Happy holidays, everyone, and I hope you have a December to remember. As my present to you, here’s one hefty selection of events happening around Harrisburg that are sure to warm the heart and the feet.
First up, the annual PA Christmas Show at the Farm Show Complex runs from Dec. 4 to 8, so don’t miss out. Up next, XL Live hosts their annual Toys for Tots shows with local radio stations The River 97.3 on Dec. 4 and BOB 94.9 on Dec. 13 to 14. Be sure to bring a toy for entry.
For some local flavor, Zeroday Brewing Co. in the heart of Midtown Harrisburg hosts a holiday record swap on Dec. 10 in their tasting room from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Buy or swap some sick vinyl if you’re looking to make musical connections over some tasty brews.
If you’re the type of person who blasts Christmas tunes as soon as November hits, catch a classy holiday concert at the Capitol rotunda on Dec. 12. This free concert will be performed by the Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus, emphasizing their mission to “make the arts accessible to all.” If you’re more Grinch-like this time of year, seek out the safe space of the Brownstone Lounge on Dec. 17 for their “Escape from Xmas” happy hour.
My last gifts to you this year are three standout shows: one superstar, one local star and one multitalented star. See you next year, and take care folks!
GEORGE CLINTON, 12/1, 7:30PM, XL LIVE, $55-75
Right at the beginning of the month, the funk is coming to town. The god of groove himself, George Clinton, and his band will grace the stage of XL Live as part of Harrisburg University’s concert series. Ever since I heard their album, “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On,” I was hooked on Funkadelic, and, eventually, on the other part of Clinton’s funk collective, Parliament. So, obviously, I’m pumped to share this show with you, and I seriously suggest not missing out. Led by the father of funk, this musical assembly developed an eclectic and upbeat style centered on the surreal and the sci-fi. From their first smash hit album, “Maggot Brain,” in 1971 to today, Clinton and the other members of Parliament-Funkadelic are sitting pretty with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status and a recent Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Catch that funky fever at XL and sample a taste of musical electricity.
SIDE OF YAMS, 12/14, 8PM, MIDTOWN TAVERN, FREE
Y’all know I love a little hometown flavor, and what better way to relax this holiday season than to combine a local favorite bar with a local favorite band? Midtown Tavern is hosting Side of Yams, a scaled-down, jazzy and soulful version of locals Yam Yam. This group includes Mike Dempsey on keyboard, Xander Moppin on bass and Tyler Fuller on drums. This show will be free and open to all ages, and, in case it gets snowy and dangerous to drive, it’s pretty walkable if you live in the ‘Burg. Shake off that winter chill and warm your spirit with soulful instrumentals at one of the coziest bars in the city.
LINDA EDER, 12/19, 8PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $40
Another heavy hitter from the Harrisburg University concert series, Linda Eder will perform at Whitaker Center right before the holidays. Her experience on television, Broadway and as a multi-genre singer makes her a Jane-of-all-trades and translates to an amazing stage presence. With a joyful voice and passion for singing, Eder shines in concert. She has worked with many talented performers, including Sheryl Crow and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and has toured with the late Oscar-winning composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch, Emmy- and Grammy-winner Michael Feinstein and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. Anything can happen at this concert—from pop classics to, hopefully, some holiday tunes.
Dark Star Orchestra, Dec. 2, XL Live;
Pop 2000 Tour, Dec. 6, H*MAC;
Jingle Ball, Dec. 7, River City Blues Club;
Get the Led Out, Dec. 5-7, Whitaker Center;
The Other Favorites, Dec. 11, H*MAC;
Switch Fu, Dec. 13, Rubicon;
Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, Dec. 13, The Abbey Bar;
Space Party, Dec. 20, J.B. Lovedraft’s;
Jason Isbell, Dec. 20, The Forum;
GLAM Gala, Dec. 21, River City Blues Club;
Colebrook Road, Dec. 21, The Abbey Bar;
3FTR, Dec. 27, Newfangled Brew Works