The Complete Lineup from the Twilight Concert Series

Poster from the 2016 Twilight Concert Series

The Twilight Dance Series began in 1985 as a way to bring people down to the Santa Monica Pier after the storms of ’83 to remind them the Pier was still around. The Pier was not nearly as popular then as it is now and the businesses really relied on Thursday nights during the Twilight Dance Series to generate enough revenue to stay open year-round. The series was originally was centered around “dance-able music,” hence the name Twilight Dance Series. Each week, a dance floor would be rolled out on along the Pier planks and Angelenos would flock to the West side to get their groove on while listening to popular acts from around the world. Initially starting as one small stage under a tent, the concerts quickly grew in popularity throughout the years and became one of the main reasons the Santa Monica Pier is what it is today. Even undergoing two name changes to Twilight Concert Series in 2012 and Twilight on the Pier in 2018, the series still brought thousands of guests together as a special meeting place – dancing on the Santa Monica Pier. Here is the complete line up from the Twilight Series over the past 35 years.

1st Annual Twilight Dance Series (1985)

  • June 20 – Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band
  • June 27 – Perri
  • July 4 – Independence Day Fireworks Show
  • July 11 – New West Brass Quintet

2nd Annual Twilight Dance Series (1986)

  • July 18 – The Rhythm Kings
  • July 25 – Poncho Sanchez
  • August 1 – Old Mother Logo
  • August 8 – Downbeat Express
  • August 15 – l’Dren / Shuybah
  • August 22 – Aman!
  • August 29 – Billy & the Beaters

3rd Annual Twilight Dance Series (1987)

Queen Ida made several appearances throughout the years at Twilight. She was the first female accordion player to lead a zydeco band – a music genre that blends blues, rhythm and blues, and music indigenous to the Louisiana Creoles.

  • July 9 – The Rhythm Kings
  • July 16 – Lil Elmo & the Cosmos
  • July 23 – Bluesbusters
  • July 30 – Jack Mack & the Heart Attack
  • August 6 – Queen Ida & the Bon Temp Zydeco Band (📺)
  • August 13 – Kathy Robertson
  • August 20 – Poncho Sanchez
  • August 27 – Rotundi
  • September 3 – The Rebel Rockers
  • September 10 – Big Band Beat

4th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1988)

  • July 7 – The Rhythm Kings
  • July 14 – La Despers
  • July 21 – The Hit Men
  • July 28 – Queen Ida & The Bon Temps Zydeco Band
  • August 4 – Babylon Warriors (📺)
  • August 11 – The James Harman Band
  • August 18 – L.A. Samba
  • August 25 – A Town South of Bakersfield with Jann Browne, Ronnie Mack, Kathy Robertson, Jeffery Steele
  • August 1 – The Bonedaddys
  • August 8 – The Klezmorim

5th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1989)

  • June 29 – Tower of Power
  • July 6 – Rhythm Kings
  • July 13 – Billy Vera & the Beaters
  • July 20 – Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock & Jim Lauderdale
  • July 27 – Queen Ida & The Bon Temps Zydeco Band
  • August 3 – Big Daddy
  • August 10 – Flaco Jimenez
  • August 17 – Poncho Sanchez
  • August 24 – I-Tex, Jawge & the Unknown Band
  • August 31 – The Bonedaddys (📺)

6th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1990)

In 1990, before the amusement park was on the Pier, the stage for Twilight was in the same location where the Pacific Park Ferris wheel currently is and faced inland. This was the first year that it was so crowded on the Pier, the crowds spilled out to the pier deck parking lot. Bo Diddley had recently done his infamous commercial with Bo Jackson, and rumor has it the City received noise complaints all the way from 20th street that night. This was the concert that began the creation of the Santa Monica noise ordinance that says no speakers can be facing inland from the Pier.

