Kristen and I had the privilege of attending Classic West Sunday and we had a wonderful time. Fleetwood Mac was incredible, opening with a haunting yet fun “The Chain” before Christie McVie took lead vocals for “You Make Loving Fun” followed by Stevie Nicks telling the audience “Without further adieu, we should get this party started,” and began the song “Dreams.”

Billboard Box

Irving Azoff and family held court in the “Forum Club,” a high-end space behind the dugout with everyone from Bjork to Cindy Crawford and Rob Lowe hanging out. Of course Rick Roskin and Rob Light were in the house from CAA as well as Bret Gallager and Bob Roux from Live Nation, and regular celebrity sightings like Lana del Rey and David Spade and my favorite celebrity of all, the irrepressible and seemingly invincible, Tim Leiweke.

It was a first date night for Kristen and I — we still haven’t left Wesley home with a babysitter, but thankfully our friend Aly was there to provide childcare and text message emotional support for Kristen (Wes turns six months tomorrow!). Some times a date to Dodger Stadium can be a headache, but Sunday’s concert was extremely smooth and well run and the production was incredible. A three-tiered stage and video wall ran practically the entire length of the outfield, impressing and entertaining the 50,000 people in attendance.

Of course it’s hard to talk about The Classic without comparing it to that “other” music festival from 2016 — Desert Trip. Both were absolutely incredible, but an event at the Polo Fields in Indio is going to feel markedly different from an event just outside of downtown LA at a storied baseball stadium. Perhaps my main observation was that Desert Trip had a more “adults at summer camp” Orange County crowd, while The Classic was more a combination of the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills and working class LA all wrapped into one. The Classic felt a tad more diverse and definitively Los Angeles-centric. But hey, that’s just my read from the good seats.

I’d also say that Desert Trip felt more like a destination festival while The Classic was more of a night-out on the town. Is that enough comparison for ya? I’m trying to be very careful with my words — all in all they are both great events.

Congrats to the Azoffs, Oak View Group, Live Nation, CAA and everyone involved in pulling off this spectacular event. You 100% delivered on the promise of Classic West and I hope to see the event return to LA in the years to come.

Dave Brooks
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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
Dave Brooks
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