This weekend, Asheville Earth Day ushers in the beginning of festival season—that time of the year when the many big-ticket, weekend-long outdoor music events are tempered by the many free weekend-long outdoor music events. No doubt, all in an effort to balance the budgets of live music fans. Practice some expert budgeting this weekend by indulging in the no-cost sounds emanating from Martin Luther King Park, and then taking in a few more $5-or-less concerts happening all around the Asheville area.
Friday, April 17
• Dinner and a show: Aptly-named Acoustic Swing is at Blue Mountain Pizza (55 N. Main St., Weaverville, 658-8777) from 7-9 p.m. No cover.
• Convalescence kicks the weekend off at Stella Blue (31 Patton Ave., Asheville, 236-2424) with Machines of Sin and Sorrow, Ironside and Dissent. 9 p.m., $5.
• Get more metal in your diet: Temptations Wings is at The Boiler Room (11 Grove St., Asheville, 505-1612) at 9 p.m., $5.
• Reggae artists Crystal Kind plays the ironically-named “Everyday is 420” pre-party at The Emerald Lounge (112 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville, 232-4372). 10 p.m., $5.
Saturday, April 18
• Americana artist Mark Bumgarner entertains the dinner crowd at Blue Mountain Pizza (55 N. Main St., Weaverville, 658-8777) from 7-9 p.m. No cover.
• He’s not just the Picnic’s chicken. Jason Ross Martin‘s Oddstar opens for the Stereofidelics at Fred’s Speakeasy. 8 p.m.
• Singer-songwriter Micheal Burgin (who usually fronts the Drinker’s Union) puts in an appearance at Firestorm Cafe (48 Commerce St., Asheville, 255-8115). The 8 p.m. events also includes David Clegg of The Davids, Cyrus Atkins of Electric Manx, Klustafux and more. According to Burgin: “We are each doing an acoustic set. Sharing more stripped down and raw versions of the songs you’ve heard our bands do, plus I know I am going to be doing a few new ones too!”
• Probably the biggest bargain of the weekend: The free Asheville Earthday Celebration. Soul outfit Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, roots-rocker Zach Deputy, folkies Jen and The Juice, bluegrass act High Windy, soul-jam group Sol Driven Train and more perform from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Park (50 Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Asheville). Headliner Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe goes on stage at 8:30 p.m.
• Psychedelic alt-rockers Eating the Invaders, from Greensboro, N.C., are at Westville Pub (777 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 225-9782) with Holy Ghost Tent Revival. 9 p.m., $5.
• Blues-rockers Brother Fatback play a free show at College Street Grill (4 College St., Asheville, 232-0809) at 9:30 p.m.
• Asheville’s indie-pop trio Grammer School (pictured) play Mike’s Side Pocket (375 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 281-3096). 10:30 p.m.
• Eaze Dogg performs as part of No Shame Theater at NC Stage Company (15 Stage Lane, Asheville, 350-9090). 11 p.m., $5. Says Dogg: “This month is gonna be da 1st anniversary since I 1st made my debut performance at da NCSC No Shame Theater! I will be preformin da flash remix wit my special guest! Tell ya peeps bout it and come out on this special nite!”
Sunday, April 19
• The Working O’tet performs at part of Barley’s (42 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, 255-0504) regular Sunday night jazz series. 7:30 p.m., no cover.
• Asheville-based punk group Underground Unheard joins Pennsylvania experimental outfit Relik, Rhode Island’s hip-hop group Prolyphic, Bobby White, PRO, sympL and Moses for a House Party at 190 Elk Mountain, Asheville. 10 p.m., $5.