  • June 28 – Junior Walker & the Allstars
  • July 5 – Joe Higgs & Family (📺) / Eyes of the World
  • July 12 – Chaba Fadela & Cheb Sahraoui
  • July 19 – Queen Ida & the Bon Temps Zydeco Band
  • July 26 – Asleep at the Wheel
  • August 2 – Bo Diddley
  • August 9 – Tito Puente Latin Jazz Allstars
  • August 16 – Beausoleil
  • August 23 – Tom Kubis Big Band featuring Jack Sheldon
  • August 30 – The Bonedaddys

7th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1991)

  • June 20 – Texas Tornados
  • June 27 – Venice
  • July 11 – Katie Webster
  • July 18 – Latino Latino
  • July 25 – Capp Pierce Juggernaut Big Band
  • August 1 – Boukman Eksperyans
  • August 8 – The Untouchables (📺)
  • August 15 – Queen Ida & Her Zydeco Band
  • August 22 – Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • August 29 – David Rudder with Andy Narell

8th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1992)

  • July 9 – Sha Na Na
  • July 16 – NRBQ
  • July 23 – Poncho Sanchez
  • July 30 – Thomas Mapfumo
  • August 6 – Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens
  • August 13 – The Bonedaddys
  • August 20 – Jack Mack & the Heart Attack
  • August 27 – Johnny Adams

9th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1993)

10th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1994)

Dick Dale, known as the godfather of surf guitar, also appeared on many of the Twilight line ups and has performed at many other Pier events such as the Pier’s centennial celebration.

  • July 7 – The Bonedaddys
  • July 14 – Limpopo / Brother
  • July 21 – Queen Ida and Her Zydeco Band
  • July 28 – Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeno Band
  • August 4 – Raymond Myers and Boom Shaka
  • August 11 – Poncho Sanchez
  • August 18 – Dick Dale and the Del Tones (📺)/ The Surfaris
  • August 25 – Manu Dibango ~ Cameroon
  • September 1 – Beausoleil

11th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1995)

  • July 6 – L.A. Blues Revue with John “Juke” Logan and the Chill Aces, featuring Brenda Burns, The King Brothers and Johnny Dyer
  • July 13 – PaPa Wemba
  • July 20 – The Radiators
  • July 27 – Zydeco Party Band / The Blazers
  • August 3 – The Iguanas
  • August 10 – Richard Elliot
  • August 17th – The Shirelles
  • August 24th – The Mighty Diamonds (📺)
  • August 31 – Junior Brow / Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys

12th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1996)

  • July 11 – The Blasters
  • July 18 – Dick Dale
  • July 25 – Ricardo Silveira and Justo Almario
  • August 1 – Junior Reid
  • August 8 – C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
  • August 15 – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
  • August 22 – The Young Dubliners
  • August 29 – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
  • September 5 – Angelique Kidjo

13th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1997)

The Red Elvises, formally known as Limpopo (played on the ’94 lineup), were a Russian band that started out as street performers around Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade. They gained popularity around town and eventually ended up playing on the main stage at the Twilight Dance Series.

  • July 3 – Boozoo Chavis
  • July 10 – The Carter Brothers / Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers
  • July 17 – Johnny Otis Revue
  • July 24 – The Red Elvises (📺) / El Vez
  • July 31 – Eddie Palmieri
  • August 7 – Toots & the Maytals (📺)
  • August 14 – Quetzacoatl / Sergio Arau & Moctezuma’s Revenge
  • August 21 – Indigo Swing / The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
  • August 28 – Quartre Etoiles ~ Zaire – Soukous
  • September 4 – Yellowjackets

14th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1998)

  • July 2 – Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band
  • July 9 – Bo Diddley (📸)
  • July 16 – Buck Owens
  • July 23 – Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel
  • July 30 – Koko Taylor & Her Blues Machine
  • August 6 – Baaba Maal
  • August 13 – The Young Dubliners
  • August 20 – Queen Ida & Her Zydeco Band
  • August 27 – Karnak
  • September 3 – Ozomatli

