Like countless other bands and musicians, Moscow’s L.A. and the Earthquakes watched its spring and summer concert lineup disappear as pandemic measures went into effect, but that wasn’t enough to stop the music.Musicians need to play, and they need an audience, so the group planned the Curbs and Cars (Socially Distanced) Concert set for Saturday night at the Palouse Mall parking lot.
“We’re not doing it for the money. We’re doing it because we know people need some joy and entertainment,” said Tony Burt, the band’s bass player.
L.A. and the Earthquakes, fronted by Leslie Wilson of Moscow, is a cover band playing rock, soul, funk and R&B hits, anything from Aretha Franklin to Phil Collins. As a large group with seven performers, its size makes playing small venues difficult. Instead they often perform at large corporate events or outdoor gatherings like Moscow Artwalk and the Moscow Farmers Market. With those events canceled or postponed, Burt and other members began brainstorming different ways to bring the music to people.
Their first idea was to drive around Moscow and perform briefly in different neighborhoods, which is how they plan to spend Saturday afternoon, pending the approval of a noise permit from the Moscow Police Department, Burt said. After that, they’ll go to the mall and set up a portable stage and sound system. A noise permit for the mall concert has already been approved.
They chose the mall because they wanted a location where people could purchase food, patronize businesses and sit in their cars and listen to music or get out and dance, said Burt, who lives in Palouse. The mall concert is to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. near Starbucks, and the band asks that attendees maintain physical distances of 6 feet from others, park six feet away from other cars and leave a center aisle open. The mall has approved the concert and plans to help rope off an area where emergency services could enter, if needed, Burt said. Portable toilets won’t be available, so people should plan ahead.
Coincidentally, Saturday is the first day of phase 3 for reopening Idaho, which is when groups of 10 to 50 people are allowed to gather as long as physical distancing and precautionary measures can be observed. Burt said it wasn’t the band’s intent to have the concert on this day, but he was told by the police department it provides a buffer of safety for them.
Other members of L.A. and the Earthquakes are Wilson, lead vocalist; Linda Mullin, vocals; Connor Debries, guitar; Gunn Wilson, keyboards and vocals; Bill Hebert, drums; and Sean Wilson on sax, congas and vocals.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Curbs and Cars (Socially Distanced) Concert featuring L.A. and the Earthquakes.
WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30.
WHERE: Palouse Mall parking lot near Starbucks.
OF NOTE: People are asked to park six feet away from other cars and take social distancing measures. Check the band’s Facebook page for any last minute changes.