The Return of Live Music to the Central Valley


jay wade ig: @jaywademusic

Pictured from left to right: Rodolfo Martinez, Isla Dudley, John Myers, and Jonah Vera.

Last week, the Fresno Tower District held its annual “Art Hop” on Thursday (September 3, 2021), a gathering of people where local musicians and artists display their work for attendees to admire and/or purchase.

Local Hanford band SadKwonDo made a performance at Sour Milk Shop in this “mini-festival” along with Sacramento hardcore-punk band Sissy Fit. Many attended, out of excitement for the return of live music.

SadKwonDo were able to let us know their thoughts on returning to music. Their singer, Isla Dudley, stated this about returning to live performances:

“It feels good to be back! I feel alive again, and not like I’m just continuing on pointlessly.”

When asked about how the band spent time during quarantine, Isla and drummer Jonah Vera had the following comment:

“We spent a lot of time communicating through means of zoom calls and other messaging services. We also managed to write new songs through video snippets of ideas as well. Aside from just being alone, we honestly managed to get a lot done.”

Despite Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines, a good crowd did appear, abiding by the safety protocols. For a comeback show amidst the diffusion of a pandemic, one may say the concert was a great success!

However, those who attended had to acknowledge the risk of the Delta Variant. With more and more cautious warnings about this variant, the question of whether or not shows would continue to return surfaced.

Jonah Vera stated on that topic:

“Now given the circumstances, we have to suffer with the pandemic and trying to go back to normal is almost impossible. So with Delta going around, I’d say mask up, get vaccinated, and most of all have fun at shows.”

On September 6th, SadKwonDo released their full length debut album, now available on most streaming platforms! Make sure to check them out on Twitter and Instagram, @sadkwondo, and be on the lookout for upcoming shows!

Dudley, Isla. Personal interview. 6 September 2021.
Vera, Jonah. Personal Interview. 6 September 2021.

Photo Credits: Jay Wade. IG: @jaywademusic