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Summer Concert Series at Recreation Center Puts on a Good Show

The live outdoor shows are free and feature a wide variety of genres.

There is nothing quite like live outdoor music.

And luckily the Cleveland area has taken advantage of the summer weather by arranging for several artists to perform at outdoor venues including Westlake Recreation Center, Crocker Park, BAYarts, and the plaza outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. 

Just this past Sunday an a capella group, Partners in Rhyme, performed at Westlake Recreation Center, which features a band every Sunday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A crowd of more than 50 people showed up with lawn chairs and blankets outside the pavilion near the playground to hear the music.

Jim Hutchings of West Park came to the Recreation Center to see a friend perform last year. Since then he’s been to every concert there and enjoyed it so much that he began bringing his wife this year.

“Generally we like the groups they have because they’re always good," he said. "And it’s a nice group of people. There’s a lot of space at this park.”

“It’s a nice way to spend a summer evening,” said Westlake resident Kathy Woolner. “Any of the genres of music are good, it’s a nice time.”

There was a significant group of teenagers at the show too. Two rising freshman, Amanda Finucan and Paige Rimko, said they are “big fans of a capella.” Paige’s dad is part of Partners in Rhyme and she goes to most of the group’s shows.

But not only did the crowd enjoy the performance, the band did too.

“It’s a beautiful setting and the people are so open and receptive,” said Geoff Short, one of the singers, “It’s so much fun to do in the summertime.”

Most of the members in Partners in Rhyme grew up together in church and began performing barbershop-quartet-style music until they later transformed into a more contemporary style, trying to “imitate the instrumentation of bands,” explained Short, “These were talents we were born with and we wanted to experiment with our voices.” Their influences include Rockapella, The Blenders, Take 6, and The Nylons.

But a capella won’t be the only variety of music at Westlake Recreation Center. Next week they will be hosting a country/rock band, and after that a Motown band and a pop/rock band.

And in Westlake you don’t have to wait for Sunday night for a free concert. If you just love music you can enjoy bands Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The concerts at Crocker Park are every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and run until September 3. They also bring a number of genres including rock, jazz, acoustic and 60s tributes.

BAYarts will have a folk-rock artist on Aug. 12 and a blues band on Aug. 21. They also have “Acoustic Saturdays” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Aug. 27, with different artists performing in a coffee shop atmosphere.

And if you’re willing to drive to Cleveland, the plaza outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame features “the most buzzed-about bands on the rise” according to their website, as part of the Summer in the City Concert Series, which is also free. On Aug. 3 from 7-9 p.m. they will have The Joy Formidable with HotChaCha,
 and on Aug. 17 from 7-9 p.m. they will have Murder by Death with the Buried Wires.

Get outside and make the most of summer by seeing these fantastic, free shows!

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