Friday, October 03, 2008

UCLA Live: McCabe's 50th Anniversary

Yesterday, when I was about to hop on the Red Line via the Wilshire/Vermont station, the elevator doors opened for me - without me having to press a single button, without anyone being in the elevator. It was just there: as if to say "hello" and "welcome back". Admittedly, it was kinda spooky, but it was pretty nice. Or perhaps it was just my introduction to what would turn out to be a wonderful evening, where I had an unexpected invitation from my friend Katie at the GRAMMY Museum (which opens in December 2008!). She had an extra ticket to McCabe's 50th Anniversary: A Living History of Music at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Featuring artist after artist (including Jackson Browne, Richard Thompson, Odetta, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, David Linley, Jennifer Warnes, The Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, Peter Rowan, Blind Boys of Alabama, Peter Case, Ditty Bops, Ricky Jay, and special guests), the event was a regular jam session and showcase that lived up to its subtitle: "A Living History of Music".

I have never been to an event that took me so easily across time, space and sound, the living history of the individual artists themselves - all in one place. And I don't think I was alone in this experience. The hooting and hollering of the crowd and the toe-tapping and head-nodding of my audience neighbors was undeniable. There was a celebration of song both on stage and off.

As odd as it may sound, attending McCabe's 50th Anniversary concert was reminicient of my morning, like having elevator doors open up without pressing a button, without anyone stepping out, and then walking into something that just carried me away. But even better than a destination that moves you forward in time to where you need to go, McCabe's 50th Anniversary took you back into their shop, their history, their present, and beckoning you to visit in the future.

The UCLA Live season is just starting. There's plenty of things to take you away. Check out the upcoming season on

-Charity Tran, Web Coordinator

No comments: