Live Music Peeps

The K23 Orchestra Comes to Legends Bar

Text and photos by Shannon Kelley Gould

How do I love Legends? Let me count the ways. For starters, it’s
not on State Street, reason enough to venture in for one of Raul’s
very stiff drinks, which are also a potent draw, in and of
themselves. But the main reason I’ve been digging the scene at the
Milpas Street lounge is the music. As live music junkies are well
aware, Santa Barbara offers precious few downtown watering holes at
which to get your fix, but Legends is looking to change all that,
scouring the earth and cyberspace for hot new acts, and managing to
bring them to our town. Cover charges are minimal, and, given the
square footage of the joint, you’re pretty much guaranteed one of
those legendary (apologies for the pun), intimate performances
you’ll brag to your friends about years later, “Oh, yeah, well I
saw them back in 2006 at Legends!” Such was the case last Friday,
when I set out to peep the scene, and proceeded to have my mind
blown by the inimitable K23 Orchestra, a genre-free San Diego-based
jam band that’s developed some serious cred among festival

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The night began with a quality
performance from Paint the Town’s John Horseman and a pint of
Hefeweisen (beer-guzzlers take note: Raul has an excellent
selection of on-tap brews). The bar filled, some pals arrived, and
I hit up Cory Linberg, bartender and self-proclaimed mojito king
(stop by on Tuesday for one his “Glo-jitos,” served in a pint glass
and garnished with a glow stick), for a tip. “Is the K23 here yet?”
I asked. He directed me outside, where I found Al Howard, the
band’s front man, leaning against their van and willing to be
peeped, but, alas, without the rest of the band. He said he’d find
me at some point when the rest of the guys were around, and I
wandered back inside for another pint and more peeping.

The K23 hit the stage soon enough, and launched into an amazing
performance that paired their trademark rapid-fire,
stream-of-consciousness-sounding lyrical fabulousness with an
explosive mix of funk, hip-hop, and jazz-inspired jams that got the
crowd grooving. I was in awe, and my pal declared herself in

They rocked for a good while, and when it was time for them to
take a break, I pounced, rounding them up outside for a shot. We
were debating what to do when an unfortunate flash of genius
struck. “Let’s do the Eight is Enough shot!” I said, but
no sooner had the words left my lips than I realized they likely
were still in their mothers’ wombs when the popular TV show had its
heyday. Nevertheless, they were game. I got the shot and, more
importantly, escaped without having to cop to my age.

The band’s second set was as fantastic as the first; the crowd
was stoked to be in on the action. And I left hoping for more
legendary nights at the itty-bitty Legends.

Where will your peeps be? Email


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