Bay Area Suburb Livermore Stakes Its Claim to Indie Cool With the Front Porch Music Fest

Categories: WTF

A concert at Wente Vineyards
Somewhere between the hipster meccas of Brooklyn and S.F./Oakland lies Livermore, a quiet town of roughly 80,000 adjacent to the mild East Bay suburbs of Dublin and Pleasanton. While home to a number of nice wineries, including the venerable Wente, and even an In-N-Out burger, Livermore hasn't quite claimed a spot on America's tattooed-foodie/music-nerd/Wayfarer-wearing axis -- until now.

Enter the Front Porch Music Festival, the Sept. 1 grand finale of a summer-long series at Wente Vineyards that will be headlined by such first-rate "indie" acts as the Mountain Goats (!) and the Dodos. Yes, indeed: The Mountain Goats are playing a winery out in the 'burbs of the 'burbs, at the very end of the Bay Area. Sure, Diana Krall and Foreigner and John Fogerty have played there before. But Livermore just might be getting cool now.

But only maybe, because next to the Mountain Goats and S.F. duo the Dodos, the rest of the Front Porch lineup looks a bit .... incongruous. There's local folk singer-songwriter Jerry Hannan, former American Idol contestant Jason "Wolf" Hamlin (promising "smoky, sweet, OUTLAW COUNTRY!!!!"), and groups called Crawdad Republic, Left of Right, Stiletto Bandit, and even the Garage Band Academy.

Not too many of those outfits seem likely to get reviewed by Pitchfork anytime soon (not that that's a bad thing), but if you wanna see 'em do their best to rock Livermore out, the Front Porch Festival goes down at Wente Vineyards on Saturday, Sept. 1. And if you go, you might get to witness the very moment that Livermore becomes cool.

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