If you try to think of an ideal way to start off a summer weekend, you probably couldn't come up with a much better idea than a free outdoor concert, against a backdrop of the sunset over Sarasota Bay.
That's exactly what the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall offers with its Friday Fest series. On the third Friday of each month from June through September, Friday Fest presents popular bands playing in the evening, right outside the hall, from 5 until 9 p.m.
Friday Fest for 2014 kicks off this Friday with Yesterdayze, who also opened the series last year. They re-create the 1960s with songs from the era that a lot of people think was the best decade for rock music.
The other Friday Fest shows are Come Back Alice, a Southern gypsy funk band (July 25), popular eclectic area band SoulRCoaster (Aug. 22) and singer Adrian Ray, whose "hard country"-style bridges country and classic rock (Sept. 26).
You can bring a blanket and sit on the ground if the weather's nice. If it rains, which is not unlikely this time of year, the concert moves inside the Van Wezel.
Details: 5-9 p.m. June 27, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: Free. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear