Friday, June 22, 2012

Free Concerts this Weekend: Punk Island, Alabama Shakes, Real Estate, & More

Now that the crazy midsummer heat and humidity (and the thunderstorms) have cleared out, it's time to see some great concerts—and there are plenty to free ones to choose from. Sunday alone has a veritable embarrassment of riches, in terms of free music.

(Of course there are also any number of paid concerts going on, one the most tempting being the Metallica-curated Orion Music & More Festival in Atlantic City. And tickets still seem to be available, according to the website. (If you can't make it to AC, watch the Orion Festival webcast, which will be streaming certain sets. See the link for details.)

And whoops, I forgot: this is also the weekend for the Governor's Ball on Randall's Island, featuring Fiona Apple, Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Explosions in the Sky, and Santigold, among others.

After the video below, a look at some of the top free shows this weekend.

Ridgewood, NJ's Real Estate plays a free show in its hometown Sunday night.

* The Wood Brothers and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis play the "Summer On the Oval" series at the Stuyvesant Town Oval (252 1st Avenue) at 3 p.m. Saturday. This is a high-powered lineup of roots music, with brothers Chris and Oliver Wood (the former is a founding member of Medeski Martin & Wood) and the husband-and-wife country duo of Robison and Willis. The series is open to residents of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town and their guests, though I'm guessing you can hear the music from adjacent streets? (If anybody knows for sure, please leave a comment below.)

* Governor's Island once again becomes a self-contained world of all things punk rock with the return of Punk Island. More than 60 bands will perform starting at 12 Noon and running till midnight. It's all outdoors, all ages, and all free. Here's a partial list of the confirmed acts (see stage schedule here):
Sworn Enemy * Two-Man Advantage * Wombat in Combat * Panzie * Bucket Flush * The Scutches * InCircles * Hostile Times * Fried Chicken & Gasoline * The Nihilistics * Barons of Tang * World War IX * Cultivator * The Will * (A) Truth * Skum City * All New Episode * Praxis
* Alabama Shakes, Diamond Rugs, and Robert Ellis play SummerStage in Central Park at 3 p.m. Alabama Shakes has gained a lot of new fans through its sizzling live performances, and earlier this year finally came out with an album. This show is sure to attract a big crowd, so get to the Park early. And follow SummerStage on Twitter the day of the show to get updates on how the line's moving, etc.

* Real Estate, Toasted Plastic, and Spook Houses play an outdoor show in Real Estate's hometown of Ridgewood, NJ on Sunday night at 7 p.m. The concert takes place at the Kasschau Memorial Shell in Graydon Park (see map), which is near the intersection of North Maple Ave. and Linwood Ave. W. There are NJ Transit buses to Ridgewood from NYC, and Graydon Park isn't too far from the Ridgewood train station (you can get a cab there if you don't feel like walking.) Thanks to for the heads-up on this gig.

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