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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Sounds of summer concerts in the air

5/31/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

GREATER AKRON — From rock and country to jazz and folk, performers will take the stage at free concerts in several Akron area venues this summer.

This year, the Akron Symphony Orchestra also returns with a series of free Sunday night concerts in Akron parks. New concert series premiere in Sharon Township’s circle and at the Northwest Family Recreation Center.

Original music acts also are getting their turn in the spotlight, with shows from Columbus-based Red Wanting Blue and Tim “Ripper” Owens at Rockin’ on the River in Cuyahoga Falls. Local artist Ryan Humbert will officially release his latest recording at Lock 3 this summer at Rock the Lock.

Also, Rock the Lock will feature the Local Band Showcase, an effort that will allow audience members to vote for their favorite local band all summer with prizes awarded to the top vote-getters.

Here’s a rundown of local free concerts taking place in the Akron area:


Akron Art Museum

The museum’s Downtown at Dusk series is back this year on Thursdays. Concerts will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the member parking lot adjacent to the museum at 1 S. High St. If it rains, concerts will take place in the lobby. Family activities and free lectures also are offered during these evenings. For more details, go to www.akronartmuseum.org:

June 21: Wanda Hunt Band

June 28: Anne E. DeChant

July 5: Blue Lunch

July 12: Lost State of Franklin

July 19: Robin Stone

July 26: The Speedbumps

Aug. 2: 15-60-75 The Numbers Band

Aug. 9: Zydeco Kings

Akron Symphony Orchestra

The symphony will perform throughout the Akron area this summer on selected Sundays and July 4. The free concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

July 4: Lock 3 (8 p.m.)

July 29: Hardesty Park

Aug. 5: Goodyear Heights Metro Park

Aug. 12: Glendale Cemetery

Aug. 19: Firestone Park

Downtown Akron Lunch Hour Concert Series

Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors concerts from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays at Lock 3 as part of the Market at Lock 3 farmers’ market. Concerts will begin July 20. At presstime, concerts had not been finalized. For more information, go to www.downtownakron.com.

Firestone Metro Park

Children’s activities will be offered from 7 to 7:30 p.m., followed by an hour of live music by the Akron Pops Orchestra June 7 and July 12. All events will take place at the Coventry Oaks Pavilion, 40 Axline Ave. Friends of Metro Parks will serve free dessert from Acme Fresh Market while supplies last. If it rains, the concert will be moved to the following Thursday. Call 330-865-8060 for the concert’s status after 4 p.m. if wet weather is in the forecast.

Hardesty Park

The West Akron park in the Wallhaven neighborhood will feature concerts most Mondays at 7 p.m. For information and schedules for additional Akron parks, go to www.akro nperforms.com:

June 11: Boogie Fever/Big ’80s

June 18: The Kingbees

June 25: Mystic Taxi

July 2: Rudy & The Professionals

July 9: Victory Highway

July 16: Remember When

July 23: The Juke Hounds

Aug. 6: Shout!

Aug. 13: 4 Us featuring Mary White

Lock 4

Akron began offering free music events on Wednesdays at this gathering area two years ago as part of the Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club. To access the area, from Lock 3 walk behind the Akron Civic Theatre. It’s also accessible from Bowery Street and Level 2 of the Cascade Parking Garage. All concerts will begin at 7 p.m., with refreshments available for purchase:

July 18: Frankie Starr

July 25: The Stingers

Aug. 1: Wanda Hunt Band

Aug. 8: Horns and Things

Aug. 15: Jack Schantz Sextet

Aug. 22: Peggy Coyle Trio

Aug. 29: Dan Wilson Group

Sept. 5: Blue Lunch

Northwest Akron Recreation Center/Northwest Library

To celebrate the 10th anniversary in their buildings at 1720/1730 Shatto Ave. in West Akron, the library and center are teaming up to offer the “Northwest Rocks” concert series this summer on select Tuesdays:

June 19: King Dapper Combo, 7 p.m.

July 3: Dave Hammer’s Power Supply, 8 p.m.

July 17: Akron Big Band, 7 p.m.

Rock the Lock

Free rock concerts again will take place at the outdoor amphitheater at Lock 3 most Fridays at 7 p.m. Gates will open at 6 p.m. Most shows feature cover and tribute artists, with local bands opening the shows. In the following schedule, the artists being paid tribute to are indicated in parentheses when necessary. For details, go to www.lock3live.com or call 330-375-2877:

June 1: Bad Medicine (Bon Jovi)

June 8: 52nd Street (Billy Joel), Captain Fantastic (Elton John)

June 15: Draw the Line (Aerosmith)

June 16: Ryan Humbert CD release party to benefit Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank (free Saturday night event; canned goods for Foodbank to be collected)

June 22: Hells Bells (AC/DC)

June 29: Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

July 2: 1964 (The Beatles)

July 3: Hotel California (Eagles)

July 6: Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)

July 13: Bruce in the USA (Bruce Springsteen)

July 14 Evil Ways (Santana), Rumours (Fleetwood Mac)

July 20: Chicago Transit (Chicago)

July 27: Four Swedes (ABBA)

Aug. 3: Mr. Speed (KISS)

Aug. 10: The Machine (Pink Floyd)

