Music in the Park this week

Greg Kihn

San Jose’s annual free music series Music in the Park begins its 2011 program this Thursday. Local retro-rock favorite Greg Kihn Band headlines, and KFOX contest winners The Houserockers open this week.

The remainder of the 2011 series has also been announced:

  • June 9: The Original Stone City Band (funk/R&B) with So Timeless
  • June 16: Freddie McGregor (reggae) with Tchiya Amet
  • June 23: White Album Ensemble (Beatles tribute)
  • June 30: Natural Vibrations(Hawaiian reggae/rock/soul) with The Bangerz
  • July 7: Led Zepagain (Led Zepplin tribute)
  • July 14: headliner TBA
  • July 21: The English Beat(ska/new wave)
  • July 28: Cracker(alt rock) with opener TBA
  • August 4: Dredg(alt rock) with The Holdup and Trophy Fire
  • August 11: Marcia Griffiths(reggae) with Reggae Angels
  • August 18: Sergent Garcia(world) with Los Hot Boxers.
  • August 25: Pete Escovedo Orchestra (latin jazz) with The Mystique Band

It looks like the MitP programmers have taken a turn towards including more mainstream rock acts this year, with Kihn and the two classic-rock cover acts in the lineup. I can see why they are interested in presenting bands that appeal to widely diverse age groups. The programs in recent years have brought in huge crowds of mostly young people, which may have turned off many older potential concert-goers (and wine-and-beer-buyers) from considering Music in the Park for an afternoon’s entertainment.

On the other hand, plenty of local bands have a retro sound (think Mumlers and Roosevelt Radio just to name a couple of bands I’ve mentioned before on Metblogs) that should appeal to a lot of Beatles and Led Zep fans. If the idea behind getting cover bands on the program is to appeal to a group of fans who love those ’60′s acts and aren’t adventurous about seeking out new music, then at least opening acts could have been booked to get some new local music in front of that audience. I’ll still enjoy those shows, but I’m disappointed the program doesn’t do more to support the local music scene.

All shows begin at 5:30 pm on Thursday afternoons, and are held at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose.

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