One thing you can say about The Wood Brothers, they sure know how to put on a show. And it was a celebration that seemed to signal good things to come.
It goes, really, without saying, but it’s been a tough year. For many in attendance at the Frederick Fairgrounds Sunday evening, this was the first time seeing a live performance since the winter of 2020 — a long thaw indeed! But as Oliver (guitar/vocals) and Chris Wood (bass/harmonica/vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix hit the stage things started heating up. That’s both figurative and literal as the summer heat kept drive-in attendees going back for some much needed refreshments from their cars.
The Wood Brothers released Kingdom in My Mind, the band’s eighth studio album, earlier this year, and the Nashville trio are hitting Frederick Fairgrounds in Maryland for Showtime at The Drive-In on Sunday, June 6. Only a few tickets remain for full cars of fans who would like to catch the show.
As a fan of live music, going from seeing a show at least twice weekly to no shows at all for about eight months has been rough, but it’s nothing compared to what venues and artists have gone through in that time. It’s been a year of live-streaming, fundraisers, and trying to find new ways of keeping the making of music and the creation of these unique communal experiences alive through these difficult times.
One of those ways that have emerged in recent months is the advent of drive-in concerts.
Cris Jacobs performs at the Frederick County Fairgrounds on Oct. 21, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Cris Jacobs, a Baltimore native and arguably one of the Charm City’s top songwriters and performers, took the stage recently in support of Grace Potter way out at the Frederick County Fairgrounds.
His appearance was announced just a few weeks back as part of what has become the unexpected gift of the fall season — the Showtime at the Drive In series of performances hosted by All Good Presents and Baltimore Soundstage. It was Cris’ first time performing at a drive-in style concert and his first live gig since February.
Grace Potter performs at the Frederick County Fairgrounds on Oct. 21, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)
While performing musicians painfully prepare for what could be a long winter with limited options for reaching their fans in the flesh, some have made the trip to Maryland as of late to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the newly dubbed Showtime at the Drive In series of concerts being held at the Frederick County Fairgrounds.
Last week, Grace Potter made the trip down from her current home in the mountains of Vermont to take the stage for a solo performance organized by All Good Presents and Baltimore Soundstage.
CloZee performs at Frederick Fairgrounds on Oct. 23, 2020. (Photo by Brenda Reyes)
Baltimore Soundstage and All Good Presents recently featured CloZee with Memba at Frederick Fairgrounds as an entry in their socially distanced drive-in series. After many months of not going to any shows live, enjoying and living the ambience of a show was one of the best feelings. And CloZee didn’t disappoint as she DJ’ed a two-hour set with new music for everyone to enjoy.
The Front Bottoms (Photo courtesy Baltimore Soundstage)
In August, The Front Bottoms released In Sickness & In Flames, the band’s fifth full-length studio album. Now, guitarist Brian Sella and drummer Mat Uychich are playing socially distanced drive-in shows, with a date at the Frederick Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Oct. 28, presented by Baltimore Soundstage!
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong performs at Showtime at the Drive-In in Frederick on Oct. 15, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock.)
While the memories of live music as we once knew it slip more distant into our collective memories, it’s likely that no one will forget their first experience watching a drive-in style pandemic performance.
Originating in Europe and cropping up shortly thereafter throughout the United States, drive-in concerts have already become, for some, a norm in times of required or suggested social distancing. And thanks to the work of All Good Presents and Baltimore Soundstage, music fans in the DMV this fall are being offered a somewhat unexpected harvest of live music by way of the Showtime at the Drive-In series being held at the Frederick County Fairgrounds.