As Summer approaches I traditionally look forward to posting a list of free concerts by originals artists. I viewed the Long Island listings and found a bevy of cover bands, many in rock genres I enjoy. At this time, I remain unready to lock in dates the way I might if I bought tickets for a show. I see no reason to list shows and possibly lock in dates for shows that might be fun but not something “must see” or “must experience.” Each year we lose fave artists as times catching up with some. I am open to new artists and I enjoy the exemplary musicianship of friends who play covers of great songs by others.
I still look forward to live show by original artists. Upcoming over the course of this year I look forward to seeing John Fogerty, Squeeze, Peter Frampton, Brian Wilson & The Zombies. I identified a number of other shows that may work out but all involve a “reservation,” not just a diary entry in my calendar. Are the days of free and inexpensive shows by original artists just a thing of the past.
I still recall free shows in Central Park by Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, The Beach Boys and New Riders of the Purple Sage. Back in the days before @realDonaldTrump ruining things at Wollman Rink, the very affordable Dr. Pepper Music Festival (which replaced Schaefer Music Festival) there featured a host of great shows. When we could not get tickets or came a bit late to an artist who was sold out, we took to the rocks outside. (America, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Bad Company, Black Oak Arkansas, J. Geils Band, Jackson Browne, Harry Chapin, Charlie Daniels Band, Dan Fogelberg, Foghat, Peter Frampton, Richie Furay, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, James Gang, Kingfish, Marshall Tucker Band, Dave Mason, Graham Nash & David Crosby, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Poco (numerous times) Billy Preston, John Sebastian, Sha Na Na, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and Ronnie Spector).
In contrast last summer we only took in two free shows (Poco and Atlanta Rhythm Section, Glen Burtnik's Summer of Love Concert). 2017 required a visit to Mom in Florida around the 4thof July to catch a free show (The Romantics; The Baha Men). 2016 also featured only one show, Jim Messina. Also miss some great free shows that lasted through 2013 in Coney Island.
No objections to paying but generally sponsors fund these shows and with so much focus on branding, why not pull some better more shows involving original artists.
[The title comes from a lyrics Poco song which references their early Wollman Rink shows.]