Hudson Gardens plans summer shows

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With weather warming up and melting the last snow, one optimistically hopes, a season of summer concerts at Littleton's Hudson Gardens and Event Center stretches ahead.

• Hudson Gardens begins its 2013 season on June 2 with The Orchestra, starring former members of the Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II. Mike Kaminski (the “Blue Violin”) and keyboardist Louis Clark date back to the 1970s ELO. Strings, synthesizers and layered vocals give a classical quality to rock music. “Strange Magic,” “Sweet Talkin' Woman.”

• Nazareth plays June 9. Founded in Scotland in 1968, the band takes its name from Nazareth, Penn., mentioned in “The Weight.” This is the first U.S. tour in five years.

• Firefall, Boulder-based, brings its take on American folk and rock music and is one of the first bands to bring Rocky Mountains creativity to the national scene.

• WAR performs on June 23. With roots in the 1960s, the band spoke to audiences about difficult issues Americans faced.

• 38 Special plays on June 30. After three decades together, the band visits over 100 cities a year with its brand of Southern rock.

• Super Diamond celebrates America, followed by fireworks on July 3. Described as “Surreal Neil,” he brings the songs audiences know.

• Little River Band, scheduled July 7, formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975 and gained chart success in America soon after.

• Bret Michaels, who plays July 14, was with the glam-metal band Poison as lead singer and worked as songwriter with other band members, then went out on his own.

• Kenny Loggins, featuring the Blue Sky Riders, performs on July 21. He is recognized as a brilliant singer-songwriter and guitarist, with 12 platinum albums.

• Boz Scaggs, performing July 28, explores blues, R&B, rock and jazz in his works. American roots music expected.

• Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo appear Aug. 4. Giraldo has written countless hits for his wife and muse as she emerged as a female rock star worldwide.

• Foreigner, founded in 1976 by lead guitarist Mick Jones, plays Aug. 11, and has given back lately by inviting high school choirs to share the spotlight after a background of gospel-inspired songs.

• Styx, performing Aug. 18, started in a Chicago basement in the early `70s and created hits such as “Blue Collar Man” as they became a top rock act.

• Three Dog Night closes out the busy season on Aug. 15 with its hits such as “One,” “Easy to Be Hard, “Celebrate” and more.

If you go

Unless otherwise noted, concerts will start at 6:30, gates open at 5 p.m. Ticket prices vary. See hudsongardens.org or call 303-795-8565 ext. 316. Ticket purchases are through TicketHorse.com. Hudson Gardens is located at 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton.

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