I Love L.A. – #10 The Hollywood Bowl


While there are no shortage of good concert venues in the City of Angels, I’m especially partial to the Hollywood Bowl.  For one, like many of my favorite spots in this city, it’s meant to be enjoyed outdoors and takes full advantage of that.  Reason Number 2 is while its location has caused more than a few headaches on nights when I’m NOT trying to be caught on traffic, being nestled right up the road from Hollywood and Highland and off the 101 makes it a top 5 ‘You can not possibly miss it’ spot when you’re trying to give directions to someone who hasn’t gone.  The third reason is simply two of my favorite concerts since I’ve been in town have taken place at the Bowl.

I got to see Stevie Wonder there a couple years back.  Stevie in concert anywhere is a must see for a music lover, but that particular night at the Bowl felt really special.  The show started as the sun was setting; a few hours later with the moon shining and the lights on, everyone was still glued to their bench not ready to leave (having the catalog of classics Stevie has written certainly didn’t hurt). 

The show I’ll never forget was…wait for it…yes…Hall and Oates.  I gave my parents tickets to see them back when they played my hometown with Michael McDonald as the co-headliner (just imagining those two names on one bill makes me upset in retrospect I didn’t go).  Anyway, the Hall and Oates at the Bowl concert started as a running joke with me and a friend of mine, but the tickets were cheap, and truth be told, we had a blast.  There is no doubt in my mind the inspiration for the Courtney Cox show ‘Cougar Town’ came out of some exec who has sitting in the crowd that night.  My ace claims he has a blackmail photo of me dancing to ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’ that night, but he won’t confirm or deny that photo actually exists.  As a showman, I have to admit the best part of the show was Hall & Oates doing the “You’re a great crowd, good night!”  and walking off stage routine without playing a few of their all time jams; they knew good and damn well the crowd wasn’t going anywhere without hearing “You Make My Dreams Come True” (and this was before the song started popping up again in movies like 500 Days of Summer).

One of the annual shows at the Bowl is the Playboy Jazz Festival.  I’m still holding out hope at some point I’ll get to do that with my musically inclined brother, but we’ll see.  Either way, saying so and so is playing at the Bowl instantly puts a smile on my face at the thought of enjoying good music under the stars.

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