15th Annual Twilight Dance Series (1999)

  • July 1 – Venice / Sally Taylor
  • July 8 – Hugh Masekela
  • July 15 – Roomful of Blues / Zola Moon
  • July 22 – Chuck E. Weiss / Los Straitjackets
  • July 29 – Jose Feliciano
  • August 5 – Eric Burdon & The New Animals
  • August 12 – Bamboleo / Ricardo Lemvo / Francisco Aquabella
  • August 19 – Burning Spear
  • August 26 – Night ‘O Swing with the Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra / Indigo Swing
  • September 2 – Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet

16th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2000)

  • June 29 – The Neville Brothers
  • July 6 – Dick Dale / Red Elvsises
  • July 13 – Robby Krieger / Quicksilver
  • July 20 – Sonia dada / Zoo People
  • July 27 – Bobby Rodriguez Salsa & Latin Jazz Orchestra
  • August 3 – Royal Crown Revue (📺)
  • August 10 – Thomas Mapfumo
  • August 17 – Culture / Mongoose
  • August 24 – Zachary Richard / Lisa Haley & Her Zydekats
  • August 31 – The Young Dubliners / Brothers

17th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2001)

18th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2002)

  • June 27 – Shuggie Otis / The Brothers Johnson
  • July 3 – Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars
  • July 11 – Eileen Ivers Band
  • July 18 – Laura Love / Rosie Flores
  • July 25 – Rachid Taha / Natacha Atlas
  • August 1 – Graham Parker
  • August 8 – Morgan Heritage
  • August 15 – Delbert McClinton
  • August 22 – Quetzal / B-Side Players
  • August 29 – Jefferson Starship (📺)

19th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2003)

  • June 26 – Preservation Hall Jazz Band
  • July 3 – Willie K and Amy Hanaiali’ / Ernie Cruz Jr. / Makana
  • July 10 – The Afro Celts / Electric Skychurch
  • July 17 – The WAiFs / Laurie Lewis
  • July 24 – Dark Star Orchestra
  • July 31 – Salif Keita / Vusi Mahlasela / Ricardo Lemvo
  • August 7 – Maraca / Susie Hansin Latin Jazz Band
  • August 14 – Acida / Sidestepper / Los Amigos Invisibles (📺)
  • August 21 – The Platters (📺) / Billy Richards’ Coasters
  • August 28 – Russell Gunn & Ethnomusicology / Hiromi

20th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2004)

  • July 1 – Fishbone / The Bonedaddys
  • July 8 – Wailing Souls / Ras Michael
  • July 15 – The Young Dubliners / Venice
  • July 22 – Les Yeux Noirs / Quetzal
  • July 29 – Ex-Centric Sound System / Delta Nove
  • August 5 – Richie Havens / Janis Ian
  • August 12 – Andrea Echeverri / Ely Guerra / Los Abandoned
  • August 19 – Billy Vera & the Beaters / Thee Midniters with Little Willie G
  • August 26 – Blackalicious / Benny Cassette
  • September 2 – Clarence Clemons Temple of Soul / Gravity

21st Annual Twilight Dance Series (2005)

The Knack, known for their one hit wonder “My Sharona,” didn’t have enough material to fill their performance time so they ended up playing two of the same sets back to back.

  • June 30 – Easy Star All-Stars presenting “Dub Side of the Moon” / Detour Posse
  • July 7 – Cannibal and the Headhunters (📺) / Little Joe Y La Familia
  • July 14 – Markus James and Wassonrai / Tinariwen
  • July 21 – Chicago Blues Reunion starring Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel, Tracy Nelson, Sam Lay, Corky Siegel
  • July 28 – Marc Cohn / Suzanne Vega
  • August 4 – Super Diamond / It’s a Beautiful Day
  • August 11 – Plastilina Mosh / Nortec Collective
  • August 18 – Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band with special guest Eddie Daniels
  • August 25 – Buckwheat Zydeco / Kermit Ruffins “Barbeque Swingers” & Topsy Chapman
  • September 1 – The Knack / Shonen Knife

