One of the special events of the season-spanning 2022 Bulldog Park Free Summer Concert Series is “The (Bull)Dog Daze Of Summer” which happens on Saturday, and features food vendors, a cash bar and three live bands.
The Bulldog Park Pavilion is the site of the ongoing annual music series, presented by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and Crown Point Special Events. This weekend’s show was originally planned as the official vinyl release party for Midwest regional music icons, M&R Rush, who just a few weeks ago had to cancel their entire summer tour due to a major health issue with one of its members.
Fortunately, the M&R camp reports all is good with their ailing member and that the vinyl album celebration has been rescheduled for Nov. 19 at Hobart Art Theater in downtown Hobart. There was still the matter of securing a headline artist for this Saturday’s Bulldog concert.
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Fear not. Crown Point managed to secure a great musical group to step in as the headliner of the event. Gone2Paradise (featuring Frank Paul) is a Chicago-based, touring Jimmy Buffett tribute group offering up all the Buffett fan favorites one could hope to hear, along with some surprises nicely slipped into the set list and delivered in a tropical style.
Regional bands James Gedda & The Big Breakfast and The Geddy Trezak Band, originally scheduled to perform earlier on the bill, will still be kicking out their own brand of jams, respectively performing at 5 and 7 p.m. Gone2Paradise hits the stage at 9 p.m. Caruso Live Audio will provide sound for the event.
As with all the Bulldog Park concerts, bringing blankets and lawn chairs is recommended for this all ages event, but no coolers are allowed. More: crownpoint.in.gov.
Hard Rock lives up to its name this weekend
A pair of hard rockin’ powerhouse shows happen this weekend at The Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana concert hall — Hard Rock Live! More: hardrockcasinonorthernindiana.com.
First up is the triple heavy metal bill today as Anthrax, Black Label Society and Hatebreed crank up the amps at 7 p.m. One of the godfathers of modern thrash metal, along with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, Anthrax has released nearly a dozen albums, many earning gold and platinum certification. Black Label Society is the project formed by ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, a guitar god of the modern hard rock/metal community. Both are headliners in their own right, but together are a show not to miss for true metal fans. Add in Hatebreed, and it’s a no brainer. The low $59 ticket should seal the deal for those on the fence.
On Friday, the “metal” presented at Hard Rock Live! is really not metal at all. Tesla was lumped into the “hair metal” cluster during the MTV-era because of the company they kept on the road (Poison, Def Leppard, Van Halen, etc.). In truth, Tesla is a straight up, hard rocking blues band having more in common with bands like Aerosmith, The Black Crowes and the Rolling Stones, than any actual “metal” band. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets start at $49.50.
A variety of other free concerts happen on the Hard Rock property this weekend as always. One in particular that I recommend catching is the 9 p.m. Saturday performance on the Hard Rock Cafe Stage by Mud Morganfield, the eldest son of the late Chicago blues icon, Muddy Waters. A veteran blues recording and international touring artist in his own right, Morganfield has released nearly a half dozen albums of electric blues via Severn Records, his latest being 2018’s “They Call Me Mud.” More: mudmorganfieldblues.com.
• Hobart Art Theater (230 Main St.) in downtown Hobart offers up a full weekend of laughter, starting on Friday with The Hodgetwins, also known as the “Conservative Twins.” They are an American stand-up comedy and conservative political commentary duo consisting of twins Kevin Hodge and Keith Hodge who started their career as YouTubers, who in 2016 evolved into a live stand-up comedy act. Tickets start at $48.
On Saturday, the comedy continues with Reno Collier and Josh Arnold. Collier started out working with Larry the Cable Guy on tour and on Comedy Central. Arnold is a regular cast member of the nationally-syndicated radio program “The BOB & TOM Show,” and regularly national comedy club tours. Tickets start at $25. More: brickartlive.com.
• Tonight’s “Acoustic Thursday” concert series at Montego Bay Grille (233 Main St.) in downtown Hobart features NWI guitar virtuoso Marco Villarreal pairing up with vocalist Heather Bricker who during the late ’90s and early 2000s, was known for packing Chicagoland clubs as the lead vocalist and front woman of the bands Taxi and Vivid. The duo are both veteran performers of note and cover a wide variety of cover songs from a variety of genres. More: facebook.com/mobaygrille.
• Singer/songwriter Mike Green performs acoustic tonight at Northwoods Falls (8101 Wicker Ave.) from 7-10 p.m. Friday finds a touch of the islands coming to the eatery as The Reggae Express makes a stop there, and Saturday Return To Soul rocks the joint. This Sunday’s matinee show from 2-5 p.m. features Chris Grove with The Nomad Planets.
Happy to report that after cancelling due to illness a few weeks back, The Steepwater Band is now back on the calendar at Northwoods Falls. Their rescheduled show happens Aug. 12 with special guests Brian Munde & Nick Kazonis. More: northwoodsfalls.com or 219-351-5148.
• Leroy’s Hot Stuff (333 W. U.S. 20) presents a weekend of rock variety with The Nick Danger Band on Friday, followed on Saturday by the Southern Rock sounds of The Shirttail Kin, sure to incite shouts for “Freebird.” Music starts at 8 p.m. both nights. A weekly “Blues Jam with host Corey Dennison” happens Sundays from 7-10 p.m. More: leroyshotstuff.com or 219-926-6211.
• Catch Danny Lemmon & The Lemmon Brothers this weekend just over the state line for a pair of free shows (facebook.com/dannylemmonmusic). On Friday for the 21 and over crowd at Smokey Jo’s (475 W. Burville Road) in Crete, and again on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. in Hazel Crest for the all-ages, family-friendly American Legion Summer Picnic (17034 Page Ave.) at Legion Post #398 in Hazel Crest. More: 708-335-2300.