The Gin Blossoms and Everclear are two bands perfectly capable of filling just about any showroom for prices around $50. This weekend, however, concerts by both are free as the two headline the first of Reno’s summer street festivals, the 21st annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews, and Blues Festival Friday-Saturday, June 17-18. The popular event has Virginia Street thronging with visitors.
Ever since their platinum “New Miserable Experience” in 1992, the Gin Blossoms, named for a W.C. Fields photo, have been able to carry on their radio-friendly pop career with audiences who remain enamored of songs such as “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You.” Everclear, just like the cheap booze, has relied on jolting its audience with hard rock as it continues to do with the new album “Black Is the New Black.”
The entertainment runs on two stages 3-7:30 p.m., Friday, June 17, commencing with the USAF Rock Band Galaxy and culminating with the Gin Blossoms. On Saturday, June 18, bands play from noon to 6:30 p.m., with Maxx Cabello Jr. (4:30 p.m.) and the Blues Monsters (2 p.m.) in the mix. Everclear performs at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free. The BBQ includes pulled pork, beef brisket, St. Louis style ribs, and a few less-common BBQ festival items: burnt ends, fried calamari and Scioto chicken wings. There is a selection of more than 50 microbrews. Unlimited tasting packages are available ($45 one day, $75 two day.)
It’s also a stellar weekend in live entertainment elsewhere:
The Bacon Brothers, Michael and Kevin, debut at the MontBleu on Saturday, June 18. Michael is a prominent composer, his latest being the score for the documentary “Long Exposure – the Unlikely Journey of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro” to be aired on HBO. Kevin is an actor known for a multitude of movies. Their rock-’n’-roll is on display in their new album “36 Cents.” (8 p.m.; $40-$50; Ticketmaster)
The sounds of summer don’t get more iconic than those produced by the Beach Boys. The first few notes of “Good Vibrations” bring to life scenes from the American consciousness, even in those who have never even tried to be on a surfboard. They play Thunder Valley on Saturday, joined by another artist who practically defines an era – Chubby Checker, still twisting and vibrant. (7 p.m.; $39.75-$179.75; thundervalleyresort.com)
Finally, the Spinners – still waiting for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (it has to come sometime; few groups have been so unforgivably overlooked) – play Cache Creekon Saturday. (8 p.m.; $35-$59; cachecreek.com).