The Twilight Concert Series returns on Thursday, July 9, and organizers are describing the 2015 shows as “TCS 2.0” due to several technological upgrades.

This year’s lineup includes Morris Day & The Time with Dam-Funk (funk and soul), Real Estate with Hippo Campus (indie rock), Cubanismo with Chicano Batman (classic Latin), JD McPherson with Sarah Gayle Meech (Americana), Ben Browning with DMA’s (Australia Rocks the Pier), Sister Nancy with Jesse Royal (reggae/dancehall), Ariel Pink with The Mynabirds (indie pop), Jefferson Starship with Purple Mountains Majesties (classic rock), Rebirth Brass Band with Miles Mosley and the Westcoast Get Down (New Orleans brass) and the final acts will be announced on July 14.

The bands will be performing atop the first upgrade, a new stage, and Pier Administrator Jay Farrand said there would also be “some cool interactive installations on the Pier deck this year that nobody has seen before.”

According to a press release, one of those installations will be a cutting-edge light sculpture created by TCS sponsor TrueCar and the artist GMUNK. The release describes the installation as “TrueCar L.E.D. (Light Emotion Data), a crowd-powered intelligent sensory experience that captures real-time emotive information and creatively displays data with a dazzling, interactive LED light show to transform the traditional concert experience.”

“TrueCar L.E.D. is the visual embodiment of what TrueCar stands for. This platform takes our web-based technology from the computer screen to the concert experience, as L.E.D. mirrors how we algorithmically assess data,” said Scott Painter, CEO and Founder of TrueCar. “We’re aiming to achieve something that’s never been done before, and as a Santa Monica-based technology company, we felt there was no better place to debut this than in our own backyard.”

According to the release, more than 70,000 LED lights will be programmed based on crowd density (infrared technology will track and display the collective audience movement); audio reactive control (achieved by analyzing the audio frequencies of the performance); gesture (concertgoers’ gestures directly control the centerpiece); and emotion (acustom Web app featuring emotional intelligence, powered by Affectiva, measures the emotional sentiment of a user).

“TrueCar is truly taking the Twilight Concert Series to the next level,” said Jay Farrand, Executive Director and Administrator at Santa Monica Pier. “Our concerts attract up to 20,000 people weekly and we are excited by this technology, its impact on our many concertgoers and the potential to transform the overall concert experience.”

The installation will include several elements. A “Centerpiece” sculpture that interacts with audience inputs, an app that will gather images to be visualized through the installation, a cluster of lanterns also linked to the data and a grove of fifteen 10-foot tall light towers.

Tech upgrades are also available before even arriving at the show.

New this year is the Click and Park program that allows drivers to reserve and pre-pay for a space prior to arrival.

“Click and Park is provided by SP Plus, who is the city’s parking operator,” said Principal Traffic Engineer Andrew Maximous. “The City is promoting this to encourage folks to pre-pay for parking and develop a parking plan if they choose to drive.”

Parking options in Santa Monica are $5 for the lot at 2030 Ocean Ave., or $15 for the lot at 1150 Pacific Coast Highway. Maximous said those rates are discounted specifically for the concert series to encourage drivers to use the lots slightly north and south of the Pier.

To book a space, visit

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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