SAN MATEO, Calif. (KRON) – “This is probably the most excited I’ve been to perform since I was eight years old, in my whole life,” said Chris Norton during his first concert back during the pandemic.

Jazz at the Ballroom held a socially distanced drive-in concert Friday at the San Mateo Event Center where the Chris Norton Band took the stage for the first time in six months.

The local nonprofit works tirelessly to keep jazz available to the greater community. And this event in particular made it possible even during a pandemic.

Concert goers were encouraged to use Off the Grid‘s experience app, which enabled them to pre-order food and drink from available Bay Area food trucks to ensure safety through contactless payment and pick up.

From your car, Chris Norton’s electric energy made the evening feel like a “normal” concert. He asked the audience to honk instead of clap and “put your headlights together.”

At one point, Norton ran around the parking lot!

Video from the event was posted to Jazz at the Ballroom‘s FB page.

Organizers took safety precautions by placing lines down, directing foot traffic, and making sure there were no gatherings. Because audience members were in their cars, two big screens were set up surrounding the band.

Around 450 people showed up to the event, but everyone maintained social distancing guidelines and wore masks when outside.

If you’re looking for additional COVID-friendly events, Off the Grid also partnered with the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture and are hosting waterfront drive-in movies.

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