22nd Annual Twilight Dance Series (2006)

  • June 29 – Poncho Sanchez
  • July 6 – Indigo Girls / Michelle Malone
  • July 13 – Dick Dale / Agent Orange
  • July 20 – Mavis Staples (📺) / Rick Holmstrom
  • July 27 – Lyrics Born / Daara J
  • August 3 – The Aggrolites / Joey Altruda’s Classic Riddims / Chris Murray Combo
  • August 10 – Salif Keita / Ashley Maher & Her Big Global Band
  • August 17 – Inti-Illimani
  • August 24 – Kiran Ahluwalia with DJs DidJital and Eccodek, visuals by Amanda Boggs
  • August 31 – David Grisman Quintet / Jim Campilongo / Brandi Shearer

23rd Annual Twilight Dance Series (2007)

2007 was a big year for Twilight with Patti Smith on the bill, but it was also the year that started bringing big crowds to the beaches when local band Los Lobos finished out the year’s series and attracted a seemingly endless crowd of fans to beach heading south below.

  • June 28 – The Ventures (📺)/ Boom Pam
  • July 5 – David Lindley / John Cruz / Brandi Shearer
  • July 12 – Plena Libre / Spam Allstars
  • July 19 – Samba Mapangala / Orchestra Virunga / Jose Conde y Ola Frescca
  • July 26 – “Tosh meets Marley” featuring Fully Fullwood & Junior Martin
  • August 9 – Queen Ida & her Zydeco Band / Hacienda Brothers
  • August 16 – Patti Smith
  • August 23 – Holmes Brothers / Carrie Rodriguez
  • August 30 – Los Lobos

24th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2008)

  • June 26 – The Bonedaddys / Crown City Rockers
  • July 3 – Keali’l Reichel / Na Leo / Weldon Kekauoha & Hula Halau
  • July 10 – Spanish Harlem Orchestra
  • July 17 – Fall Out Boy (📺)
  • July 24 – Bachata Roca Legends / Classic Dominica Music Icons
  • July 31 – Michelle Shocked / Mike Farris
  • August 7 – Oliver Mtukudzi / Rocky Dawani
  • August 14 – Carmen Consoli / Juana Molina / Samantha Crain
  • August 21 – Peter & Gordon (📺) / Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • August 28 – Toots & the Maytalls

25th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2009)

Joan Baez was one of the most anticipated performances during the Twilight Dance Series because of her connection to the Pier (rumor has it she used to stay at her friend’s apartment above the Merry-go-round). She was often a part of the crowd during the concerts, even making surprise appearances dancing on stage when her friends, such as Peter & Gordon in 2008, would play.

  • July 2 – “Playing for Change” Band / Bushman
  • July 9 – Joan Baez (📺)
  • July 16 – Sgt. Garcia / Ricardo Lenvo & Makina Loca
  • July 23 – “La Monica Revisited” with Squirrel Nut Zippers / Johnny Vana & the Big Band Alumni
  • July 30 – Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited (📺)
  • August 6 – Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women / Paul Thorn
  • August 13 – Idan Raichel Project / Elijah Emanuel
  • August 20 – Venice / Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real
  • August 27 – Lila Downs / Very Be Careful
  • September 3 – Patti Smith (📺)

26th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2010)

Mick Taylor, guitarist from The Rolling Stones, was originally slotted to headline on August 19th and dropped out a few nights before the show. Betty LaVette, a soul singer, took his place but no one in the crowd left disappointed that night – she blew everyone away.

