Gazette opinion: Magic City’s weekend cornucopia of concerts

2014-08-06T00:00:00Z Gazette opinion: Magic City’s weekend cornucopia of concerts The Billings Gazette
August 06, 2014 12:00 am

From blues to hard rock, Billings has it all this weekend. The timing of the Magic City Blues Festival and MontanaFair will combine to make Billings a concert destination.

The new South Park gazebo will be turned into a tap room for two days with beer from four local microbreweries, as previously reported The Gazette’s Enjoy section.

There will be dancing downtown, free music on the West End and a variety of concerts at MetraPark.

Late summer has become a better time for local music fans. Last week, Billings area folks had three concert choices on a single night. On July 29, a Queen tribute, “It’s a Kinda Magic,” was on stage at the Alberta Bair Theater and Three Days Grace played the Babcock. That was the same night that country music star Tim McGraw filled Rimrock Auto Arena with 9,000 fans.

This week, multiple concerts will be offered on four consecutive nights.

First, there’s the free, all-ages outdoor concert Thursday at St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, Rimrock and Shiloh roads. This is the last concert in the St. John’s summer series. Josh Harty will open at 6 p.m. for Cornmeal, a bluegrass jam band, scheduled to play from 7 to 8 p.m. This concert is cosponsored by Magic City Blues to kick off that festival.

On Friday night, Magic City Blues opens two outdoor stages along Montana Avenue for audiences 18 and over. The music starts at 5:30 p.m. and plays till midnight.

Then Magic City Blues moves to South Park for two days of all-ages concerts. The music is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite close out the Saturday bill with a performance from 9 to 10:30 p.m. The Sunday concert lineup features Huey Lewis and The News from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Free MET bus shuttles will be running between the Northern Hotel entrance at Broadway and First Avenue North and South Park from 2 p.m. each day till the music stops.

Meanwhile, Rimrock Auto Arena hosts country vocalists Chris Young and Danielle Bradbury Friday for the first MontanaFair night show.

On Saturday, the arena night show features the pop rock of Train.

Sunday’s night arena show is three rock bands: Pop Evil, Adelitas Way and ENDever, a Billings band.

It would’ve been fantastic to start the week with a Paul McCartney concert here, but that didn’t happen. However, public and private Billings promoters now are offering four nights of great music in our Magic City. Here we have more music, affordable prices, right in your neighborhood or just across town. Enjoy!

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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