Music News & Reviews

Here are 5 concert series to check out this summer. There are cheap and free options

The Los Angeles band Metalachi returns to Arte Americas on Saturday, June 2, with its own brand of mariachi fused with heavy metal.
The Los Angeles band Metalachi returns to Arte Americas on Saturday, June 2, with its own brand of mariachi fused with heavy metal. Vida en el Valle file

"It's summertime," to quote the reggae band Sublime, quoting George Gershwin, which means your concert choices are going to get better for the next few months.

Arte Americas kicks off the season with back-too-back concerts in its outdoor plaza this weekend.

The first is Mariachi Alegre, which plays a mix of modern and traditional mariachi songs. The concert is part of the museum's Nights in the Plaza series, which runs each Friday in June, August and September and includes artists like Patrick Contreras (June 22), the War tribute Raw (Aug. 10) and the John Clifton Blues Band (Sept. 14). There is also a tribute to Selena on Sept. 28. All shows start at dusk. Tickets are $10-$12. Season passes are available.

On Saturday, the museum welcomes (back) Metalachi. The band is a novelty, sure, doing covers of metal classics from Guns N' Roses to Dio to Slayer in mariachi style. They are still totally worth seeing. Tickets are $20-$30.

Here are some other concert series you will want to check out this summer.

Bluegrass in the Park

Sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association, this Friday night concert series is heavy on bluegrass, obviously, but also old-time country and Americana. The Roustabouts ( hardcore bluegrass and country spiked with the "Bakersfield Sound") play this week.

These concerts start at 6:30 p.m. at Clovis Veteran's Memorial Park and are free to attend (but you'll want to tip the bands generously).

Chukchansi Summer Concert Series

Daughtry kicked off the casino's annual concert series just last weekend.

The series continues in June with the Beatles tribute Fab Four on June 9, the Australian Bee Gees on June 16 and classic rockers .38 Special on June 23.

Roger Hodgson of Supertramp fame plays July 27 and country singers Hunter Hayes and Dwight Yoakam play in August (the 4th and 25th, respectively).

$5 Concert Series

This series is all about connecting local country music fans with up-and-coming artists.

For the second installment in the series (the first happened last Thursday) radio station 93.7 Kiss Country is bringing in Russell Dickerson, High Valley, Morgan Evans, Jimmie Allen and Jason Cade. The concert is June 14 at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park. Tickets are on sale now.

Rock the Mall

Radio station 95.7 The Fox keeps things classic (as in classic rock) for its Rock the Mall concert series.

The free concerts happen on the second and forth Thursday of each month through July at Campus Pointe (it moved from Sierra Vista Mall this year).

Faithfully (a tribute to Journey) plays June 14 followed by D.K. Revelle's Pirate Radio (doing rock hits from the '70-'90s) June 28. In July it's an '80 prom night with Max Headroom (July 12) and a reunion show from local faves 51 Aces. All concerts start at 6 p.m.

And two bonus events

Fulton Live bills itself as phase one of the future of music in Fresno, or downtown's entertainment district at least. The monthly concert happens the third Friday of each month at various restaurants and venues surrounding the Fulton Street corridor.

Think ArtHop, but with music.

Jammin' on the One is not a concert series, so much as an open format jam session. So, you bring the vibes. Gear is supplied and all musicians are welcomed. The event is free (musicians do need to sign up to play) and happens the third Wednesday of each month, through July at Full Circle Brewing Company.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

Meanwhile …

Six other noteworthy events happening this week: