This month, the inaugural Outside the Box performing arts festival brings nine days of free performances to the Boston Common and City Hall Plaza (July 13-21). The festival, which launches at noon on the Common on Saturday, the 13th features local and national musical and theatrical artists of all genres. Metro asked some performers for their outdoor concert memories.
Dave Koz and Friends:
Richmond Rib and Jazz Fest, Richmond, VA
"I love ribs. Babybacks, beef ribs, you name it. So, I had to partake in the offerings. I mean, it would've been in bad form not to,” the jazz saxophonist jokes. “Only problem was, we were the last act on the bill that day, and all the rib stalls would've been closed after our set. So, if I were to taste some of these delectable offerings, the only thing to do was to eat them before our show. I can tell you now, without reservation, eating a plate of ribs and then trying to blow a saxophone for 90 minutes immediately after, well, it is not a wise idea. It was not my best performance for sure, but my tummy was indeed happy."
(Dave Koz and Friends perform on Sunday, July 14 at 3 p.m. on the Boston Common)
Air Traffic Controller:
Life is Good Festival, Canton, Mass., 2012
“At the time, it was the most people we'd ever played for, but it came with a dose of reality,” says the band’s singer and guitarist Dave Munro. “Dave Matthews was on the bill and we just assumed it meant we'd hang out with him backstage, but on arrival, we found out there's backstage, and then there’s backstage backstage. Dave's trailer needed its own security guard to protect him from bands like us. It was all good, we got to take a picture with the incomparable Dan Zanes.”
(Air Traffic Controller perform on Monday, July 15, at 2 p.m. on the Boston Common)
Reading Festival, U.K. 1992/Cactus Festival Belgium
“My favorite memories of outdoor festivals are 1992 at Reading and a few times we played the Cactus Festival in Bruges, Belgium,” says the band’s co-singer and guitarist Bill Janovitz. “Reading was so huge and monumental, with Nirvana, Public Enemy, Pavement, and Mudhoney, and to over 60,000 people. Conversely, the Cactus is this charming, relatively small festival in a beautiful park in one of Europe's most beautiful cities. It always has a cool, eclectic bill. I remember seeing Gnarls Barkley from the side of the stage on their big hit summer, and Flaming Lips putting on one of their phantasmagoric sets another year.”
(Buffalo Tom perform on Saturday, July 20, at 5 p.m. on the Boston Common)
Heart, Boston Common, 1976
"The first concert I went to was Heart, when I was nine," says Lemonheads singer and guitarist Evan Dando. "It was awesome! It was up the street. My family was just moving in, on Beacon Street, and I just walked across all by myself and checked out Heart. It was great!"
(Lemonheads perform on Saturday, July 20, at 6 p.m. on the Boston Common)
Outside the Box’s Boston Fork Lift Fest runs Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21 at City Hall Plaza and features cooking demos from the city’s top chefs, including Rialto’s Jody Adams, Olive’s Todd English, Blue Dragon’s Ming Tsai, Hamersley’s Gordon Hamersley, and Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. “I’ve eaten a lot of sophisticated food in my time, but I still love a good hot dog,” says DiFillippo. “I’ll never forget crossing paths with one of the richest, smokiest, plumpest, juiciest hot dogs of all time. It happened at a Seals and Crofts concert during the summer of 1974. I was thirteen and attending the concert with twenty other kids from Camp Kingsmont in Western Massachusetts. Camp should be fun, but this was a fat camp.”
For more info: www.outsidetheboxboston.org