Sure, summer may come to an end in September, but the return of the student population to the Boston-area’s world class higher learning institutions breathes a new energy into the city. Students (and visitors, alike) are welcomed into the city by a virtual bonanza of exciting things to do; early fall is when a bevy of major touring musical acts visit this “college town”, while new theatrical productions begin their runs, and sports enthusiasm reaches a fever pitch. Locally flavored festivals from Jamaica Plain to the Rose Kennedy Greenway give this time of year an exciting and unique air--most events during the “shoulder season” aren’t aimed at the tourists, and represent a true taste of modern Bostonian/New Englander culture, open to everyone!
On the entertainment front, September has a lineup of musical performances that simply outshines the rest of the year, in number and scope of performers--pop, hip-hop, proto-punk, classical, iconic rockers, and local artists--as befitting a town with an increasingly cosmopolitan student body. This month begins with a double dose of pop diva Lady Gaga, who will reign over her monster minions at Fenway Park for two nights, September 1st and 2nd.
The following weekend, head out to Jamaica Pond for a one-of-a-kind local happening, the JP Music Festival, a celebration of arguably the most the rich, vibrant, diverse, and artistically inclined community in Boston, Jamaica Plain. Check the link for the line-up of acts so hip, you’ve probably never heard of them--and we promise, you’ll find something to love, whether you’re a fan of alternative rock, rockabilly, afro-cuban salsa music, classical guitar, or New Orleans style brass--check this out September 9th!
Of course, we’re all aware of the good folks down in the Houston area, who are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey--and it was this tragedy that inspired local R&B legends, Ronnie, Ricky, and Mike, aka, Bell Biv Devoe, to announce that they’d be headlining a free concert/benefit/donation and food drive this same weekend, September 9th at City Hall Plaza. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to relive some of the Poison-ous glory days of the early 90’s, while offering a helping hand to our unfortunate neighbors down in the Lone Star State!
Speaking of 90’s R&B/hip-hop legends, catch two genre-defining icons at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion down at the Seaport: queen of hip-hop soul herself, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and hip-hop titan, king of Queensbridge, Nas on September 12th. Across town the same night, sees Atlanta all star Gucci Mane tag teaming the crowds of the TD Garden with The Weekend--another show you just can’t miss.
Not a fan of hip-hop/R&B? Not to worry, beantown has it all this month. On September 13th, eclectic, eccentric Indie rocker and multi-instrumentalist Father John Misty brings his act to, yes, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion--I mean, we might as well enjoy music outside before the temperatures plunge and the snow comes, right? Meanwhile, across town at the Boston Opera House, a new, dazzling production of the classic The Phantom of the Opera begins its run on September 13th and will be running through the end of the month
Fans of classic psychedelic arena rock will undoubtedly be familiar with Pink Floyd and founding member Roger Waters--responsible for much of his former band’s celebrated classic, The Wall--who brings his, shall we say, politically poignant and contemporary stage show to the masses at TD Garden on September 28th.
Of course, September in title town means something else to sports fans: firstly, fingers crossed, the Red Sox will be about to make another exciting playoff run--though this pennant race seems to have tightened in recent weeks, with storied rivals the New York Yankees surging in the standings. Catch the Bosox as they take on the Jays, Rays, Oakland A’s, and possibly other teams that don't rhyme--check the schedule here!
Speaking of sports, let’s be honest; you won’t soon forget the epic comeback of this year’s undeniable classic, Super Bowl LI; love them or hate them (for reasons we just don’t understand, aside from your unbecoming jealousy, tsk-tsk), Tom Brady and his New England Patriots have proved, once again, that they are just not going away until a few more records are set and smashed, so you’d better accept this fact, and join us at Gillette Stadium to welcome our hometown heroes back for the season opener, the September 7th Thursday night match against the Kansas City Chiefs. Don’t forget to bring a towel for Roger, of course!
Last, and certainly not the least, September will once again feature an endless parade of Food Festivals, celebrating everything from the New England harvest season to Caribbean culture & cuisine--so do come hungry!
September 9th--10th, you should visit hip Somerville if you have a taste for Mediterranean food and culture, at the Greek Festival where you can get your baklava fix! Another must-see food festival later this month, the Local Boston Food Festival, takes place September 17th at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, that beautifully utilized stretch of park that replaced the expressway. Look for vendors from across New England--we’re talking locally-sourced oysters from Rhode Island, cheese and ice cream from local dairies, Vermont maple syrup, and loads of seasonal vegetables! Cooking demonstrations, live music, and sustainability-themed workshops, make this a great harvest-time festival for fans of local foods and flavors.
The real gut-buster in this scrumptious September schedule will undoubtedly by the Phantom Gourmet’s Street Food Festival around Fenway Park on September 23rd. We’re talking about some serious heavy-hitters from shops and street vendors around the region, like meatballs from Al’s, Kowloon’s famous Chinese American-style “Saugus Chicken Wings”, samosa from Shanti, or crawfish and corn from Shaking Crab--you’re gonna need a bigger appetite for this month, folks--enjoy it while you can, before the cold sets in!