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Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:03 am

Memorable Memorial Day and more

The Brat Pack does the Blue Grouch Grouch-a-Palooza on Friday with The Mix on Saturday and Fun DMC on Sunday.

 

Well, here we are, set to explore, exploit and explain another wonderful Memorial Day weekend full of fun and music. Let’s keep enough reverence to the reason for the celebration and respect the festivities while participating, but let the good times roll indeed.

Always considered the beginning of the summer season – the solstice be damned in modern culture – Memorial Day weekend this year is like no other, yet similar all the same. As usual in this fortunate world we live in, live music drives the entertainment and keeps the happenings exciting. So let’s pile on the doings and see what we can find.

Take 10 takes off at the Curve Inn on Thursday, bringing Springfield’s largest band to one of our most well-staged venues thanks to the continued good work of “Best of Springfield” award-winning sound man Ric Major. Combining at least 10 of the area’s finest musicians playing horns, percussion, basses, keyboards and guitars with top-notch vocalists makes for an incredibly full sound. They’re covering hip tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s that keep you on the dance floor and in amazement of the cool vibes emanating from the stage.

Friday goes beyond the usual ridiculous number of good bands playing, including Bad Mama Jamas at Craft Beer Bar, Brat Pack at Blue Grouch, Big Daddy Jasper at Long Bridge, The Station at Brewhaus, MojoCats at Weebles and Tennessee Borderline at Koo Koo’s Nest. Bar None hosts a “night to end all nights” with those cool cats called Hillbilly Casino sporting tattoos and jamming the most righteous rockabilly anywhere, joined by none other that the Timmys, a band that needs no introduction – so they get none – and Evan Mitchell, the self-proclaimed one-man band, which is really an oxymoron but also an acceptable explanation of the incredible sounds this dude makes for being one dude.

On a lighter side, this Friday, Casey’s Pub presents Philly Boy’s Summer Comedy Kick Off from 8 to midnight. Join funny fellow Ray “Philly” Phillips hosting fellow comedians, Jaylee Thomas and Joie Krack along with smokin’ music from The Kick-It Coalition DJs and Uncanny.

As our buddy Michael “Supe” Granda says, “Friday just turns into Saturday night.” And indeed it does. But be on the lookout this weekend as Saturday night continues right into Sunday, with bunches of bands playing the day before the Monday holiday. One big, new event comes at a revitalized venue, as Tradewinds, just west of Knight’s Action Park, returns to the live music scene. The Patio Party Series goes on all summer and kicks off with After Sunset on Saturday and Off the Wall on Sunday, with plenty of outdoor activities to accompany the music.

The legendary guitarist and raconteur Catfish Evans drifts in from Decatur to bring his infamous Sharks to a rare and much anticipated show at The Alamo for the Illinois Central Blues Club’s Blue Monday night. Your life is not complete until you catch this Catfish, so save yourself a bit this weekend for a final hurrah on Monday night.

Next weekend brings the Legacy of Giving music festival to downtown Springfield. Formerly the popular SOHO fest, the new name brings different people in charge of running the thing but the idea is the same: give original bands a place to play and give local charities a bunch of unfettered cash. Seems like they are on track to continue the fine tradition instigated and increased by Eric Welch and the SOHO crew. Making music matter is a cool deal no matter how you make it happen.

Have a safe, fun and exciting weekend and don’t forget Decoration Day.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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