I made a bucket list earlier this summer listing all of the activities that I wanted to experience as part of “summer in Sacramento.” The list included going to the drive-in, picking berries, going for a nighttime swim and attending the State Fair. I’ve done many of the activities in summers past, but I wanted to experience them again, along with some new adventures. Among the new adventures: going to one of the outdoor concerts at the Fountains at Roseville.
Attending outdoor concerts—usually either Pops in the Park or the Friday Night Concerts at Cesar Chavez Plaza—are a summertime tradition for me. I love being outdoors, hanging out with friends and family, listening to music. But this year I wanted to see what the Fountains had to offer, so on a recent Saturday night I headed out with a few friends to check out the scene (and hear the party band Essex). Judging from the show I went to, the concerts—which run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.—attract a healthy-sized crowd made up of families, retirees, couples and friends; there was a bachelorette party in progress the night we attended. Metal folding chairs are set up in front of the stage, but we saw a number of people sitting on benches and on the lawns. Children played in a nearby play area. Not knowing quite what to expect, my friends and I had brought chairs, and I suggest doing the same and snagging a spot on the lawn. It seemed a more comfortable option to the folding chairs, and we were still plenty close to hear the music and see the band. We grabbed takeout from nearby Whole Foods Market, but other takeout options include Boudin SF and Noodles & Company. If you get thirsty, there’s a bar on site for of-age concertgoers. (No outside alcohol is allowed; ditto for glass bottles.) And if you’re craving a sweet treat, Miabella Gelato is right across the way from the concert area (near the Fountains at Roseville fountain) and the place seemed to be packed all night.
How does the concert venue compare to Pops in the Park or the Friday Night Concerts in the Park at Cesar Chavez? Different, but good. There’s not as much room to spread out and move around as the Pops concerts, which are held in local parks. Then again, the concerts start later, so bringing a full-on picnic, though an option, isn’t necessary. The crowd skews a little older than the Cesear Chavez concerts, which usually attract an urban, after-work crowd. One thing to note: You have to keep the walkways free for pedestrians/shoppers, so if you’re itching to dance, you don’t have the space the other two venues afford. But if you are just looking for a place to kick back, listen to some music and connect with friends, this is a great spot. If you want to take a break from the music, you can shop, and if you want to forgo takeout or picnic fare and go to a restaurant, there are a number to choose from right in the Fountains shopping center. Plus, you’re at one the region’s most beautiful shopping centers (I promise the folks at the Fountains did not pay me to say that!), so even though you are not in a park, you can’t go too wrong with the ambiance. My friends and I gave the experience a thumbs-up.
The free concerts continue on Saturdays through September. On board this Labor Day weekend: classic rock band On Air.
For more information, including a list of restaurants, stores and more at the Fountains at Roseville, click here.
What: Summer Concert Series
Where: Fountains at Roseville, Roseville Parkway and Galleria Boulevard, Roseville
When: Saturdays, 8 p.m.–10 p.m., through Sept. 29