Smile Politely

Allerton concert series: Bringing the blues

Last Friday, Allerton Park hosted Candy Foster and Shades of Blue for a night of entertainment fit for the whole family. Mother Nature decided to give concert goers a break from a week of cold and rainy weather presenting mostly clear skies, pleasant temperatures, and only a touch of humidity to make it a pleasant evening for everyone.

The music started a little late but quickly got off to a great rhythm that got the crowd’s attention and swiftly had them swaying to the music in their seats. As good as the band’s sound was for the first few songs, something just seemed to be missing… and we found out what it was when Gerald “Candy” Foster was boomingly announced onto stage and immediately engaged the crowd with his soulful voice to loud cheers and applause. Foster and the rest of the band alternated between up tempo Blues and slow-simmering Soul music, often ad-libbing with some stories about the songs themselves.

In addition to the music, the gracious hosts at Allerton brought in several Urbana-based food trucks to keep the sizeable crowd fed and filled with soft drinks, as well as providing a nice selection of more adult-themed beverages. Concert-goers were also able to purchase park-related guides and souvenirs. 

After brief intermission to let the musicians refuel and give the crowd a chance to take a break themselves, darkness started to fall and the crowd settled in comfortably. 

When the music started up again, it came with plenty of opportunities for fans to wander into the open area in front of the stage to dance. In fact, toward the end of the night Foster and company held back on the music a little while they teased and tempted the crowd to get up on their feet. 

The night ended with many thanks from the band to the crowd, to the night’s sponsors and, of course, to the wonderful people at Allerton Park who take such good care of this wonderful recreational area.

Allerton’s concert series continues in September with Bluegrass-themed music featuring both Big Bluestem String Band and The Special Consensus. For more information, including suggested entry donations, you can check out the schedule at Allerton’s website.

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