It’s nearly summer, though given our gloriously mild winter and lovely spring, many folks may not notice the transition until rising humidity turns them into a walking sweat box.
Nevertheless, Northeast Ohioans love to get outside when they can, and city officials, parks representatives and local promoters love to give folks good reasons to do so. There will, of course, be the standard (read: expensive) fare at outdoor venues such as Blossom Music Center and Nautica, but there are also plenty of no or at least low-cost alternatives for families and any folks in the area looking to enjoy live music on a budget.
Lock 3 Park is celebrating 10 seasons of free and low-cost concerts, and this year’s lineup continues the tradition of weekly cover bands with local and (nonfree) national acts sprinkled in to keep things exciting.
Lock 3 Live’s summer season began last week and continues Friday night with Bad Medicine, the Bon Jovi Tribute Show with longtime local favorites the Twistoffs opening. On June 16, local pop music singer/songwriter Ryan Humbert will headline a Benefit for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank (please bring canned goods and nonperishables) that will also double as the CD release party for his upcoming third full-length solo album, Sometimes the Game Plays You, along with Yankee Bravo and former Unit 5 singer/songwriter Tracey Thomas.
Later in the month, a 10 spot will get fans a chance to see and hear country singer/songwriter/daughter of two legends and 10-time Grammy nominee (one-time winner) Rosanne Cash, who will perform on June 23 along with openers Caliber.
June wraps up with classic R&B fans asking “What Time is It?!” when Morris Day & the Time do the Walk into the Lock 3 Live Stage on June 30 — also a reasonable $10 ticket.
Next door in Cuyahoga Falls, the annual Rockin’ on the River concert series continues with a plethora of cover, tribute and local bands providing the soundtrack to your summer Friday evenings. Next up on Friday will be wildly popular Chattanooga-based Dave Matthews Tribute Band, along with Cleveland ’80s cover band Breakfast Club. Other notable shows include ZOSO, the country’s No. 1 Led Zeppelin tribute band, along with Cleveland rock trio Mouth Wired Shut on June 22.
On June 29, 91.3 the Summit (WAPS, 91.3-FM) brings in popular Columbus roots-rock band Red Wanting Blue along with Public Radio, a Band Named Ashes and “cinematic pop” band the Modern Electric. Local metal master and former Judas Priest/Yngwie Malmsteen/Iced Earth singer Tim “Ripper” Owens fronts an all-star band Aug. 17, and the season wraps up Aug. 31 with Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stone Show, one of the few Stones tribute bands officially sanctioned by the Glimmer Twins.
Downtown at the Akron Art Museum, the Downtown@Dusk Thursday concert series begins June 21 with R&B/pop cover band the Wanda Hunt Band. Cleveland’s classic jump blues octet Blue Lunch performs July 5, Robin Stone will do her soulful singer/songwriter thing July 19 and local favorites and one of the longest running bands making original music (38 years and counting) 15-60-75 aka the Numbers Band will perform Aug. 2.
Here is a list of free concerts in the area throughout the summer.
Beacon Journal correspondent Fred Cay contributed to this report.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at 330-996-3758 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.