A rare perk in attending industry events comes when the obligatory event bash is actually worth attending. And I don't mind saying that the bash for Oracle Open World 2007 was worth it. The party tonight was held at the Cow Palace just south of San Francisco. The food -- which ranged from bratwurst to sushi -- and ample open bar capacity were by themselves sufficient to ensure a fun night. But the live entertainment, offered on three separate stages, was just off the hook.
Let's start with the opening acts: Angelique Kidjo (who?), En Vogue (pffft), and Smithereens. OK, so maybe I'm being a bit uncharitable to Ms. Kidjo and En Vogue, but we're talking the Smither-freakin'-eens here. They rock. So maybe Pat DiNizio is getting a bit rotund...who the hell cares? He still sounds great. No contest there...it was the Smithereens for me.
Next came the headline acts, and get this: Lenny Kravitz, Billy Joel, and Steve Nicks with Mick Fleetwood. All playing at the same time on separate stages. What's left for one to do except to circulate between the three venues, right? After bouncing back and forth between Billy Joel and Lenny Kravitz, I ended up at the Stevie Nicks show if for no other reason than there was more room. And damn, but if she didn't sound awesome.
Following up after the headline acts was English Beat, whose Ska sound was right on target and spectacularly lively. All in all, a night well-spent.