By Thomas Shamma
---- — Winter, supposedly, has passed. As the warming weather makes the ocean much more inviting, some of the great attractions of Hampton Beach already have begun to thaw.
Among the beacons of spring comes the 2014 season at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. The venue opens strong tonight with the sold-out “Experience Hendrix.” Then come several months featuring diverse shows.
“We’re excited,” said Andrew Herrick, spokesman for the Casino Ballroom. “We open for the year [tonight]. We think it’s going to be a fantastic year of live music on the beach.”
A few of the most popular acts already have sold out: again, “Experience Hendrix,” as well as “Volbeat,” and Joe Bonamassa. But many tickets can still be bought for a whole range of other shows.
In May, the Casino hosts the first stop on The Monkees’ 2014 reunion tour, for instance.
“We’re (also) celebrating George Thorogood’s 40th anniversary with a two-weekend run,” Herrick said.
Other classic acts include Cheap Trick, Billy Idol and Huey Lewis and the News.
Celebrating some of rock’s most influential bands, tribute bands will perform music by the Beatles (The Fab Four), Led Zeppelin (Get The Led Out, and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience), the Grateful Dead (Dark Star Orchestra) and Sublime(Badfish!).
Beyond that, more than a dozen other groups will be performing at the Casino Ballroom this summer.
Experience Hendrix: A Jimmy Hendrix tribute show featuring Billy Cox, Budy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bootsy Collins, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Chris Layton, Eric Galesand and Ana Popovic. Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m. SOLD OUT
Volbeat: An influential Danish metal band led by Michael Poulsen, former band leader of heavy metal band Dominus. Friday, May 9 at 8 p.m. SOLD OUT
Buckcherry: An LA-based hard rock band with grunge influences, featuring singer Joshua Todd, guitarist Keith Nelson, second guitarist Yogi, bassist J.B. Brightman, drummer Devon Glenn. Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. $25 to $30.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience: A Led Zeppelin tribute show, led by Jason Bonham, son of original Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Tuesday, May 13 at 8 p.m. $26 to $46.
Joe Bonamassa: Celebrated blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa. Friday, May 16 at 8 p.m. SOLD OUT
The Monkees: First stop on The Monkees’ 2014 reunion tour, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, performing classic hits, deep cuts and fan favorites. Thursday, May 22 at 8 p.m. $35 to $76.
Steel Panther — All You Can Eat Tour: A profane heavy-metal band, touring with their new album “All You Can Eat.” With Future Villains. Friday, May 23 at 8 p.m. $26.
Rusted Root and the Wailers: Rusted Root, touring with music from their latest album “The Movement,” with the Wailers, a legendary Jamaican band. Bob Marley is among their past bandmates. With Adam Ezra Group. Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m. $23.
Billy Idol: One of the most enduring names in rock-and-roll history. Tuesday, June 3 at 8 p.m. $60 to $65.
Cheap Trick: One of the most covered bands of all time. Greatest hits include “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender.” Thursday, June 5 at 8 p.m. $30 to $66.
Dark Star Orchestra: A Grateful Dead tribute band, the Dark Star Orchestra recreates entire shows, varying their arrangement, style and even equipment to match the time and place in the Grateful Dead’s career that they’re reviving. Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7, at 8 p.m. $26.
Fitz & the Tantrums: Touring with their Elektra Records debut album “More Than Just A Dream.” Sunday, June 8 at 8 p.m. $19.75.
Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog: Four legendary indie and grunge bands. Wednesday, June 18 at 8 p.m. $28.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers: An anniversary tour celebrating 40 years of blues-tinged rock and roll. Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m. $29 to $50.
Happy Together Tour 2014: Celebrated musicians The Turtles, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Mitch Rider & The Detroit Wheels and Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Friday, June 27 at 8 p.m. $30 to $60.
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: Husband and wife, and both legendary musicians, perform some of their greatest hits. Wednesday, July 2 at 8 p.m. $33 to $56.
Badfish! A Tribute to Sublime: One of the most successful Sublime tribute bands. With Todo Bien. Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. $19.
The Fab Four — The Ultimate Tribute: A Beatles tribute band, offering a look into the experience of rock and roll in the ‘60s. Friday, July 18 at 8 p.m. $20 to $40.
Huey Lewis and the News: One of longest-lasting iconic names in American rock and roll, Huey Lewis and the News are celebrating 35 years performing. Tuesday, July 22 at 8 p.m. $40 to $80.
Get the Led Out: Called “The American Led Zeppelin,” Get The Led Out performs songs live songs Led Zeppelin only put out on studio records. Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m. $21.
Josh Turner: Celebrated country music star Josh Turner, known for his chart-topping hits and dedication to his art. Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. $34 to $60.
Comedian Bill Cosby: One of the legendary comedians of American history. Saturday, Aug. 16, 4 and 8 p.m. $39 to $77.
Gavin DeGraw & Matt Nathanson: Gavin DeGraw, touring with his new album “Make a Move,” with Matt Nathanson, whose ninth studio recording, “Last of the Great Pretenders,” comes out on July 16. With Andrew McMahon. Sunday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. $46.
Chris Young: Touring with his fourth album, “A.M.” With Courtney Cole. Tuesday, Aug.19 at 8 p.m. $39.
If you go
The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
169 Ocean Boulevard, Hampton Beach, N.H.