Summer, for at least some of us, is a season to feel free: free from school, from work, from cold weather, from layers of clothes and from routine. In many towns up and down the Jersey Shore, it is also a time to enjoy free entertainment at summer concerts.
The Jersey Shore is a treasure trove of talent, with popular musicians performing every genre of music for local fans, from rock, jazz, R&B and country to Latin, big band, Motown and pop. Evenings spent at summer concerts are a cherished tradition, offering families and friends the chance to gather together, relax and enjoy great entertainment in the summer air as they watch the sun go down. Many make an event of it, bringing chairs and blankets, picnic baskets and coolers to settle in and dine in the great outdoors. Surely, there could be no better way than this to relish a view from the front row!
With the start of summer just around the corner, here are just some of the popular free concert series dates that are on the calendar in towns throughout Monmouth County:
Sandy Hook Summer Concerts
Wednesdays starting at 6 pm at Beach E, Sandy Hook. Parking is free for cars entering after 5 pm. Before 5 pm., beach parking is $15. In case of rain, the decision to cancel will be made by 2 pm on the day of the concert. Call 732-291-7733 for a recording or check online at SandyHookFoundation.org. Sign up on the website to be notified before the concerts.
June 19 Waiting on Mongo
June 26 Brian Kirk & The Jirks
July 3 No concert
July 10 Tim McLoone & The Shirleys
July 17 Moroccan Sheepherders
July 24 Bob Bandiera Band
July 31 Jobonnano’s Spirit of Asbury Revue
Aug. 7 The Carl Gentry Band
Aug. 14 Remember Jones
Aug. 21 Rain date for rescheduled shows
Bands by the Beach in Long Branch
Sundays from 7 to 8:30 pm at West End Park, Brighton Avenue, Long Branch. In case of rain, concerts will be held in Jack’s Goal Line, 149 Brighton Ave., Long Branch.
June 9 Philadelphia Funk Authority
June 16 No concert
June 23 Sandy Sasso & Her Swingin’ Big Band
June 30 Chuck Lambert
July 7 Bob Lanza Band
July 14 JoBonanno’s Spirit of Asbury Revue (on West End Beach)
July 21 Billy Hector Experience
July 28 Peter V Blues Train
Aug. 4 Eryn & The Whiskey Devils
Aug. 11 SaRon Crenshaw
Aug. 18 Blues People
Aug. 25 The VooDudes
Thursdays by the Sea in Long Branch
Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 pm at Pier Village, 68 Ocean Ave., Long Branch. In case of rain, concerts will be held in the Long Branch Middle School, 350 Indiana Ave. at Bath Avenue, Long Branch.
June 13 Tim McLoone & The Shirleys
June 20 The ASAP Band
June 27 Moroccan Sheepherders
July 4 No concert
July 11 Motor City Revue
July 18 So Watt
July 25 The Weeklings
Aug. 1 9 South
Aug. 8 After the Reign
Aug. 15 The Nerds
Aug. 22 Remember Jones
Aug. 29 Brian Kirk & The Jirks with fireworks
Tuesdays on Broadway in Long Branch
Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 pm in the Broadway Band Shell, 213 Broadway, Long Branch. In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held in the Portuguese Club of Long Branch, 191 Broadway, Long Branch.
July 9 Xol Azul Band
July 16 Eco Del Sur
July 23 Tito Puente, Jr.
July 30 Jersey Sound
Aug. 6 No concert
Aug. 13 David Cedeno & His Orchestra
Aug. 20 Linda Miller & The Girls Next Door
Aug. 27 Swing Sabroso
Highlands Summer Concert Series
Thursdays at 6 pm at Veterans Park, 51 Bay Ave., Highlands.
July 12 Carl Gentry Band
July 26 Random Test Reggae Band
Aug. 9 Jerry Topinka’s G13 Band
Aug. 23 Moroccan Sheepherders
Music in the Parks Summer Concert Series in Middletown
Tuesdays from 7 to 9 pm on the northern lawn at the Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church St., Middletown. Performers were still being finalized at press time. Dates will be July 9, July 23, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20.
Freehold Raceway Mall Summer Concert Series
Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. outside by the Cheesecake Factory and L.L. Bean at Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 U.S. Route 9, Freehold. In case of rain, concerts will take place the following Wednesday at the same time.
July 2 Bennie & The Jets
July 9 British Invasion Years
July 16 The Nerds
July 23 Brian Kirk & The Jirks
July 30 The B Street Band
Aug. 6 The Benjamins
Aug. 13 Dr. Cheeko
Thursdays Rock Summer Concert Series in Downtown Freehold
Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Monmouth County Hall of Records, 1 East Main Street, Freehold.
June 6 Moroccan Sheepherders
June 13 The Snakes
June 20 Mission Dance
June 27 Motor City Revue
July 4 Eddie Testa Band
July 11 Rockit Fish
July 18 Soul Project Nolo
July 25 The Springsteen Experience
Aug. 1 Joe Keyes & The Late Bloomer Band
Aug. 8 Joe Baracata Band
Aug. 15 Stephen Martines
Aug. 22 Full Throttle