The Los Angeles Zoo's Roaring Nights music series keeps the summer cookin' with a party for ages 18 and up that transforms the evening into one big Sweet-Home-California Country Nation on Friday, July 29, 2016, 7 to 11 pm. Live music by Highway Starr, Southern California’s premier modern country band, features today’s hottest hits as well as a splash of yesterday’s favorites from Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Eric Church and more. Also performing are the Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band, delivering fresh arrangements of traditional and modern songs with mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and Grant Langston and the Supermodels, combining the deep country music traditions of North Alabama with the telecaster twang of California roots and Americana. Line dancing classes taught by Kerry Kick, celebrated as "Orange County’s Best Line Dance Instructor," make it "My Kinda Party," as do L.A.'s favorite food trucks, full-service bars, a Game Lawn with horseshoes, cornhole and a Texas-size (read: giant) version of Jenga, plus a “Paint Party” for guests to paint their favorite critter on a small canvas to take home as a souvenir. The fun continues with pop-up zookeeper talks, animal encounters and visits to animal habitats. Guests whose get-ups are deemed the boot-scootin' best win a costume contest, and everyone comes face-to-face with a special nighttime round-up of the life-size, lifelike prehistoric varmints of Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo.
Two additional Roaring Nights events throughout the summer feature all-different lineups: Friday, August 26 is indie rock night; and Friday, September 16 celebrates the 80s with tributes to David Bowie and Prince.
Among the high-profile food trucks at Roaring Nights in July are Baby’s Badass Burgers, Border Grill, Lobsta Truck, Mandoline Grill, Rice Balls of Fire, The Pudding Truck, Peaches Smokehouse, Paradise Ice Cream, Woody’s Grill, Meat the Greek, The Chairman Truck, The Bakery Truck, The Lobos Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Austyn’s and Ragin Cajun.
Highway Starr features lead vocalist Daniel Alan, Dave Rea on acoustic guitars and vocals, quick-pickin’ “Uncle Marty” Wagner ripping it up on lead guitar opposite the rolling thunder of Eric Sachs on bass, and the powerhouse drumming of Rob Jones. Not just another “saloon band,” Highway Starr has raised the standard by combining the music, attitude and showmanship in their concert-style shows throughout the West Coast.
Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band, a Southern California based group featuring Devitt Feeley, Lydia Veilleux and Craig Ferguson, got its start in the bluegrass music field by winning first place in the 2009 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle "Band Contest." In 2012 they took first place in the California Bluegrass Association's "Great 48 Showcase Showdown," competing against the top bluegrass bands from across the state. They perform at premiere bluegrass and country venues across Southern California and have festival appearances scheduled at the Las Vegas Bluegrass Festival, CBA's Father's Day Festival, the Calico Spring Festival and the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival. Their first recording, the EP "Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band," was mastered by legendary bluegrass engineer Billy Wolf, and the band's first full-length album, "Bluegrass Stomp," was released last fall.
Grant Langston, born the textile town of Gadsden, Alabama, was raised singing and playing in church and spent his adolescence playing bass for the King James Version gospel quartet, then helped pay his way through Auburn University touring the dive bars of Alabama and Georgia with a rock band. After a move to Los Angeles he began writing and playing the roots music that Nashville didn’t want — honky tonk and full of attitude. He has recorded six albums and enjoyed countless tours of the US and Europe opening for Dale Watson, Band of Heathens, Wayne “The Train Hancock”, Ben Harper, Asleep at The Wheel and I See Hawks in LA. A multitude of placements in TV and film, most notably HBO’s hit series True Blood, round out the resume. Grant also co-founded The California Roots Union in 2014. This organization’s mission is to promote and support California roots and country music with media outreach and as a production company. He also has a musical side project, JOLENES, with LA music legends David Serby and Dan Janisch.
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo's popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.
Programing subject to change.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles' Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Plentiful free parking is available.
Roaring Nights tickets are $25 for adults 18 and older and $22 for GLAZA members. For tickets, visit www.lazoo.org/roaringnights. For additional information, call (323) 644-6001.