Friday Night Live: The smallest state’s smallest (and hottest) concert series

If you’re searching for a hip new music spot, give this summer’s Friday Night Live, the small-scale concert series at Mulligan’s Island, a chance. Its brand new stage was recently host to The Legacy Band and Show, a Providence-based outfit featuring classic Motown rhythms, Caribbean style percussion and a larger-than-life persona, exemplified by their use of bright white suits, and even whiter sequined caps.

Bands with stadium aspirations might be disappointed when faced with a Friday Night Live crowd, though attracting stadium-sized crowd is not the concert series’ goal, because personality and intimacy create the most meaningful performances. This is where Friday Night Live shines brightest.

On the night I attended, camp chairs dotted the entrance road near open car doors and trunks. An array of “wacky waving inflatable tube man” style dancers drifted across the infield grass giving entertainers, employees and their fellow concert-goers a few good laughs. It’s anyone’s guess as to what caused this new dance craze — perhaps a few too many local brews from the bar; Whalers, Narragansett, and  Revival also make appearances at Friday Night Live. Roadies and other music-lovers were nodding or tapping along to Legacy’s energetic show. Prior to seeing them in person I’d be quick to question their maxim — “When you hit the stage, it’s Showtime” — however, after I caught myself singing along with frontman Mr “Dynamite” Cherry to a cover of “I Love Music” by The Ojays, I realized I had succumbed to the allure of both the band and the show.


Friday Night Live continues every Friday at Mulligan’s Island in Cranston until August 9. RI cult favorites such as Steve Smith & The Nakeds and Neal and the Vipers are scheduled to perform in the coming weeks, and the concerts are free.