Hello everyone, and welcome to the busiest weekend in live music I have seen in years. Maybe it's just been too long, but I cannot recall a time when more shows were listed in our calendar than what I just browsed through. So, let's go visit a bit of what's happening out there and see what we can hear.
First and foremost, we need to congratulate all involved in the smashing success of the Legacy of Giving Festival, or LoGFest, that inhabited streets around the Old State Capitol last Friday and Saturday. From the organizers and volunteers, artists and stage workers, to attendees and even the fine weather, everything combined to create an ideal situation for the first big music festival downtown since 2019. With many kinds of music represented, from acoustic singer-songwriters to metal hardcore, tribute bands to all-original groups, popular local combos to out-of-town acts, the seemingly endless supply of performances was outstanding and amazing. And just to think, back when the tentative plans were in progress just a few months ago, no one really knew if the whole shebang would even happen. Well, to be sure, it sure did get done and got done well, too. Now we can continue to do more of the same, but with different spaces, places and cases.
AbeFest, on tap for this weekend's downtown concert adventure, is hosted by the BOS Center and held in that neatly designed space between the parking garage and the convention center known as the BoS Plaza. The show features Flock of Seagulls and Freddy Jones Band with local guest Deja Voodoo on Friday, plus Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Henry Lee Summer, with local guest Jameson Freeway, on Saturday. That should keep the ball rolling until our next big downtown shindig, the Downhome Music Festival, featuring all-original local acts, July 30-31 on Seventh Street between Washington and Adams.
Don't forget about the Levitt AMP concert series on the Y-block every Thursday night, as this week features Tito Puente, Jr. who has profoundly and proudly carried on his father's musical heritage for years, along with Cuarteto Bendito, a newly minted trio of Illinois musicians doing a cool Latin jazz set. Prepare for an island adventure next week (July 15) as Gizzae, a world music band steeped in "roots reggae" takes the stage with local support from the groovy and effervescent offerings of Loud Clouds.
Just to try and present the wild diversity and crazy amount of live music going on this weekend, here are a few jolly juxtapositions of what you can enjoy. How about a Friday night of Josie Lowder and Nate Cozadd at Anchors Away downtown (8-10) paired with Ultraviolet at The Stadium Bar & Grill's outdoor stage off Peoria Road (6-10).
Maybe this is your idea of fun, as you can hear The Burr Oak String Band Saturday evening (5-7) at the Old State Capitol grounds playing old-time music and bluegrass-related songs for an "1860s Party on the Plaza" and then dash out for Dysfunctional Family, Chris Sorenson Project and Master Bastard at the Curve Inn on Saturday (6-10) playing hard rock and electrified metal music from a decidedly different era.
Or try this one for some Sunday afternoon patio time and go see "the" Johnnie Owens hosting an afternoon of vocal jazz and smooth blues outside Buzz Bomb on the Adams Street Patio area or experience "the" Bad Bill Robinson rocking out with Mississippi Leghound at Brookhills Golf Club on their patio by the pond.
Remember to check the listings and whatever you do, take care and do it well.