If you aren’t local to Knoxville, you probably haven’t heard of Sundown in the City. If you are local to Knoxville and haven’t heard of Sundown in the City, I’d make the case that you aren’t really local. The quick skinny is this–it’s a series of outdoor concerts held downtown that features acts that are longer on talent than they are on notoriety. There is no fee for entry–cost is covered by sponsors and the the City.
The music is great, but many of the acts continue to be underappreciated by the KTown crowd. That’s because the social component of SITC is just as big, if not bigger, than the music. The sell beer, so you inevitably end up with pockets of people who all know each other standing around gossiping about their mutual friends who didn’t make it to Sundown that week. The loud music in the background is borderline distracting to them. It also offers the “pretend-we-live-in-Greenwich-Connecticut” crowd from West Knoxville and Farragut the chance to come see how the “pretend-we-live-in-Greenwich-Village” downtown crowd rolls.
One of my friends contends that he is more or less required to go every week since his taxes go to support it. And to him, Sundown in the City and Boomsday are the only two legitimate functions of City government.
Anyway, this year’s lineup has been announced. There are a couple of must sees on here for me (Robert Earl Keen and The Presidents of the United States of America) and a couple of others I’ll go check out if I have the time, which I probably won’t. If I’m lucky there will be a group of people standing around gossiping about me.
April 17: Galactic with Garage Deluxe
April 24: Susan Tedeschi with Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere
May 1: Umphrey’s McGee
May 8: Josh Ritter and the Hackensaw Boys
May 15: North Mississippi All Stars
May 22: The Presidents of the United States of America with Cutthroat Shamrock
May 29: Robert EarlKeen with Jypsi June
June 5: (not yet booked)
June 12: Citizen Cope
June 19: Marc Broussard with Erick Baker
June 26: The Everybodyfields and Amy LaVere
July 3: The Wild Magnolias