Bringing Bruce Springsteen to play in downtown Naperville may not be in the cards this year. But with the Naper Nights concert series, you can hear the best of The Boss and several other rock legends as some of the country’s top cover bands come to Naper Settlement this summer.
“This is an upscale community concert series that takes place on the historic and scenic grounds of Naper Settlement,” said Adison Glick, Special Events Team Leader at Naper Settlement, which organizes and hosts the gigs. “Each show spotlights legendary artists, with tribute sets performed by nationally acclaimed bands and musicians.”
Ten of the 12 bands performing on the show this year will debut at Naper Nights. “Each headliner is a nationally touring band that dedicates their artistry to recreating the music and live experience of their chosen tribute,” Glick said.
Highlights include Gabriel Sanchez Presents: The Prince Experience on June 17, The Ten Band performing Pearl Jam music on July 16, and Bruce USA taking on Springsteen’s songbook on August 19.
“Naperville is a diverse community and the Naper Nights 2022 lineup celebrates the city’s artistic range,” Glick said. “Each month has a different theme, with a June 19th celebration in June, a nod to 80s and 90s alternative music in July, and a classic rock blast in August.
“I am personally thrilled to present the Bob Marley tribute One Drop Redemption, featuring Wailer and two-time Grammy nominee Josh David Barrett,” he said. “One Drop Redemption will be the first reggae band to play Naper Nights, and we can’t wait.”
This year’s full program of performances includes:
6 p.m. Chicago Soul Revue (tribute to soul music)
8 p.m. Gabriel Sanchez presents: The Price Experience (Tribute to Prince)
6 p.m. Soul 2 the Bone (Motown and R&B Grandstand)
8pm One Drop Redemption (tribute band to Bob Barley & The Wailers)
6pm Blink-180TRUE (Blink-182 tribute band)
8 p.m. Red NOT Chili Peppers (Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band)
6pm Smells Like Nirvana (Nirvana tribute band)
8 p.m. The Ten Band (Pearl Jam tribute band)
6 p.m. Hurricane Gumbo (Louisiana party music)
8pm Bruce in the USA (Bruce Springsteen tribute band)
6 p.m. Brooklyn Charmers (Steely Dan tribute band)
8 p.m. Journeyman (Eric Clapton tribute band)
The concert series has been held in Naper Settlement for the past 16 years, drawing more than 2,000 people to each event on the 13-acre campus in downtown Naperville. Shows for all ages are family-friendly, with kids’ activities from Pinot’s Palette, WickedBall Chicago, and Naper Settlement taking place on the grounds. Emphasis is also placed on the food and beverage options available at events.
“Music and food are the mainstays of a great party, and Naper Nights has the best of both,” Glick said. “An extensive menu of dishes will be offered by Seoul Taco, Everdine’s Grilled Cheese, Little Pop’s Pizza, Guzman y Gomez, John’s Ribhouse and Ben & Jerry’s.”
Alter Brewing will be there to provide drinks, as well as wine from Rodney Strong and Knotty Vines and a new seltzer tequila called Freshie.
“We’ve added a second bar location this year to keep attendees fit and out of lineups,” Glick said.
Tickets to Naper Nights are $20 for adults and $15 for youth ages 4-12. Children under 4 and members of Naper Settlement are free, but must obtain tickets in advance for shows, which may sell out.
Doors to each show open at 5 p.m., with artists from the local rock school taking the stage to start the evening. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a more comfortable experience. The event serves as a fundraiser for Naper Settlement, with all tips collected each evening from the drink tents being donated to a different local non-profit organization.
“Naper Nights is an all-ages show with something for everyone,” Glick said. “The multi-generational musical lineup – along with premium food and drink and activities for the whole family – create an evening of joy.”
Naper Nights Concert Series
When: June 17 and 18, July 15 and 16, August 19 and 20
Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster Street, Naperville
Tickets: $15 to $20; members and children under 4 are free
Information: 630-420-6010; napersettlement.org
Jeff Banowetz is a freelance writer for the Naperville Sun.