Despite a weather forecast for the Ithaca area that includes late-afternoon showers and thunderstorms, the Saul Williams and Big Mean Sound Machine concert scheduled for the Bernie Milton Pavilion this evening will go on “rain or shine,” say Downtown Ithaca Alliance organizers.
Ithaca-based funk band Big Mean Sound Machine is scheduled to open this week’s CFCU Summer Concert Series event at 6pm. “The Big Mean Sound Machine have been wrapping their very large lineup (over a dozen members at any given time) around instrumental afrobeat music to large acclaim for years,” wrote Alan Rose for 14850 Magazine last year.
After Big Mean, New York artist Saul Williams will take the stage. He’s been producing ground-breaking music since 2001, when he released his debut album, “Amethyst Rock Star,” and he brings a blend of poetry and alternative hip-hop to the stage.
“Saul Williams is rightly famous all over the world for his poetry and his music,” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick in a statement. “Getting him to play a free public show is a huge coup for our downtown and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. And, personally, I am thrilled. Black Stacey, List of Demands, Amethyst Rock and Bloody Sunday are all mainstays on my playlists.”
The CFCU Summer Concert Series kicked off this year with Stone Cold Miracle on June 23, and it will wrap up next Thursday with John Brown’s Body.
Downtown Ithaca Alliance staff say the “worst case scenario” for tonight’s show is that dangerous thunderstorms will force a last-minute cancellation or change in plans. If that happens, they’ll get the word out as soon as possible via social media, and we’ll pass it along.