Remember “Tender Years” at Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival

Relive memories through the music at Amelia Island’s Shrimp Festival. Back for an encore, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band plays at riverfront stage.

Repeat Performance by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

ohn Cafferty of the Beaver Brown Band, Amelia Island Shrimp Festival 2006
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, Amelia Island Shrimp Festival 2006

Amelia Island’s Shrimp Festival held in Fernandina Beach the first weekend of May each year features live entertainment on the riverfront stage in this historic Florida city. This is a huge festival with many facets, but the live entertainment alone is worth a visit to the island, and this year John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band are coming back to play the festival.

Folks basically have the opportunity to enjoy a FREE live concert on the Amelia River at the foot of historic Centre Street. Relive memories through the music, with performances by the original artists. You’ll hear recognizable songs that at one time had reached the top of the music charts. Back for an encore, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band wowed the crowds at the Shrimp Festival previously. It really brought one back to the 80s (those old enough to remember those “tender years.”).

Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band rose to fame with the popularity of the “Eddie and the Cruisers” movie circa 1983 which featured the Beaver Brown Band soundtrack (“On The Dark Side, Tender Years”). For those unfamiliar, some describe their sound as “Springsteen-esque”. Of course, there was a movie sequel. In 1989 a second film, “Eddie Lives,” was released, also featuring soundtrack by Cafferty and his band. (Anyone curious who hasn’t seen these movies can watch them via Netflix.)

Here’s an excerpt of an article published back in 2006 in Amelia Island Living eMagazine:

“The sound of the Cafferty band was terrific, in the setting of the waterfront stage at the foot of Centre Street, with shrimp boats docked in the background.  Two big hits from the movie, “On the Dark Side,” and “Tender Years” were played to the exuberant crowd.  Saxophonist extraordinaire, Michael “Tunes” Antunes, mesmerized the fans.  Cafferty and talented Tunes came out into the audience and greeted fans up close and personal.  (Antunes actually appeared in the Eddie and the Cruisers movie as the saxophonist.). At the end of the band’s time slot for the stage, Cafferty said to the crowd “You don’t mind if we play a little bit longer, do you?  It was a long ride from Rhode Island…”

So head to downtown Fernandina Beach to enjoy the music — virtually a free outdoor concert waterfront — at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Of course, loads of food will be offered at the festival, with the bulk of food vendors stationed in the riverfront area not far from the stage. Music. Food. Huge art show. Kids Fun Zone. Waterfront setting. Sounds like a nice way to spend a May afternoon in northeast Florida. Don’t miss this performance starting at 4:30 pm on Saturday, May 1, 2010, part of the “ROCK AND POP MASTERS” live show.

But there’s more great entertainment on the roster at the Shrimp Festival’s riverfront stage. Other performances scheduled during the Rock and Pop Masters include Jimmy Hall (formerly of Wet Willie) with songs “Keep on Smilin’, Weekend, I’m Happy that Love has Found You, and Fool For Your Love.” Plus Larry Hoppen (of Orleans), known for songs “Still the One, Dance With Me, Love Takes Time.”

On Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 2:30 p.m., the riverfront stage featured band is the Swingin Medallions, also back by popular demand. Known as the “party band of the south,” they are a local favorite.

The main festival hours are: Friday 6 pm to 10:30 pm — food, riverfront activities, and Kid’s Fun Zone. Saturday 9 am to 6 pm — art, crafts, antiques show and everything else (with food booths staying open until 8 pm), and on Sunday 10 am until 5 pm (everything).