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The Santa Barbara Bowl: A Local Shrine to the Performing Arts

Santa Barbara Bowl The Santa Barbara Bowl, a 4,562-seat amphitheater, is historic in setting and at the forefront of music industry. The beautiful outdoor concert venue was originally built for the Santa Barbara community’s Fiesta pageant and now hosts some of the biggest names in concert touring. This amazing amphitheater, carved into a hillside, is open annually for concerts from approximately April through October with an average of 27 concerts per season.
Over the years, the Bowl has been the site of many prominent concerts:

  • Joni Mitchell’s 1980 double live album and concert film, Shadows and Light, was recorded at the venue in September 1979 on the tour supporting her Mingus Her all-star backing band was made up of prominent jazz fusion musicians Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Jaco Pastorius, Don Alias and Michael Brecker.
  • The British band Tears for Fears performed at the amphitheater in May 1990, and filmed for their Going to California concert video there with American vocalist/pianist Oleta Adams.
  • The British band Depeche Mode performed at the amphitheater three times: the first one was on August 5, 2001 during their Exciter Tour. The second one was on August 20, 2009 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a sold out crowd of 4,937 people. The third one was on September 24, 2013 during their Delta Machine Tour in front of a sold out crowd of 4,959 people. The 2009 show was recorded for the group’s live albums project Recording the Universe. On a side note, I sold Martin Gore, lead singer of Depeche Mode, his house in Montecito.

Upcoming shows include:

  • Steve Martin & Marin Short, Longtime comedians and friends Steve Martin and Martin Short will play a One Night Only Show. The show, “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” includes stand-up, film clips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business.
  • Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, It has been seven years since Ben Harper last performed with the Innocent Criminals. Featuring percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates, and guitarist Michael Ward.
  • An Evening with Jackson Browne, Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music today and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics.

The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation actively strives to create the leading outdoor performing arts center in the country. We who are fortunate enough to live here, appreciate that mission.
If you live here in the Santa Barbara area, you know just how popular – even revered – “The Bowl” is to locals. On the other hand, if you’re considering moving to Santa Barbara, have a look at my current listings. If you find something you like there, or in the general MLS property search on my website, Call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at to discuss your situation and we can come up with a winning strategy to find you just the right home or home away from home. If we act quickly, we can get you into your new property in time to catch one of this season’s Santa Barbara Bowl performances!

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