Free concerts feature award-winning acts, including Gin Blossoms, Kool & The Gang, Better than Ezra and Ronnie Milsap
GULFPORT – When it comes to summer fun, residents and visitors won’t miss a beat with Island View Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series. Featuring four free outdoor shows with award-winning acts, the series will run throughout the summer.
The concerts, which will be held on the grounds of the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport on the beachfront, include performances by the Gin Blossoms on Friday, June 6; Kool & The Gang on Friday, July 11; Better than Ezra on Friday, August 15; and Ronnie Millsap on Friday, September 12. All shows begin at 8 p.m.
Formed in 1987, The Gin Blossoms built a solid fan base by touring the country on a relentless schedule. The hard work paid off as songs such as “Hey, Jealousy,” “Found Out About You,” Follow You Down,” and the # 1 hit “Till I Hear it From You” hit the airwaves. After experiencing many triumphs and tragedies - including a public split in the mid-’90s - the band eventually reunited and once again received critical acclaim. In 2006, The Gin Blossoms released the album “Major Lodge Victory,” which many fans say continues to offer the unique sound that has made the band a radio staple.
Kool & The Gang, with their free and funky sound, this group’s name is synonymous with ’70s-era music. The band, which got its modest start in the mid-’60s, found fame with their first certified gold album titled “Wild and Peaceful” and the song “Jungle Boogie.” Among the songs that made their star rise more than 30 years ago and keeps them a pop-culture favorite today are “Get Down on it,” Joanna,” “Cherish,” “Ladies’ Night” and the international #1 hit “Celebration,” which remained on Billboard’s R&B chart for six consecutive weeks. Kool & The Gang has sold more than 70 million albums, has been honored with two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards and has 31 gold and platinum albums to their credit.
Formed in 1987 while the members were attending Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, the group Better Than Ezra became a Southern musical favorite long before their first nationally distributed album, “Deluxe” hit radio stations in 1993. From that album, the song “Good” became a #1 hit on Billboard’s chart. Their unique ’90s sound was fine tuned with several albums including “Friction, Baby,” “How Does Your Garden Grow” and “Closer.” Hit songs include “In the Blood,” “King of New Orleans” and, most recently, “Juicy.”
Clear and distinctive, Ronnie Milsap’s voice helped him overcome adversity in his early life which included poverty, abuse and blindness. Milsap, a country and soul music favorite with hit songs including “Never Had it so Good,” There’s No Gettin’ Over Me,” and “It was Almost Like a Song,” came to the spotlight in 1972, after he arrived in Memphis to play at the famed King of the Road Hotel and later was signed on with the RCA record label. More than 35 years later, Milsap’s track record includes 40 #1 hits, more than 25 million records sold, seven Grammy Awards, four Academy of Country Music Awards and eight Country Music Awards.
“The Gulf Coast has a lot to celebrate as we head into summer, so we felt Island View’s concert series would, quite literally, set the tone for the season. It’s our way of acknowledging how far we all have come since Hurricane Katrina hit the area three years ago and allowing us the opportunity to provide some exciting and free outdoor entertainment for locals and visitors,” said Lindsey Inman, CEO of Island View Casino Resort.
Island View’s Summer Concert Series is sponsored in part by Clear Channel Radio Biloxi (WMJY, WKNN, WBUV, WQYZ), Coca Cola, Malibu Rum and Budweiser. Admission to each show is available on a first-come basis and as the concert is standing-room only, lawn chairs are discouraged. Attendees must be 21 years or older. For more information on the series, please call 228.314.2100.
Island View Casino Resort opened on Sept. 18, 2006 as the only casino in Gulfport, Miss. The land-based casino, located on 40 acres of waterfront property, currently offers an 80,000-plus-square-foot casino with approximately 2,000 slots, 47 table games and a live poker room. The 520,000-square-foot resort also features a 562-room hotel, an Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House, a 400-seat buffet, a signature restaurant called C&G Grille and the View Bar – an entertainment lounge. Island View Casino Resort is privately held by Rick Carter and Terry Green, two Gulfport natives and longtime casino executives committed to the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.