  • July 8 – Konono No. 1 (📺)
  • July 15 – Ben Lee / Brother / Ry Cumming
  • July 22 – Jovonatti / Jace Everett / Ana Tijoux
  • July 29 – Kailash Kher’s Kailasa
  • August 5 – Rickie Lee Jones
  • August 12 – Soulive / Breakestra
  • August 19 – Bettye LaVette / Tom Nolan Band (📺)
  • August 26 – Abby Road / Led Zepagain
  • September 2 – Dr. John & the Lower 911 / Eddie Baytos & The Nervis Brothers

27th Annual Twilight Dance Series (2011)

Rusty’s Surf Ranch, a bar and restaurant on the Pier, held a yearly Battle of the Bands. The winner got to be the opening act for one night of Twilight.

  • July 7 – Grupo Fantasma / Oscar Hernandez’ L.A. Salsa All Stars
  • July 14 – The Bangles / Caracol
  • July 21 – Missy Higgins/ Kim Churchill / Andy Clockwise
  • July 28 – The Slackers (📺) / Starpool / Rusty’s Surf Ranch Emerging Artist Competition 2011
  • August 4 – Nelson Marquez & the Moderators / Tutu Sweeney & The Brothers Band
  • August 11 – Royal Crown Revue / Orgone Plus Ameera
  • August 18 – Duo-Tones (📺) / Slacktone / The Elimators
  • August 25 – Milongatron
  • September 1 – Dawes / Sonny & the Sunsets
  • September 8 – Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew / Donald Harrison Electric Group / Wanda Rouzan

28th Annual Twilight Concert Series (2012)

  • July 5 – Donavan Frankenreiter / Song & Dance Society
  • July 12 – The Lions / Arise Roots
  • July 19 – Haim (📺)/ Wildcat! Wildcat!
  • July 26 – Jackie Green / Rusty’s Surf Ranch Emerging Artist Competition 2012
  • August 2 – Kasey Chambers
  • August 9 – Parade Collective (musicians from Cirque du Soleil)
  • August 16 – Amadou & Miriam / Y La Bamba
  • August 23 – Alex Cuba / Lucky Mambo 7
  • August 30 – The Pimps of Joytown / The Gumbo Brothers
  • September 6 – Best Coast (📺)/ No

29th Annual Twilight Concert Series (2013)

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue was a featured performer on 2013. The New Orleans based brass band leader went on to win the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities for achievements as a musician and for his community work to preserve and pass on to younger generations the rich musical heritage of his native New Orleans.

  • July 11 – Surfer Blood / Terrapin Sun
  • July 18 – Meshell Ndegeocello / The Record Company
  • July 25 – No Age (📺)/ Tijuana Panthers
  • August 1 – Xavier Rudd
  • August 8 – Hanni El Khatib / Bombino
  • August 15 – The English Beat / Maxwell Smart / Rusty’s Surf Ranch Emerging Artist Competition 2013
  • August 22 – Nick Waterhouse / Boogaloo Assassins
  • August 29 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue / Dustbowl Revival
  • September 5 – Gardens & Villa / Mr. Little Jeans
  • September 12 – Jimmy Cliff / The Delirians

30th Annual Twilight Concert Series (2014)

  • July 10 – Cults / James Supercave
  • July 17 – Yuna / King
  • July 24 – Cayucas & Papa
  • July 31 – Omar Souleyman / De Lux
  • August 7 – Jagwar Ma (📺) / Fascinator
  • August 14 – La Santa Cecilia / Sergio Mendoza y la Orckestra
  • August 21 – The Zombies / Mystic Braves
  • August 28 – Lee “Scratch” Perry / Mexico 68
  • September 4 – OK Go / Allah-Lahs
  • September 11 – Charles Bradley(📺) / King James & the Special Men

31st Annual Twilight Concert Series (2015)

