Veteran Band WAR Brings An Array of Sounds To Ventura Fairgrounds

Article Contributed by L. Paul Mann | Published on Thursday, June 10, 2021

The veteran rock band WAR, which formed back in 1969, brought a live show to an appreciative audience in Ventura, California. The May 29th show was part of the Concerts In Your Car series at the Ventura fairgrounds. War is a musical crossover band that fuses rock, funk, jazz, Latin, rhythm and blues, psychedelia, and reggae.

Concerts In Your Car | Ventura, CA

The drive-in concert was a perfect showcase for dozens of classic cars modified into Low Riders, Southern California Latino culture manifestations. The biggest hit song from War was the 1975 classic “Low Rider,” which became an anthem for Latino culture centered around the unique artistry of the modified automobiles.

War | Ventura Fairgrounds

A huge crowd had gathered when the band took the stage at 830 in the late spring twilight. As the giant video screens broadcast the band breaking into their first song, some fans began hopping their low rider cars to celebrate the band. The six-piece band of accomplished musicians launched into the thick catalog of some of the band's biggest hits. The group fronted by lead singer and keyboard player Lonnie Jordan, the only original member of the band, wasted no time in bringing the excited audience the tunes they wanted to hear including, "Spill the Wine," "The World Is a Ghetto," "The Cisco Kid," "Why Can't We Be Friends?", "Low Rider" and "Summer.")

Stuart Ziff | WAR

Stuart Ziff has been the band's guitarist since 2002, playing both lead and rhythm guitar, exhibiting a vast and flexible range. Scott Martin has been the band's Saxophone and Flute player since 2017. Alongside Stanley Behrens, who has played harmonica for the band since 2011, the pair would frequently duel onstage, bringing a distinctive jazz element to the funky beat from the other musicians. Sal Rodriguez has been laying down the funky drum beats for the band for over 30 years. Marcos Reyes added a distinctive Latin flavor with his infectious percussion beats. Trevor Huxley rounded out the band's rhythm section with his funky bass beats. The show also featured local singer songwriter Mike Gonzales who sat in with the band for a several songs.

Marcos Reyes | WAR

As more people become vaccinated, music fans at the drive-in shows have become more comfortable leaving the cars and lounging or dancing in the cool night air at the fairgrounds. Two food trucks and a beer bar also kept concertgoers in good spirits. The Concerts In Your Car Series continues with the final show featuring Hip Hop artists Nelly and Baby Bash on June 12th. CBF will then transition to its original music festival format with the first event, The 9th annual Tequila and Taco Festival in Ventura in July. According to CBF productions “With restrictions on concerts and festivals lifted in California as of June 15, Ventura’s beloved Tequila & Taco Music Festival will be returning on July 24 - 25 to the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Festivalgoers will be able to enjoy tequila sampling, live entertainment, delicious street tacos, craft beer, refreshing margaritas and an artisanal craft market, all at an ideal beach-adjacent outdoor setting, cooled by ocean breezes.

Sal Rodriguez | WAR

A variety of top-shelf tequila brands will be participating in the festival’s Saturday and Sunday tequila tasting, and delicious margaritas and other beverages will be available for purchase. Attendees will also be able to enjoy delicious gourmet street tacos from a range of popular food vendors.

Scott Martin & Stanley Behrens | WAR

The 90’s pop icon and rapper Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice will set the stage on fire with his distinctive mix of rock, techno, and old-school hip hop on Saturday, along with the hip hop/pop rap duo Tag Team.”

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