At outdoor events in downtown Los Angeles, such as the Grand Performances series that included Friday night's Ozomatli concert, or the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival's summer performances, part of the fun is people-watching, and much of what you see people doing is turning their heads side to side and murmuring, "This is so cool. I've never seen downtown like this."
California Plaza, where the Grand Performances concerts are held, can be a lovely scene in the evening, with the sunset reflecting off the little man-made reflecting pool and the office towers. The tall buildings surrounding the stage at the top of Bunker Hill give almost a canyon effect, sort of a glass-and-steel version of what is now the Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen in San Bernardino, which nestles into the curve of steep mountains, out on the current fringe of SoCal sprawl. Still, California Plaza is not really the ideal concert venue: the acoustics are muddy, and the stand of small trees that provide a welcome oasis of green for noontime lunchers block the view of the stage from the north.