Monday, February 18, 2013
Ottmar Liebert at the Lewis Family Playhouse
I first heard him at the Music Plus store in West LA just off National Blvd in the early 90s. The crisp nylon string melodies were catchy. Barcelona Nights. Nouveau Flamenco. Ottmar Liebert. I bought the first 6 or so of his CD releases primarily because the music was easy to ingest. It was good driving music that we played on countless road trips to bike races in the Southwest. Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada. At some point in the early 2000s, I just stopped listening to him altogether. Boredom? So when I found out that he was playing at the Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga, I still wasn't sure I wanted to see him. Do I go with the kids? They've been to a lot of concerts but nothing that remotely resembles Liebert's genre. But hey, I wanted to take them to the Playboy Jazz Festival this summer so this might be a good warmup. No screaming vocal or loud distorted guitars. Just very accomplished instrumentalists. As it turned out, the $28 ticket was a very good value since Liebert (and his backup band) played over 2 hours --which included a 20 minute intermission in the middle. The kids have heard most of Liebert's material from the early releases since Maura and I would play them on road trips as well -- a continuation of a pre-kid tradition. Besides enjoying the music, the other interesting discovery is the intimacy of the Lewis Family Playhouse as a venue. No bad seats at all in the 560 they accommodate. And the best part of all, I didn't have to pay the Ticketmaster ransom per ticket since all I had to do was pick them up at the box office. Did I like Liebert's new stuff well enough to buy the newer releases? Not likely. But with good live music so hard to find in the 909, I had a good time and so did the kids.