Sounds of the season

2019 lineup announced for Live at the Lakefront, Downtown at Sundown

The 2019 lineup for the concert series Live at the Lakefront and Downtown at Sundown were announced Thursday in a joint press conference with The Arts Council of Southwest Louisiana and the city of Lake Charles.

Live at the Lakefront’s eighth season includes three concerts this month. Each show will be 6-9 p.m. at the Lakefront Promenade’s Arcade Amphitheatre.

The series will open March 15 with Lafayette-born band GIVERS, who blend “Afro-pop” and “art rock,” said Ashli Waldrep, arts council executive director. Along with being a fixture on festival circuits, Waldrep said, GIVERS has also been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live. LVVRS, a modern rock ‘n’ roll group, and Cry Baby, a Lake Area native band with “a genuine ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll vibe,” will open the show, she said.

“Homegrown favorite” The Flamethrowers will headline on March 22. The rock band’s “high energy” and “signature stage presence” makes them a local favorite, Waldrep said. Maggie Bell Band, a sevenpiece ensemble with a blend of R&B, soul, funk and blues, will open the night, along with McNeese State University’s official traditional Zydeco band the Zyde-Pokes.

Wayne Toups will close out the season on March 29. The “Cajun Springsteen” has toured more than 20 countries with his original “Zydecajun,” which blends traditional Cajun, bluesy Zydeco and a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, Waldrep said. Opening acts include Soul Creole, a Cajun and Zydeco jam band, and three-time Grammy nominee Mickey Smith Jr.

Waldrep said each concert will feature an “eclectic local art market” and local food trucks and booths. Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed, but ice chests and dogs are prohibited.

Downtown at Sundown

The 21st annual Downtown at Sundown concert series begins May 17 and continues on May 24 and 31 and June 7. Concerts are set for 6-9 p.m. at the 1000 block of Ryan Street in front of the Historic City Hall and parish courthouse.

“We’re shaking things up and changing things a little bit this year,” said Matt Young, director of cultural affairs for the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center.

Young said the streetfair style music festival will feature new outdoor lighting beaming across the street from the top of historic city hall, plus a kids zone featuring magicians, jugglers and dragon dancers.

The Calcasieu Cajun Ramblers will perform May 17, followed by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience May 24, Bluesiana RED on May 31 and The Tugboats on June 7.

Local food and beverage vendors and artisans will be at each concert.

With “literally something for everyone,” Katie Harrington, the city’s public information director, said both concert series give residents and visitors the chance to “experience downtown Lake Charles as a thriving urban community.”

For more information on Live at the Lakefront, visit the series’ Facebook page. For more on Downtown at Sundown, call 491-9159 or visit cityoflakecharles.com.

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