  • July 9 – Morris Day & the Time / Dam-Funk
  • July 16 – Real Estate / Hippo Campus
  • July 23 – !Cubanismo! (📺)/ Chicano Batman
  • July 30 – JD McPherson / Sarah Gayle Meech
  • August 6 – Ben Browning / DMA’s
  • August 13 – Sister Nancy / Jesse Royal
  • August 20 – Ariel Pink (📺)/ The Mynabirds
  • August 27 – Jefferson Starship / Purple Mountains Majesties
  • September 3 – Rebirth Brass Band / Miles Mosely & the West Coast Get Down
  • September 10 – Tune-Yards / Avid Dancer

32nd Annual Twilight Concert Series (2016)

  • July 7 – Mayer Hawthorne / Alina Boraz
  • July 14 – Borns (📺) / Porches
  • July 21 – The Psychedelic Furs / Day Wave
  • July 28 – Proteje & the Indiggnation / Raging Fyah
  • August 4 – Natalia LaFourcade / Monsier Perine
  • August 11 – Rufus du Sol (📺) / Marc Baker
  • August 18 – Mavis Staples / The Suffers
  • August 25 – Save Ferris / Cibo Matto
  • September 1 – Unknown Mortal Orchestra / Steady Holiday
  • September 8 – Ohio Players / Holy Ghost!

33rd Annual Twilight Concert Series (2017)

The concert on June 22, 2017 is known as the one that put an end to the series as we knew it. When Khalid was booked for the show at the beginning of the year, he was an up-and-coming artist but not yet at the level of fame he would reach in the next few months before the show. Thanks to a new album and popularity backed by some of the Kardashian’s, Khalid grew to be one of, if not the most, attended concert in the entire series. The line for the concert started at 8AM (about 12 hours before the show) and quickly become a mile long snaking down the bike path on Ocean Front Walk. The crowd wasn’t rough or dangerous, but due to the sheer size of approximately 25,000 guests, it became unmanageable from a safety aspect and known as the concert that forced a change to the series for future years.

  • June 22 – Khalid (📺)/ Bibi Bourelly
  • June 29 – LeMaitre / Coast Modern
  • July 13 – Marcia Griffiths / Jah9
  • July 20 – Eric Burdon & the Animals / Mr. Elevator / Rusty’s Surf Ranch Emerging Artist Competition 2017
  • July 27 – Miami Horror / Cleopold
  • August 3 – Valerie June / Irma Thomas
  • August 10 – Mon Laferte / Buscabulla
  • August 17 – Warpaint / Wild Belle

34th Annual Twilight on the Pier (2018)

In 2018, Twilight Concert Series was no longer, and Twilight on the Pier was what emerged in it’s place. It was re-imagined to more of an “art walk” event that took advantage of using space around the whole Pier. The main stage is still held in the Pier parking deck area, but a second and third stage was added in Pacific Park’s Seaside Pavilion and down at the very west end of the Pier.

  • September 5 – Orquesta Akokan / Jarina de Marco / Quitapenas / Sister Mantos
  • September 12 – Betty Who / Touch Sensitive / CXLOE / Death Bells
  • September 19 – Judy Mowatt / Bokante / Twilight Steel Drums / DJ Danny Holloway
  • September 26 – Brazilian Girls (📺) / Sudan Archives / Capyac / yOya
  • October 3 – Fela! The Concert / Tiffany Gouche / Twilight Drum Circle / DJ Nnamdi
  • October 7 – Red Barrat / Vidya Vox / DJ Rekha / Discostan

35th Annual Twilight on the Pier (2019)

2019 added a new variety to Twilight on the Pier, turning the Pacific Park stage into a comedy club.

  • August 21 – Rostam / Dijon / Jen Award
  • August 28 – Helado Negro / San Cha / Banda Las Angelinas
  • September 4 – Bombino (📺) / Disco Shrine / Los Angeles Arabs Orchestra
  • September 11 – Hollie Cook / Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra / Upstream
  • September 18 – Methyl Ethel / Lila Gold / Lisa Richards
  • September 25 – Cornelius / StarRo / Taiko Project (📺)

 

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