Swept Away, Blown Away And Whisked Away In The South Bay
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Blogger
When you live in an area as lively as Hermosa Beach, CA – and, indeed, the entire South Bay Beach Cities which also includes Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach – you are conditioned to know a fun time can break out at any time.
Even during a hurricane.
Yacht Club To Yacht Club To Saint Rocke
Or, more accurately, low-grade hurricane winds, which is what we had the last Sunday of January. The wind was whipping so hard it was knocking doors off hinges and waves were slamming into and well over the breakwater wall in Redondo Beach.
So, of course, a few of us decided to get an up-close look at the latter (with cocktails in hand, naturally) and called a friend who is a member of the King Harbor Yacht Club.
What we got was quite a show and it was the beginning of quite an entertaining evening that took us to another yacht club to hear an awesome blues band duo and then onto see – wait for it – Elvis!
By the end of it we were “All Shook Up” and had a lot of looks from people with “Suspicious Minds” because we were having such a good time they wondered what we had been up to all day.
The first yacht club was smashing, to say the least. The waves were slamming into the jetty, roaring as they blasted some 20 feet in the air. The spray was brushing the roof of the yacht club and we had the perfect view for it, right in front and just feet from the north end of the jetty.
Then we drank our wine. Check out more coverage with photos and video of the crashing waves.
Next, it was onto the Hermosa Beach Yacht Club, which doesn’t require anyone to be a member to gain entrance (HYBC is a little dive bar). It was debuting live music on Sunday evenings, and as the premier nightlife and party source of the South Bay, PubClub.com was, of course, obligated to go by and check it out for a review.
Frankly, I was expecting some half stoned hippe with an acoustic guitar strumming spiritual songs better suited to hear around a campfire, so you can imagine my surprise when we walked in to hear two guys on electric guitars hammering out fantastic blues music.
These guys were awesome. It was obviously not their first gig! It was so good, I stopped dead in my tracks and had to check my surroundings to be sure I had not magically stepped into, say, the famous Slippery Noodle blues bar in Indianapolis.
To add to the confusion – for HBYC is really a burgers and beer dive bar known primarily for its sexy and scantily-clad bartenders – it was offering $3 glasses of champagne. And it was good champagne! Here’s details on this weekly event at HBYC.
The band was so good, the champagne was so good (you got a full glass of it), the atmosphere was so good and the 1/2-pound Commodore Burger with HBYC chips was so good, I had to pry myself out of my chair with a crowbar to go to the next place.
But Elvis was playing!
This was not some hokey tribute guy but Graceband, which puts on a full show just like the old Elvis concerts. Graceband is a 12-piece band with horns and backup singers and was at Saint Rocke, a top Los Angeles live music venue.
Due to our fun at HBYC, we were nearly an hour late to Saint Rocke and thought we had missed half the show. But moments after walking through the door, I heard the unmistakable concert intro of “CC Rider” and we rushed into the room just in time to see Elvis walk onto the stage.
For the next 90 minutes, Graceaband put on a non-stop show, complete with a guy putting scarves around Elvis’ neck that he then passed out to the many ladies in the crowd.
Elvis sang, danced, wiggled and struck the famous pose, and somehow the obvious wig and fake sideburns did not fall off lead singer Chris Maddox’s head.
One thing that was obvious from the start about Graceband is that the wig is so ridiculously fake you know the band doesn’t take this “Elvis thing” too seriously, and you are in for a good time.
I just wish they had played more actual Elvis songs, but bands have to reach out beyond their genre these days to appeal to a wider audience.
When it was all over, we were swept away (figuratively but thankfully not literally) by the wild winds that hit Los Angeles, blown away by the surprisingly good blues band at HBYC and whisked away back in time to an Elvis concert by Graceband.
Dare I say it was just another #SundayFunday in the South Bay!?