E-40 plays SOMO Village by Estefany GonzalezE-40 plays SOMO Village (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)

1. The New Trust 15-Year Anniversary Show

The New Trust 15 Year Anniversary Show by Estefany Gonzalez

A quick glance at attendees of the New Trust‘s 15-Year Anniversary show meant spotting dozens of Bay Area musicians amongst the loyal fans watching the beloved Santa Rosa band play classics off its first two albums. It also meant seeing the friendships the band’s music has sparked, while witnessing children run around a venue as a new generation experiences music. The lit-up faces and locked arms in the crowd proved it wasn’t just the band celebrating the past 15 years worth of milestones, but the North Bay celebrating what We are fast-moving motherfuckers. We are women and men of action. and Dark Is The Path Which Lies Before Us meant to the community.

2. E-40 plays in Rohnert Park

E-40 plays SOMO Village by Estefany Gonzalez

As a sleepy college town, Rohnert Park got a wake-up call stronger than drinking five cups of coffee during E-40‘s stop at SOMO Village during his 2018 tour. Though seeing E-40 at large festivals like BottleRock or Rolling Loud is also great, this show offered a much more intimate setting — not to mention it was packed full of hundreds of E-40 fans ready to “go dumb” and a lot less ritzy winos.

3. The First Homesick Festival

Ceremony at The Phoenix Theater by Estefany Gonzalez

The first Home Sick Festival brought Power TripTouché AmoréBlack MarbleKing WomanCulture AbuseFuryScreatureHideAcrylics, and Super Unison for one of the most eclectic festival lineups to date. As a benefit concert for the North Bay Fires, the show offered the North Bay a moment to come together over local and touring acts while raising money towards fire relief and gave a glimmer of hope during a dark time.

4. The Front Bottoms bring mosh pits to Lagunitas

Closing out the 2018 Live at Lagunitas Series, there was no better song for the Front Bottoms to kick off their set at Lagunitas Brewing Company than “The Beers.” Though the rainy weather left the outdoor arena full of small puddles, it cleared up on the cold October night just in time for a night of sing-alongs and muddy mosh pits.

Seeing Against Me! play in the North Bay four years ago after the release of Transgender Dysphoria Blues felt like a rare treat that would likely never happen again, yet lightning struck twice and brought the punk-rock band to town for a special and unforgettable night at Mystic Theatre.