Friday, July 22, 2011

Hollywood Bowl

I've been to the Hollywood Bowl many times.  It's one of my favorite places in LA. The Hollywood Bowl season is June - September and is the summer home of the LA Phil.  There are concerts and musicals performed there that aren't in association with the LA Phil and are just as fun.  It is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast. The "bowl" refers to the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into. 

The cool thing about the Hollywood Bowl is everyone comes a couple of hours before the concert and has a picnic on the grounds.  There is always lots of wine and food, and if you're lucky to make friends you usually get to taste some exciting things.  We went last Friday to see Sarah Mclachlan play with the La Phil.  We got there earlier than expected because the scare of carmagedon cleared the freeway.  We stopped at the gift shop then miraculously found a table to have dinner at.  It was amazing that we actually found a table in the picnic area, you usually have to spread a blanket on the grass or ground.  I packed a dinner of strawberries, sandwiches, chips, and wine.  We were at a big table and it was only two of us so we invited a couple who was walking around looking for a place to sit, to sit with us.  They had lots of food and wine and offered to share, plus it made for great conversation.  It was incredibly relaxing sitting in the bowl while the sun was going down, drinking wine and talking to good people.  That is the beauty of the Hollywood Bowl experience.

We went to our seats about 20 min. before the concert.  Like most concerts it started a little bit late.  The Phil did two selections by themselves before bringing Sarah out.  I was ecstatic because they did Gershwin's 'I've got Rhythm'.  The crowd went a bit crazy when Sarah came out.  She sounded amazing with the orchestra.  It's the best I've ever heard her.  She played all of her favorites along with some new songs. We finished our wine and ate some chocolate while listening to the great music.  It was fantastic.

I bet you're thinking, this all sounds good, but I'd hate driving to and from the Bowl.  This is the 2nd great thing about the shows here.  They have shuttles from all over LA that take you to and from the bowl.  We take the Lakewood shuttle which is a few miles from our house.  For $5 we can relax on the way to the concert and sleep on the way back.  We don't have to deal with traffic, or parking, or anything.  It's stress free.  There really isn't a reason to not see a concert here. My dream concert at the bowl would be the Counting Crows.  If they ever play there I will fly back for it :)

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