TAKE ME TO THE MERCADOS: Viva la Fiesta! What a wonderful phrase — it means “no worries” for the rest of these old Spanish Days, translation notwithstanding. Worries shall be few for the music seekers of the town, as our famed mercados will be overflowing with the sounds and styles of Santa Barbara’s summer spirit.
Whether you prefer your mercados downtown or uptown, the stages of Mercado De la Guerra, Mercado del Norte, and Casa Cantina feature exciting evening lineups throughout the week. Following daytime dances from some of the best teams and troupes anywhere in the state, many 805 rock, soul, and cover band favorites will keep the party going at prime-time hours.
On Wednesday, August 1, Casa Cantina’s (15 E. De la Guerra St.) Official Unofficial Opening Night of Fiesta, per tradition, will get the party started at 5 p.m. with some of S.B.’s musical favorites: DJ Darla Bea, Mezcal Martini, DJ Zac Pike, and Spencer the Gardener. Kicking the week off at Mercado De la Guerra (De la Guerra Plaza) across the street, there’s KTYD’s Viva La Free Concert, which features S.B. rockers the Traveling Hurtados, Out of the Blue, and the The Tearaways, from 5 until 10 p.m. Up at Mercado del Norte, the Bryan Titus Trio and Redfish will start the Fiest-ivities off amid the swirling amusement rides and colorful booths at MacKenzie Park (State St. and Las Positas Rd.) on Wednesday, from 6 p.m. until close. If you get there earlier, be sure to check out the acoustic stage, where folks like the abundantly talented young Sofia Guerra (playing Wed., 3pm) will lend a soothing vibe throughout the mercado.
As the week goes on, Mezcal Martini brings the Latin jazz and the Heart & Soul Band brings the funk to De la Guerra on Thursday night, and Friday features surf rock and soul jazz from The Rincons and Heavy Hitters, respectively. As well, earlier that Friday, be sure to check out a set from 9-year-old Melody Hope and the Teen Star performances to follow, and catch a glimpse of some of S.B.’s brightest young talents. At Mercado del Norte, Thursday will get you dancing with the Soul Cats and Area 51, and Friday night will keep you smiling to the ever-rhythmic Anthony Prieto Band. Should you find yourself back at Casa Cantina, you’ll be pleased to hear King Zero’s reggae grooves on Friday at 6 p.m.
Saturday closes things out in grand style, with Cornerstone, the Kinsella Band, and The Bomb fueling the festivities until the perennial master of concert ceremonies Spencer the Gardener ensures the week ends on a high note over at Mercado De la Guerra. You must certainly not unlace your dancing shoes on Saturday night, as the week-ending sets of the UpBeat, La Boheme, and Elements will make for plenty of good grooving at Mercado del Norte.
Wherever you wind up, you’ll be sure to have a great time. See a full list of entertainment on the Old Spanish Days website, sbfiesta.org.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: For the many of us who will likely feel like zombies post-Fiesta, KCSB-FM will offer a movie we can relate to in a way we’ve never seen or heard it before. On Tuesday, August 7, at SBCAST (513 Garden St.), the community radio station welcomes to town famed cinemaphiles Morricone Youth, who will perform a live, reimagined soundtrack to the landmark horror flick Night of the Living Dead. Hailing from New York, the underground rock band has been reinterpreting and rescoring movies and television shows for years. We, the lucky viewers, get to enjoy this live rescore of the George Romero classic in SBCAST’s large courtyard, making it a perfect midweek movie experience. Best of all, it’s free and open to all. Showtime is 8 p.m.