Attention Readers: We're Back
C&G Newspapers is pleased to have resumed publication. For the time being, our papers will publish on a biweekly basis as we work toward our return to weekly papers. In between issues, and anytime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.

Shelby concert series offers free outdoor events for the whole family

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 25, 2018

 Musician Guy Louis performs with kids from the audience during one of his shows. Louis will be performing Aug. 15 in  Shelby Township as part  of the 2018 summer  concert series.

Musician Guy Louis performs with kids from the audience during one of his shows. Louis will be performing Aug. 15 in Shelby Township as part of the 2018 summer concert series.

Photo provided by Guy Louis

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — If you like live music, grab a blanket, some food and your family and head out to the Shelby Township municipal campus this summer for the 2018 summer concert series, which will consist of four free concerts over the next two months.

The series will kick off June 27 with American Band, followed by Captured Detroit July 11, Atomic Radio July 25 and Guy Louis closing out the series Aug. 15. All concerts will start at 7 p.m. and take place on the municipal campus, 52700 Van Dyke Ave.

Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood said that the series has consisted of three concerts in the past, but the department was able to bring in more sponsors, which allowed the township to schedule a fourth concert.

Youngblood said that having the concerts be free, with free parking, makes them big attractions for residents. He said the township expects between 200 and 400 people at each concert.

“We want to help improve the quality of life for residents in Shelby Township, and this is one way we do it,” Youngblood said. “Nowadays, you go anywhere and you are going to pay. With a family of four or five, that can get costly and we understand that. So you don’t have to travel to Pine Knob or down to Comerica (Park) and can be in a nice family atmosphere.”

Residents are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, drinks and food. Dogs are also welcome as long as they are on a 6-foot or shorter leash.

Youngblood said the department uses an agent, whom they meet with each January, to go over local bands and look at the music choices. They narrow the list down and then send out the invitations.

American Band and Capture Detroit are returning acts this year, and Atomic Radio is new. Youngblood said Louis has been part of the series before, but it has been some time since he was last in Shelby Township.

“We want to make sure we get bands the whole family will enjoy, from the little children to the seniors, which is pretty much the crowd we have,” Youngblood said. “Some may not like country, some may not like rock and roll, so we try to change things up and offer something different with each concert.”

With Guy Louis, Youngblood said they are excited to bring him in, as he puts on a great family concert that engages the audience, which is why they wanted him back as part of the series.

Louis said he has been performing for 30 years and plays everything from guitar and ukulele to percussion instruments as part of his show. During his performances, he said he likes to engage the kids the entire time with movement and singing to make it a different concert vibe.

“It is important to me to engage the audience, whoever is there, so they feel like they are part of the show, which the kids really want,” Louis said. “Adults may want to sit back and relax, but the kids come and hope they can get involved. They want to dance and jump around and play in the band. So I allow them to come up and be part of the fun.”

Louis said it is also a great experience for the parents, as they may see a different side of their kids.

“A lot of times, parents come up after and say they have never seen their kid do that before,” Louis said. “It gives kids a free pass to express themselves, and sometimes that opens a window for a kid who is shy to realize it can be fun to do these things.”

Youngblood said the concert series has been going on for 30 years, and he feels like it is one of the best free events in metro Detroit because of the municipal grounds and how well they are maintained.

With summer having officially started, Youngblood said he sees the concert series as a kickoff to what his department has planned for the rest of the summer.

“This time of year, it is great to be outside,” he said. “You can get here early or stay after and walk by the lake and in the garden area. We just like to get people out here and show off the township grounds.”

For more information on the concert events, visit the Shelby Township Parks and Recreation Department page on Facebook.