5 Must-See* Concerts In NH This Summer


Aah, summer concert season is upon us. It ranks right up there with March Madness and autumn as my three favorite. So many decisions to make, so many good times to be had, so many good tunes to be heard, and so much hearing to lose. After perusing the lists of upcoming shows here in the Granite State, I have compiled a list of the top five events that I really really really hope to attend. I hope this list helps save you time while making your concert plans and serves as a good measure of the caliber of acts that pass through. So enjoy and hopefully I’ll see you in the front row.

(Sidenote: Let me tell you, I checked the lineup for the Joan’s Famous Worms Pavilion, or whatever they’re calling it now, in Mansfield, MA, and what they have to offer isn’t any better than what will be available up here in the coming months. Yay NH!)

5) Dark Star Orchestra – June 7+8, Hampton Beach Ballroom / Bob Weir and Ratdog – August 19, Meadowbrook

I am taking great solace in the fact that I can get in touch with my inner Dancing Bear on either end of the summer. I have seen both of these acts more than once, and will see them every chance I can.

4) Willie Nelson and Alison Kraus – June 20, Meadowbrook

Both of these artists have the most relaxing voices for their respective genders. I may need to drink a pot of coffee before the show just to make it through, but the prospect of seeing a living legend, and one in the making will be hard to pass up. …. and you know they will be some duet action towards the end of the show.

3) Dr. John – September 13, Prescott Park

I am so excited to end the season with some swanky New Orleans blues/jazz/creole/traditional folk/classic rock from one of the coolest men to don a fedora. His musical stylings combining with the magical setting of Prescott Park at dusk has me already feeling sorry for the people who will not be in attendance. Let me take this chance to urge everyone to attend at least one concert in the Prescott Park Concert Series. It is truly a great place to see and hear live music, and your donation of $10 (rather than an admission fee) goes directly to maintenance and improvements of the park.

2) Bill Cosby – August 16, Hampton Beach Ballroom

I have too many childhood memories to miss this one, and I don’t think I can pass up the chance to be “Casino Ballroom Close” to someone who was a fixture in my formative years. I have watched some of Cosby’s newer material and as he’s getting older, it’s getting a little tiny bit edgier, which makes anticipation for this event much higher.

1) BB King – July 10, Hampton Beach Ballroom

I love the blues. I love BB King. I could be inches from a man who was such a huge influence on so many artists of yesterday and today. Sure he’s not the performer he was 45 years ago, but from all accounts, he and Lucile still bring it with everything they have left in the tank. I can’t wait to FINALLY see the legends’ legend. (I just made that term up…. I think.)

Honorable Mentions

  • Govt. Mule – August 14, Hampton Beach
    I saw these guys last year, and was literally blown away by how hard this group rocks. Not sure if I could handle it again, but I’ll wait and see what kind of shape I’m in the day of the show.
  • Artie Lange – July 19, Hampton Beach
  • Mike Birbiglia – July 20, Hampton Beach
  • George Thorogood – June 20+21, Hampton Beach
    I went through a huge Thorogood phase in high school. I would want to go simply to see who exactly is attending these shows.

Feel free to share their most anticipated events in the comments section. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to hear it.

Thanks for reading this everyone. I hope it inspires you to get out there and see some music. Just remember one thing:  You gotta get up to get down.

* “Must See” really means “what I must see”

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