Outdoor Concerts:  A Great Way for Boomers to Enjoy July & August

15 Sure Fire Tips for Making Your Outdoor Concerts More Enjoyable

Just getting settled in for the Righteous Brothers

The summer season is upon us with so many choices.  For my house, we’re not venturing far from home so we decided to focus on the summer concert series at several of our local venues.

Most recently, we went to an outdoor amphitheater by the name of the Redlands Bowl Performing Arts.  It is the oldest outdoor free concert series in the United States celebrating it’s 99th year.  This week we saw the Righteous Brothers.  A full two-hour assembly of incredible music from the 60’s and 70’s featuring all their Number 1 hits, and then some.  

As you might recall, Bobby Hatfield passed away in 2003 and has subsequently been replaced by Bucky Heard, who has a phenomenal vocal range, and did an outstanding job filling in.  Bill Medley, one of the two originals, turns 82 this year.  I’m not sure what he’s taking, but he is as spry as ever especially having just recovered from throat cancer a couple of years ago.  Medley’s daughter McKenna was part of the back-up singing group and also performed a duet with Bill along with her own solo.   She has a magnificent voice.

The Righteous Brothers topped the charts in four decades, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.  After Bobby’s death, Bill continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but fans and friends pleaded with him to keep the Righteous Brothers alive.  Medley said no one could ever take Bobby’s place, but when he caught Bucky’s show, he said I found the right guy to help me recreate the magic.  And together they have done that in a big way.

Just a few gray hairs in the crowd…Ha. A rather large group picnicking on the grassy areas in the background.
What a perfect evening, soon to be under the stars

It was a delightful evening with the temperatures in the mid-80’s.  The Bowl holds about 5000 and it was packed to the gills with virtually every Baby Boomer from southern California.  Ha.  

But this is just one venue.  We have a number of other local communities with similar outdoor events, so now you must choose.  Ah, this is the fun part, because the variety seems to be endless.   For Boomers, it’s usually music from the 60’s and 70’s, there are children’s stories and Disney tales designed specifically for the grandkids, opera, dance, mariachi bands, rap, all kinds of rock and roll, vintage radio broadcasts for our Veterans, and many more.  

Bill Medley singing “Unchained Melody” as a tribute to Bobby Hatfield

Regardless of what you choose, just get out there and relish in the nighttime summer air. Here are several fantastic ideas on how to prepare and how to enjoy your outdoor experience.

  • Parking is always at the top of the list.  It’s a top priority because it’s always at a premium, even with Handicap services.  Get there early and hopefully you won’t have to walk too far.
  • Chairs—lightweight folding chairs in case seating has been taken and you need to find a grassy knoll. 
  • Padding and blankets—bring a chair pad and either towels or blankets.
  • Umbrella—if you arrive early and are confronted with the sun not yet setting, it can be quite warm so shield yourself with an umbrella.  Be sure to pack it away once the concert starts.
  • Sun Hats and Ball Caps—you might wish to consider them just as added sun shade.
  • Battery Powered Fans—to help cool you down, bring one for each person.  They’re small and inconspicuous.  
  • Sunglasses—whatever you do don’t forget them otherwise your eyes won’t forgive you until the sun goes down.
  • Sunscreen—need I say more.
  • Backpack—if you do have to park at a distance, it’s easier to pack things in a backpack than carry with your arms and hands.
  • Food—one of the great things about an outdoor concert is the picnic.  I found semi-elaborate sandwiches, finger food, chips and dip to fill the bill.  Don’t forget the dessert, like cookies, cheesecake, shortcakes, etc.  Bring plenty of napkins, wipes and utensils.  If you bring your grandkids, make sure you have games and apps for them to play while they’re waiting for the show to begin, their phones need to be on silence.  If you choose not to picnic, be certain to eat beforehand.  
  • Drinks—you will need to adhere to the local restrictions, if any, for alcohol, in any case make sure you have plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Cash—if your venue is free, undoubtedly they will pass the dish for donations to help offset the event costs, so make sure you bring some $5’s, $10’s and $20’s.  
  • Bathroom—most concerts start around 8:00 pm and end at 10:00 pm.  Better scope out the facilities because you will definitely need them after a two-hour show, after all we are Boomers.
  • The Exit—prepare for the long wait to exit, both from the event itself and then once you find your car getting back on the road.  Keep in mind, the bathroom comes into play in a big way.  
Bill Medley and Bucky Heard

Having recovered from vocal cord surgery and shortly thereafter losing his wife, Bill Medley wrote the following lyrics:

🎶 This’ll be the last time, that I’ll ever ever have the blues, I’ve got nothin’ nothin’ left to lose. 🎶

Who says Boomers don’t have cell phones…instead of candles everyone chose to use their phone lights for the last song

Boomers!  Stay RELEVANT, MOVE ON, ROCK ON and enjoy yourself and have a terrific summer of 2022. 

Your Number One BoomerGal, Connie.

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