ALLIANCE — Last year Bands on the Bricks broke the record for attendance night after night as word of mouth spread throughout the summer. Everyone seemed to get the hint that Friday evenings on the 200 block of Box Butte Ave. was the place to be for good music and fun for everyone.

The family friendly event will feature a different band every Friday from July 14 through Aug. 4 from 5-9 p.m. One thing different is that in order to celebrate the big eclipse there will be a two-night event that Saturday and Sunday evening Aug. 19 and 20 from 3 to 9 p.m. 

Historic Main Street has presented Bands on the Bricks two years now and it has really become an event on this third year that the community looks forward to each year. Other main sponsors for the over all event include Box Butte Development Corporation and BNSF Railway.

A few of the acts you might recognize from last year. “You want some repetition coming back. In picking bands one thing I want is a good mixture,” stated director Holly Heath. “I’m very excited for the awesome lineup.”

First up is a band called Joey Leon’s Chop Shop and is sponsored by Box Butte General Hospital.

“During this time Joey has created a name and reputation in the music industry that is based on his insane work ethic and guitar mastery. In a typical year Joey plays in front of over three quarters of a million people making him one of the most listened to and viewed entertainers in New England,” states the online bio for Joey Leon’s Chop Shop.

Next comes The Max Temple Band. They were the band that did not get to play last year. Black Hills Energy sponsors the second night.

“We’re going to try to avoid that situation all together by having a roof over the stage and be good to go,” stated Heath.

“Max’s ability with the guitar and voice could blow through walls,” states his online bio, with musical influences from SRV, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band.

The third week will bring a country rock group called The Emmett Bower Band and is sponsored by Allo. This band plays a wide repertoire of original music as well as cover songs at shows across Nebraska and more sharing the stage with acts like Gloriana and Thomas Rhett.

First National Bank and Gregory’s Insurance is sponsoring the fourth week where another familiar name will be taking the stage and that is Kirsten Thien. The crowd last year was pleasantly surprised by this fiery blues and R&B singer/guitarist Kirsten Thien. Her bio states, “She blazes on the scene and stakes her claim as a contemporary wild woman while putting a decidedly modern spin on the description.”

That wraps up the Friday evening events for 2017 but don’t worry there’s still a back to back entertainment packed event to entertain the crowds during the big eclipse weekend in August. The Saturday and Sunday event is sponsored by Great Western Bank with local musician the Kalin Krohe Reference kicking things off Saturday around 3 p.m. with another local band, The Riverfront Boys taking the stage next. The main entertainment will be a band that performed last year and that is Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts. They consider themselves to be “outlaw country” and “bring forth new energy to country music fans who love the heros and outlaws of old” with influences from legends like Waylon, Willie, and Johnny Cash.

Day two festivities continue on to Sunday with local band Mojo taking the stage. Another band will to follow them is in the works but have not been confirmed yet. The main act for Sunday will be another returning band, The Outer Vibe. They are a fun and interesting band that label themselves as pop rock/indie pop/ alternative band. Their bio states, “Their sound is a collage of the motor city’s passion and power, the upbeat, good feelings of the West coast, and a cinematic southwestern nostalgia, a blend they like to call ‘surf disco.’ The familiar, organic music supports a positive lyrical message of perseverance, maintaining relationships, and a carefree lifestyle.”

Alliance’s own local music store, Crossroads will be providing the sound equipment. “It’s great to have them on board,” stated Heath.

She added, “I’m so thankful for our sponsors. We couldn’t do this without them.”

The popular hoola-hoops from last year will be back to entertain the kids as well as some musical instruments like tambourines and air guitars.

“Every year we do this we always learn and we always want to improve. The open set up that we have now verses what we had during that first year with the beer gardens is much easier to manage. You don’t have that concentration of drinking so I think that changes things and makes it easier because that is not the focus the focus is on the music. It’s about everybody coming down to enjoy the music and to have a good time,” state Heath.

The event is free and is sure to be a fun activity to do on a nice Friday evening during the summer. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and enjoy some great music. 

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