One word is likely to keep entering your mind when you sit inside San Diego’s fairly new waterfront concert venue, The Shell.
This post is about what it’s like to be inside the Shell for a show. The summer and fall home of the San Diego Symphony where is plays several times a week is on Embarcadero Park South – now officially called The Shell at Jabobs Park – across from the Convention Center.
It’s all outside and you are framed by water on your right (the Marriott Marina) and on your left (San Diego Bay across from the Coronado Island ferry landing). In front of you is a large white structure that resembles a whale shark’s mouth open while taking in krill. That is the Shell. Some musicians call it, “the clam shell.”
The structure comes to life during shows with lighting and graphics on the building. The orchestra is playing classical music, scores to John Williams or Star Wars – with the movie playing – or is in support of guest musicians. Bands sometimes have the stage all to themselves. For example, I heard Kool And The Gang on the Fourth of July and the next month, saw the Beach Boys (the Mike Love version).
Most of the time I do like dozens of others and grab a spot on along the sidewalk surrounding the Shell. This is a picnic scene and if you’re on the bay side, you’ll see boats anchored in the water. These viewing spots are available at no charge. Just walk up and pick an open space. The California Coastal Commission requires there be free public access to all of the state’s waterways.
@pubclub.com PubClub.com San Diego Travel Tip Of The Day! Inside the Shell concert venue. #traveltip #party #sandiego #pubclub #theshell @sandiegosymphony ♬ original sound – PubClub
As great as that is, nothing compares to actually being inside the Shell for a show. First of all, you are supporting the arts and the venue would not exist without people buying tickets (that plus several donors and too many corporate sponsors to remember, let alone name here). Secondly, you get the full experience of the shows. That includes unobstructed views of the giant screens, the lighting show on the frame of the structure and a seat. Some seats even have tables. There are a few lawn seats, too.
Spectacular. Again: spectacular.
Either way you’re under the stars while next to the water. San Diego nights are pleasant, tho be sure to have a jacket or sweatshirt handy because it can get a “California chilly” in the evenings.
Frankly, there’s not much else to say except to say if you’re in San Diego you have to experience a show at the Shell.
The Shell website: Rady Shell at Jacobs Park