Pint sized Elvis in Ypsilanti
5-year-old Elvis fan Colin Maffesoli poses for a photo during the Michigan Elvisfest in Ypsilanti Saturday, July 13, 2013. (Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com )
It’s hard to highlight just 5 events this weekend, given how many big things are happening around Ann Arbor, so I’ve provided basic details about 3 different festivals (Saline Celtic Festival, ElvisFest, and the Rolling Sculpture Car Show) within one category while also listing info about concerts featuring Jackson Browne, Nickel Creek, and "American Idol" champ Lee Wyze, plus a fun-sounding RiffTrax event that will screen "Sharknado." Enjoy yourselves out there!
Jackson Browne at the Michigan Theater. One of the most prominent figures in the wave of singer-songwriters who flourished in the early- and mid-70s, Browne made his mark with warmly engaging melodies and a lyrical sense that seamlessly blended private angst with broader cultural and political perspectives. His best-known songs include "Doctor My Eyes," "Running on Empty," "The Pretender," and the Eagles’ first hit, "Take It Easy." Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $59.80-$113.20 at Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
"RiffTrax Live! ‘Sharknado’" at Quality 16. Live broadcast (July 10) and taped rebroadcast (July 15) of a "riffing" performance by former "Mystery Science Theater 3000" stars Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, who aim their comic heckling at a screening of Anthony C. Ferrante’s 2013 made-for-TV disaster horror B movie about a waterspout that rains sharks on L.A. Thursday, July 10 at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Quality 16, 3686 Jackson in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $12, available in advance at gqti.com.
Lee DeWyze at The Ark. Alternative rock singer/songwriter – best known as the 9th season winner of "American Idol" in May 2010 – will perform songs from his latest CD, "Frames," which incorporates bluegrass, rockabilly, and pop influences. Thursday at 8 p.m. at The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $20, available in advance at mutotix.com, theark.org, and 734-763-TKTS.
Outdoor events. Lots of reasons to go outside this weekend, including 3 annual favorite events: the Rolling Sculpture Car Show, ElvisFest, and the Saline Celtic Festival.
* "20th Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show": Local car owners are invited to bring their antique, classic, concept, or exotic autos to this annual show of more than 400 cars in the Main Street area. Also, hot rod tunes spun by DJ Surfer Joe, and an Ann Arbor District Library booth (2-8 p.m.), with activities and prizes related to its summer reading game.
Friday, 2-10 p.m., Main St. area between Huron and William in Ann Arbor. Free. (Car registration: $35.) 734-668-7112, ext. 22.
* 15th Annual Michigan Elvisfest: Thousands annually celebrate the memory of the Man from Memphis at this festival, highlighted by performances by 10 Elvis tribute artists from around the nation, including Canton singer Chris Ayotte, 15-year-old Jackson singer Colin Dexter, Honolulu singer Leo Days, Ontario singers Matt Cage and Tim "E," and others. They are backed by the Chicago-based Change of Habit Tribute Band. Also, Elton John, Patsy Cline, and Blues Brothers tribute artists. Sale of Elvis memorabilia, raffles, concessions, and a beer tent. Bring folding chairs. Costumes encouraged. Saturday only: kids activities, a gospel hour (2-3 p.m.), a candlelight vigil (evening time TBA, BYOC) commemorating the 37th anniversary of Elvis’s death on Aug. 16, and a car show. Friday, 4 p.m.-midnight, and Saturday, noon-midnight, at Riverside Park near Depot Town in Ypsilanti. Advance tickets, available through July 10, cost $13 (July 11) and $22 (July 12), or both days for $30, available at mielvisfest.org; at the gate, admission costs $15 (July 11) and $25 (July 12). Kids age 12 and under are free.
* 19th Annual Saline Celtic Festival: Saline’s celebration of its sister city, Brecon, Wales, features food, beer and clan tents, kids activities, and Celtic music and dance on 3 stages by visiting and local performers. The festival kicks off July 11 (5 p.m.-late evening) with "Saline ShamRocks the Park" ($5 admission; kids age 12 & under and active military personnel, free), a party featuring a pub tent, food, live music by the high energy Philadelphia Celtic rock band Barleyjuice and the Detroit ’80s cover band The Square Pegz, the popular Mr. Pretty Legs in a Kilt contest, and limerick readings. On July 12, there’s a Mastodon Celtic Challenge (morning time TBA; $45 in advance; $55 on race day; preregistration recommended at salinerec.com) that features obstacles and activities along a 3-mile course, Highland dance and athletics competitions, a pipe bands competition (early afternoon), a "Wee Folks Island" of kids activities (noon-5 p.m.), historical reenactments, jousting, fencing demos, the popular Haggis Hurl, the Celtic Clobber (a balance-beam pillow fight contest), and more. Live music lineup TBA. No pets. Friday, 5 p.m.-late evening and Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight at Mill Pond Park, end of W. Bennett St., west of Ann Arbor St. in Saline. Tickets cost $10 in advance at salineceltic.org; $15 (youth ages 13-17, $5; kids age 12 and under and active military personnel, free) at the gate.
Nickel Creek at the Michigan Theater. Recently reunited, bluegrass-based acoustic trio from San Diego whose music transmutes a wide range of influences, from alt-rock to bebop to Beethoven string quartets. Their eponymous 2001 debut CD, produced by Alison Krauss, showcased their graceful vocal harmonies and exquisite tunefulness, and their 2002 follow-up, "This Side," put bluegrass-based acoustic music back in the top 20 of the Billboard pop chart. After a 7-year hiatus during which each member – mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Sara Watkins, and guitarist Sean Watkins – pursued an assortment of solo and side projects, the group is back with an acclaimed new CD, "A Dotted Line." Saturday at 8 p.m., Michigan Theater. Tickets cost $$44.90-$66.45 at Ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for The Ann Arbor News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.Tags: concert, movie, music, singer, tv