By Marni Prichard Manko| June 22, 2015 |
As a bevy of outdoor summer concerts takes center stage, the Main Line establishes itself as a hotbed of musical talent.
What’s better than sitting under the stars on a warm summer night out on the Main Line? How about doing it while jamming to a free rock concert, or chilling to some soulful jazz? Or even bringing the kids along and letting them run amok during a children’s performance? With the arrival of summer comes a plethora of neighborhood outdoor concerts from one end of the Main Line to the other—and many are free and sponsored by local organizations. So go ahead and grab your Lilly lawn chair, pack a picnic basket with a poached lobster salad and a chilled bottle of dry rosé, and get ready to take in some tunes under a starry summer sky.
On Saturday summer nights—and the occasional Friday night—head to Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts. Stand outs include the Neil Young tribute band Dukes of Destiny with Broken Arrow (July 10), Marc Silver & the Stonethrowers (July 18), and the Lisa Willson Vocal Academy (August 7). Plus, the park has a sweet playground so the kids can entertain themselves as you check out the musical offerings. Most concerts are priced at $12 a person, though children 16 and under are admitted for free.
Upper Merion’s Concert Under the Stars has been a summer staple ever since its first performance back in ’85, when it began as a haven for folk music. Today, concertgoers can head to King of Prussia every Sunday night for seven weeks straight and get a dose of live music from every genre. Plus, some of the artists are welcomed by WXPN, UPenn’s acclaimed radio authority on rock, blues, and folk, so you know they have to be pretty great. Some summer standouts include Susan Warner with special guest Michael Braunfeld (July 12), Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band welcomed by Philadelphia Folk Song Society (July 19), Comedy Night with Chris Coccia, Deirdre Flint, and more (July 26), and Family Night with The Plants (August 2). All concerts are held at the Upper Merion Township Building Park, and tickets are just $10 (kids and seniors get in free).
Closer to Philly, you can find hordes of music lovers jamming in Narberth Park, right in front of the Chet Tyson Pavilion. Sponsored by Lankenau Hospital and presented by The 4th of July Committee (Narberth’s Fourth of July celebration is another of the borough’s mustattend events), the Summer Concert Series is held on Wednesday nights throughout the summer. Some must-see artists include Dave Murphy (July 1), Matt Santry (July 22), and The Zing Kings (July 29).
If you can’t make it to Narberth on Wednesdays, check out a trio of performances scheduled for the Radnor Summer Concert Series held at different locations within the township. Come see Back to Rock at Veterans Parks (July 8), Where’s Pete? at Clem Macrone Park (July 22), and Melissa Martin and The Mighty Rhythm Kings at Bo Connor Park (August 5). Or head to Media’s Rose Tree Park Amphitheater for the free Delaware County Rose Tree Park Summer Festival (co.delaware.pa.us/summer). Sit on the hillside, catch some breezes, and get inspired by Jimmy Buffet cover band Jimmy & the Parrots (July 10), the southern Zydeco-A-Go-Go (August 5), and the Neil Diamond tribute band Real Diamond (August 8).
And if Wednesday nights in July aren’t busy enough already, you can also head to Chestnut Hill’s Pastorius Park for its 67th annual Free Summer Concert Series. Check out the John Byrne Band (July 15), Michelle Lordi (July 22), or Hank’s Cadillac (July 29) for some easy listening in the open-air amphitheater.
In Chesterbrook, music lovers can enjoy some tunes on Thursday nights in July during the annual 2015 Summer Concert Series in Tredyffrin Township at the Shire Pavilion in Wilson Farm Park. Now in its ninth year, the free concerts can attract as many as 600 to 700 people a night. This summer series features Cool Confusion (July 9), repeat performers and fan favorites the Sofa Kings (July 16), and Shades of Silver (July 23). Plus, you can take a stroll around the bucolic grounds before the concert and take in the views of the picturesque pond and bridge.