When I say it was hot, I mean it was SMOKIN’!
It was hot in San Diego for the 7th Annual Rock n Roll Reunion Show and Benefit and our local talent succeeded in fueling the fire at the Tango Del Rey, in Pacific Beach to an 1100° inferno! What started out as an annual musicians’ reunion show several years ago, organizer and founder, Anthony Carrasco and Brad Kirkbride, have elevated this humble annual gig into a full blown musical event and benefit that focuses around Anthony’s young granddaughters that lost their father at a very early age.
All local San Diego talent, various vendors and venues donate all or part of their time to financially assist in the raising and education of two lovely young girls whose lifeline was tragically cut short. I had the honor of meeting the oldest, a gorgeous 13 year old and I honestly don’t think I have ever met such a gracious and humble young woman! Keep an eye on her, Anthony; she is a heartbreaker and lights up the room! The moment I met her, I was so smitten – I wanted to immediately empty my purse, my piggy bank, my entire 401K and hand it over to the Carrasco family because this girl is going places and doing things and I can’t think of a more deserving family! The graciousness is overwhelming.
The night’s entertainment started out with the hot rockin’ VacScene! A three member band that brings forth a sound that makes you think surely they have engaged the invisibility cloak and you are blind to the other players. Tim Orrahood, Johnny Mudd and Eric Koch aka Johnny Rhinestone are a well-established in the local blues and rock arena. Currently playing local venues in the San Diego area, all three members have deep seated roots in the music industry. With more than 30 years of friendship and collaboration, influenced by such rock greats as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Rush, they came together in 2008 to form the hard hitting trio known as VacScene! Each member bringing their own story and history, they blend flawlessly on stage. Tim actually started out playing under McDonald signs in Okinawa, Japan at 14 years old from there moving on to the Japanese club scene until he came to California and studied classical guitar. This high energy, entertaining trio has opened for well-known national acts such as Eddie Money, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons, The Tubes and Graham Bonnet of Rainbow and Alcatraz. VacScene is currently performing throughout the San Diego area. Don’t miss their upcoming show at Brick by Brick on August 13, 2016. Please contact Johnny Mudd on Facebook for show information and tickets.
Hold on to your fans….fans, because the heat continued to rise! As the venue started to fill to capacity, Gunner Gunner hit the stage with both guns blazing! Holy smokes, the house…the house was on fire! They start out by rendering you speechless and end by completely taking your breath away. I needed a cigarette after this set and I don’t even smoke! Formed in 2013, members, Josh Blevins, Kyle Wright, Christian Borja and Zack Knoblett have taken the San Diego music scene by storm. They have performed with such notable acts as Lita Ford, Fuel and Lynyrd Skynyrd and are currently performing throughout the western region of the U.S, including SXSW. In their short existence they have already released their debut EP; “Lock n’ Load” in March of 2014 and in October of 2014 released their studio album, “Our Time”. Keep up and informed with Gunner Gunner on Facebook and their website: www.gunnergunner.com, find their schedule, clear yours, buy ticket and buckle up for the ride!
San Diego’s “raunch rock” veterans, Bam Bam, returned to the event for the second year in a row and lit up the third set! Infamous for those monstrous warehouse parties all of us 80’s babies, attended and lived to tell about, albeit always a bit fuzzy on the memory side, David (Zippy) Zimmerman, Gil Koury, Dave Roberts, and Tom Owens are celebrating their 31st anniversary with a resurgence onto the local music scene. Immediately, entertaining and engaging, guests piled onto an already hot dance floor and were not disappointed. Bam Bam’s red hot set of classic rock inspired questions of where can they been seen and how can we contact them? We are hoping to see them pop up soon on social media and performing regularly in our local venues. In the meantime, please see their show on August 20th at Wongs in La Mesa and you can contact David “Zippy” Zimmerman on Facebook or through Guitar Center in La Mesa for booking and information. Let’s get the word out because we need more Bam Bam in our lives!
Headlining the evening was San Diego based tribute band, Fooz Fighters! They are about as close as you are going to get to the real thing without fighting arena sized crowds; though I would not be surprised if our very own is not headed that way, so see them up close and personal, while you still can. Formed in 2014, these rock masters, shake up the stage and shake up the crowd! Lead singer, Nicky Rich, not only nails the look, but nails the sound and the word is getting out! Rounding out this amazing collaboration is Jason Dean, Don Hickey, Brent Wright and Obed Herrera. Nothing less than dynamic entertainment, these 30+ year veterans prove that age is only a number and experience pays off. A packed house and a packed dance floor will contest to that! In July of 2016, the Fooz Fighters headlined at the summer concert series at Casino Arizona and Talking Sticks Resort. Find them at the House of Blues, San Diego, on August 13th and you can check their website for a complete schedule of upcoming shows at: www.foozfighters.com.
Guests spilled out on the parking lot, into the courtyard, up and down the stairs, aware of the heat but loving its source and continued to gather around the fire! As Anthony roamed the crowd thanking everyone for their contributions and attendance and Jazmine stole one heart after another, San Diego’s own, Rick Lawrence, from KFMB radio did a stellar job as emcee keeping the guests engaged and raising money for this beautiful cause. I want to thank everyone involved for such a successful event, to Anthony and Brad for allowing BackStage360 to run amok and give a special shout out to all the performers of the All Star Jam Session: Dominique Hinojosa, John Jauregui, Dale Dombrow, Matt Woods, Anthony Lococo, Eric Allen Schermerhorn, Mark Bock, Tommy Keiser and Mercedes Scalzitti for keeping the heat rising!
If you have never attended this fabulous San Diego benefit, you are missing out! Be sure to mark your calendars for summer 2017 as it enters into its 8th year. It will be a hard act to follow, but I am certain that it will be up to the task!
Siege / BackStage360
Images: Brian Tierney / BackStage360