It's been another great season of concerts at McGrath Amphitheater in Summer 2019.

Peter Frampton was certainly one of the standout performances of the year, but the shows I will miss the most are the Uptown Friday Nights sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Jaycees.

The things that make the Uptown Friday Nights special are numerous - which is why it's sad to see the final performances of the season arrive. It's here already, come August 23 when the local country band Eight Seconds takes the stage for their final performance, followed on September 6 with Jake McVey's rescheduled show.

It's for grown ups only - NO kids, no pets...and sometimes that's not only a good thing, its a necessary thing. We all love our kids and the critters, but we also need a damn break once in a while! And it's refreshing to not have to navigate through the crowd without having to dodge and deal with a bunch of screaming, spastic rugrats.

It's affordable - You don't have to break the bank to have a good time. With a $5 admission and drinks just $5 each, you can easily enjoy a night out for under $20. And if you buy four tokens at $5 each, you also get a free food item from Paul Revere Pizza. Tokens can be used at any later Uptown event of the season too.

It's local - The bands and performers are mainly local and regional acts, and they're always very good. There are so many talented local musicians in Eastern Iowa and the Jaycees have a knack of booking a terrific variety of  acts and artists. The lineup always bring the best of rock to country to pop.

It's outdoors - After being locked down all day at the office, the factory, warehouse or workshop, it's refreshing to get outside and enjoy a long relaxing summer's evening. It's more than a slogan when they say, it's where you weekend begins. The Cedar Rapids downtown skyline and the banks of the Cedar River make for a perfect backdrop: just the right blend of that city vibe and small town comfort.


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