The 2019 summer season for the O.C. Fair started on July 12 and ended Sunday night, Aug. 11 with performances from America, Poco and Firefall at the Pacific Amphitheatre. All three groups were a major part of the '70s country/folk-rock sound. Poco was formed in Los Angeles, while Firefall formed in Boulder, Colorado. Oddly enough, America formed in the UK, having one British member and two American members. The trio consisted of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek. All three sang and played multiple instruments. As the original trio, the group released seven albums with their self-titled debut reaching number one on the US Billboard charts. Peek left the group in 1977 and sadly passed away in 2011. Beckley and Bunnell are celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary on this tour, with their touring band of bassist, Richard Campbell, drummer, Ryland Steen (who happens to be an O.C. native) and guitarist, Steve Fekete. Over those 50 years, the group has continued to release music and contribute to the Southern California music scene.
America opened the show with one of their biggest hits “Tin Man.” Even after following Poco and Firefall, and maintaining the venue's strict curfew, America managed to play 21 songs. Eight songs in, America played “Ventura Highway,” a song perfect for the warm, starry night. They also covered The Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby,” and Bunnell and Beckley discussed working with Beatles producer, Sir George Martin. America also covered the Mamas and Papas', “California Dreamin’,” a big influence on the group, along with other groups of that era such as The Beach Boys.
America concluded their set with “Sister Golden Hair,” and came back for an encore of “A Horse With No Name.” After 50 years, Beckley and Bunnell sounded as great as ever.
The Pacific Amphitheatre concerts continue through September 8th.