Written by Jennifer Hartel |   Photos courtesy of Headcount.org

Summertime in Sacramento brings with it hot temperatures and plenty of fun in the sun for the whole family.  For me, the thing I look forward to most about this sunny season is the live music! 

From Concerts in the Park to Motown: The Musical, there has been no shortage or variety of shows to enjoy over the past few months here in Sactown.

The highlight of my summer was seeing the Dixie Chicks and Dead and Company shows, both held out in Wheatland at the Toyota Amphitheater. I had the additional pleasure of attending these shows as a volunteer for HeadCount, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to registering voters at concerts.   The deal with HeadCount is:  volunteers register voters before the show and then get to stay for the music!  To find out more visit: headcount.org where you can sign up to volunteer and, if you need to, get registered to vote! 

First up for me was The Dixie Chicks. On tour for the first time in 10 years, and playing to a packed house, The Chicks proved that they’ve got staying power. One of many highlights from their show, was their absolutely stunning tribute to Prince: a stripped-down rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” 

The other local show I volunteered at, Dead and Company, was another one for the memory books. Dead and Company is made up of Bob Weir (also on HeadCount’s Board of Directors), Micky Hart,  Bill Kreutzmann, with John Mayer on guitar as well as Otiel Burbidge and Jeff Chimenti. In particular, John Mayer has stepped into his role in the band with grace, bringing both a deep respect and new energy to the Dead catalogue.  In Wheatland, their performance of “Casey Jones” stood out among an overall tremendous set list. Dead and Company’s summer tour was a wild success and hopefully this won’t be the last time they let there be songs to fill the air.

While those two shows were a real treat for me, there’s still plenty of music to check out before the leaves begin to fall. Radio 94.7’s City of Trees festival September 10th featuring an impressive lineup headlined by Weezer and Panic! at the Disco is sure to be a great day at Bonney Field.  Tickets are on sale here: http://www.radio947.net/ and, definitely a nice perk, parking will be free at the event.   

Midtown’s Ace of Spades also has some great shows coming up in the next few weeks too including: Fitz and the Tantrums, Too Short and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.  Their full calendar can be found here: http://www.aceofspadessac.com/.

Though the summer temps will (hopefully) be a distant memory by October, the Aftershock music festival, held October 22nd and 23rd at Discovery Park, will offer fans a chance to rock out to an incredible lineup including Slipknot, Tool, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, and Korn.  I can’t call myself a metalhead by any means, but have attended this festival the past two years and find it to be one of the most fun festivals near or far.  Grab your tickets here: http://aftershockconcert.com/.  

Finally, Sacramento’s live music scene will be growing this fall with the opening of Golden One Center when Sir Paul McCartney takes the stage for two sold out shows on October 4th and 5th.  The King’s new home will draw bigger acts to town which will be an excellent opportunity for music lovers to grab dinner and drinks Downtown and enjoy some massive shows right in our own backyard. 

I can’t wait for the next show! Hope to see you there!