Hey, all you happy people, and welcome to another edition of “Now Playing,” your portal to local live music, as this mortal likes to see it anyway. Here’s hoping everyone had a good fourth as we continue to go through the days of “Jewel-Eye” like who knows what.
I believe we’ll start again with Thursdays this week, as the once most neglected night of entertainment has become its liveliest as the summer progresses. The Levitt AMP Concert Series, our free weekly summer music nights open to the public downtown on the Y-Block, features two-time Grammy Award-winning band Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience. We could also hike to Petersburg for a street concert in the square by Chasing Denver, the popular country duo of Chris and Victoria Kemp, or head to Sherman for a great show by our pals, Off the Wall, at the all cool village park amphitheater. To add to the pot and raise the bar, Chris Camp and his blues ambassadors head to the Curve Inn for a night of bluesy songs and straight blues, and Jose Gobbo hosts an evening called The Art of Jazz at the Pharmacy Gallery and Art Espace. downtown. And if you like cool acoustic covers, Tim Duggan plays on the terrace of Casey’s Pub at Knights of Columbus Hall on Meadowbrook, while Curt Smith strings the tunes outside at Curate in The Gables.
For something completely different, yet firmly grounded in the world of music, Unity of Springfield presents Healing Crystal Bowls Meditation for an evening of “calming and healing vibes, sending harmony, peace and balance into our community world. “, which is certainly essential now.
If you’re ready for the weekend proper, let’s jump right into AbeFest, this weekend’s big deal. This two-day event takes place in the outdoor space of the BoS Center with big names mixed with artists from the region to create a moment of hip music on the big stage. On Friday, John Waite, probably best known for his 1984 hit, “Missing You,” headlines with our very own Josie Lowder Band opening the show, and FEEL, a St. Louis-based band featuring Springfield’s Tyler Armstrong at the guitar and vocals, landing in the middle.
On Saturday, you get platinum-selling ’90s band Filter fronted by singer Richard Patrick as headliners, with Harlem Hayfield, Decatur’s rockin’ soul sextet sporting one of the best band names ever to open on concert, as well as siblings Jocelyn & Chris covering the middle seat, bringing their “two analog souls determined to inspire a new rock revival” to the task after filling a spot on NBC’s “Today Show,” as well only good levels in the Billboard Triple A Top 40 charts. Tickets are available online or at the door, so go enjoy AbeFest, okay?
On Fridays, the city center comes alive like the good old days (not quite, but almost) when Sarah Borges, the rocking American animator, goes to the Gin Mill (the former Bar None) accompanied by her band, including our friend Keith Voegele on bass and the legendary Eric “Roscoe” Ambel on guitar. Expect a wild time, as these rogues Wolf Crick Boys open the show. This, folks, as they say, is a hot ticket.
Then around the corner, an upper Illinois killer duo, the Ex-Bombers, detonate Buzz Bomb, while Mike Burnett shakes things up at the Brewhaus a few blocks away.
And with that, I’m going to leave Saturday, Sunday, and all the other days of the week (in order) for you to read and think about. And believe me, there are a lot of them. See you.