It’s Up, Up and Away In Temecula With Wine & Balloon Festival, Temptations Concert

Written by on June 24, 2010 in June 24, 2010, Live Reviews - Comments Off on It’s Up, Up and Away In Temecula With Wine & Balloon Festival, Temptations Concert

Longtime rocker Paul Rodgers headlined Saturday night at the Temecula Wine & Ballooon Festival.

Paul RodgersWHO KNEW? Turns out the Inland Empire, or I.E. as its abbreviatingly known, isn’t such a bad place culturally or musically after all! In fact there’s this cool little enclave of a town called Temecula, heretofore known for its wines and champagnes (their Almond-flavored champagne is to die for!), where we had the pleasure of taking in back-to-back entertainment events at recently.

THE FIRST WEEK IN JUNE found us for the second consecutive year at the Temecula Wine & Balloon Festival. Spread over a huge expanse of breathtakingly beautiful rolling hills, the Festival – all three days of it – features wine and champagne tasting, foods, arts and crafts,  clothing and jewelry for sale, and of course, those famous hot air balloons. Talk about exercise – you can’t help but lose a few pounds just walking from area to area!!! Though the live music lineup overall wasn’t as good as last year’s, standouts included Temecula-based blues-rockers Aunt Kizzy’s Boys and Saturday night’s headliner, Paul Rodgers of Free/Bad Company renown.

PECHANGA RESORT AND CASINO was our destination the following week, to take in a concert by the Temptations. Talk about survivors –this legendary soul/R&B group have been going strong since the 1960’s!!! Though they currently include only one original member (68-years-young Otis Williams), many of the five vocalists have been with the band for some time now. Though they have a new album out, the group is wise enough after all this time to know their fans come to hear them do their hits, not the new stuff – so the “old stuff” they did, including “Just My Imagination,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” and my fave Temps’ tune, the rock-tinged ‘70’s-era hit, “Psychedelic Shack.” Great rhythm section, too – led by L.A.-based drummer William “Bubba” Bryant.  A word about Pechanga: If you haven’t been to a casino in a while, this place is worth the drive!! First-class accommodations all the way! We plan to go back there and see Billy Idol in August.