By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer– ‘Drivin’ 395, Ridgecrest’s own local classic rock band, will be the first band on the Xin Bowl Asian Bistro patio since the pandemic. They will be playing on Friday, October 14 from 6pm until 10pm at 1110 N. China Lake Blvd.
This family event can only be good for the community. “From the perspective of the Visitor’s Bureau,” says Kari Crutcher, Executive Director of the Ridgecrest Area Visitor’s Bureau. “It is crucial that Ridgecrest has inviting spaces and activities like this for tourists and business travelers. The better the experience, the more likely the visitor is to return to Ridgecrest in the future. Last week we welcomed about 300 business visitors who were in town for a special event. The patio was the perfect location”
“We finally have a Band Night on the Patio back,” says Traci Campbell, General Manager of Xin Bowl. “We haven’t had a performance on our patio since 2019. We are finally trying to restart.” Folks who have attended in the past will agree with Campbell when she says, “It’s a really fun community event with live music and dancing. It’s good for the whole family. It’s one of the few places where you can bring your kids and have a good time.
“I want to showcase our artists because we have so much talent in this region and because it’s so remote it goes untapped and unnoticed. Everyone in Ridgecrest seems to have a connection and that’s nice because the band themselves can have their family, and their children attend. That’s what a lot of the bands that have played here said, ‘This is our favorite event because it’s early and we get we get to bring our kids and our families where we normally play in bars, and we don’t get to do that.’
“This is a really good way to bring the community together with music and support the local artists in our community because I only hire local artists to give a little back to the community that’s been really good to our restaurant and us. It’s kind of a little gift to the community and a fun way to spend a Friday evening.
“It’s been really missed. I’ve received so many emails and messages from people that know me asking when the music’s coming back because it’s really been missed. Hopefully, we get a good turnout, so we can afford to keep doing these events.”
Not only is there music and dancing, but the Xin Bowl also offers their full menu and adult beverages. “We have a fully stocked bar, so drinks are available. We have waitresses and servers outside; if people want to just sit, enjoy the music have their food brought to them that can be done. You’re not obligated to buy anything to come.
“It is a nice evening out. Come, have some cocktails, some dinner or some snacks, watch the music, dance and just really enjoy our beautiful patio. The fall is so beautiful in Ridgecrest. This is when the weather finally cools down.”
Campbell and Xin Bowl introduced Band Night in 2013. Historically the bands played on the patio during the summer months with Acoustic Night inside the restaurant on occasional Thursdays in the cold months. This summer was so hot they waited until October to reintroduce the event.
Drivin’ 395 was scheduled to play then everything stopped when COVID arrived. Campbell is happy to welcome them to launch the return to Band Night. She says, “Since we are family friendly we have a wider demographic of people that come. Drivin’ 395 has music that appeals to everyone; they have a great setlist. They play a little bit of everything that appeals to everybody.”
Justin Dampier, guitar player for Drivin’ 395 tells us the band has been playing together for 20 to 25 years. He says, “We’re super excited to get back to Xin Bowl. That’s a great location. It’s a great patio, awesome food, great vibe. And we’re glad live music is starting back up.”
“It is important that everyone come out to support local businesses, support our music scene and our local musicians,” invites Campbell. “Without support, none of the businesses can continue to offer events like this. I love live music. I just love the whole vibe, and the energy that it brings.
“Music brings people together and I think our world has been such a sad, separate, isolated place. This is a really beautiful way to come out with normal life again, bring our community together, enjoy being alive, enjoy life again and share common ground.”