Fourth (and other days) of July music

click to enlarge Fourth (and other days) of July music
Charanga Tropical plays Cuban-infused Latin music at the Y-Block this Thursday for the Levitt AMP concert music series.

June was a flash, and now here we are rolling into July 2022, blasting our way to Independence Day weekend, otherwise known as Fourth of July time. Always ready to create and enjoy a celebration, Americans will put on a party, and that means live music is front and center, as it should be, in the humble opinion of this writer (and working musician). So, let's go see what's in store this week as we whoop it up for the birthday of the good ol' USA as occasioned by the 246th anniversary of the signing (debatable) and adoption (definitely) of our Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress in 1776.

I spy a larger than usual number of concert events going on, most likely due to the acceleration of entertainment activities for the celebratory weekend. Let's start on Thursday, June 30, with the Levitt AMP music series downtown at the Y-Block when world-renowned Cuban-styled group Charanga Tropical shakes the outdoor stage with special guest Tino Knight ramping things up at 6 p.m. The news on the street (and the Levitt AMP Springfield Facebook page) says the music will go a little longer than usual (and that goes well with these Latin dance sounds) because of downtown fireworks happening at 9:30 for an early holiday treat.

You might want to check out the upcoming acts for this primo, downtown, weekly, Thursday night summer concert series. I just did, and saw some zydeco up for next week, plus real good gospel on Aug. 4, and that's super cool by me. Bummer about the cancellation last week due to bandmates contracting COVID overseas, but the Davina & the Vagabonds show has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Also on Thursday night, in another concert thingy, Sherman Village Park Amphitheater presents Cowboy: The Ultimate Kid Rock with opener the Matt Miller Band (Matt is from Peoria and has toured with lots of big-time country acts), but you'll have to wait until Sunday night in Sherman for your fireworks show.

Moving on to Friday evening, here comes Decade of Decadence, billed as Illinois' No. 1 80s band, as they bring their big hair and metal pop-rock show to Danenberger's outdoor stage, playing all the hits from Van Halen, Def Leppard, Poison, RATT, Whitesnake, Motley Crue and many more groups of that ilk. If you wanted to dress all 80s and even go big hair too, I think it would be appropriate and much appreciated by the band and the good folks at DFV.

For our next big shindig, the Springfield Jaycees Capital City Celebration returns to the Y-Block area after a four-year hiatus with a parade, patriotic dog pageant, children's area, live music and more spread out on Saturday and Sunday, plus fireworks both nights. To satisfy our music interests, Wood 'N' Nickel Society (1:30 p.m.) and Springfield Municipal Band (6 p.m.) get it going on Saturday, while Calia Cole (3 p.m.), Astrofix (3:30 p.m.) and the Shenanigans (6 p.m.) take it to the limit on Sunday.

For a fun and interesting time on Monday, July 4 proper, the Elijah Iles House (Seventh and Cook) hosts the annual Clara Irwin (a distant cousin from the mid-1800s and spouse of the second owner of Iles House, Robert Irwin) Strawberry and Lawn Party (3-6 p.m.). With very fitting music from Peaches and Bacon, a wonderful fiddle and banjo old-time music duo, plus drinks and strawberries available for partygoers, this one does it just right.

And you won't believe the wide assortment of music happening every day of the week, so be sure to take a gander at our listings. Happy Independence Day, America.

About The Author

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin, a sixth-generation Sangamon County resident, has played his songs and music for nearly 40 years in the central Illinois area with occasional forays across the country. He's contributed to Illinois Times since 2000 by writing Now Playing, a weekly music column, as well as features stories and other articles...

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  • Buckhart Road

    @ Chatham-Auburn Memorial VFW Post 4763

    Sun., Aug. 7, 3-6 p.m.