Mission Creek held a major free concert in McLaren Park on Saturday featuring over a dozen great bands and a bunch of good times. For me, the event was equal parts great local music and sales pitch for the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, which I hadn’t known existed prior to the show. I was admittedly skeptical as I got off my second bus of the day, bringing the travel time to the fest to a round hour-and-a-half, and adding a “This better be worth it” feeling to the experience, but I wandered down a hill to the emerge upon the backside of an amphitheater full of hipsters, hippies, families, and weirdos all enjoying great weather and great music. In a moment, it felt so naturally San Francisco, as if of course there was a 600-person amphitheater in McLaren Park and of course it was filled with people on a Sunday afternoon, and of course Bart Davenport and band were playing onstage.
But the event only felt predestined. Clearly a ton of work was involved, and the between-band announcements for raffle tickets and donations left me hoping that it was at least a break-even proposition. In a city facing an ongoing War on Fun, a free, all ages, mostly local music event like this is the sort of thing we should all get behind, particularly when the bands are, as they were, so great. Which brings me off the soapbox and back to the afternoon: Davenport and band were sublime, and his showmanship was masterful as always. Rubies, who we’ll be talking more about tomorrow, got people dancing with their effervescent “mellow disco” sound. And Persephone’s Bees were loud and poppy and thoroughly enjoyable. I left completely satisfied, inspired by the afternoon’s success and wondering how to take advantage of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in the future.