We went to the Paul McCartney show at SAP Center on Wednesday night with the hottest new item in concert fashion: A clear, 12-inch-by-12-inch backpack.
The three-hour concert by the former Beatle — a fantastic show, if that needed to be said — was the first major event at SAP Center since it rolled out the new clear-bag policy July 1, joining a growing list of stadiums and arenas that have done so since the NFL led the way in 2013. If I had a time machine, I’d go back a few years and dump every penny I could find into a company that makes clear backpacks. It would be like buying Apple stock in 1980.
The new policy was not without its bumps. There were lines snaking around both sides of the downtown San Jose arena more than an hour before the show, but it went relatively fast and smoothly once things got moving. For those who didn’t know about the new policy, an outdoor bag check was available for $5. (Anyone going to the Queen + Adam Lambert show Sunday at SAP Center can consider themselves forewarned.)
For us, the backpack took the place of my wife’s purse, so it held her wallet, keys, an empty water bottle, a phone and a sweatshirt. You can still bring in a clutch purse for personal items you may not want everyone to see, but the screeners will look through that, too.
Guys, of course, can stuff all the non-metal items you want into the pockets of your pants and no one’s the wiser. Which makes me wonder how long it’ll be before we all have to wear clear pants to concerts and sporting events. Better jump on it now while there’s still time to invest.
HUNTING HIGH AND LOW: If there’s anything we love more than parks around here, it’s cash. So to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month, the San Jose Parks Foundation has put together a series of weekend scavenger hunts all month with a $500 prize attached.
The name of the game is Explore Your Parks, and it takes place each Saturday and Sunday in July. Clues are publicized every hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on social media (follow @sjparksandrec and @SanJoseParks) as well as on KSOL 98.9 FM and Saigon Radio 1430 AM. The clues will lead you to a park or community center somewhere in San Jose where they can search for a hidden token. The tokens will indicate another place to meet at 2 p.m. where participants will have a chance to win the cash prize.
And don’t worry that the Parks Foundation is giving away $1,000 each weekend that could be put to better use at our parks. The point of the contest is to get more people into the parks — and dangling a bribe ain’t a bad idea — and funds for the cash prizes was donated by Turner Construction and the Schoennauer Company.
MORE FOR THE SAN JOSE PLAYLIST: Jazz trumpeter Eric Bolvin emailed recently with a new contribution to the discussion on songs about San Jose, recalling that Japanese pop composer Domei Suzuki wrote “Yes, I Know The Way to San Jose” in the mid-1970s. Bolvin remembers because he played in a high school all-star band that performed during Jazz Faire IV in 1976 as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebrations.
The legendary Quincy Jones directed the band at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, and Bolvin remembers Suzuki’s song was sung by the amazing Renée Lubin, who has been delighting audiences in “Beach Blanket Babylon” for more than 30 years. The song was later released as a 45 rpm record as part of San Jose’s bicentennial celebration in 1977. An additional hat tip to Metro Silicon Valley columnist Gary Singh, who wrote an article in May with more on the history behind Suzuki’s song.
PRINCESS POWER: “Disenchanted” — the off-Broadway, subversive take on Snow White and the other princesses — is heading into its final weekend at 3Below Theatres in downtown San Jose, and the riotous royals will be providing more than laughs for the community. For the last four performances, 3Below’s Shannon and Scott Guggenheim are turning the theater into a donation hub for four South Bay nonprofits.
The show will support the San Jose Woman’s Club’s “Be A Dear and Donate a Brassiere” campaign (July 18); a HomeFirst drive for pads, tampons and incontinence products for homeless women and teens (July 19); the Princess Project Silicon Valley, which provides prom dresses and accessories to high schoolers who can’t otherwise afford them (July 20); and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (July 21). All shows are at 7:30 p.m. except July 21, which is a 2:30 p.m. matinee.
So before you head to the theater, clean out your closet or pantry or head to the market to purchase some extras to donate. Tickets to the show — aimed at adults, not kids — are available at www.3belowtheaters.com.
WILD START FOR BEER WEEK: The gang from The Beerwalk has put together the official kickoff party for Silicon Valley Beer Week at one of San Jose’s most beloved and iconic spots, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Brew at the Zoo, which starts at 6 p.m. July 19, will feature about 40 breweries pouring and live music on the Crooked House meadow. Tickets are available for $65 at eventbrite.com (search for “Brew at the Zoo”) or $75 at the door if any spots are left.
The 10-day run will be overflowing with tap takeovers, beer release parties, beer-paired dinners and more at bars, restaurants and other venues stretching from San Carlos to Los Gatos. You can get the full schedule at www.svbeerweek.com. Prost!
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