Naper Nights sets the stage with nonstop music and fun during three summer weekends in June, July and August.
Bring a blanket or lawn chair, family and friends to enjoy music under the stars on the grounds of Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Gates are open from 5 to 10PM.
No outside food or beverages are allowed. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 youth ages 4-12, free admission for children under 4 and members. Visit www.napernights.org for tickets and more info.
Kicking off the six-concert series Friday, June 17, with a tribute to America’s rock and roll roots is The Fortunate Sons, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band that prides itself on recreating the sound and look of CCR.
“What people get when they see us is by far the world’s most accurate tribute to CCR back in their prime,” said The Fortunate Sons drummer and manager Jeff Philippe. “The songs have a lot to say, but are short and upbeat. We genuinely still listen to and enjoy these tunes even after all this time.”
They are followed by headliner Mr. Blotto with a set featuring the music of The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and The Band. With over 2,400 shows and 25 years to their name, this Chicago-based jam band draws from a 300-plus song list.
“We are thrilled to book Mr. Blotto this year as their inspired playing has built a loyal fan base over their stellar 25-year career,” said Special Events Coordinator Adison Glick. “We knew from day one that Mr. Blotto would be a perfect fit for Naper Night’s theme ‘The History of Rock,’ because in addition to Mr. Blotto’s beloved originals, the band frequently pulls from a mammoth catalogue of jam band classics.”
He said a special set is scheduled to show off this cover side of Mr. Blotto, as the band intends to play a one-of-a-kind set of music highlighting the Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead, and The Band.
Paul Bolger, guitarist, vocalist and one of the founders of Mr. Blotto said, “I think our love of the music we get to play has kept us fresh, our set list fresh and our audience constantly surprised. I have to say also when you write a good song and put it in your set, you become the only place someone can hear it live so our originals are a big part of our success.”
On Saturday, June 18, Naper Nights revisits its rock and roll roots with two tribute bands that will play the most popular music of the last 50 years. Opening act Beggars Banquet is an authentic tribute to the Rolling Stones featuring all of their greatest hits performed in full costume. The band has been performing for over 14 years throughout the Midwest.
This year, fans of The Beatles’ music are in for a real treat. Headliner American English will be playing the album, “Revolver,” in its entirety. You might remember songs like, “Taxman,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Good Day Sunshine” and the rousing “Yellow Submarine.” This was also the first album ever recorded with “backwards” music used on the song “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The album has been certified 5 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Band members include Eric Michaels, who has been performing as Paul McCartney for 25 years, drummer Tom Gable, who has portrayed Ringo for 20 years, Young Hines as John Lennon, James Paul Lynch as George Harrison and Ken Zemanek as George Martin. They will also be wishing Sir Paul McCartney a happy 74th birthday (on his actual birthday, June 18) when American English plays a Wings tribute in honor of this extraordinary musician.
Gable said he loves playing the music of The Beatles and continues his ongoing research into the band and their songs.
“You become a professor and a student, all in one. You are always striving to capture something you missed and you’re always learning something,” he said. “It’s trying to tap into the magic of their music.”
He said that “Revolver” was a groundbreaking album for The Beatles because it included pop music, but their horizons were growing. It remains one of the biggest selling albums of all time.
“We are fortunate to have the talent and the depth of musicianship in the band that allows us to do all of The Beatles music, from their early days to their solo careers,” he said.
Gable said the band enjoys playing in Naperville because it’s a progressive, trendy town and that Naper Nights concert goers appreciate their music.
“We all do this because we love music,” he said. “Let’s keep The Beatles music alive and pass it down to the next generation.”