Utica Square Presents Summer’s Fifth Night

Contributing Writer

GRADY NICHOLS AND FRIENDS: Tulsan Grady Nichols and band members entertain the lively Utica Square Summer’s Fifth Night crowd last year. Nichols is scheduled to appear Aug. 30. Summer’s Fifth Night will begin on May 31 with Horn & the Hush, which offers power funk rock. All dates and acts are listed on page 14.

Courtesy SRO Productions

The year was 1991, and the merchants of Utica Square were about to launch what would turn out to be a favorite Tulsa tradition. No one would have guessed it then. In the beginning, production was very rudimentary and depended on what sound equipment the band had or could borrow. It worked for those early crowds.

Names like the late Earl Clark and Debbie Campbell played in those early days and the genre was mostly jazz. The atmosphere in Tulsa’s most fashionable shopping center melded well with the entertainment, and people just kept coming.

As the years progressed, the line-ups started including more musical styles. Bands such as Mid Life Crisis (Classic Rock), Grady Nichols (Jazz/Pop), Mary Cogan (Country Rock), Red Dirt Rangers (Red Dirt Americana), Starr Fisher (R&B), Admiral Twin (Rock) started making annual appearances as crowd favorites.

The unique blend of shopping and dining establishments has always made something special and unique about a Utica Square experience and Summer’s Fifth Night is truly a great additional reason to be there. It has joined other favorite traditional Utica Square annual events like Lights On, Art in the Square and Fashion in the Square to provide many memorable experiences throughout the year.

Starting in 1993, local booking agency Productions was brought in to organize and produce the shows under the direction of the Merchants Association and its property manager and has produced all the shows since. Says President Jon Terry, “It is always a joy to see the great turnout all through the summer for this event. Tulsa musicians love the opportunity to showcase their wonderful talents to such large crowds and are grateful to the Merchants Association for making this happen and supporting live music in Tulsa.”

The crowds grew in size, sometimes as many as 4,000 in estimated attendance. Some come to dance (and many do), some just to listen and many others to be with friends and family at a free happening that has always had mass appeal. It’s casual, it’s entertaining and it’s easy and free to attend. Chairs are supplied closer to the stage but many bring their own, plus tables, food, drinks, blankets and whatever makes their night special.

Yes, there have been sightings over the years of people with fine dishes, glasses and food with people serving them, but they are right next to people that brought nothing but a friendly attitude and are having just as good a time.

Always presented on Thursday evenings during June, July and August (with some last-week-of-May dates thrown in), the summer series has hosted so many of Tulsa’s very best. You never know who might show up and sit in as a special guest with featured bands.

Shows always start right at 7 p.m. thanks to the dedicated work of many including the Utica Square Landscape and Maintenance crew and Security that turns a shopping center parking lot into a concert venue for thousands in a matter of a few hours. The team then returns it back that night ready for the next day’s business.

The 2018 Summer’s Fifth Night schedule includes:
• May 31– Weston Horn & the Hush – Power Funk Rock
• June 7 –Mid Life Crisis Band – Classic Rock from a classic band
• June 14 – Retro Rocket – Early rock on a mission
• June 21 – Zodiac – Pop Rock
• June 28 – Bradio – Music of the Beatles
• July 5 – Starlight Band – Best of the Big Band Era / Patriotic
• July 12 – Eldredge Jackson – Contemporary Jazz Sax
• July 19 – Red Dirt Rangers – Red Dirt music royalty
• July 26 – Mary Cogan – Alt Country Rock
• August 2 – Usual Suspects – Classic Rock
• August 9 – Doctors of Replay – Rock for dancing
• August 16 – Chris Hyde Band – Rock / Blues / Funk
• August 30 – Grady Nichols – Jazz Pop

For weather updates on the day of shows, visit www.facebook.com/UticaSquare.

Updated 04-30-2018

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