The Silverado Showdown brought together Southern California Rockabilly lovers for some daytime fun. On Saturday, May 15th, rockabilly enthusiasts from throughout the Southland came together in a remote location in Orange County to once again appreciate classic bombers, pin-up models, and hard-hitting rock ’n’ roll music.
The Silverado Showdown, presented by Brew Ha Ha Productions, initiated the first of many music festivals to be held at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, and one of the first large-scale concert events in Southern California since the pandemic began. With a capacity limit of 2,500, attendees were able to enjoy more than 40 pristine classic cars on display and six of the most in-your-face artists in the scene. Fans experienced the luxury of being able to sprawl out on blankets and lawn chairs without having to be too far from the action, or press-up to the rails amidst the roar of people moshing in the pit. It is clear to see that audience members have eagerly anticipated he opportunity to be back at live music events, even with additional protocols.
This being the first of many large-scale events to come in the midst of the COVID-era of music, there were a few road bumps faced at The Silverado Showdown. With signs reading “Wash Your Hands” and “Practice Social Distancing” posted throughout the event grounds, some concert attendees were hesitant and unsure of how to abide by the protocol when among the crowd. With the CDC loosening face-mask mandates, vaccinated attendees had no issues getting back to a traditional concert setting sharing their bare faces, while other audience members continued to cover themselves when in the crowd and roaming the grounds.
The second hiccup came during the Delta Bombers’ set. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Moinichen got on the mic and requested security mediate the chaos brewing when a fight broke out in the audience prior to playing “The Wolf.” The incident required sheriffs and security to step in and seize the fun for nearly an hour, stopping the sale of beer and forcing the end of The Delta Bombers set. The altercation could have been worse and ended the event if not for the timely response of safety officials. Although, let’s be real, it’s not a true rockabilly concert unless a fight breaks out and someone gets kicked out. After the dust settled and the parties involved had been apprehended and attended to, the festivities resumed with the last two sets of the evening.
Audience members were able to enjoy an assortment of food vendors, classic cars, good music, and both men and women dressed to the nines celebrating the return of live in-person concert events. The opening performance by Greg Antista and The Lonely Streets fueled the audience’s energy level to start the event. Following their set, The Reckless Ones and Jesse Dayton continued to engage the responsive audience with stellar performances of their own. Between sets, the crowning of The Miss Silverado Pageant and car show winners were announced, giving audience members an opportunity to participate in the results of both events without having to miss any of the performances. Before the security incident, The Las Vegas-based Delta Bombers really got the audience revved up during their performance.
One of the best performances of the day came from the punk rock group, Throw Rag, who seductively charged up the audience with their tantalizing display of showmanship. Front-man and vocalist Sean Wheeler captivated everyone with his eccentric escapades, such as strangling himself with his belt, multiple wardrobe changes including wearing a serape as a shirt and strip teasing the audience. Their punk rock essence erupted in the pit as the moshing resumed at full force.
Nekromantix kept the energy levels at max with their headlining performance. Kim Nekroman came out joking that he had not touched his bass in over seven months, but with his signature coffin-style bass in hand, he looked nothing short of flawless.
All in all, The Silverado Showdown was everything and more of what audience members and artists could have expected. Being the first of many large-scale events to come to California, it set the tone for what promoters can expect moving forward.
Even with the new mandates and protocols in place, people are ready, more than ever, to be in the pits moshing and celebrating the music they love with other like-minded individuals. Brew Ha Ha Productions will be hosting several more events at the same location including Punk in the Park this November.