You might be searching for those back-to-school deals already, but August still has plenty of summer fun in store. In fact, August seems to be the grand finally of the summer this year, boasting three explosive outdoor concerts, each featuring a mix of local and national bands.
This weekend on Saturday, the 9th annual JoAnn Garrett Classic promises to not only be a good opportunity to support multiple cancer charities, but you can also enjoy an eclectic and hip array of modern rock bands. The fundraiser festival is conveniently located at the Frederick Fairgrounds and headlining is the L.A., Herman Wouk-novel-inspired band, Youngblood Hawke. Their song “Stars” was featured in a recent Netflix commercial and it represents the high-energy synth pop that the band produces. They are the perfect band to dance the night away to and celebrate life, as is local supporting band Ghost Hotel. Self-described as “Melodramatic Indie-Pop,” Ghost Hotel captures a charming noir feel without ever losing the beat. Also on the lineup is a special rare appearance by the long time underground Frederick band The BOA, and national touring band Royal Teeth who have been featured on “American Idol.”
The Hot August Music Festival is right smack in the middle of the month (August 16th) and is a bit of a drive, it being located at Oregon Ridge Park. However, in this instance, we will employ the knowledge of our collective pop culture forefathers and say “life’s a trip, enjoy the ride” because this year’s lineup is fantastic. As a bonus incentive, it might not actually be so stinking hot (as in degrees Fahrenheit) this year with the “Indian Summer” weather we are experiencing! Headliners include roots rock icons Old Crow Medicine Show, a reunion tour performance from bluegrass veterans Nickel Creek, and blues rock guru Tab Benoit. Among the noteworthy headliners, there is an unexpected array of indie artist supporting acts like the often coined Beatles-esque band Dr. Dog, power funk Brooklyners Turkuaz, and neo-folk rockers Houndmouth. In addition to Cabinet, a new grass band from Pennsylvania that should be no stranger to most around town, there will be plenty of Baltimore-based groove, funk, and jam bands filling in the three stages as well.
Rounding out the end of the month, just before the lazy Labor Day weekend is Flying Dog’s second to last Summer Concert Series (August 23rd). It will surely be one last chance to get rowdy because guess who’s on the lineup? The absolutely wild – Jerry Lee Lewis conjuring – rock and roll piano man, J Roddy Walston and The Business, who always deliver an infectiously fun time. The supporting act will be Old Indian, the local skater-metal band favorites, who also have a new record in the works. Crushing a beer can on your forehead and power dancing around will never seem more appropriate, I promise. The grounds at Flying Dog are always beautiful and there is also a ton of great food to balance those great local beers.
This is your last chance this year. Make sure you check out some great local concerts before summer 2014 is just a mere twinkle in our sad little workplace/college class lives.