Aug. 17: Separate Ways (Journey)

Aug. 18: Changes in Latitude (Jimmy Buffet)

Aug. 31: ZOSO (Led Zeppelin)

Sept. 14: Elevation (U2)


All concerts will take place at the Copley Bandstand on Copley Circle at 7 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will take place at the Copley Community Center, 128 Sunset Drive, behind the police station. For more details, go to www.copleybandstand.com:

June 10: LaFlavour

June 17: Marlins

June 24: Belairs

July 1: The Voices of Ohio

July 8: Freedom Brass Band

July 15: New Odyssey

July 22: Stockdale Family Band

July 29: Barbershop Harmony Spectacular

Aug. 5: Rick K & the Allnighters

Aug. 12: Phil’ n the Blanks

Aug. 19: Sierra Hull & Highway 111 Band


Rockin’ on the River

Rockin’ on the River returns this summer to Falls River Square in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls. This year organizers have added a street fair every week with vendors and street performers. Concerts will take place most Fridays from 5 to 11:30 p.m. Many of the acts are cover or tribute bands. In the following schedule, the artists being paid tribute to are indicated in parentheses when necessary. For more information, go to www.rockinontheriver.com:

June 1: Dave Matthews Tribute Band with Cleveland’s Breakfast Club

June 15: Thunderstruck (AC/DC) with Panama (Van Halen)

June 22: Zoso (Led Zeppelin) with Mouth Wired Shut

June 29: Red Wanting Blue with Public Radio and The Modern Electric

July 6: The Boat Drunks (Jimmy Buffet) with Human Nature

July 13: Almost Queen with Red Sun Rising

July 20: Dashboard Lights (Meat Loaf) with Big in Japan

Aug. 17: Tim “Ripper” Owens and All-Star Friends

Aug. 24: Vicious Cycle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) with Kerosene

Aug. 31: Satisfaction (Rolling Stones) with Butch Armstrong and the Armstrong Bearcat Band

Cuyahoga Falls Recreation Department

The city will present Monday night concerts by the 50-member Cuyahoga Falls Community Band at parks in the city throughout the summer. If it rains, concerts will take place in the theater at the Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave. All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

June 11: Quirk Cultural Center

June 18: Linden Park

June 25: Newberry Park

July 2: Oak Park

July 9: Keyser Park

July 16: Lions Park

July 23: Valley Vista Park

July 30: Peninsula Shelter at Water Works Park

The Akron Pops Orchestra also will perform in Cuyahoga Falls with concerts at 7:30 p.m.:

June 21: Valley Vista Park

July 19: Oak Park


The Music in the Meadow concert series is back on selected Wednesdays at Howe Meadow, 4040 Riverview Road. Picnicking is encouraged (no alcoholic beverages are allowed). Preconcert activities will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the music will start at 6:30 p.m. A ranger-led walk or Twilight Talk will take place after the concert. In the event of inclement weather, concerts will be cancelled. Call 330-650-4636, ext. 228, after 2 p.m. for updates. For more details, go to www.conservancyforcvnp.org:

June 13: Brigid’s Cross

June 27: Alex Bevan

July 11: HeartBEAT Afrika

July 25: Carlos Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band

Aug. 8: Wanda Hunt Band

Aug. 22: Hey Mavis

The park also hosts Tunes Along the Trail, which features music at stops along the Towpath Trail, on select Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m.:

June 3: Patrick and Nikki Custy (Hunt Farm Visitors Center)

June 9: Jon Mosey (Canal Visitors Center)

June 17: Patrick and Nikki Custy (Trail Mix)

June 23: Dave Marshall Band (Boston Store)

June 30: Kate and Ray Ritchie (Hunt Farm)

July 7: Dave Rice (Boston Store)

July 15: Dave Henterly (Canal Visitors Center)

July 21: Kerry Kean Trio (Peninsula Depot)

July 29: Zach (Trail Mix)

Aug. 5: Dale Galgozy (Canal Visitors Center)

Aug. 12: Paul Kovac (Peninsula Depot)

Aug. 18: Bill Brennan (Hunt Farm)

Aug. 25: Tina Bergmann (Hunt Farm)


The Friday Night Summer Concert Series will take place in Bicentennial Park, 3486 S. Smith Road, most Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m.:

June 15: The Rebeats

June 22: Akron Derbytown Chorus

June 29: Southbound

July 6: Contraband

July 13: Eddy & the Boilermakers

July 20: Stephen E&H Music

July 27: Acid Raincoat

Aug. 10: Celebration


Norton’s Warm Up for the Weekend concert series will not take place this year. The city will bring back its free Classic Car Show with the band Celebration July 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Columbia Woods Park, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive. The rain date is July 12.



Music in the Circle at Sharon Circle, at the intersection of state Routes 162 and 94, will take place on some Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The first event will feature a strawberry social in conjunction with the Sharon Fire Department, with ice cream and strawberry shortcake available for a donation. Refreshments also will be available at other concerts. In case of rain, concerts will be moved to the Town Hall:

June 14: The Stumpy Basin Volunteers

June 28: The Steelheaders

July 12: Jim Gill

July 26: Blue Streak

Aug. 9: Coyote Junction

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