As the winter darkness quickly replaced the twilight on the Bella Vista Ranch and Polo Club in Summerland, local DJs Suzanne X, Matty Matt, Gavin Roy and Zeke took over the music at the Kick Ash After Bash.

Much of the crowd, especially those with children, had already departed from the day-long event which preceded this, the Kick Ash Bash, being held to celebrate local first responders who had stepped in to save the community from the terrible recent fires and mudslides.

But those who left were quickly replaced by a whole new crowd of aftershow ticket holders. Concert-goers were greeted with a continued supply of complimentary food and beverages that kept everyone in a festive mood in the cold evening air.

The After Bash took on a different tone to the earlier all-star Kick Ash Bash.There were fewer performers than there were earlier in the day, but the audience was treated to extended sets from these groups. Another resident, actor Michael Keaton, took over MC duties with his young baby in his arms.

He announced the next act, a real classic rock legend: David Crosby took the stage with his veteran group of musicians the Sky Trails, named after his latest album. He and the band launched into some tracks from the new release as well as some of the classic tunes that have made him an iconic figure in rock history. The 75-year-old Crosby wowed the crowd with his trademark vocals, while his band of veteran rockers including his son on lead guitar took the songs into jam band territory.

The next group to take the stage continued the genuinely legendary rock sounds with the iconic guitarist from the Doors, Robbie Krieger, leading the band. His group features another rock legend on bass: Phil Chen, with his son Waylon singing lead vocals. The band eerily channeled the Doors playing classic covers into the cold night air, mesmerising the tightly packed crowd.

Midway through the set, Krieger announced that Pablo, son of his former bandmate Ray Manzarek, would be sitting in on drums. The band was then joined by Krieger’s longtime friend Tommy Thayer, guitarist from Kiss. The pair laid down a blues-rock drenched guitar jam that sent shivers through the crowd and blasted through their assigned set time.

The most contemporary act of the day appeared next, as reggae-rock hitmakers Iration took the stage. The band is composed of Hawaiian musicians who came together in Santa Barbara to form the hugely popular group. In their ten years together the band has recorded three EPs and five full-length albums, and has become a favourite festival act with their feel-good mix of reggae, rock and dub music. The band played past the scheduled 10pm curfew much to the delight of the late-night crowd.

Even though the curfew had passed, authorities allowed the fundraiser to continue for another half hour so that young southern California rockers The Feal could play a final few songs.

Photos by L. Paul Mann

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