Nightbeats: Napa Porchfest offers free Sunday afternoon music crawl
Taking bands “out of the garage and onto the porch,” Napa Porchfest is a free community event highlighting local music in the best way possible, through pop-up concerts on several Napa County lawns.
Kicking off on the last week of July as per tradition, the fest is known since its first year back in 2011 for turning Napa into a musical playground on hot summer days. With dozens of bands performing across several venues around Fuller Park in Old Town Napa, the fest has a progressive dinner vibe where spectators can feast on delectable music.
Each year, attendees complete a musical crawl as they travel from yard following an interactive map with a list of bands performing over numerous laws and porches. It’s the type of festival where people put out blankets and lawn chairs, and soak up the Napa Valley sun on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Despite its reported 15,000 attendance last year and a bill boasting more than 100 different artists, Porchfest offers a more intimate setting than other festivals because it is mostly composed of up-and-coming bands.
With artists spread out over several different locations, the festival provides music lovers with a truly unique experience that feels more like a block party than a festival that people attend just to post an Instagram selfie. Plus, as a nonprofit event, put on with the help of volunteers, the event gives off a sense of community from the second one steps onsite.
Make sure to check out the Porchfest website for a full list of performances, set times and participating food trucks or carts for those who don’t want to pack a lunch.
Details: 12:30- 5 p.m. Sunday, July, 28, Fuller Park, 560 Jefferson St., Napa. Free. napaporchfest.org.
Chances are you’ve heard DeVotchKa, even if the band’s name doesn’t strike a bell. Remember the lovely instrumental number that gets stuck in your head after watching “Little Miss Sunshine,” starring Abigail Breslin and Steve Carell?
Yep — that’s DeVotchKa, the masterminds who scored the majority of the soundtrack along with Sufjan Stevens and a few others. But beyond the soundtrack’s most popular hits, “The Winner Is” and “Till the End of Time,” DeVotchKa pens the type of creative indie rock songs that step beyond what you’d expect from a traditional four-piece band.
Starting out as a backing band performing while burlesque artists like Dita Von Teese strutted across the stage, the Colorado group has stepped up from supporting act to the main act and developed a fan base all its own over the years. With a variety of unique instruments featured in each song, the band makes listeners fall in love with instruments like the violin, flute, accordion and piano.
Full of distinct time signatures, ghostly vocals and a lineup full of multi-instrumentalists, the band puts large brass ensembles to shame, doing more with four members than most can with a full orchestra. Blending world music, folk and cabaret with a rock n’ roll attitude, DeVotchKa puts on one heck of a show.
Tip: Fans who’d like to catch an intimate private performance before the gig can pick up VIP meet-and-greet tickets for an extra $30. The special tickets include a group photo, a commemorative laminate, a bandana and a pin.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, Terrapin Crossroads, 100 Yacht Club Drive, San Rafael.$35- $65. terrapincrossroads.net
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