*Los Angeles – City council member Jose Huizar presented the tremendously popular Night on Broadway, which took over Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
The weather Gods like down favorably on Night on Broadway. This event was held on a bright sunny, beautiful Southern California afternoon/evening. Fritz Coleman said that it was going to be like this.
Night on Broadway was held on a mile-long stretch of Broadway between 3rd Street (north), and Olympic Blvd. (south).
This area was blocked off for the free event, offering a smorgasbord of music, games, and activities for kids and adults, art installations and one-of-a-kind experiences featuring hundreds of acts, entertaining throngs of people on 10 stages in the street and in six of Broadway’s historic theatres.
Night on Broadway celebrated the 9th Anniversary of Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway Initiative, a 10 year plan that has spearheaded revitalization along the historic corridor of Downtown Los Angeles.
In three short years, Night on Broadway has fast become one of DTLA’s signature events, much like Fiesta Broadway, Grand Park’s 4th of July Celebration and Grand Park’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. For the nostalgia minded readers, Night of Broadway bring to mind, The Los Angeles Street Scene back in the day. Hoping that I didn’t just age myself.
If I was a Venture Capitalist, Night on Broadway, would be a great investment, considering its tremendous growth in the last three years as well as it enormous potential, for all stakeholders.
This was my first year attending Night on Broadway. Hoping that it will not be my last. Attendees were hard press to not find something to their liking. A record was set for attendance for 2017 Night on Broadway. 70,000 plus people were in attendance for Night on Broadway, thanks in part to word of mouth from people who have attended the first two events. Attendance was also boosted by all platforms of Social Media, and advertisement. The National Hockey League All Star Weekend Fan Fest contributed thousands of attendees to Night on Broadway as well.
I followed the actions on the Olympic Stage which featured DJ Earry Hall manning the ones and twos while spinning an eclectic mix of old school jams and world beat tunes.
Guitarist/vocalist Raul Pacheco & the Immaculate Conception were the opening act. Raul Pacheco of famed culture mashers Ozomatli considers his band The Immaculate Conception as practitioners of musical purity. The crowd and I felt the joy this great group of musicians exuded during their crowd pleasing set. They performed the tunes “Pride,” “Pequena Seranata Diurna,” It’s Only Time,” “Water,” and “Twice,” that left the audience wanting more.
The Spazmatics played a high-octane set that rocked and thrilled the crowd. The crowd participated in an impromptu sing-a-long, by singing the lyrics to “Hellion,” “Million,” “White Wedding” by Billy Idol. It was fun to see the reaction of kids hearing their parents belt out lyrics to “Take/Wake/Jessie,” “Land,” “Hit Me,” “Don’t You Forget,” and “Kids/Rebel.”
Las Cafeteras never fails to put on a great show. This set at Night on Broadway was no exception. Their contagious and infectious live set was very energetic and engaging with plenty of audience participation. Their crowd pleasing set featured the tunes “Tiempos,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Ring of Fire,” “Zapateada,” “If I Was President,” “Trabajadero (a),” and concluded their set with “La Bamba Rebelde,” with a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Councilmember Jose Huizar came out to welcome the crowd that consisted of people across various ethnic groups as well as from every walk of life, that makes Los Angeles a great melting pot of cultures. Councilmember Huizar took pride in booking Rodney-O and Joe Cooley. I’m sure that readers are aware that Rodney-O and Joe Cooley are noted West Coast hip-hop pioneers from Compton, California, best known for the tracks “Everlasting Bass,” “Cooley High,” and “This is For the Homies” to name a few. DJ Cooley came out to get the crowd worked up. Rodney-O busted out on stage for a high energy set of tunes. They performed “Cooley High,” and a new track “What You Know About It, We About It,” before delving into their extensive catalog of tracks from back in the day. Their tunes had the crowd bopping and swaying throughout their set.
Ain’t no party like an Oingo Bongo Dance Party, kept the energy and the momentum up on the Olympic Stage. Headliner Mayer Hawthorne closed out another successful installment of Night on Broadway. Night on Broadway was produced by Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway in conjunction with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]