Matisyahu
Matisyahu

As promised last week, here is a look at the summer lineups of some area venues within a short drive of Greater Lowell.

Let's start with the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Their lineup starts in the spring and runs through late fall, when the unknowing concertgoer looking for a bite to eat finds limited options and a lot of empty space. In the summer months, however, prepare to pay to park, sit in a little bit of traffic, and find eating and drinking options aplenty.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers come to town this weekend, with shows Friday and Saturday night. He told me a few years ago that he'd love to take a year off, but he's so popular at the venue that he keeps going back. And, having seen him live on more than one occasion, it's a high-energy evening.

Matisyahu hits the stage on Sunday night to close the weekend while Iron & Wine play a midweek show on Wednesday night. Next weekend brings the Happy Together Tour, featuring The Turtles, Chuck Negron, Mark Farner, Mitch Rider and more, on Friday night, country star Jamey Johnson on Saturday and Drive-By Truckers on Sunday.

The venue has beefed up its midweek shows this year, as evidenced by The Go-Gos on July 1 and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo one night later.

Here are some other July highlights from a packed Casino Ballroom lineup: Snoop Dogg on Sunday, July 6; Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators on July 9 (a highly recommended show for anyone who likes Guns 'n' Roses, Velvet Revolver, or just Slash); B.B. King on July 10; John Hiatt and Robert Cray on July 13; Extreme with Charlie Farren on July 17; Huey Lewis and the News on July 22; America on July 24; and Sammy Hagar on July 30.

August brings Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band on Aug. 1; comedian Nick Swardson on Aug. 7; Buddy Guy on Aug. 9; Josh Turner on Aug. 13; Gov't Mule on Aug. 14; The Beach Boys on Aug. 15; Bill Cosby for two shows on Aug. 16; Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson on Aug. 17; K.C. and the Sunshine Band on Aug. 24; hilarious comedian Amy Schumer on Aug. 28; Chris Isaak on Aug. 29; and Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Aug. 30.

Our friends up at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook have their annual overstuffed lineup of shows as well. Here are my five favorites from the more than 25 shows on their lineup:

* Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss & Union Station and Kacey Musgraves this Friday night, June 20

* Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder on July 6

* James Taylor on July 14

* Keith Urban on July 24

* Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry and Plain White T's on Aug. 21

Oh, and since there's a little space left, how about Train and The Wallflowers on Aug. 28 and Steely Dan on Aug. 30.

Enjoy the shows! And don't forget the Lowell Summer Music Series opens this weekend with Ziggy Marley on Thursday, Delta Rae on Friday and Amos Lee on Saturday.