The woods will be rocking this summer at Indian Creek Nature Center.
Eastern Iowans can appreciate some live music showcasing a variety of musical acts — both local and national — under the stars at the Concerts at the Creek series, which kicks off Saturday night (6/16).
“I had an opportunity to attend one of the four shows last year and it was a perfect evening,” committee member Emily Flowergarden said. “It was an honor to assist in picking the bands and being a part of such a special event. Attendees this year should expect a magical evening underneath the stars.”
“The vision for the concerts was to draw in new audiences to the nature center to help share our mission of education and protecting the environment,” said Elyse Robinson, the nature center’s marketing content specialist. “This concert series allows us to bring in people from local communities to enjoy a Saturday night in our beautiful woodland amphitheater or on our patio, surrounded by prairies, while listening to live music of both local and national talent.”
Saturday night’s headliner is Middle Western, a family-friendly show that Flowergarden said she is especially excited about. With members based in Chicago, Iowa City and southern Iowa, the rock group was formed by friends who wanted to make music together despite living in different cities. Kingbolt — a group of lifelong, like-minded local musicians — will open.
Last year’s Concerts at the Creek attendees will be happy to hear wild entertainer Andy Frasco and his band will be back on June 23. The self-styled Los Angeles band will play its own version of party blues jostling with funk, soul and rock, but the show will not be suitable for children, Robinson said. Strays, a relatively new Cedar Rapids three-piece power trio, will open that evening.
Later in July, the concert will move to the nature center’s patio. Nationally acclaimed Susan Werner, a Manchester native and University of Iowa graduate now living in Chicago, will bring her powerful and soulful lyrics and voice to the venue. A sister-fronted indie-folk band from Cedar Falls — Amelia and Melina — will open.
The idea for the concert series blossomed last summer.
“This outdoor amphitheater allows us to draw nature lovers and music lovers for a unique live music experience,” Flowergarden said. “As champions of nature, we want to continue to draw guests to our space through all types of avenues. And there is no other venue like this in Cedar Rapids — an amphitheater tucked in the woods with a perfect sound and lighting from both from the bands and nature itself.”
Attendees will want to show up early to hear the Yahoo Drummers, a local percussion band. Food and beer vendors will be on-site. Blankets are encouraged, since most of the seating is on grass. Lawn chairs are not allowed.
WHAT: Concerts at the Creek
WHERE: Indian Creek Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids
WHEN: Doors open at 6 p.m., concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.
JUNE 16: Middle Western with Kingbolt opening, amphitheater, $15 advance, $18 door; bring blankets only
JUNE 23: Andy Frasco and The U.N., with Strays opening (explicit lyrics), amphitheater; $18 advance, $23 door; bring blankets only
JULY 21: Susan Werner, with Amelia and Melina opening, patio; $18 advance, $23 door, chairs provided
TICKETS: Indiancreeknaturecenter.org or at the door