Besides birthday’s in general, the Fourth of July is pretty much my favorite holiday. It’s a much needed mid-summer mini mental vaycay that recharges those brain batteries over a long weekend. Then, it’s on to the long awaited arrival of the dog days of summer.
We’ve got a simmering slew of fun shows you might not have necessarily found on the front page of Ticketmaster for the month of July. They’re guaranteed to give you some solid summer memories should you choose to partake, so check ’em out!
Semper Fidelis Memorial Park | Thursday 7 – 8:30 p.m. | FREE
The great outdoors, supporting your troops, and live music for free — these are all major players as to why this evening of music at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park is worth attending despite the slight haul out to Triangle, Va. So bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets, cozy up with a few snacks and sodas, and watch as the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and the Quantico Marine Corps Band perform in the second summer concert series of the season.
Unable to attend the show? There will be two final concerts of the season held on August 5 and August 19.
All concerts will be held at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle, Va.
Jammin’ Java | Saturday 10 p.m. | $8 advance/ $8 for everyone 21+ & $10 for everyone under 21 at the door
Here at We Love DC, we’ve made it no secret that we adore cute baby animals and pandas. With that said, we’ve found a Panda dance party. Really. A panda dance party. You can dance and watch as some brave soul in a furry panda suit moves to the groove at Jammin’ Java. It’s pretty much a can’t miss if you like to cut a rug and enjoy a little bit of “panda-monium”. Plus, glow sticks will be provided. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Bottom line is: Brave soul dancing in panda suit + glow sticks = awesome.
The Torches and Lions & Tigers & Whales
The Black Cat Backstage | Saturday 8 p.m. | $8
Sometimes the best music is made through eclectic means. The Torches prove that point. Imagine a banjo, oboe, harmonica, and layered vocal harmonies set to Western Swing Americana all walk into a bar … or rather … find themselves with musicians playing said instruments in a bar. Sounds like a joke with a strange punchline but really it’s a good time band whose been described as a combination of “Tomas Waits, The Make-Up, the Sex Pistols and Temple of the Dog.” Looking for something new this summer? This would be a pretty good start.
Undercult at the Gibson Guitar Lounge
Gibson Guitar Lounge | Thursday 8 p.m. | 50 free passes available, $10 at the door
If you’ve never been to the Gibson Guitar Lounge and Showroom across the street from the Verizon Center then you’ve missed a golden opportunity to party like a Rock Star. The walls are lined with the finest most pristine musical instruments ranging from acoustic guitars and mandolins, to electric axes and basses. There’s an old school jukebox as well in this loft-like intimate spot for music meets party. The men’s lifestyle collective Undercult has 50 free passes available to the first 50 people to email them at info [at] undrcult [dot] com, otherwise the night is $10 at the door. There’ll be free Heineken and live music from hip-hop funk acts including Black Milk, Dest.Roy.Ayers, and Jerome Baker III. Talk about a perfect excuse to party like a Rock Star, right?
Nationals Park | Friday 7 p.m. | Tickets still available, prices vary
Whether you like Dave or not, Zac Brown Band is a band you don’t wanna miss. They took home the best new artist at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Plus, Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham walks out to their song “Chicken Fried” during his at-bats. It’s always a great excuse to tailgate country music/jam band concert style if you can manage to find a spot around the park to do it. All in all, a night at the ballpark with some live music is pretty much an assured good time on a summer night. Hit up stubhub, it’d be worth it.
Fort Reno | Thursday 7 p.m. | Free
“You remember that scene in “Say Anything” where John Cusack is holding up the boom box outside Ione Skye’s window? That’s how I feel about Fort Reno, the summer concert series that kicked off Thursday night.” That’s how fellow We Love DC author Erin feels about Fort Reno. I concur. So take a night at the end of the month (or all month for that matter) and stop by the outdoor stage in Tenleytown. Local bands Black Telephone and Softpower will be stopping by on the 29th for a night of rock and out door rollin’ (there are hills at Fort Reno after all, I suggest taking advantage of the rolling up and down them opportunity. It’s fun. I swear it.)