Friday, September 16, 2011

Live Music: Sloan at Maxwell's, Union County Music Fest & Other Free Shows, More

Blondie performs "Mother" on the Today Show earlier this week.

For anyone who thought that free outdoor concerts, like wearing white shoes, disappear after Labor Day, here's some good news: there are a number of free outdoor shows and festivals this weekend.

But first, here's a show that's not free but that you might want to catch: Canada's Sloan is playing Maxwell's in Hoboken tonight, and as of now tickets are still available. The band, which is celebrating its 20 year, released its lastest album, "The Double Cross," earlier this year. You Am I and Taylor Locke & The Roughs are also on the bill, and tickets are only $20.

Now to the free stuff. The big event this weekend is the Union County Music Fest, which starts in earnest tonight and runs through Sunday in Oak Ridge Park in Clark, NJ. (See directions page here.) I had a great time at last year's Union County festival and highly recommend this event; it's a nice blend of big-name acts and up-and-comers, classic rockers and new bands, with music on three stages. And it's totally free.

Nicole Atkins - SXSW - Austin, TX - 2010
New Jersey native Nicole Atkins will once again play the Union County Music Fest. Photo: Flickr user Kirk Stauffer.
You can check the Union County Music Fest lineup page to see the acts playing each day (I've shown the major acts below, with set times). The music starts earlier each day (4 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday, for example); see the lineup for each day for the full listing. (Unfortunately, they are on a series of PDF files.)

Friday, Sept 16th
7 - 8:15 p.m.: LIVE's Ed Kowalczyk
8:30 - 10 p.m.: Collective Soul

Saturday, Sept 17th
12 - 1 p.m.: The School of Rock Allstars - the music of The Alarm (with the band's Mike Peters)
1 - 1:30 p.m.: Cy Curnin (of The Fixx)
2 - 3 p.m.: Nicole Atkins and The Black Sea
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.: Toad the Wet Sprocket
5:15 - 6:30 p.m.: Paul Rodgers (of Free, Bad Company, and now Queen)
7 - 8:15 p.m.: Neon Trees
8:45 - 10 p.m.: Blondie

Sunday, Sept 18th
1:30 - 3 p.m.: School of Rock Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
3:45 - 5:15 p.m.: The Smithereens
6 - 7:30 p.m.: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Also this weekend are two free folk festivals, one in Manhattan and one in nearby Weehawken, NJ.

The Washington Square Park Folk Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday in the legendary Greenwich Village park, starting at 2 p.m. each day. The lineups:

Saturday: The Calamity Janes, Ferel Foster, East River String Band, and Whiskey Spitters

Sunday: Bob Malenky, Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues, The Dust Busters with John Cohen, Willy Gantrim & the Phantoms, Peter Stampfel and the Ether Frolic Mob

The Hudson River West Folk Festival takes place Sunday at Lincoln Harbor Park in Weehawken, with great views of the Manhattan skyline. (Directions to Lincoln Harbor Park here.) Susan Werner and Vance Gilbert are the big draws here, and former Weehawken resident Jane Kelly Williams kicks things off. The lineup:

2 p.m.: Jane Kelly Williams
3 p.m.: Vance Gilbert
4 p.m.: Julian Peterson, solo and with Hudson Crossing
5 p.m.: Eugene Ruffolo
6 p.m.: Susan Werner

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