Listen Local Radio and House of Blues are at it again: On Jan. 23, 18 local bands and 15 local breweries come together at the Local Brews, Local Grooves: All Access music and beer festival to help celebrate the downtown club's 10th anniversary in San Diego.
It's fitting that the event is helping to celebrate the venue's big birthday: The Local Brews, Local Grooves (LBLG) shows started there in 2009, after being dreamed up by ListenLocalSD.com's Cathryn Beeks and the General Manager of House of Blues at that time, Matt Parsons -- eventually becoming weekly occurrences.
"[Parsons] named it and I designed the format," Beeks told us. "The shows have happened (and still happen) every Tuesday night from 7 to 11 p.m.; they're free to attend and I always have giveaways and surprises. They feature five local artists who audition to play the main stage during one of our All Access events. The LBLG format is now being implemented at other House of Blues locations around the country, which we are very proud of."
The All Access festivals are a bit different than the weekly showcases. For one, instead of five acts, there are 18 involved in Friday's party, and the club has even opened up their upstairs rooms to DJs and bands so the celebration will indeed blanket the entire venue. In other words, it's a big shindig.
"[All Access] is a 'best of' of our Tuesday night bands, held every quarter on the main stage and the adjoining Delta Room stage, and is also a co-creation between Parsons and I," Beeks said. "[The bands] perform 20-minute sets, rotating back and forth, so it's non-stop ... We usually have upwards of 1,000 local music lovers in attendance."
Some of the acts scheduled to perform are Wonka Bar, Jill Nooren & Random Theory, the Shenanigans, Sister Speak, Superunloader, Sometimes Julie, Viscous, Lessons From Zeke, Radios Silent, Rhythm and the Method, and Vinyl Mill (among others). One final band -- the winner of a video contest the House of Blues held on their Facebook page -- will be announced on Jan. 19. In short, the festival is a great way for local bands to stand out and get noticed.
"House of Blues has a passion for supporting local musicians to give them a place to showcase their talent and share their music," House of Blues General Manager Matthew Higgins told SoundDiego. "The event gives the [San Diego] music scene a chance to play with a professional production staff and state-of-the-art sound system so their music can be the best live sound it can be, while exposing the local music scene to our talent booking agents."
According to Beeks, the shows aren't just thrown together -- the bands involved have to earn their way onto the lineup -- and the environment at them is incomparable: "Whenever you have a multi-band format like All Access, there is an energy and excitement that is palpable. Fans are being exposed to new bands and the bands themselves are meeting and hearing each other for the first time too, sharing the amazing green rooms backstage at House of Blues and hanging out like rock stars ... It's just an all around good time."
Indeed, with 15 local breweries scheduled to participate, it should pop off in an even bigger way. Ballast Point Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., Saint Archer Brewery, Mother Earth Brew Co., Modern Times Beer, Coronado Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., the Lost Abbey, Julian Hard Cider, and Alesmith Brewing Co. (among others) will be there, offering up some of their best brews. It doesn't stop there -- House of Blues will be dishing out some of their signature recipes such as house-made jalapeno cornbread and pulled pork sliders, as well as other unique recipes from Executive Chef Marc Brislin.
All indications point to it just being an epic birthday bash for one of San Diego's premier live music venues. Higgins agreed: "It is a time when the local community comes together to celebrate San Diego's evolving brewery business and provides a platform for the marriage of the art of craft beer, music and fun ... The event has a great social dynamic to it and it is a way to support fellow San Diegans who are bringing passion to their craft -- whether it be music, brewing craft beers or food pairings with the beers that can bring new, creative tastes for everyone to enjoy."
Beeks also makes a pretty convincing case for why we should all be there -- and if you're on the fence about going, she's got you covered too.
"This is your chance to check out 18 local bands of all genres in a 'short attention span' situation. If you don't care for the band, fall into the next room and sample some craft beer while you wait until the band in that room begins. You're going to come away singing new songs … Every band playing is amazing and I can't wait to share them with everyone … Tune into ListenLocalRadio.com this Sunday on or before noon (and anytime thereafter) to hear each of the bands performing during the Listen Local Show. See you on Friday!"
Local Brews, Local Grooves: All Access beer and music festival takes over the House of Blues downtown on Jan. 23. General admission tickets are $5 for entry and four beer samples. VIP tickets are $35 and include unlimited samples, and two full-size beers. Ultra VIP tickets are $60 include everything in the VIP experience, as well as a 21-ounce beer glass, unlimited food, and more. Tickets are available here. The show is 21+ and doors open at 6:30 p.m.