Ride Easy: No one, and I mean no one, wants to deal with driving to San Francisco from the North Bay on a Saturday night and then have to circle the block dozens of times to find a parking spot.
Few local bands think of this debacle when asking hometown friends to drive out for an out of town concert. Yet, The Easy Leaves always make sure to hook North Bay fans up with a party bus from the North Bay to the group’s yearly Western Winter Formal at The Great American Music Hall.
What a better way to kick off the New Year than to catch a concert in San Francisco without getting stuck in traffic or nixing drinks because you have an hour long drive ahead. The sixth annual Western Winter Formal lets you catch Santa Rosa’s own county cowboys, dress up in your best formal wear and maybe make a friend or two on the way to the show.
You can also just buy a ticket to the show if you want to make a day of it, or — you know — if you don’t want to stay up until 2 a.m., when the bus heads back toward Santa Rosa and Petaluma.
Whether you’ve seen The Easy Leaves play small venues throughout town or at Outside Lands, where the great Willie Nelson himself praised the band, concerts are always a roaring good time. Look forward to catchy, feel-good songs like “Keep It Country,” and “Get Down,” that make you want to shake it with friends, or newer songs like “Eleven Hours,” off the band’s latest album “The Wheels,” more suitable for a slow dance.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St.. San Francisco
Admission: Show- $20-$45 Bus- $15
Get off the couch; hip hop instead: One of the most popular phrases we hear as everyone shares their New Year’s resolutions is, “This is the year I get in shape.” For some, it means hitting the gym, riding a bike more or, if you’re like me, telling yourself you’re cutting back on the Netflix binge-watching and finally getting off your couch.
Luckily, fitting exercise into your life doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, Hip Hop Happy Hour lets you get down with some hip-hop tunes while you get your yoga on. Join traveling yoga and meditation instructor Jensen Curtis at YogaOne on New Year’s Eve weekend for a special NYE Vinyasa class. The night includes a 90-minute yoga practice while DJ Micah throws on some “groovy” tunes.
Hip-hop might not sound like the most relaxing Yoga soundtrack but as someone who attended Showga, a live music and yoga class in Oakland, I can vouch that traditional yoga music isn’t necessary for a mind-body connection. Instead, the change in tunes left me feeling energized and ready to catch a concert at Oakland’s Fox Theater afterward.
The one-time class is cheap and a good way to find out if you’re into YogaOne without committing to an $18 drop-in class or monthly pass ranging from $49 to $129.
PS: Could be a good way to be kind to your body before you drink one too many glasses of Champagne at midnight on the 31st.