Rosi and Tony Jordan chose Porch No. 10 on Sunday's schedule, a bluegrass venue on Stanford Avenue in Modesto.
They took part in the second annual Porchfest, which offered free live music outside 37 houses.
"It brings people out of their homes and brings people together to talk," said Rosi, who lives a few blocks away on Virginia Avenue. "And I didn't see any cell phones."
The music played from noon to 5 p.m. in the college, Graceada and La Loma areas. Local bands offered rock, country, soul, electro jazz, post punk and a few other genres. Tips were appreciated.
Porchfest began in Ithaca, N.Y., in 2007 and has since spread around the world. The Modesto event is put on by Ruhi Sheikh, Tricia Rosenow and Kate Trompetter.
Last year's event was held on a nearly 100-degree day in July. The move to May paid off: Sunday afternoon was around 70.
Some of the hosts had genuine porches, but bands could also play in driveways and other outdoor spots. The listeners sat on lawn chairs and blankets or just stood and listened. They could bring their own beer, wine, soft drinks and food, or dine from mobile vendors such as the Tri-Tipery and the Wandering Barista.
Some people bicycled or walked from venue to venue, but the event did cause a little motor vehicle congestion. The music was amplified but not terribly loud.
"We do a lot to help our porch hosts engage their neighbors," Trompetter said Sunday from a golf cart where she was selling Porchfest t-shirts.
The turnout was hard to gauge, but Trompetter said about 2,000 people had indicated on Facebook that they would attend.
The bluegrass group on Stanford Avenue was the Jimblyleg Band, from Tuolumne County. The hosts were Amanda and Noah Hughes.
"It was great to be able to play in their wonderful yard," mandolinist Jason Westfall said after the set.
"We have a great porch," Amanda Hughes said. "We want to provide a community gathering place."