Summer of song: Concerts kick off in Johnson County

The days are getting longer, the temperatures keep climbing, and it’s the perfect weather to sit outdoors under the stars.

Around Johnson County, that means one thing — concert season is back. And it features the Columbus-based Taiko Drummers and the Nashville-based Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Plus, it includes longtime Columbus favorites The Woomblies, known for everything from past JCB Neighborfest appearances to dates at Mill Race park.

Music lovers will once again have an eclectic variety of free shows to enjoy, as bands playing everything from rock to country to R&B to classical make their way to the county to perform in the coming months.

Longtime favorites, such as Greenwood’s summer concert series, have returned. Officials in Franklin are excited to show off their brand new Amphitheater, curating a series of shows for a permanent venue that can accommodate up to 5,000 people.

Throughout the week, people can find concerts on Franklin College’s campus, Greenwood Park Mall and Mallow Run Winery.

Any live music is a good thing. But to help sort through the overwhelming schedule, here are 10 shows not to miss in Johnson County this summer. All concerts are free unless noted.

Toy Factory

Details: 6 to 9 p.m. May 28, Mallow Run Winery, 6964 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville, free; 6:30 p.m. June 9, Greenwood Park Mall, 1251 U.S. 31 N., free; 7 p.m. June 11, Greenwood Amphitheater, 100 Surina Way, free

What: Get out the groove when this Indianapolis-based band takes the stage. Playing R&B, soul, funk and rock tunes from the past five decades, the group is one of the most popular in the area, and is booked to perform a number of times at Johnson County events. From their spot-on rendition of Van Halen’s “Jump” to the rousing “Uptown Funk,” be prepared to boogie.

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Details: 7 p.m. June 11, Mallow Run Winery, $15 advance, $20 day of show

What: This high-octane roots band delivers a forceful live shows known as stompin’ good times. Rev. Peyton, the band’s vocalist and guitar player, is world-renowned for hit finger-picking style. Breezy Peyton, his wife and the band’s washboard player, as well as drummer Max Senteney, lay the gritty foundation for the whole band’s sound.

The Woomblies

Details: 6:30 p.m. June 16, Greenwood Park Mall; 7 p.m. June 18, Greenwood Amphitheater; 6 to 9 p.m. July 30, Mallow Run Winery

What: Concertgoers can expect a good mix of cover songs pulled from the best bands in rock history as well as some hidden gems from this high-energy group. Since coming together in 2000, the Woomblies have expanded their scope significantly. They’ve added dozens of songs to their repertoire, performing all over the region and expanding into another project, the Woomblies Rock Orchestra, with a larger base of musicians.

Southern Indiana Taiko Drummers

Details: 7 to 8:15 p.m. June 22, Franklin College ellipse

What: Feel the rhythm from this Columbus-based group. What started as a recreational organization studying world drumming has morphed into a full-time performance group specializing in Taiko — traditional types of Japanese drums. The concert is part of the Franklin Symphonic Council’s summer concert series, which in addition to weekly musical performances, includes refreshment trucks.

Grupo Bembe Salsa Ensemble

Details: 7 to 8:15 p.m. July 6, Franklin College ellipse

What: The hot summer nights are about to get a lot steamier with this set by Grupo Bembe. The Indianapolis-based Latin band performs a blistering style of salsa music rife with horns, percussion, guitar and powerful vocals. The group aims to promote the artistry of Puerto Rico and other Latin cultures throughout Indiana and beyond.

Endless Summer Band

Details: 7 p.m. July 9, Greenwood Amphitheater; 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6, Mallow Run Winery

What: Summer can feel like it flies by, but for one night, the timeless sounds of this Indianapolis group help you enjoy every second of it. The band brings a blast of energy to the stage, pulling from a library including everything from Motown to rock to swing to pop. You’ll be just as likely to hear Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars as you are to enjoy James Brown and the Temptations.


Details: 7 p.m. July 15, Amphitheater, 237 W. Monroe St., Franklin

What: The big hair, big personalities and big sounds of the ’80s come to life again through the power of this Indy-based band. GlamëricA distills the Decade of Decadence into a rockin’ stage show, bringing the best hair rock of the era, such as Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard, while paying tribute to other titans such as Prince, Journey and Tesla. The show is the centerpiece of the annual Daily Journal Street Party, which will also feature food trucks as well as a beer and wine garden.

Five After Midnight

Details: 6:30 p.m. July 14, Greenwood Park Mall

What: As part of the Ray Skillman Summer Concert Series, music fans can come together around the mall’s outdoor fountain plaza to jam out to the sounds of pop, rock, funk and classic rock. Five After Midnight has been playing together since 2018, and tackles everything from Stevie Wonder, Harry Styles and Justin Timberlake to The Beatles, Toto and Destiny’s Child. Wine, food and other refreshments will be available to purchase.

7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience

Details: 8 p.m. July 29, Amphitheater

What: This group from Nashville, Tennessee, lovingly and precisely pays tributes to one of the biggest rock bands in history in a celebration of the Eagles. They’ll take you on a journey to “Hotel California,” ask you to “Take It To the Limit,” and ask the audience to “Take It Easy.” Fans can expect the best of the Eagles’ catalog, recreated with Glenn Frey’s bravado, Don Henley’s earnestness and Joe Walsh’s wild energy.

Boy Band Review

Details: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, Mallow Run Winery; $15 advance, $20 day of show; 8 p.m. Sept. 10, Amphitheater

What: The cheesy choreography, crisp outfits and perfect harmonies of music’s most scream-worthy boy bands are the centerpiece of this Chicago-based group. Spanning the ’80s and ’90s, their repertoire includes songs from NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block and more.