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Summer is finally upon us. The weather has turned warmer and all of us hearty Minnesotans are crawling out of our winter cocoons, with the snow pants having quickly been replaced by shorts. Along with the rising temps, "Thursdays on First and 3rd," with its awesome free concert series, is also about to heat up!

Every Thursday from June 5th through August 28th, the annual "Thursdays on First and 3rd Summer Market & Music Festival" will take place in Downtown Rochester. Featuring two stages, with acts at both 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, this year’s concerts offer a cornucopia of artists and styles.

Simple math reveals that over the next 13 weeks there will be 52 different acts performing downtown on Thursdays! How is anyone supposed to possibly know which ones to come see? Well, starting right here, I’m going to give suggestions for which acts you might want to check out each week." With June here, I’ll start with the artists I’m looking forward to seeing most this month.

June 5th - Reina del Cid & the Cidizens: This Minneapolis-based folk rock group opens festivities up during the 5:00 pm time slot. Vocalist Reina del Cid’s sweet vocals, along with the expertise of female flat picker Toni Lindgren, create a smooth, natural sound that will have you tapping your toes along to the music. Visit the band’s website to hear some of their music. I particularly enjoyed listening to “Pretty Lie” and “Expiration Date” in the “Listen” section of their site.

June 12th - The Step Rockets: Another Twin Cities-based band, The Step Rockets will grace the 1st Avenue stage at 7:00 pm. The band describes itself as a four-piece group that “twists psychedelic sounds and modern pop hooks into danceable indie rock.” Check out their song “Kisser” on their website to get a feel for what these guys have to offer.

June 19th - Proverbial:This East coast 5-piece, which combines reggae, rock, hip hop and funk to create an eclectic mix of music, will be performing on the 1st Avenue stage at 7:00 pm. They compare their music to that of bands like Sublime, 311, The Roots, The Expendables and The Police. You can take a listen to a few of their tunes on their website. One that I particularly enjoyed was “Harlequin’s Escape.”

June 26thThe Buffalo Killers: This Ohio-based band has a real classic rock look and feel about them. Hearkening back to the sounds of true 70s rock-and-roll, the group delivers heavy electric guitar riffs and strong drum rhythms that remind me of that good ol’ classic Southern rock of yesteryear. Take a listen to “Get It” and “San Martine Des Morelle” on their website to get an idea of what this band is all about.

Those are the acts I’m most looking forward to seeing in concert in June at Thursdays on First & 3rd. If they don’t excite you, you’re still in luck! With an eclectic mix of local, area, regional and national acts, “Thursdays on First & 3rd” is sure to have something to please everyone. More information on all the dates and acts can be found on the Thursdays on First & 3rd website.

Got other ideas of which bands are "must see" downtown in June? Share your thoughts and change my mind!