Friday nights come alive with outdoor music in Claremont

Ryan Gallagher, guitarist, performs rock music in front of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce at the Friday Nights Live event Sept. 23 in the Claremont Village. The Village hosts a live music event every Friday featuring three different artists or bands at different locations throughout the downtown Claremont area. / photo by Casi Martinez
Ryan Gallagher, guitarist, performs rock music in front of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce at the Friday Nights Live event Sept. 23 in the Claremont Village. The Village hosts a live music event every Friday featuring three different artists or bands at different locations throughout the downtown Claremont area. / photo by Casi Martinez

Michael Hill
Staff Writer

The Friday Nights Live weekly concerts, with live music in three outdoor locations in downtown Claremont did not disappoint on Sept. 23, with Calypso Pirates steel drums at the Village Plaza; Rob Fontaine, Mike Hopkins and Ryan Gallagher at the Chamber of Commerce site and the Pride of Cucamonga at Shelton Park.

The Calypso Pirates were pure entertainment. About 100 people gathered around listening to the music, dancing or enjoying an outdoor meal while taking in steel drum sounds.

The steel drums led the way for the band, along with another drum, a guitar, a bass guitar and maracas. The calypso and reggae tunes filled the air.

“It feels almost like a backyard barbecue type of music,” said Juan Gamboa, who was enjoying the outdoor steel drum show. “But their really fun to listen to”

At the Chamber of Commerce Rob Fontaine, Mike Hopkins and Ryan Gallagher were rocking and rolling with classics like AC/DC’s  “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black”  and more, albeit before a smaller audience.  At one point bass guitarist Fontaine let a curious little boy play his guitar for fun. Drummer Hopkins was on point, leading the band through each song, and Gallagher displayed his talent with electric guitar solos.

“I love their music and I think they’re really talented, especially the drummer,” said Bill Covarrubias, who was listening to this concert.

In Shelton Park, more than 50 people gathered as the Pride of Cucamonga played mellow 1970s rock to a similarly mellow crowd, some of whom moved with the music as they listened. 

“They’re good, very professional…relaxing,” said Karen Valdez, who was among those gathered for this concert. 

“Their music takes me to places, places of openness and freedom and joy,” added Florencia Abergel, who also listened to the music. She was sitting on the grass at Shelton part with three friends. 

Friday Nights live runs May through October. For more information, visit facebook.com/fridaynighstlive.

Michael Hill can be reached at michael.hill3@laverne.edu.

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