Okee dokee folks… I was just online and a friend of mine posted photos from a concert he is at. He commented that people had been on their feet the whole show. This was a positive thing to him. Me, not so much. At my age I don’t enjoy standing for concerts. I know that makes me sound old and pathetic, but in a way I am. I am falling apart and standing for that long would be murder on my back and knees. When I was younger I used to stand at concerts, hell, we used to stand on the chairs! When you’re young, you’re invincible, and have a well of energy. Mine is dry! If I know there are not going to be seats at a show, I am more than likely NOT going.
Luckily, most of the music I like is at venues that have seats and the audience is more like me and prefers to remain seated. I know I have mentioned this many times in my columns, but seats are put there to sit, please use them. Not everyone wants to stand all night. But in some cases, if they sit, all they are going to see is the ass in front of them with some musical accompaniment. I remember the earlier days of the Newport Folk Festival when people actually used to sit on blankets, relax, and enjoy the music. Now, the photos I see are just a mass of people pushed up against the stage and standing all the way to the water. Someone just posted in response to my comment about standing, “The get off my lawn demographic has spoken.” Yup, that’s me! Getting old really sucks. I don’t wish it on anyone but it is reality and life. Some folks stay in good shape their whole lives while others have a couple of doctors appointments a week to try to figure out why the hell they have all kinds of aches and pains. C’est la vie.
I really used to like to “rock out” in my band and jump around. Now when I do that I am afraid I might pass out. Not kidding. In response to the response to my original comment, I posted a photo of Jethro Tull’s Too Old To Rock and Roll and Too Young To Die album cover. I exist somewhere within that title. Just remember not everyone WANTS to stand, sometimes they just have to because the person in front of them did. Anyway, you all can stand up for the encore. That is acceptable. OK? Read on… My curmudgeoness precedes me!
Providence Porchfest happens on June 10. What is a porchfest? Well, folks play music on porches, front stairs, sidewalks, front lawns, basically anywhere that people can enjoy music by just strolling on by. This will happen on the East Side of Providence starting at noon and continuing until early evening. Lots of folks are scheduled to play but there will surely be some spontaneous musical performances as well. To find out more about Porchfest 2023, wander over to pvdporchfest.com.
Blackstone River Theatre is getting ready to present its 11th annual Summer Solstice Festival at Diamond Hill Park, Route 114, Cumberland on Saturday, June 17, from 11am to 7pm. As it always does, the Celtic and world music festival will feature four entertainment stages and more than 35 food and craft vendors. Performers, most doing two sets, include the Atwater~Donnelly Trio, Cantrip, Kevin Crawford, Cillian Vallely, Colin Farrell and Alan Murray, Kevin Doyle’s Roscommon Soles, Eastern Medicine Singers, Genticorum, and Grosse Isle, Hildaland, Turas, and The Vox Hunters. There will also be a dedicated stage for Irish step dance, featuring Tir Na Nog Irish Dance, a tribute to Providence fiddler Jimmy Devine, and an Irish session area led by Bob Drouin. Also returning will be the after-festival music session at 8:30pm at Blackstone River Theatre itself. This limited-ticket event features all the festival performers playing in a casual setting with complimentary food and a cash bar. For more information ring up the theater at 401-725-9272 or row over to: riverfolk.org.
Summer officially starts on Wednesday, June 21, but Cool Summer Nights, the Providence Performing Arts Center’s (PPAC) line-up of summer concerts, kicks off on June 9. The Cool Summer Nights concerts open with Celebrating Billy Joel: America’s Piano Man on Friday, June 9. This group of multi-instrumentalists features renowned vocalists and pianists Rob Stringer and Alex Dee, paying tribute to the Piano Man by playing his hits. A week later, Rus Anderson returns to PPAC with The Rocket Man Show on Friday, June 16 at 7:30pm. Rus painstakingly recreates a 1970s concert with gorgeous, colorful, and flamboyant costumes worn by Elton. He played to a packed audience at PPAC last year, don’t miss it this time around. June will be rounded out with Leonid & Friends, the world’s greatest tribute to Chicago, on Sunday, June 25. The videos of their Chicago covers have gone viral with over 150 million views. They have written original material and have expanded to covering artists like Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood Sweat & Tears, Ides of March, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, and Deep Purple. Heading into the heat of July, MANIA: The ABBA Tribute comes to PPAC to heat things up even more on Saturday, July 15 with two hours of uplifting, dance-inducing, and sometimes heart-breaking songs. The show perfectly and respectfully recreates ABBA’s sound; it’s a show that can be enjoyed by lifelong fans and a new generation of ABBA fans. For more about these shows, “Take A Chance” on PPACRI.org
Follow my column and podcasts for more events as they are added over the summer! Stay cool. That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can listen to my podcasts at: motifri.com/rootsreportpodcast. You can also find my concert photographs at motifri.com/fuzeksfotos. Thanks for reading and listening. johnfuzek.com