Gulf Shores, Alabama (PressExposure) April 15, 2009 -- Something about the beach and music makes the two go hand-in-hand. Perhaps it's the inherent melody of waves, the rhythmic beat of surf crashing on crystal-white grains as nearby grasses keep time in the warm breezes swept in from the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe it's the silly sight of sea birds watching the tide ebb and flow on an Alabama Gulf Coast beach, waiting to spy some flash that adds the tragedy to the high comedy of the birds' awkward movements. Possibly, it's some primal instinct in the visitors drawn to the waters and the sands and the creatures, something as old as the Gulf itself.
Whatever the cause of this intertwining, this symbiotic relationship, the effect is concerts, concerts and more concerts. From local favorites to well-known superstars, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are ready to welcome music lovers of all ages and of all genres.
The Out & In Series in Gulf Shores is a series of free events at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, corner of West 19th Avenue and West 22nd Street. "Out" shows take place in the backyard amphitheater, and patrons are welcome to bring mats or chairs. "In" shows take place in the civic center. Sometimes "out" goes "in," depending on the weather.
Among the options in coming months are performances by Eric Marrero, a military band veteran who, the city's Web site says, "plays sax, guitar, keyboards and trumpet (and) sings hits in voice of their best-known artist, from Louis Armstrong to Jimmy Buffet," and Cool Change, a four-member group performing hits from the 1950s to today.
Two highlights of the series are sure to be the city's Fourth of July Fireworks Show (you guessed it, an "out" event!) and a concert by area favorite Brent Burns, who often is compared to the aforementioned Buffet. Burns is a philanthropist as well as a performer, and his "Build a House" benefits Habitat for Humanity.
Burns also is a frequent performer at LuLu's, a local "homeport" owned and operated by Buffet's sister. LuLu, also known as Lucy Buffet, also supports many philanthropic causes, especially the local public school system. She also is a tireless ambassador for all things beach, and she welcomes visitors to summer with a free day of music on Memorial Day weekend.
This year's lineup for LuLupalooza includes Sonny Landreth (regular visiting member of Jimmy Buffett's band who also has performed with Mark Knopfler, John Hiatt, Eric Clapton and Dolly Parton, among others), Wes Loper, (Alabama Gulf Coast native and LuLu's crowd favorite) and Kristin Diable (Louisiana native who has taken the Big Apple by storm). Music starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 24 -- the perfect way to get ready for summer.
Of course, everything is hotter at the beach, and that holds true for the music as well. Case in point is the Pepsi Star Concert Series at the Amphitheater at The Wharf. The Amphitheater is a 10,000-seat tiered facility featuring giant screens on either side of the stage so no one misses a minute of the action. Top-of-the-line acts including Earth, Wind & Fire, Sugarland, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert are booked for summer 2009, adding extra sizzle to the surf and sand.
Be sure to plan some extra time before the concert of your choice to check out the shops at The Wharf, to visit some of the restaurants or to ride the Ferris wheel.
If your idea of carrying a tune is making sure your iPod has a full charge, you have nothing to worry about come vacation time. The music is playing, the surf is beckoning and the beach is calling. http://www.thebeachiscalling.org http://www.cityofgulfshores.org or 251.968.1172 http://www.lulusathomeport.com [http://www.thewharfal.com]