Summer Concerts: Catch live music outdoors

As spring comes to a close, summer is just heating up — setting the stage for more outdoor concerts.

The Lynn Haven Spring Concert Series wraps up from 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 25, at the Sheffield Park amphitheater with country music from Mitch Pierson. (But those in town also can catch more free outdoor concerts at Summer Nights in SweetBay and during the Panama City Summer Sunset Series at the Panama City and St. Andrews marinas beginning in June.)

The free 2018 Panama City Beach Summer Concert Series, hosted by Parks & Recreation of Panama City Beach, returns to Aaron Bessant Park, 600 W. Park Drive, on June 7. The series runs from 7-9 p.m. Thursdays, June 7 through Aug. 9.

“It’s really become the thing to do on Thursdays in the summertime,” said Mike Frimet of HMX Productions, an event sponsor. “I just really have never seen a group like this, so proud of our community. You can get thousands together and everybody gets along. Everybody is respectful. There’s no drunkenness. Everyone respects everyone’s space and is super friendly. People bring their go-carts, pets, and their family. It’s a great community event.

Frimet has emceed the event for more than a decade, books the bands, and handles the technical set-up on stage.

“The facility is just nice with a green room for the band,” added Frimet, who begins setting up overhead upstage mounts two days before the series. “The lineup is good, pretty solid this year all the way through.”

June 7 kicks off with PaperWork, “future funk,” of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“They are young guys, really an eclectic set list from Michael Jackson to you name it,” Frimet said.

PaperWork is one of three acts Frimet came across at 4 Falls Festival in Hampshire, Tenn., in September and decided to book for the Summer Concert Series. Porch 40 of Cullowhee, N.C., will play alternative rock July 19, and The Coppertones bring soulgrass Aug. 2.

“Porch 40 is a little poppy,” Frimet said. “They can be heavy but not for this event.”

The band recently wrapped up their sophomore album, which was produced by Robert Mercurio from Galactic and tracked at Parlor Recording Studio in New Orleans.

“The Coppertones are great, soulgrass, with a lot of harmony and drums,” said Frimet, who also leads his own zydeco band, Heat & The Zydeco Gents on vocals/frottior.

Frimet, who grew up in Louisiana and has been in Panama City Beach since ’89, brings the legendary zydeco of Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. to the series June 14.

“I booked him last year and he got rained out. Rockin’ Dopsie is an electrifying performer. He will have the place going crazy,” Frimet said. “I have a new guy who has really taken off, Devon Gilfillian. He’s supposed to be fantastic.”

Gilfillian brings blues and souls to the stage June 21, and the Lee Boys follow June 28.

“The Lee Boys we had last year,” said Frimet, who admits they’re a crowd and personal favorite. “They have a gospel tinge but led by pedal steel guitar. When you see the guys throw it down, it’s so good.”

Jim Ponek, Parks & Recreation director, chose Tobacco Road, a country band, for the “Real Fun 4th” Fireworks festivities sponsored by the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as The Calliope Musicals, “psychedelic party rock” on Aug. 9.

“They’re represented by a booking agency I’ve worked with over the years. I think they are going to be a log of fun, tribute to ’80s rock,” Frimet said. “We have a local act, Reasonable Doubt, three friends of mine — spot-on musicians.”

Reasonable Doubt takes the stage July 12.

“The Tyler Mac Band has been playing with Victor Wainwright,” said Frimet, who added, “They’re also going to be at the Pirate Fest this year.”

The Tyler Mac Band brings blues and rock to the series July 26.

Frimet, added, “I think every week it’s going to be solid.”

Courtney Shea, recreation coordinator for Panama City Beach Parks & Recreation, added golf cart parking is available for the concerts.

“On the right side of the stage we’ll have an area where people can skateboard,” she said, adding guests are welcome to bring coolers; and beer and wine is permitted. “We have Bluegrass Kettle Masters, Smokin’ Butts BBQ, the (Temperley’s) British Eatery and Fatstuffs (cheesesteaks) — from Springville, Ala.”

While not part of the Summer Concert Series, Lorrie Morgan will be in concert at Aaron Bessant Park at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 9. She is known for hits such as “Five Minutes,” “Except For Monday,” “Something In Red,” “Watch Me,” “What Part Of No,” “A Picture of Me Without You” and “Something in Red.”

Groovin’ on the Green

Groovin’ on the Green, sponsored by the Carillon Beach Institute, begins Sunday, May 27, with The Rowdies on the Village Green in Carillon Beach. The concert series continues Mondays in June with Jeff on Sax on June 4, Nitefire on June 11, Reasonable Doubt on June 18, and Tony Vegas on June 25.

July begins with Sonic Boom on the Fourth of July, a Wednesday, then returns to Mondays. Daric Freeman is scheduled for July 9, followed by Jam Kings on July 16, Legacy on July 23, Seminole Wind on July 30, and Latitude 29 on Aug. 6 before returns by Nitefire on Aug. 13 and Reasonable Doubt on Aug. 20. True Soul is set for Aug. 27, and Raised on the Radio wraps up the series Sunday, Sept. 2.

Alys Beach

Sinfonia Goes Pops is from 7:30-9 p.m. Sunday at the Alys Beach amphitheater, off County 30A, where the Alys Beach Summer Concert Series kicks off from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday with The Currys. The free Summer Concert Series continues Wednesdays through Aug. 1 with food and beverages for sale. The public is invited to bring blankets and low-back chairs.

Source:  Panama City News Herald


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