Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where to be Merry: Arts Brookfield's 4th Annual "Summer on the Plaza" @ Figat7th

Many wonderful al fresco activities emerge during the summer in the City of Angels. Scorching hot days and breezy temperate nights become packed with beach trips, outdoor picnics, trips to parks, down-home BBQs, glistening pools…

…And more of my all-time favorite activities swing into full effect during this season, and that’s the numerous outdoor music festivals and concerts that emerge on the scene. From as far west as the Santa Monica beaches to as far east as the Silverlake foothills, Los Angeles vibrantly buzzes with the sound of the live music that radiates within its streets.

This year I discovered another pretty awesome seasonal music event, when I was invited to see DJ Ceazs and GRAMMY-nominated Mike Phillips perform at the Arts Brookfield’s 4th annual “Summer on the Plaza”free outdoor concert series.

For three consecutive Friday evenings in July, the series takes over the downtown FIGat7th plaza, showcasing local DJs and internationally renowned jazz and R&B recording artists. The Border Grill restaurant sets up an area to grab drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and to order its signature appetizers. The vibe is soulfully laid-back and casually chill, with just the right amount of easygoing exhilaration to get you swaying to the music.


I really appreciate just how intimate the “Summer on the Plaza” set-up is. There are no nightmarishly congested packs of crowds swarming around you or lengthy lines in the food/beverage area. There are simply just plenty of optimal places to snag prime views of the stage and enjoy the music, from chairs provided by Arts Brookfield, to the grassy hill adjacent to the plaza.

And of course, the performers themselves are incredibly remarkable. I didn’t attend the first night, but I’ve seen Vikter Duplaix sets before, and he truly gets down on the 1s and 2s. And Mike Phillips didn’t just jam onstage; he captivatingly worked his way in and out of the crowds (check out the video clips below). It seems that the intimate setting gives the artists a unique opportunity to connect with us audience members for several hours.

Unfortunately, I suppose that all good things must come to an end, so DJ Pelau and South African singer Lira will close out the series this upcoming Friday, July 29th. I highly recommend attending; it’s free, it’s great music and it’s good, summer vibes. And if you can’t make it this Friday, definitely look out for the concert series next year and for other upcoming Arts Brookfield events throughout 2011. Follow them on Twitter at @artsBrookfield to see what’s on their calendar.

See you tomorrow!

Tips:
- Best way to enjoy the concert? Gather a few good friends, arrive around 5:30pm when doors open, grab a margarita and a poblano quesadilla, head to the hill just a few feet from the rows of chairs, throw down your blanket and get ready for an evening of live music, tasty “street” food and your favorite company.
- There are several plazas on the corner of 7th and Figueroa Street; “Summer on the Plaza” is located on the southwest corner coined FIGat7th.
- Parking in the plaza is available for $5; I also found parking off of Fig for $4.
- Who should attend: Great for dates, groups of buddies or even to go by yourself.

Below are a few video clips from the concert:

Mike Phillips takes his music to the crowds...literally!
 

 Mike Phillips gets the crowd to sing...

 

A guest violinist performs "21 Questions"...



For more information:
Arts Brookfield
735 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Shout out to Tulani for the amazing photos once again! Follow her work at @MS2LANY!