California's deadly wildfires have destroyed 2,000 homes,
scorched over 600,000 acres and killed 16 residents over the past week. The out-of-control fires continued to burn Wednesday (October 29) and the danger and uncertainty caused several acts to hold off on playing the San Diego area until the situation is under control.
Among those steering clear of the fires are Something Corporate, who were scheduled to play SOMA in San Diego on Tuesday night. "It's tough to play a show when there's a catastrophe in the area," said guitarist Josh Partington.
"We canceled half our tour in Europe when the war started earlier this year because we felt the same way, like we didn't want to be playing a show when there's something so much more important going on, especially now with people losing their houses and dying," he explained. "It's hard to go out there and celebrate music during something like that."
Partington said that during Something Corporate's show in Phoenix Wednesday night, and for the next few nights of their tour with the RX Bandits and Mae, the Red Cross will be on hand to collect donations for victims of the fires. The band's San Diego show has been rescheduled for December 18.
While raunchy rapper Peaches went ahead with her shows on Monday and Tuesday nights at the Casbah in downtown San Diego, legendary reggae punkers Soul Brains had to cancel their appearance at 4th & B on Thursday (October 30) because of travel difficulties, according to a spokesperson for the venue.
Los Angeles rap crew the Visionaries and DJ What? of the Beat Junkies had to cancel their Monday night show at Canes Bar & Grill in San Diego, according to booker Pamela Johnsen. "We have several national shows next week [LTJ Bukem, Mike Patton & Rahzel, Mix Master Mike,
X-ecutioners] that we are hoping we will not have to cancel or
postpone," she said. "Our ticket presales are very low for these shows. I think part of the reason is because of the fires. We have not suffered any structural damage, but the air quality has been poor."
With airports and major freeways blocked or shut down at times over the past few days, singer/songwriter Howie Day had a difficult time making it to Southern California for a pair of gigs. Day was scheduled to fly from Denver to Los Angeles on Sunday for a show at the Roxy that night. He was unable to get a flight into the city due to the fires and was forced to fly into Sacramento and drive the rest of the way, according
to an Epic Records spokesperson. His Roxy shows were moved to Monday and Tuesday, but his gig at the Scene in San Diego on Wednesday has been postponed indefinitely.
The Queens of the Stone Age/ Distillers show that was to take place Wednesday night at the RIMAC Arena in La Jolla was moved to SOMA in San Diego as a result of the fires and, as of press time, Social Distortion had decided to tough it out and play their show at the 4th & B Wednesday night.
The Deftones/ Denali/ Poison the Well show slated to hit SOMA on Friday was also still scheduled to take place as of Wednesday afternoon, as was the Halloween show from hometown punkers Rocket From the Crypt at the Casbah.
Though the fires had a small ripple effect in the music community, they did seriously alter the filming of "The Aviator," the Martin Scorsese film about Howard Hughes starring Leonardo DiCaprio and featuring No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. The movie had been filming scenes on an airstrip
at Big Sky Ranch just south of Los Angeles in Simi Valley, but cast and crew were forced to evacuate over the weekend as flames destroyed part of the set and smoke made outdoor shots impossible, according to a statement from Warner Bros.
Stefani said on "TRL" on Tuesday that she had already completed filming her role in the film as movie actress Jean Harlow.