Last night marked the season opener of WTMD's "First Thursday Concerts" in West Mt. Vernon Park. This city is full of great outdoor concerts in the summer (like the ones in Patterson Park and Belvedere Square), and this series is among the best.
The Mt. Vernon park is an ideal setting with its central grassy area and bustling streets with vendors on either side. We got to sample some Brewer's Art beer and grub from Da Food Truck, which was serving fare from Cazbar and pizza from HomeSlyce. (We had a delicious chicken kebap: marinated chicken, tomatoes, onions, and peppers wrapped in a tortilla). Last night seemed particularly crowded, probably because it's the first event of the season and the weather was perfect. They could have done with maybe one more beer stand, but the whole thing is free so you can't really complain.
We only got to catch the tail end of the first band The Happen-Ins, an Austin-based band with '70s-esque pop songs. Then the evening turned serene when Diego Garcia started playing his Latin folk music, complete with cello and Spanish guitar. The last act, Joe Louis Walker, was a perfect headliner with its bluesy, soulful rock and powerhouse five-piece band.
Last night was a great example of why the First Thursday series is one of the most fun (and free!) events in the city. Next up, WTMD will host soul group JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound on June 7. Their song called "Baltimore Is The New Brooklyn," which editor John Lewis wrote about here, is sure to be a major crowd-pleaser!