WATCH: Downtown Chandler widens its appeal to Friday night funlovers

One of the many bands that play at Bourbon Jack’s Western-style bar and grill located in Chandler. Bands like this one will be part of Friday Night Live, a concert series that launches Friday, Oct. 18 in Downtown Chandler. Scroll down to see our video of this band and an interview with Downtown Chandler Community Partnership’s Mary Murphy-Bessler. — Wrangler News video by Alex Beaver

By M.V. Moorhead

Early in the morning these days, or even after dark, it’s comfortable to be outdoors. Sometimes in the middle of the day, clouds pass in front of the sun and we don’t feel like we’re being roasted alive.

Now and then, we experience that fabled meteorological phenomenon once known as “rain,” in which water falls from the sky.

In short, over the past few weeks, there have been certain tentative signs that Arizona might soon become habitable again. From there, of course, it’s only a matter of hours before we start grumbling that it’s too cold.

But among the benefits of the season’s wondrous cooldown is the prospect of going outside to have to have fun.

Downtown Chandler seeks to facilitate this with Friday Night Live, a monthly musical event, held 6 to 9 p.m. on the third Friday of every month from October to May at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West. The series kicks off on Oct. 18.

Mary Murphy-Bessler, Downtown Chandler Community Partnership

“This free, family- friendly event celebrates Downtown Chandler as the premier live entertainment scene in the Valley,” says Mary Murphy-Bessler, executive director of Downtown Chandler Community Partnership.

“The concert format will consist of an opening act starting at 6 p.m.,” explains Bessler, “featuring local community talent from high school bands like the Basha Jazz Band on Jan. 17; Chandler High School Jazz Band on March 20; and Corona Del Sol Steel Drum Band on May 15.” Chandler Children’s Choir will set a holiday mood on Nov. 15.

“Following the local community performance,” continues Bessler, “will be our headline act, featuring a variety of musical genres from rock and roll, country to retro. Popular regional groups including Rock Lobster, Mogollon and Sugahbeat are just a few of the quality groups that will be performing live on stage this year.”

But it isn’t only music lovers who will be served by the Friday Night Live series, according to Bessler:

“Along with the live musical performances, Downtown Chandler will host a local artisan vendor show lining up in the colonnade areas of Boston Avenue and San Marcos Place.”

Bessler notes that the series is an extension of the vibrant live- performance culture that already exists in the downtown Chandler area.  “Part of what makes Downtown Chandler unique from other downtowns in the area is the live music scene,” says Bessler.

“Downtown Chandler proudly boasts 12 venues that have stages in a 3- to 4-block area…On any night of the week you will find live music and entertainment on many stages in the downtown. As part of Friday Night Live, we will be hosting, on the Friday Night Live website page, a listing of all the bands that will be featured in our local entertainment venues.

“In other words, the event will continue on into the night with an opportunity to hear some amazing live music and entertainment in businesses in Downtown Chandler.”

The inaugural show, on Friday, Oct. 18, features Rock Lobster, an ‘80s cover band with a playlist that includes such fondly remembered classics of the Big-Hair-and-Wine- Cooler decade as “Walk Like an Egyptian,” “The Safety Dance,” “Always Something There to Remind Me” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

Opening for them is local acoustic combo Black Beard’s Delight.

For details go to downtownchandler.org.

WATCH: The Friday Night Live series begins October 18th.

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