Nightbeats: 'Live At Lagunitas' returns to Petaluma with sweet new season

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NEW LIVE AT LAGUNITAS SEASON, WHO DIS? Back for a new season, "Live At Lagunitas" returns with a killer lineup and a good excuse to drink a beer at the gorgeous outdoor Amphitheater at Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma.

Since the series kicked off in 2011, Parquet Courts, The Front Bottoms, Tune-Yards, Shakey Graves and dozens of other artists have been a part of these epic summer concerts.

Sure, the Petaluma taproom features small intimate performances year-round but "Live At Lagunitas" brings big-name artists to the North Bay for free shows year after year.

A lot of times, these shows fall between tours, where tickets to see the bands playing at Lagunitas would cost a pretty penny to attend on any other tour stop.

This usually means the money fans would otherwise spend on a concert can go toward buying a beer or two without the guilt of splurging on drinks with ridiculous convenience charges at overpriced concert halls.

Plus, locals can skip hours of sitting in traffic, and the lineups only get better as time goes on.

Thundercat, the ultimate musician’s musician, is this year’s biggest highlight.

The jazz-fusion mastermind has worked with the likes of Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, just to name a few. Other must-sees at this series include Portland indie-rockers STRFKR, Oakland’s Shannon & The Clams and Philadelphia pop-rock sweethearts Man Man.

The only downside to the series is unfortunately not everyone can score entry because attendees must be 21 years or older and all tickets are given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here’s the way it works: The tickets are distributed through Eventbrite in two waves, which means people who want to attend need to sign up for a free account before the release date or risk losing their spots in line.

The first wave of tickets go “on sale” at high noon a couple of weeks before each show, then a second wave is released closer to the date.

It’s best to check the Lagunitas website for exact release dates and mark those calendars, because these types of events always sell out quickly.

Make sure to bring ID along on show days and log on to the Lagunitas website for the full list of upcoming shows.

Pro tip: Remember to check the website regularly for updates; sometimes last-minute cancellations mean a couple of spare tickets turn up.

Details: May 27- Oct. 3, Lagunitas Brewing Co., 1280 North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. Free.

SEE THE LEMONHEADS, SKIP THE DENTIST: Forget eating sugary treats and instead listen to “Varshons 2,” which is full of sweet, sweet cover songs from The Lemonheads that don’t lead to toothaches and several trips to the dentist.

The band’s latest album, a followup to 2009’s first “Varshons” LP, was released early this year and is composed of reprised songs like John Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” and Lucinda Williams’ “Abandoned,” along with songs by the Eagles, Yo La Tengo and more.

Formed in Boston during the late ’80s, the band has a lot more to offer than just covers. Led by Evan Dando, the project has seen members come and go but that’s part of the band’s charm.

The different members and eras offer a little something new with each chapter of the group’s story.

At times performing pop, other times doing a bit more psychedelic and rock-inspired music, The Lemonheads play the type of songs you’d listen to on road trips. Classics like “Into Your Arms” or “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” offer perfect soundtracks for sappy, love-sick summer romances.

Details: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, Mystic Theatre, Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma. $28- $33.

Help us keep the beat. Write Estefany at

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