When outdoor music fans attend the 2014 Concerts in the Park series at Pioneer Park starting July 10, they’ll be treated to something a little bit different compared to what’s been done in the past.
“For our very first concert of the summer, we wanted to showcase some local Puyallup talent,” said Tyler Eidson, recreation coordinator for the city of Puyallup. “Both bands (July 10) have members that call the Puyallup Valley their home.”
Opening the July 10 bill is the quintet southern rock group The Moss Brothers Band. According to band leader Jeff Moss, four out of the five band members are either Puyallup High or Rogers High School graduates from the early 1980s.
“Troy (Jeff’s brother) and I grew up in Alabama,” Jeff said. “We came up here in 1980 from Alabama.”
The band will open for the headlining act — another Puyallup-based band — Sweet Kiss Momma, which also performs in the style of southern rock.
Moss, who performs guitar and backing vocals in the band, said the group will run through the entirety of their sophomore album, “Monarch Jubilee,” which will be released soon.
“Monarch Jubilee is about our new home in the Northwest, taken from our time and our experiences,” Moss said.
The group’s debut album, “Royal Orleans,” reflected on its roots in Alabama.
Along with Jeff on guitar and backing vocals and his brother Troy on keyboards and backing vocals is Scott Nutter, lead vocals; Kevin Dale on bass; and David Smith on drums.
Moss said an interesting story is behind how his band got the gig.
“I was vocal with the (city) parks department about featuring more local artists in the park,” he said. “We have a ton of talent here and I thought that we should feature it.”
Moss said the department asked if the band had any suggestions for local acts, and Sweet Kiss Momma came up. When Sweet Kiss Momma landed the gig, Moss said the booking agent asked what opening acts they would suggest. Fortunately, The Moss Brothers Band was among the finalists and ultimately made the cut.
“I posted concerts in the park on Facebook and we got 10,000 views, so there is a lot of interest in this concert,” Moss said. “We just played at Meeker Days on (June 21) and there was a huge turnout there, and a lot of those people will come out for (the July 10 concert).”
Among other Thursday night concerts will be the return of The Coats on July 17; The Beatniks on July 24 and something new: The New Blues Brothers (a tribute band) on July 31.
“The one concert that most are looking forward to is Hell’s Bells, an all-female AC/DC tribute band,” Eidson said. “We know the types of shows that people like and we try to bring those back from year to year. We try to introduce new bands every year.”
Returning to the noon tunes — the family-friendly series — on Tuesdays in the park are Tweenland, Reptile Isle and Buck & Elizabeth. Something new: the rock band The Not Its, Jim Valley & Rainbow Planet and The Gothard Sisters, an Irish dance and music group.
Finally, Eidson said city staff is excited also for the family concert series at Bradley Lake Park on Wednesdays, July 30 and Aug. 13 and Saturday, Aug. 16. Two concerts, each on the two Wednesdays, will include a children-oriented show from noon to 1 p.m. and an all-ages show from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
“We’ve had concerts there in the past but never the noon to 1 show,” Eidson said. “We hope we get a good turnout from families that use the popular park.”
Eidson said the annual program that attracts more than 18,000 is supported by “gracious sponsors” in the community.
“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to bring in the quality acts,” he said.
if you go
The family series at Pioneer Park will run Thursdays from July 10-Aug. 21 on the Rotary Stage. Start time is 6:30 p.m. A special Wednesday performance, sponsored by the Puyallup Public Library, will start at 5:30 p.m. on July 23. Noon Tunes at Pioneer Park are Tuesdays, July 15-Aug. 19. The Family Series at Bradley Lake Park start at noon and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, July 30 and Aug. 13 and at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16. Visit cityofpuyallup.org for a list of performers, updates and possible changes to the schedule. All performances are free admission.Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes @puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew