Summer Concerts

Ballantyne area shopping centers are a cool oasis of music this season

By Courtney Mihocik

As we move into the sunniest and warmest time of the year, nothing sounds better than listening to music and having a good time with friends and family, right? These bands are just a few that will perform during summer concert series around Ballantyne. Whether it’s date night or family fun night, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the shows for free.

Thirsty Horses at Ballantyne Village 

June 1

This four-piece band, led by Brett Milstead on vocals and guitar, started in 2006 and performs around Charlotte three to five times a week. The classic rock-inspired band can groove to anything from the 1960s, especially The Beatles, but loves to get the crowd moving with a variety of eras and genres.

“We see what people are liking when we play a specific song from a specific genre, and if people are getting into that, then we’ll play more songs like that,” Milstead says. “If people make a request, then it’s nice to be able to accommodate those requests … it helps everybody have a better time.”

Whether you want to dance to ‘90s alternative or shake to modern country rock, Thirsty Horses can quench your thirst for tunes.

For the full lineup: ballantynevillage.com/events

Brett Milstead performs with Thirsty Horses. Photo Courtesy of Thirsty Horses

Craig Fugit will be performing with Borderlyne at Promenade on Providence this summer. Photo Courtesy of Borderlyne

Borderlyne at Promenade on Providence 

June 7, July 13

Though Borderlyne plays no original songs, their extensive list of covers will include a vast variety of tunes during their sets. The band’s inspiration is rooted in classic ‘60s rock, but Borderlyne appeals to the masses and plays everything from the past 60 years, especially country. Vocalist Audrey Gwillim is supported by drummer Craig Fugit, guitarist Brad Morris and bassist Tom Scott. The country twang will be heard ringing throughout the shops this summer.

“We do some pop tunes. We do a fair amount of modern country, think Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, top female country artists,” Fugit said. “We have a very talented female vocalist (in Audrey Gwillim), so we let her shine on those songs.”

For the full lineup: promenadeonprovidence.com/events/

Stella Rising at StoneCrest at Piper Glen 

July 19, 20; September 6, 7

Last year was lead singer Kristi Ormand’s first time playing as a duo with her guitarist at StoneCrest, but this summer you can experience Stella Rising’s full four-piece band.

Don’t expect a lot of country tunes, as they haven’t incorporated that genre into their set yet, but the upbeat and energetic band wants to see you dance next to the beautiful StoneCrest fountain anyway.

“We try to entertain a little bit of every genre, we try to keep it upbeat, we like to keep people dancing and entertained,” Ormand says. “It’s just a great venue to play, the people really enjoy the music.”

For the full lineup: shopstonecrest.com/events-2

Kristi Ormand of Stella Rising stands before her bandmates. Photo Courtesy of Stella Rising

Shana Blake sings lots of classic R&B and funk throwback tunes. Photo Courtesy of the Shana Blake Band

The Shana Blake Band at Blakeney Shopping Center

July 25

The Shana Blake Band centers its song repertoire around lead singer Shana Blake’s amazing pipes.

Supported by guitarist Keith Shamel, bassist Dave Eatman and drummer John Spurrier, the band gets into the classic R&B and funk throwback tunes that we all know and love.

“We do seem to love stuff by the Jackson Five and Stevie Wonder,” Spurrier says. “We throw in a couple of Steely Dan songs and Aretha Franklin.”

If you’re looking for a taste of nostalgia in your summer listening, catch them at Blakeney in the heat of July.

For the full lineup: shopblakeney.com/whats-happening/events/