The Samples play at brewery Friday

Courtesy photoThe Samples will play Friday at Newburyport Brewing Co.

NEWBURYPORT — The Samples, a classic rock band some local residents might remember from their college days, will perform an outdoor concert Friday at Newburyport Brewing Co.

The concert runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Newburyport Brewing Co. is at 4 Pasture Road.

The Samples, formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1987, gained national acclaim for their reggae-influenced rock sound, which channeled the pop melodies of The Police and the instrumentation of jam bands such as The Grateful Dead in equal measure.

Over the past 30 years, the band has embarked on several national tours, shared the stage with countless legendary acts, and undergone various lineup changes. Singer-guitarist Sean Kelly remains the group’s only founding member.

Chris Webb, who founded Newburyport Brewing Co. in 2012 with Ben Fischer, said he is excited about the concert and recalled attending The Samples’ concerts when the band was reaching the height of its career.  

“If you were a young person in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, this was the band that everybody loved,” Webb said. “If they were playing at your college, you were so psyched. They kind of went away for 20 years, and so people were so excited when they came back.”

Likening Kelly’s distinctive voice to that of Sting, Webb said he thinks the concert Friday will be a perfect way for residents of all ages to kick off their post-Independence Day weekend.

“That island feel, it feels like summer — just being outside, having a nice cold beer and just chilling,” Webb said. “I’m personally psyched because they’re one of my favorite bands. It’s a great outdoor event Friday after the Fourth.

The event will also feature food trucks from Metzy’s Cantina, Boston BBQ and Anchor Stone Deck Pizza, and the brewery’s beer will be on tap.

Opening the show will be Portland, Maine-based roots rock act, the Jason Spooner Band, which Webb said will bring an enjoyable set of upbeat, funky music to start off the evening. 

“They’re one of my favorite local bands, they have a great vibe,” Webb said.

The event is open to people of all ages and free for anyone under 18.

Tickets for anyone 18 and up are available for $30 online, and will be available at the door for $35.

To purchase tickets, visit

Staff writer Jack Shea can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.

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