As I've said here before, the real test of a local scene is what's happening on the off days, not just the weekend blasters that normally get good crowds. For example, this Thursday, you could experience Rhodes & Battles at noon at the southside of the Old State Capitol grounds for the ongoing Artist on the Plaza sponsored by our Springfield Area Arts Council every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer months. Next Tuesday is Arlin & Erin, then Ian Wick on Thursday, July 22.
In the evening, there's the Levitt AMP concert series on the Y-Block (Loud Clouds and Gizzae this week), Unchained at the Curve Inn, Me, Myself and Schy at Boone's, Rod Hamdallah inside at Buzz Bomb and Jim Ackerman hosting an open mic at Wings, Etc. And, in my humble opinion, to top things off as the most complete sign that we are back, there are even a couple of karaoke nights happening on Thursday, too.
In continuing to promote off-night gigs, be sure to check out shows during the week, as there are several opportunities to stretch your music enjoyment to the fullest. Mark your calendars for the return of James Armstrong, when the world-renowned bluesman and full-time Springfieldian hits the Curve Inn on Thursday, July 22, before taking off on a tour that winds through New England and ends up in France.
All weekend long, the beer garden bars are ablaze with popular local bands and a perusal through our nicely expanded music listings will direct you to your entertainment destination of choice.
This Saturday (2-10 p.m.), Boondocks (welcome back, folks) hosts WILD's (Women in Love with Dogs) 5th anniversary party, celebrating the canine rescue group by doing a lot of cool dog things, plus a bunch of cool people things too. They've added live music (hurrah!) into the celebration with an evening concert by Texas combo Statesboro Revue.
Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters are the next big concert scheduled at Boondocks (Aug. 27) as the national touring groups get going again and so does our very own award-winning venue.
There's a new kid in town as The Promised Land Kampground and Music Park out in the country near Mechanicsburg debuts with a two-day music festival and "Two-Souls Communion" celebration. Headliners include Sunshine Daydream on Friday and Still Shine on Saturday with other acts peppered in throughout the fest, plus camping (primitive, RV and cabins), food trucks and all the fun stuff that goes on at a weekend music festival right there for you to enjoy.
Danenberger's Family Vineyards keeps on top of the summer concerts with a super Sunday show featuring 90s band Lit (best known for "My Own Worst Enemy" and "Miserable") backed by Tuk Smith & the Restless Hearts. The very special guest, though, is Springfield's own 90s band, They Came in Droves, kicking off the show with a reunion gig that will hopefully lead to more appearances from the guys, because we want that to happen.
Take care and go dig the live music.