Summer is in full swing, and area music venues are bringing out the big guns for their annual concert events.
In Selbyville, the Freeman Stage at Bayside will be rocking and rolling on two consecutive evenings. Blues Traveler will perform on Tuesday, July 11 ($44 to $58). Led by harmonica master John Popper, the band is known for stretching out its melodic songs with improvisational jams.
On Wednesday, July 12, the Freeman Stage will present a double-header featuring The Wallflowers with Better Than Ezra ($54 to $69); both acts have put on stellar performances on Delmarva concert stages in years past, but never together. Led by enigmatic frontman Jakob Dylan, who performed solo at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach in 2010, the group continues to churn out catchy songs with a bit of an Americana edge.
New Orleans rock trio Better Than Ezra has a nice batch of hits up its collective sleeve, and is known for high-energy live shows. All of the Freeman concerts begin at 7 p.m.
Speaking of the Bottle & Cork, that fabled Dewey hotspot has an annual event set for Thursday, July 13, that will likely attract many road-tripping fans of hard rock from Ocean City and Baltimore.
Maryland's own KIX will once again raise the roof with some songs that are regional cult classics ("The Itch," "Midnight Dynamite") and others that received national radio play ("Don't Close Your Eyes," "Cold Blood.") Local rock trio Scrapple will once again open the show at 9:30 p.m. The two bands have bonded in recent years, and Scrapple vocalist Ron "Stretch" Thompson told me he has even trekked to Baltimore for singing lessons from KIX frontman Steve Whiteman — who has previously done the same for Halestorm songstress Lzzy Hale.
In Ocean City, Fager's Island will present its Boy Band Review at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 12 ($10) — which relives the teen idol glory days of the past two decades, including tributes to 'NSYNC, New Kids On the Block, the Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake and more.
Another tribute showcase at Fager's will take place later this month, when the harmony-laden group The Long Run pays homage to The Eagles on Saturday, July 29; we'll have more on this in the weeks ahead.
E-mail Roger Hillis at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Week's Must-See List
The Wallflowers and Better Than Ezra at the Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 12. $54, $69
KIX at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13. $25, $28
Boy Band Review at Fager's Island in Ocean City at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 12. $10
Mo Lowda & the Humble at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach at 10 p.m. Friday, July 7. Free
Prime Time Dance Band at M.R. Ducks in Ocean City at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 8. Free