Man, I am always digging at—as opposed to digging on—John Sebastian. I just expected so much more, yo. I mean, “Nashville Cats” does it for just about anyone with twangy groove in their heart, but what the heck happened after that? Freaking “Welcome Back, Kotter, “that’s what.
Anyway, “Summer the City” is one of the dude’s better tunes and it reminds me that, no, we haven’t forgotten how summer and outdoor concerts go together like kind veggie burritos and a rendition of “Eyes of the World” right at sunset. In fact, I spent the past few days doing some research about the upcoming concert extravaganzas headed your way, compadres.
These are shows you can use as an excuse to disappear from downtown El Duque before the back of your neck feels the dirt and grit of place where the sidewalks can indeed be hotter than a match head.
Wow, I guess that last bit shows how much I really love and respect The Lovin’ Spoonful. That goes along with the line “been playing since they’s babies.” I can dig that turn of phrase; now, please dig this list.
• Saturday, Aug. 3 is going to be a damn good day to be Downtown, summer in the city style, despite our previous entreaties (see above). Before you head on out to this or that outdoor amphitheater on either edge of town, check out the City of Albuquerque’s Summerfest. This weekend’s iteration is free, at Civic Plaza (401 Second Street NW) and begins at 5pm. The celebration includes performances by heady roots rockers Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. Great local bands like Merican Slang, The Moon Thieves and Str8 Shot will be featured on the main stage and Innastate, Phil Rocker, Tracey Whitney and Michael Moxey appear at the Microbrew Garden Stage. Guaranteed all-ages fun for the entire family!
• Saturday, Aug. 3 is also the day that the Knotfest Roadshow swings through the edge of town, gracing Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University Blvd. SE) beginning at 5pm with the extreme yet somehow poptastic, radio-friendly metal sounds of Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira and Behemoth. Me bang head now. Tickets at livenation.com range from $44.50 to $129.50.
• Sunday, Aug .11, none other than country-Western superstar Marty Stuart—man if you’ve never heard Hillbilly Rock or This One’s Gonna Hurt You, then by the godz, dude you must go to this show—and American roots-rock legend The Steve Miller Band (I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, I’m a midnight toker) do the duo-headlining thing over at Sandia Resort and CasinoAmphitheater (30 Rainbow Rd. NE) starting at 7:30pm. Get your loving on the run for this 21-plus show for between $45 and $65 per ticket.
• Saturday, Aug. 17, beginning at 5pm, is this year’s last iteration of Summerfest, Burque’s quintessential summertime party happening at Ventana Ranch Community Park (10000 Universe Blvd. NW). This last great free family-friendly event of 2019 starts at 5pm—complete with food trucks, craft beer and children’s activities galore—and features pop-rock band Starship as well as notable local outfits like the Todd Tijerina Band, DK & The Affordables and Son Como Son. Reminder: We built this city on rock and roll, so roll on over Westsiders!
• Tuesday, Aug. 20 boasts a concert by hip-hop nation godz Mary J. Blige and Nas. The two ’90s rap and soul superstars will be gigging at the Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University Blvd. SE) at 8pm in a concert that is guaranteed to get your body moving, whether or not you have access to the fabled hot sauce recipe reportedly kept in the hidden safe of mystery rapper Nathanial Hörnblowér. So boogie on down; lawn tickets start at $30.99 and VIP packages begin at $250.
• Sunday, Aug. 25 may be the day you get to see a Beatle live and in person. Ringo Starr has a show at the Santa Fe Opera (301 Opera Dr., Santa Fe) at 8pm and you oughta go for purely historical reasons. But also because dude’s shows kick arse. Plus you know he’s for sure gonna pull out some Fab Four jams he’s famous for, like Buck Owens’ classic “Act Naturally” or his own “Octopus’s Garden.” Plus he always has a super-decent band, featuring rock-pantheon types, backing him up. Don’t pass this one by; don’t make me cry. Tickets are bound to sell out soon; what remains will cost you between $236 and $284; how’s that for peace and love?