With the long, warm days, excellent (often outdoors) entertainment is easy to find around the Burg this month. I’m very excited about our featured performances, but it’s hard to choose, given all of the other quality entertainment.
Two Celtic performance pairs, known as DuoDuo, combine the unique talents of percussive dancing, harp, cello and acoustic guitar on one stage at the Abbey Bar. Rapper Robert Van Winkle, better known by his stage name Vanilla Ice, rose to popularity from his hit single “Ice Ice Baby,” and he’s bringing his Billboard-charted talent to XL Live.
Featured last month, the Legendary Performers of Doo-Wop, Soul and Rock N’ Roll featuring Bobby Brooks Wilson will be here for one night only on June 2 at the Scottish Rite, so be sure not to miss out. The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is featuring its “Founder’s Series” from June 19 through June 22, showing five unique and unforgettable performances of classics and new works.
And it doesn’t get more Harrisburg than the Pride of the Susquehanna, which has set sail for a 31st season. Many exciting shows are scheduled for the iconic riverboat through autumn, including Indian Summer Jars on June 12.
If you’re bored in the Burg and looking for some excitement, you’ve definitely come to the right place.
MEN WITHOUT HATS, 6/7, 7PM, XL LIVE, $15
If you’re a fan of ‘80s music like I am, you’ve got to catch this iconic performance. Returning to the pop scene, Men Without Hats will set shop in Harrisburg’s hottest venue, XL Live. Originally from Quebec, the Canadian new wave group was active and popular from the mid-‘70s to the early ‘90s. Lead singer Ivan Doroschuk re-formed the group in 2010 and released an album in 2012, “Love in the Age of War.” Check out their new, yet familiar, sound during the performance of this album, which is partly inspired by early ‘80s music that hearkens back to the time of their mega-hit song, “Safety Dance.” If you, like me, happened to learn the safety dance at some point in your life, this is the perfect opportunity to bust it out.
MOON HOOCH, 6/12, 8PM, THE ABBEY BAR, $12
Anything’s possible when it comes to music, especially if you have the talent and drive to make it happen, and Moon Hooch has tons of both. Catch the captivating performances of drummer James Muschler and saxophonists Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen for one of the most unique performances to hit our city. Getting their starts while attending the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music and first performing on New York City subway platforms, the trio has come a long way. They’ve toured with groups like They Might Be Giants and Lotus, eventually toured solo for a few albums, and even were featured on the NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” series. They’ve been reviewed by NY Mag and the NY Post, praised for their energetic and funky sounds. Their second album, “This is Cave Music,” reached number five on the Billboard jazz albums chart. Catch some of their musical fever at the Abbey Bar.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, 6/19, 7:30PM, RIVERFRONT PARK, $40
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely excited for this show. It’s official: Death Cab for Cutie is coming to Harrisburg’s own Riverfront Park! This alt-rock band from Washington state was originally a solo project by frontman Ben Gibbard, a multi-talented vocalist, guitarist and pianist. Eventually, the concept grew into a full band with Death Cab’s premiere album, “Something About Airplanes,” in 1998. A favorite of many millennials like myself, their soft, indie emo rock style won people over across the country. Their most recent studio album, “Thank You for Today,” was released in late 2018. Here’s hoping that their performance in the park includes a bit of the old and a bit of the new. Gates open at 6 p.m. on the south end of Riverfront Park, across from UPMC Pinnacle Hospital.
DuoDuo, June 2, The Abbey Bar;
Legendary Performers of Doo-Wop, Soul and Rock N’ Roll, June 2, Scottish Rite;
Nita Strauss, June 7, H*MAC Stage on Herr;
Vanilla Ice, June 8, XL Live;
Indian Summer Jars, June 12, Pride of the Susquehanna;
Wolfpac, June 21, H*MAC Stage on Herr