Fridays kicks off: Free concert series features lots o' locals

It's been warm so long it might look like summer to you, but in fact, spring is just now sprung, and there's no surer sign than the kick-off of Fridays After Five. The free concert series that brings throngs to the east end of the Downtown Mall at the start of every weekend kicks off April 20 with '80s cover band Love Canon, and from there, the good times keep rolling with local favorites and a few newcomers to the series, too.

"This is the 25th anniversary season, so we've tried to pull some of the older, more popular bands that have done great for us over the years but still mixing in some of the up and comers," says Pavilion honcho Kirby Hutto.

Hutto himself has particular reason to look forward to catching the shows. A diagnosis of tongue cancer back in January forced the Pavilion boss to undergo treatments, but he has good news.

"Doctors think they've kicked it," he says, noting that after one final surgery in May, he expects to be considered cancer free– and ready to rock.

There'll be plenty of Friday shows to choose from, including Skip Castro on May 4, Baaba Seth and Indecision on June 8 and 15, respectively, and Terri Allard on June 29. Plus Richmond-based The English Channel will make you feel like you've crossed the pond on June 22 with covers of songs by the Clash, the Beatles, the Cure, and all your English faves. The Fridays After Five season lasts until the second Friday of September, and Hutto says the remainder of the line-up is still being finalized.

"We've got a couple of good surprises," he promises.

Read more on: Fridays After Five

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80's BLUEGRASS cover band, gees...