Article and Photos By L. Paul Mann (More Photos Here)
In the wake of California’s largest wildfire in modern history, Carpinteria’s own Dishwalla played a sold out concert at the Alcazar theater. Formerly known as the Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse Theater, the gem of a venue, with accidental perfect acoustics has returned to its original name, Alcazar Theatre. Carpinteria Community Theatre Inc renamed the theater based on its 90th anniversary on April 27, 2018.
Dishwalla made a national name for themselves in the mid 90’s, beginning with their hit album, “Pet Your Friends.” After a five year hiatus, the band returned with a new lead singer. The band has been touring the world relentlessly over the last year promoting their new album recorded in Joshua Tree, “Juniper Road.” The band opened for Tears For Fears at the Santa Barbara Bowl last summer. According to many fans in attendance, the hometown group stole the show, as the veteran English duo suffered from a shared case of laryngitis from their grueling world tour.
The concert at the Alcazar was one of many local efforts to raise money for victims of the devastating Thomas fire. The entire city of Carpinteria was in danger of burning to the ground and was only saved by an army of firefighters risking their lives to save the town. Nearby Ventura was not so lucky with over 500 homes destroyed the first day of the fire.
Dishwalla played a pleasing set full of their hit songs as well as their new material. The veteran rockers led by the phenomenal guitarist, Rodney Browning Cravens tore through the blues-laden post-grunge rock that is their signature sound. The bands latest singer Justin Fox has been with the group long enough now that his vocals have become seamless with the music and has allowed the band to evolve into new territory. The band has had particular success in scoring music for television. In 1995 the song “Counting Blue Cars” was featured in the movie Empire Records. “Pretty Babies” can be found on the Blast From The Past soundtrack. In 1998 the bands “Truth Serum” appeared in the movie The Avengers; in 1999, the song “Stay Awake” was used in the movie Stir of Echoes and the song “Find Your Way Back Home” was featured in the movie American Pie. In 2002 the song “Home” was in the movie The Banger Sisters.
The band played a near two hour set adoring fans in their hometown of Carpinteria. Guitarist Cravens noted that the band had only played Carpinteria 3 times in their 22-year history. “The first time was at the city’s annual Avocado festival” note the beaming Cravens. The band also played an extended acoustic set employing some of their many local musician friends from the audience. It was a great start to 2018 for Carpinterians favorite band and the new old Alcazar theater, and all for a noble cause.