With the regular school year over, many students staying in Riverside are looking forward to what the locale has to offer in terms of entertainment and the arts, because let’s be honest — sometimes it’s good to catch a break from Netflixing all day. So let’s close our laptops and go see what the fine city of Riverside has to offer (and no, you really don’t need to watch “Breaking Bad” for a third time in a row).
Movies: Let the good times roll.
With all Oscar-quality season yet to arrive, Hollywood’s currently gearing up for for its huge blockbuster hits, which are bound to be spectacularly awesome. There’s plenty of huge action movies that are each a part of a larger franchise. From Michael Bay’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” as well as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there will be plenty of CGI-packed goodies for our eyes to devour. Other action films that’ll be sure to draw crowds are “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Expendables 3” (full of old action stars who just need to retire), “Hercules” (starring the ever-fan-favorite The Rock) and “The Purge: Anarchy.” There’ll be a few gut-busting comedies out in theaters, such as “The Fluffy Movie,” a documentary that follows the life of famous comedian Gabriel Iglesias, and “Let’s be Cops,” a buddy-cop movie starring Jake Johnson and Daman Wayans Jr. Movies like “The Giver” and “Get on It” will also be available for the more serious-minded moviegoers.
There’ll also be some nice kid-friendly films showing on Main Street, Riverside in “Movies on Main.” The event (which is free) will be playing “Monsters University” on July 10, “Despicable Me 2” on July 17 and “The Nut Job” on July 24, with each movie starting at 6 p.m.
Music Releases: Turn down for what!
This summer’s musical releases will start off with Ed Sheeran, who’s known for working alongside acts like Taylor Swift and One Direction, and his new album “x” (read as “multiply”). Phish (yes, they still exist) also put out their new album “Fuego” after a five-year hiatus. Their album will return to their roots of rock ‘n roll and bluegrass. Springboarding from the mainstream success of last year’s “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke will be following up with “Paula,” titled after his ex-wife Paula Patton, on July 1. July 7 will see the return of heavy metal act Judas Priest and their new album “Redeemer of Souls” (so metal!), followed up by “Black Market” from straight-edge punk rock group Rise Against, on July 15. That day will also see the exciting release of Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun” (hopefully he’s still got it). Classic rock act Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers hopefully still have it as well, as their album “Hypnotic Eye” releases on July 29. Alternative rocker Sinead O’Connor returns to the music scene with “I’m not Bossy, I’m the Boss” on August 12, and the end of summer break will see “This is All Yours” by indie-rock band Alt-J on September 22.
Concerts: Raising the volume.
Following in its summer tradition, Riverside will be the host to a number of concerts. The first concert to hit it off will be the Summer Nights in the Park summer series at Fairmount Park on June 25, July 9, 16, 23 and 30. This free, family-oriented event will also include bounce houses, food vendors, face painting and performances by local bands from 6 to 9 p.m. La Sierra’s Gary Foster Jazz Quartet will also be hosting its own concert at La Sierra University on June 25 at 7 p.m. Fairmount Park will also host the Riverside Youth Mariachi Competition on July 19 at 7 p.m., where local and regional mariachi musicians will compete for trophies and prizes in a rich and cultural experience. Grammy-award winning Chicano Band Los Lobos will also be performing July 17 at 7 p.m. at the Fox Performing Arts Center, as well as Boyz II Men, who will be performing on June 26 at 7 p.m.
For the underground and indie fans, Blood Orange Infoshop will be hosting an array of concerts throughout the entire summer, featuring bWreck, Young Lovers, Pathos Mathos, Human Behavior and midlife crisis winery. And as always, Back to the Grind holds its own open mic every Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Arts: Get your art on.
UCR’s theater department will be hosting its own Osher Summer film series on June 24, July 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 1 p.m., where famous films like “The Godfather” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” will be shown. The Riverside Arts Walk will feature a diverse venue of visual and performing arts at the Riverside Metropolitan Museum and various locations throughout downtown on 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. On the theatrical side of things, The Box will be holding ”Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” performed by the Riverside Youth Theater from July 11 to 13 at 7 p.m.