Can't Make It to the Mall? See Sheila E. in the Park — For Free

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A woman in black smiles into the camera near a set of timbales
Sheila E., a bona fide Oakland legend. (Artist photo / Rob Shanahan)

It’s a near-perfect 29 seconds on our great and glorious internet. Sheila E. starts filming herself at the mall near a man with a boombox blasting her 1984 hit “The Glamorous Life.” “Dude is playing my song in the mall — he doesn’t even know it’s me,” she says. As the old online mantra goes, you won’t believe what happens next.

If this is how people these days discover legends of music like Sheila E., I am 100% fine with it. The percussion legend recently got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She toured with Marvin Gaye, recorded with Beyoncé and played in Prince’s band for years. Insert shrug emoji here, because between Instagram and TikTok, these 29 seconds have been seen by over a million people.

Sheila E. plays a free show in McLaren Park this weekend, and if you know someone enamored of this video, please, please, please take them to see her perform live. Their entire conception of drumming will be forever changed. They’ll know what timbales are, and how a master of their craft uses them. And, in the beautiful setting of the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, they’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a Saturday in the city.

Sheila E. and the E-Train perform on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park, San Francisco. Also on the bill are Satya and DJ Umami. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Details and information here.