I hate medleys.
So you would think that a Municipal Band program made up almost entirely of these odes to a short attention span, such as the one they played the other night at Marine Stadium, would be unendurable torture. Nope, I had a great time.
For one thing, it was a lovely night. The air was cooler down by the water than in other areas, where it was nice weather for orchids. And it was my first time at Marine Stadium, which has a character all its own.
Actually, all of the regular Muni Band venues do. Los Cerritos, my favorite, is bucolic and peaceful, with the kids able to frolic off in the nearby playground. El Dorado is a ton of people, reminiscent of a 19th century Chautauqua-like gathering. Whaley and Bluff Park are relatively new, not as crowded, and somewhat more relaxed and informal than the others. Marine Stadium is a party.
The boats pull up close to where the band is playing, and the atmosphere is what you might call aquatically festive. Even on dry land, the folks, kids and dogs are just there to have a good time. The announcements prohibiting alcoholic beverages and discouraging conversation during the concert are cheerfully ignored.
And the music? Well, this program was called “Music of a Generation”, a salute to popular music of the past few decades. And while there was a lot of crappy music written, played, and recorded during that time, conductor Larry Curtis put this playlist together with an eye and ear toward quality.
The musicians recognized – Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ray Charles, and Carole King – were…
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