Laura Benack of L.A. duo Bass Race told us about the best gig she has seen — a classic rock extravaganza.
One of the best presents I ever received came in the form of tickets from my bandmate/boyfriend Steven to see Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins and Christopher Cross at the Hollywood Bowl in 2018. The concert fell on my birthday and the headliners were accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Everyone loves the Bowl, but as someone who spends their Saturday mornings listening to rebroadcasts of Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdowns from the 70s, this lineup of yacht rock royalty was a dream come true.
I was already a massive Michael McDonald fan going into the show. I first came to love McDonald’s music before even knowing it was his. “Keep Forgettin” is now one of my all-time favorites, but I first heard it as a sample in Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate”. Throughout the night, it became clear that McDonald’s famous voice has retained both its soul and power. And while I’ve always enjoyed Kenny Loggins’ hits, the show at Bowl took my fandom to the next level. It was pretty cool to see 15,000 people sing along to “Footloose”, but it was another one of Loggins’ songs that became my favorite performance of the night. “Celebrate Me Home” nearly moved me to tears. I had never heard it before that night, but according to Spotify, it became one of my most listened to songs in both 2019 and 2020.
Since the show, I’ve actually gone back to rewatch my grainy iPhone footage from the nosebleeds just to relive the feeling. And if you’re a fan of Michael McDonald or Kenny Loggins, I highly recommend checking out the video of Loggins’ 1993 Outside: From the Redwoods concert to experience some of the incredible duets I saw performed that night in July.
Bass Race’s “Crystal Paradise” single is out now. The Tender Vittles album is out March 19. Find them in Instagram.