One of our favorite family summer activities is having a picnic supper while listening to music outdoors. Concerts are often free and not geared specifically to kids so easy on the wallet and often fun for the whole family.
I am pleased that our new Mayor Angel Taveras, along with the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Department of Parks & Recreation and 95.5 WBRU are theÂ summer Friday Night Concert Series at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence.Â All performances are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30pm.â€¨Â Â The series will feature emerging alternative rock acts as well as some of the city’s own talent.Â Eight dynamic acts will light up the stage at one of the city’s most breathtaking parks from June 17 through August 5.
June 17: Boston rockers The Wandas travel down to Waterplace Park to kick off the series.Â The four-piece group separate themselves from the large pack of Boston pop bands with a tightly designed, smart sound. The Boston Globe calls The Wanda’s “a dreamy lovechild of rock radio and your grandpa’s record collection.”
June 24: Local favorites Santa Mamba return for an encore performance.Â Santa Mamba is a complex fusing of musical styles and personalities – elements of rock, salsa, reggaeton, funk, rap, jazz, rhumba, son, merengue, bachata, disco and bolero can be heard in their music. In other words, prepare to dance till you drop when they hit the stage.
July 1: Before hitting the stage at this year’s Lollapalooza, Young The Giant comes to town with their soaring, melodic rock ‘n’ roll that’s bound for greatness.Â From the jolting percussion and anthemic chorus of “My Body” to the lovesick fervor of “Cough Syrup” to the uptempo, sun-stained pop of “I Got,” the California five-piece’s stunning debut features an arresting collection of songs that announce the presence of a vital new band.
July 8: Fresh off a performance at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival, local phenoms Deer Tick bring to the stage a performance Rolling Stone Magazine calls the “Country-Rock break-through of the Year.”Â Since they formed in 2004, the band has done everything from tearing it up at the South By Southwest Music Festival to wowing a national television audience on The Late Show With David Letterman.
July 15: 95.5 WBRU brings to the stage an eclectic blend of local musicians for the WBRU Acoustic Roots Festival.
On July 22, the infectious, fast sounds of Sleeper Agent fills the park. With a slew of shows on the horizon and their debut album, entitled “Celabrasion” produced by Jay Joyce, Sleeper Agent is on their mark to get set and awaken your love for all things rock.
July 29: See the act the British press are calling “the return of the great British Guitar Band,” Brother (UK).Â Spin Magazine editor Doug Brod calls their music “Guitar rock that seemed factory-tooled for open-air-festival croon-a-longs. Calculated, shameless, and giddy–but, damn, does it work. I, for one, expect huge things.”
August 5: The series closes out with the 2011 WBRU Rock Hunt winners Vulgarrity.Â This dynamic duo hits it hard on bass, guitar, drums, keys and vocals for a truly unique and “must see” live show.
The Friday Night Concert Series at Waterplace Park is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the City of Providence, Angel Taveras, Mayor, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, Department of Parks & Recreation, 95.5 WBRU, The Providence Phoenix, Dunkin Donuts, CW28 and Waterplace Restaurant.
Photo By Michael Christofaro