Monday, March 19, 2012

Live @ the Lakefront Continues!

Live @ the Lakefront officially opened last Friday at the Arcade Amphitheater, and the Lake Area's newest music festival will continue this Friday, March 23rd, for the second concert in its three-part series with performances by Grammy-nominated Cajun band Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and local indie band Bobcat.

Live @ the Lakefront is presented by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and the City of Lake Charles, and it seeks to celebrate and showcase local talents through a full-fledged music festival for the Lake Area. A third concert with City Heat and Iberville High Life will follow on Friday, March 30th.

This Friday's concert is sponsored by Tobacco Free Living and will be held at the Arcade Amphitheater on the Lakefront Promenade from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will also feature Lake Area food vendors, children's entertainment, and beverage sales as well as booths showcasing one-of-a-kind local art from a variety of art mediums. Festival-goers can spread a blanket on the amphitheater's grassy hill and listen to the best live music around with the lakeshore scenery and cool March weather as the perfect backdrop.

Live @ the Lakefront acts as a fundraiser for the arts in Southwest Louisiana with proceeds from all Coke, Budweiser, Miller, and wine sales going directly to the Arts Council's efforts to support area arts and cultural initiatives and endeavors.

Mayor Randy Roach and Patricia Prudhomme, director of Tobacco Free Living, will open the festival with a welcome from the stage at 6 p.m. Local indie band Bobcat will follow. The band rose from the ashes of several area bands including Canvas Red and Silicon Warriors, and despite beginning as a cover band, Bobcat quickly changed directions and has been working hard at composing strong original songs that have been described by Chris Shearman of as "rockin' but introspective. Confident, but not too serious." Their efforts have yielded their explosive debut album ATTACK which can be found on iTunes.

With eleven albums created from a cross-pollination of Cajun, zydeco, and swamp pop sounds, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys easily secured a Grammy nomination for their 2011 album Grand Isle which has been critically acclaimed by The Huffington Post, NPR, The Examiner, and the Chicago Sun-Times, just to list a few. With Riley at the forefront, who is perhaps the most skilled accordion player performing today, the band comes straight out of Mamou and is steeped in an entire history of Cajun music. Riley’s searing, emotional vocals are seamlessly tied to his strong songwriting, onstage charisma, and soulful fiddle solos, and paired with Kevin Wimmer, Sam Broussard, Kevin Dugas, and Brazos Huval, the band has become one of the first thoughts that come to mind when one thinks of Cajun music.

The City of Lake Charles Department of Recreation & Parks will host an extensive children’s entertainment area for each of the three concerts. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., parents can bring their children to the Arcade Amphitheater for fun jumps, spin art, lawn connect four, coloring table, Putt Putt Golf, and more.

Live @ the Lakefront is co-presented by the Arts Council and the City of Lake Charles and is made possible by Deep South Productions and generous sponsorships from Isle of Capri Casino Hotel, JPMorgan Chase, and Tobacco Free Living. Event partners include Townsquare Media, Gator 99.5, Coca-Cola, 107 JAMZ, Cajun Radio, KISSFM, 92.9 The Lake, the Porch Coffee House & Café, American Press, Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, Knight Media Printing, Southwest Daily News, the Jambalaya News, Lagniappe, Thrive Magazine, KPLC, Beverage Sales, Southwest Beverage, and Redfish Rental.

The festival is free to the public, and no outside food or ice chests are allowed. For more information, contact the Arts Council at 337-439-ARTS or visit