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Live music returns with Shameless Saturday celebration

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

On Saturday, March 13 a little slice of “the before times” will return when Last Name Brewing hosts its eighth annual Shameless Saturday celebration, complete with live music and folks gathering together.

You read that right: the Upland brewery’s outdoor all-ages St. Patrick’s Day fest will feature human beings playing live music, and other human beings enjoying fresh beer whilst listening.

Everyone will be outside—six feet apart of course—and masks will be required when moving through the area. But the fact remains that we are all invited tomorrow to sit and enjoy a frosty beverage, grab a bite from the Fire Fresh Pizza food truck, and listen to some music.

For many this is the first opportunity to do so in more than a year.

“We had music once back in November or December, before that last lockdown, and that seemed like quite the experiment at the time,” said Last Name co-owner Andy Dale. “But we’ve found that people are really hungry for something to do right now in a safe environment.”

Shameless Saturday runs from 1 to 9 p.m. at Last Name, 2120 Porterfield Way, Upland. Live entertainment will be provided by O’Sullivan’s Shameless Hussies, a “big, loose rock ‘n’ roll orchestra” made up of members from several local groups including The Stolen 58s, The Black Tongued Bells and Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight. The Hussies will play three sets, at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.

The Upland brewery has outdoor seating for 72, with tents and space heaters for when the evening cools off. Tables include eight two-tops, five four-tops, and six six-tops. Admission is $20 and tickets and information are available at www.lastnamebrewing.com/outdoor-sets or on Last Name’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/

Last Name will also have its usual free admission area for those who just want to sit outside, “for people that just want to come hang out and drink a beer at a more of a conversational level,” Mr. Dale said.

For all patrons, Last Name has a host of COVID requirements in place, which folks should acquaint themselves with prior to attending. They are viewable at https://www.lastnamebrewing.com/regulations.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Black Tongued Bells are part of O'Sullivan's Shameless Hussies, who are appearing tomorrow at Last Name Brewing's Shameless Saturday celebration.

Mr. Dale said it felt good to be bringing back a semblance of normalcy to one of the area’s much loved, longtime hubs of craft beer and live music.

“Yes it really does,” he said. “As a matter of fact it took us a little while longer than you would expect for us to figure out that we actually had permission to do that. Following all the COVID guidelines we could still host music and have a great time.”

Moving the brewery’s live entertainment outdoors, with 8,000 to 9,000 square feet of usable space, has been a game changer.

“We’ve got so much room now that we can use all of the outdoor space that we have here,” Mr. Dale said. “Doing the social distancing and staying by the letter of the law really is no issue at all. It’s kind of magical right now. With all this space that we have we can actually host more than one crowd at a time.”

Last Name is renting tents, space heaters, tables and chairs for Saturday’s celebration.

“We’re at the tricky time of the year where trying to figure out what the temperature’s going to be at any given time during the day is hard, so we’ve got to be prepared for all of Southern California possibilities,” Mr. Dale said.

After a year without live music in a social setting for most people, the response, as one might expect, has been enthusiastic.

“It has been very good,” Mr. Dale said. “We are selling tables fairly quickly, much more quickly that we had imagined. I don’t know exactly how many are left right now. We have some people who want to stay and listen to more than one set, so they are buying tables for two consecutive sets.”

COVID requirements mean the event is both similar to and nothing like the brewery’s previous Shameless Saturday fests.

It’s the same in that it will again be pouring its seasonal beer, Shameless McDale, an Irish red made with all organic grains. It’s another thing altogether in that rather than packing the inside of the industrial space with beer and music fans, the numbers are restricted in both quantity and how they are physically arranged.

“Customers aren’t buying seats, they are buying tables,” Mr. Dale explained. “According to state regulations, we are not supposed to host groups larger than six, and all six [or two or four at the smaller tables] are supposed to be from the same household. We can control the first part of that by selling tables instead of seats, but I’m afraid it is left to the customers to define their household. That is well above my pay grade.”

Shameless Saturday is the first in what he hopes will be more and more live music in the coming weeks and months at Last Name.

“Yes definitely,” he said. “As a matter of fact I think sooner rather than later. Because again there’s just nothing that precludes it, even under the current situation. If we can be safe and have fun at the same time, let’s just go for it.

“If they tell us to shut down again we’ll shut down again. But there’s no reason that people can’t get together and drink beer here, so there’s no reason they can’t get together, drink beer, and listen to music.”

And that is music to the ears of musicians and fans.

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