As an active part of the Sacramento music scene since 1991, I can say for a fact that the Concerts in The Park music series is one of the highlights of the year for local music. For years and years, playing the series seemed to be an unattainable goal for my band. It wasn’t bands like The Secretions that were getting the coveted gig, but bands like Tattooed Love Dogs and Mumbo Gumbo. We didn’t fit the bill as far as the series was concerned.
Still, we plugged away. We played smart. We booked smart. We promoted and promoted to build a name for ourselves as a staple in the local and active punk rock scene. More importantly, to any band in the punk rock genre, we toured. We loaded up our gear and merchandise into a van and put in the hours and miles paying our dues. Weeks and months at a time, covering over 40 states and 3 countries.
One fine day, the long thought inconceivable phone call came. We were asked to play on the show of shows, Concerts in The Park. As luck would have it, the date we were offered just so happened to be on a date that we would be in the middle of a North American tour…in the state of Illinois.
Taking into consideration the math of purchasing 3 round trip plane tickets, leaving our van in Chicago, borrowing gear, cancelling out on a show to play one that wouldn’t even recoup the cost of a single one-way ticket…the choice was obvious. WE WERE GOING TO PLAY CONCERTS IN THE PARK!
It was a simple choice. This was the stage we had dreamed of playing one day in our own hometown. That’s how much this show meant to us. That’s how much this show meant to our scene. We weren’t just up there playing for ourselves. We truly felt like we were up there representing our Sacramento punk rock scene. We never took that for granted. Each time The Secretions or The Knockoffs played Concerts in The Park, we treated it as if we were carrying the flag for our scene into a glorious battle.
That’s exactly what this series should mean to every band that plays. You’re not just playing for yourself. You’re not even just playing for your family and friends that come out to see you. You are up on that stage representing the scene you come from. Whether it’s punk rock, country, metal, Americana, hip-hop, or R&B; you are up there showing the thousands of people what our city has to offer in terms of the music you represent. Don’t take this lightly! Don’t take this for granted! Take that stage and raise your flag proudly. Don’t do it to compete with the other local bands in your select scene, do it to make them proud to call you their peers.
The Sacramento music scene has changed dramatically since 1991. There are more bands than ever playing a greater variety of music. Now, more than ever, Concerts in The Park is the opportunity for bands to bring their “A-Game” to the show of shows. Long live local music!