SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — To celebrate the return of live events, the Lobero Theatre Foundation is hosting a free concert on Saturday night.
The historic 148-year-old venue will kick off its season with An Evening with Zach Gill and Special Guests.
Similar to many other independent venues, the Lobero fell silent in 2020, when the coronavirus shuttered the entertainment industry without warning.
After closing its doors to limit the spread of COVID-19, the theater lost more than $1.5 million in critical earned income and faced an uncertain future.
By emptying stages across the globe, the pandemic generated an urgent need to reimagine the live performance experience — both for artists and audiences stuck at home.
In an effort to save itself, the Lobero launched a specially-priced live, pay-per-view concert series in June of 2020. Live from the Lobero was born, embracing the concept of ‘contactless performances’ in the intimacy of the empty historic hall, breathing life into an innovative virtual event series.
The community came to the rescue when it mattered most with over $800,000 in donations.
“We got through the pandemic, real simply put because this is a great community,” Lobero Theater executive director David Asbell said. “I mean they really stepped up.”
After a successful soft reopening this June with Songs of Summer and the Santa Barbara Opera, the Lobero is thrilled to turn a page on the pandemic.
“We’re going to go out of our way to say thank you as many times as we can both inside and outside,” Asbell said.
Zach Gill, a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter most known for his work with ALO and Jack Johnson, has performed for presidents, with some of music’s biggest stars, appeared on numerous late-night TV shows, and in historic venues throughout the world. He's recorded music with or backed up everyone from Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads to Neil Young, and sung duets with Eddie Vedder and Amy Mann. Gill’s set will pull from his 3 full-length albums, his deep ALO catalog and some classic covers.
He will be joined onstage by ALO bandmate Steve Adams and Jack Johnson cohort Adam Topol, as well as by local favorites, including the surf mariachi indie-pop artist Spencer the Gardener, guitarist-composer Joe Woodard, and Brazilian New Bossa vocalist-guitarist Teka, and more.
“It’s going to be a collaborative night, there are over 30 musicians performing,” Gill said. “It’s going to be a night to remember.”
The concert is first-come-first-served and seats 575 people. It’ll take place from 6 p.m. till 10 p.m. with the doors opening at 5 PM.
To learn more about the Lobero, you can download its new app available in the Iphone App Store and for Google Play Store or visit its website.