Soothing Sounds of Summer
If you have a free Friday from now until early October and you love live music — especially in the great outdoors — you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t check out this year’s Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series. Running from June-October at the hotel’s beautiful Back Bay Amphitheater, situated on 26 landscaped acres overlooking the Back Bay Nature Preserve (at Jamboree and Pacific Coast Highway), the series includes 15 shows with popular performers sure to please all tastes — from Rick Springfield to Natalie Cole to Kenny Loggins and many more. Each concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m., but guests can arrive at 6 p.m. and experience plenty of vendors offering up food, drinks and more. There’s also a VIP Hospitality Suite set up exclusively for season ticket holders — complete with a roast beef carving station for sandwiches, other munchies and a bartender serving up a variety of wines — that can be enjoyed outdoors at tables and chairs amid local residents and visitors laughing and mingling side by side (and, if you pay close attention, you might even be able to spot one of the performers). Concertgoers also can opt to arrive even earlier and head to the new SHOR American Seafood Grill restaurant — part of a recently-completed property-wide redo that included the hotel’s 400-plus guest rooms and suites and grounds — to enjoy a three-course seafood dinner prepared by Executive Chef Leo Gianulis and wine (available for pre-purchase for $58).
Sound tempting? If you haven’t been yet, don’t fret … there’s still plenty of time to catch one of the performances at this year’s series. I ventured out myself with a guest on July 18 to see the East Coast R&B group Naturally 7, and we both really enjoyed their lively acapella tunes (think beatboxing at its best) along with opening act jazz vocalist/pianist Jarrod Lawson. We and many of the other first-time concert goers were especially impressed by the unexpected intimacy of this one-of-a-kind venue highlighted by grass-carpeted steps and seating for just 1,000 in a lush coastal garden setting … not to mention the comfortably breezy summer night and view of the sun setting over the bay. It led to a relaxed atmosphere under the stars, with one of the performers even venturing out into the audience to get up close and personal with the guests.
“It’s a fun, easy-going experience,” says longtime concert attendees Suzanne Franco and Keith Ogata of Anaheim Hills. “The intimate atmosphere is fantastic, and it’s always a relaxing time after the end of a hectic week. Nothing could be better than coming down to the wonderful weather of Newport Beach.”
Notable evenings coming up include big-name musicians such as Eric Benet Aug. 1, Macy Gray Aug. 29, The Rippingtons Sept. 5, Natalie Cole Sept. 26 and Average White Band Oct. 10.
Individual tickets range from $55-$110, depending on the date and seating tier, with self-parking for $25 ($20 in advance) and valet for $35 ($30 in advance). Season passes can be purchased for $1,730 and include tickets to all 15 shows and VIP benefits including assigned premium seating, complimentary valet service and access to the VIP Hospitality Suite. For additional details on the Summer Concert Series and to purchase tickets, call (949) 360-7800 or visit www.hyattconcerts.com.