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In the Mix - Outdoor Music

Jun 10, 2015 03:49PM ● By Becky Coburn

‘Tis the season for the Summer Concerts Series in our neck of the woods.  Over the years, many of our local cities have stepped up to the plate and brought fantastic entertainment for our listening or dancing pleasure. Usually held in local parks or downtown venues, the popularity of free outdoor concerts has grown over the years. They have become great meeting places to catch up with friends and neighbors or just hang out with the family and expose the youngsters to live music. For example, at the Pleasant Hill Sunset by the Lake Concert Series, you can listen or dance on the “dance lawn” or hang in the back with the kids and play some catch. These events are truly family friendly. So grab a blanket and a picnic basket and check out some of the best local talent. Here’s a little guide and some recommendations:

Sunset by the Lake Summer Concert Series always has great bands, and this year is no exception. They’re held on the lawn in front of City Hall (corner of Gregory and Cleaveland), every other Sunday, 6 - 8pm. Some of the highlights this year are: Sunday Paper on June 7, The Fundamentals on June 21, MoFo Party Band on August 2, East Bay Mudd on August 30, and closing out the series on September 6, (a gratuitous plug for my band), The Big Jangle. 

The annual Pleasant Hill Blues and Brews Festival will be July 18. Held at Pleasant Hill Park from noon – 6pm, this event is always a great time. This year’s lineup features The Chris Cain Band, Frankie G & The Conviction, Spinout, Caroompas Room, and The Used Blues Band.

The city of Clayton is presenting Concerts in the Grove Series on Saturdays, 6:30 – 8:30pm. Some of the highlights of this annual event are: The Boys of Summer on June 6, Mustache Harbor on June 20, Loose Blues on July 18, and Forejour on August 29. 

If you can’t wait until the weekend, Thursday nights have been thrown into the mix. The 27th Annual Music and Market Series in Todos Santos Plaza in downtown Concord always offers a wide range of music. Catch the legendary David LaFlamme on June 11, the all-girl tribute to Led Zeppelin, Zepparella, on July 9, and a great Michael Jackson Tribute Band, Foreverland, on August 20. These shows start at 6:30pm.

Over in Moraga there’s music on Thursday evenings, 6:30– 8:30pm, at the Moraga Commons Park off of Moraga Blvd. Some of this year’s highlights are Stealin Chicago on July 23 and The Spazmatics on August 13.

Starting June 18, every third Thursday in Downtown Pleasant Hill off Crescent Drive, there will be live music, 6:30– 8:30pm. Friday nights over in Martinez, the annual Friday’s on the Main and Market is held 6 - 8pm. This one is fun because it also features a car show.

Let’s just say there are many diverse and fun shows to see. I’m positive I’ve left out some great events -- so much to see and so little time. Make sure you check out each city’s local website for more information, and I will see you out there! Go out and support local music!

Quote of the Month: “It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … its summertime!” ― Kenny Chesney

Paul’s picks for June:

June 7:   The Sunday Paper, Pleasant Hill Summer by the Lake Concert Series, City Hall,

                100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, 6pm 

June 10: The Hopeful Romantics, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm 

June 12: Alvon Johnson, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm                

June 18: The Big Jangle, Downtown Pleasant Hill on Crescent Drive, 6:30pm  

June 21: The Fundamentals, Pleasant Hill Summer by the Lake Concert Series, City Hall

                 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, 6pm   

June 27: Jinx Jones, Back 40 BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, Pleasant Hill, 6pm


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