Newport News will emerge as a musical hotspot this July 4. Of course, most communities have live music and fireworks. Newport News is importing Carbon Leaf, a Richmond-based band that's rocked many a St. Patrick's Day event here.
"We are excited about this year’s 4th of July Stars in the Sky," wrote Renee Popernack of Newport News Parks and Recreation. "We have two groups performing this year. We only have had one group the past few years," she explained, noting that the local band Cheap Thrills will join Carbon Leaf on the bill.
She also said the city will expand the event by moving the free children’s rides up on the bluff by West Avenue to allow more crowd space near the water. The party takes place at Victory Landing Park at the end of 23rd Street, along the James River. Parking and admission are free.
"We are not sure if we will get the Fort Monroe fireworks regulars at our event, but we are ready!" Popernack said.
In other Peninsula concert news, a friend alerted me to the fact that '90s rock band The Smithereens ("A Girl Like You," "Blood and Roses") is scheduled to play at at Newport News City Center on July 13 as part of the Fridays at the Fountain series.
Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and wraps up by 8:30 p.m. It's free.
Looking across the water, a couple of big shows were announced while I was on vacation in recent days.
British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons will land at nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth on Thursday, Aug. 9. American indie-rockers Dawes will open the show. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, June 29, through all Ticketmaster outlets, including (www.ticketmaster.com) and by phone at 800-745-3000. General Admission tickets are $45, including service and facility fees.
Formed in December 2007, emerging out the West London folk scene, Mumford & Sons have been embraced by American audiences. Songs "Little Lion Man" and "The Cave" have broken through on modern rock radio.
Looking to Virginia Beach, R&B stars Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo -- with Melonie Fiona as opener -- will play Farm Bureau Live amphitheater on Aug. 18, a Saturday.
Tickets, which range in price from $59.75 to $99.75, will go on sale 10 a.m. Monday, July 2, from livenation.com. Lawn seats will be specially priced at $25 for the first week on sale. It's good to see Richmond's own D'Angelo heading back to a big, Virginia stage.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times