Tuesday, June 21 marks the first day of summer, but the unofficial tourist season is already in its fourth week. Crowds on the beach have been strong despite high gas prices, and there are tons of musical events planned to entertain visitors and locals alike in the coming days.
In Ocean City, the Cowboy Coast Saloon’s annual Throwback Thursday concert series kicked off last week with a successful June 9 rock show from Puddle of Mudd.
Tickets are on sale now for an appearance by Wu Tang Clan co-founder Raekwon at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 23 ($30). (Raekwon’s former Wu Tang cohort, Method Man, gave an “interesting” performance on Cowboy Coast in 2019.)
As mentioned in this column last week, tickets are also on sale for a July 21 appearance by country singer Colt Ford ($25). Finally, Cowboy Coast announced that hard rock band Buckcherry will be playing their hits on July 28 ($25).
Elsewhere in OC, all tickets are sold out for the two annual Seacrets nights by reggae-rock favorite Michael Franti & Spearhead (June 22-23). However, fans can still snag tickets to see Franti and the band later this summer at the Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville. This show is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23 ($45, $59).
In the nearer future, at Freeman, Bruce USA will pay tribute to Mr. Springsteen and his E-Street Band on Friday, June 17 ($25). Country star Cole Swindell’s Saturday, June 18 concert is sold out.
Eclectic rock band Lake Street Dive returns Tuesday, June 21 ($39-$59). R&B diva Patti LaBelle will wow the crowd on Wednesday, June 22 ($49, $69, $79), with Salisbury’s “American Idol” star Jay Copeland opening for it. All Freeman shows start at 7 p.m.
In Dewey Beach, the Bottle & Cork nightclub performs a concert by country singer Dylan Scott on Thursday, June 15 ($30 in advance, $33 at the door).
Tribute act Badfish will pay homage to the reggae-rock sounds of Sublime during their annual appearance on Wednesday, June 22, following an opening set by reggae performer Joe Samba ($20).
Country star Kip Moore will play the Cork Thursday, June 23 ($69). All these weekday concerts start around 8 p.m.
In downtown Rehoboth Beach, the Conch Island Key West Bar & Grille quietly opened its new location last Thursday.
As its 12-year-old former location near the city’s fire station is being transformed into a new resort, Conch has moved to a spacious structure several blocks away on Rehoboth Avenue Extended (in the same mall that houses the Italian restaurant Casa diLeo).
The advantage of moving is that parking spaces are free. A huge stage offers live music seven nights a week at 8 p.m., with several “vertical” residencies, including Freshly Squeezed on Mondays and Electric Velvet on Wednesdays.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the death of legendary DJ Batman (not-so-secret name: Mike Beatty) from cancer last week. It wouldn’t be a stretch to refer to him as Delmarva’s most influential nightclub disc jockey – ever.
He spent decades cultivating his following and dabbled in radio, journalism and cable TV while promoting his beloved Ocean City entertainment scene.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him here many times over the years, and I have spent more than one occasion asking him to relive one of his fondest memories: the time he was chosen to shoot records for the Rolling Stones in one of their post-concert evenings.
He started traveling with a roadie, a lighting system and a gigantic sound system years before electronic dance music deejays started doing the same. He was a pioneer and he will be missed.
Email Roger Hillis at email@example.com