Imperial Sound. Credit: Image courtesy North River Commission.

ALBANY PARK — Before summer comes to a close, Albany Park and Irving Park residents can enjoy a free concert series in their neighborhood.

Albany Park and Irving Park’s end-of-summer concert series will kick off Thursday at 7 p.m. in the parking lot between Surge Coffee Bar and Billiards, 3241 W. Montrose Ave. and Aspire Kids, 3235 W. Montrose Ave.

“We love things like front porch concerts, and this idea of the end of summer and live music kind of goes together,” said Thomas Applegate, executive director at the North River Commission. The commission is nonprofit community and economic development corporation for the northwest side of Chicago.

“So we wanted to get this going as we transition from summer to school for the families in the area to have a good time,” he said.

The concert series is sponsored by Albany Park and Irving Park special service area, which partnered with Aspire and Surge. Additionally, the commission, Albany Park Chamber of Commerce and three civic groups are co-hosts for the series, with each civic group selecting bands for their respective night.

Thursday’s inaugural band, The Imperial Sound, was selected courtesy of the The Residents of Irving Park group. The band has a pop-rock sound with roots in 1970s AM radio, Chicago soul, and classic rock.

“They have an album that’s going to be released soon so it’s great that they’re performing on Thursday,” said Applegate.

This is the first year for the concert series and Applegate says it’s a way to showcase the shopping district for both residents and people from outside the neighborhood.

The next bands to perform will be Environmental Encroachment on Aug. 30 and N’Samble Latino on Sept. 13. These bands were selected by the People of East Albany Park and Albany Park Neighbors, respectively.

“But we’re hoping the first in line to this will be residents from the area,” he said. “We hope the weather will be great and we have a lot of families from the community hopefully come out.”

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