Del Mar Times


July 8 -
July 14, 2005


What's Inside

Summer concert series returns
to rock Powerhouse Park

The Del Mar Foundation’s summer concert series kicked-off with the retro sounds of the Corvettes.

The Corvettes kicked off the Summer Twilight Concert Series at Powerhouse Park with a difficult task asked of their audience of 2,000-plus people. Amid the Pacific Beach backdrop, the sun set prompted the band to halt their set, and challenge the listeners to spot a trademark “green flash” as the sun dropped below the horizon.

While some claimed to be witness to the sporadic phenomenon on this particular Tuesday, plenty of the others will have the opportunity themselves as the Del Mar Foundation, in its’ 23rd year, ignited another year of the Summer Twilight Concert Series.

“We try to deliver something the community likes to see and hear,” said Bill Michalsky, who is heading up the concert series for the 2005 season. “They (The Corvettes) captured to spirit of the event. The kids, especially, loved it. They came up and they danced. The audience stayed on the lawn to the very end of the show.”

Despite early skepticism about not attracting enough people, Michalsky, red with sunburn, sporting a graying goatee, went onstage around 7:00 pm to make a few announcements, and claimed there “wasn’t a blade of grass uncovered.” That is not atypical, says Michalsky, as he maintains that, in his years of going to these concerts, the park is usually filled with families and concert-goers.

The concerts, which were originally held in Seagrove Park, have been part of the Del Mar Foundations’ unique place in bringing cultural entertainment for over 20 years, and have lived through a mixed bag of emotions. While people within the Del Mar community typically embrace the opportunity to sit by the picturesque scene of waves crashing in the backdrop of wind-rocked palm trees, the concerts generally add an element of chaos to the area.

“Concerts people have mixed emotions about,” admitted Michalsky. “There are throngs of people, and there is an everlasting battle through traffic. And if you do not have on-site parking, it’s tough to find a spot to even just go home.”

Despite this, the concerts go on monthly, as opposed to the formerly tiresome schedule of two concerts a month. Headlining the concert on July 12 is the local band Left4Dead. Michalsky is confident that the bands’ broad range of appeal will attract a swarm of music lovers to the park that evening.

“They do 70’s, 80’s, and current rock and roll bands,” he explained. “They started out as a garage band, but they polished out and are in high demand. They do a good job, they’re very energetic, and we’ve had them before. If the audience doesn’t like them, I will be very surprised.

“The main thing is finding groups with broad appeal. (Our range) is kids from six to 60, though the age range really is growing younger and older than that. We’re not looking for something too out there, or too harsh, we want that medium. We want to get people moving and enjoying it. We don’t want to be so loud that people can’t talk, or too low that people can’t listen.”

The Summer Twilight Concert Series, for almost a generation now, has served as not only entertainment, but as a family oriented event that elicits generous emotions and fond memories of summers’ past.

“My favorite moment was one summer when we had a local band, Los Barachos Locos,” remembered Michalsky, unable to translate the bands’ names’ meaning. “We were all waiting in Seagrove Park, and suddenly we heard a faint sound. What had happened was when the band got halfway down 15th street, they started playing their instruments. They walked right into the park playing. It was just a really neat experience.”

Concerts are monthly, and following Left4Dead are two more local bands “Island Fever” and “Haute Chile”. The Summer Twilight Concert Series will con-clude on the last Sunday in September with an all day event, culminating in a cookout and picnic on the beach.

The Del Mar Foundation was formed in 1982, and is a non-profit organization. Because no one gets paid for being a part of the association, it forces members to roll up their sleeves and contribute, but their mission remains untainted.

According to the website,, the mission statement is to “promote civic pride and cohesiveness, acquire and preserve open space … and sponsor diverse cultural programs and community events in Del Mar.”

“Community” is a word the Foundation uses freely to promote the ideal. While it is easier to write a check to promote such events as the Summer Twilight Concert Series, many people give back philanthropically through volunteer. Although Michalsky arrived via Pasadena on New Years Day in 1970, he has made his home is Del Mar, and feels that partly because of the idyllic surroundings it is his duty to give back.

“If you don’t give something back, things don’t happen,” he said. “It is small enough a community that it is easy to give back. For people who live here, giving back is part of their makeup. Involvement is a way of life sometimes. We’re proving that.”

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