to not use the car radio and listen to music live, that meant the weather is an element here! Last month it was hot during the show. Not uncomfortably so but it was definitely shorts and a t-shirt weather. That was not the case this time. We brought blankets which made the experience so cozy! Some people wished they had brought gloves but as we walked to the bathroom, we saw some COLD audience members who did not bring blankets. If you attend a drive-in during this fall or winter, please keep the night time temperature in mind and dress accordingly! Being cold can really ruin an experience that would have otherwise been great.
The show itself was above my expectations. People always say crap like, “well it’s Sublime WITH ROME so it’s not even the original singer,” blah blah blah. So they tainted my mind with that thought. Well all those people are missing out on a great show. Rome Ramirez has incredible stage presence. He was so in tune with the audience. He talked with us, laughed with us and was really just vibing with everyone even though he couldn’t see most of the audience because of the 360 stage and cars. It’s tough to pull that off at this kind of show. Truly impressed. On top of that, his voice blended seamlessly with the band as they covered the older songs. Yes, we got to hear all the classics you wanted and stuff off of their albums they made together. He sings with a lot of emotion, even with the songs from their past that he didn’t write himself. If you ever get the chance to see Sublime with Rome, take it!
They closed with “Santeria” and then it was time to leave again. I was a little worried with a larger audience than before that getting out would be difficult but it had the same ease as last time. They really had it down to a science.
After the show I posted some clips to the ALT AZ-933 Instagram and was shocked that people didn’t seem to know these shows were happening. I want you to spread the word here! Share this article or use word of mouth. People frequently complain fun stuff doesn’t come to our area, but this is why. If you’re not in-touch with what’s happening during the trial runs, then they don’t get the audience they need to keep putting on these high dollar productions for us!
Right now, Phoenix is no longer listed for having any drive-in concerts or movies with Concerts in Your Car. If you can make some noise about it, maybe we can get some more stuff on the schedule. During this pandemic, please support the businesses that are actually working their butts off to provide a safe activity for us to participate in and of course, follow the guidelines issued. When they don’t have attendance, they don’t come back.
I want everyone safe during the holidays, especially as we look for ways to see some of our at-risk family members. I can fully endorse these events as a safe and socially distance activity. I came into contact with literally NO people, aside from my car (and my neighbor.) Even the bathrooms were “safe” with no lines and handwashing stations.
This has been the longest year ever feeling cooped up at home while political agendas seem to fly aimlessly on every social media platform you used to use to unwind. Concerts in Your Car was an amazing break from reality just like how concerts used to be for us. Look up the drive-ins that are still happening in your area and support them during the holidays! We are headed for another flare up and these are really one of the only safe ways to get out of the house anymore.
Please be responsible this holiday season and spread around more love and cheer than ever before… not germs!