Lunch on the Lake mixes music, dance, food


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Tommi Zender and Phil Angotti play classic rock music inspired by The Beatles. The two local artists kicked off Lunch on the Lake, a six-week series of noontime concerts featuring live music and BBQ food.

David Fishman, Assistant Summer Editor

Notes from “It’s Only Love” by The Beatles sounded through Norris University Center on Wednesday to kick off Lunch on the Lake, a six-week series of noontime concerts featuring live music and BBQ food.

The event’s inaugural artists — Tommi Zender, a multi-instrumentalist, and Phil Angotti, an alternative rocker — played music inspired by The Beatles for about an hour to an audience of more than 60 people.

“(The Lakefill) is a great place to take a small child in your hand, walk and get a nice breeze,” said John Nickel (Weinberg ’73, SESP ’78), an Evanston resident. “And, you know, there just might be a kickass reggae group performing for daddy so I can sit in some shade on a beautiful summer afternoon and listen to some amazing music.”

Lunch on the Lake, a summertime tradition at Northwestern for at least 20 years, will mix together music and food every Wednesday afternoon through July 27. The event will feature guest artists and ensembles from primarily the Chicago area and a $9 menu that will change each week.

Nancy Cambron Perez, a Norris program coordinator who organized the event, said she tried to find new performers and diversify the lineup this year. Perez said she enlisted the help of students to narrow down the list of samples and select a group of artists.

“We make sure that the people we’re picking are very lively and work well with our crowds,” Perez said. “I also tried really hard to diversify the performers. For example, we have a dance company coming in later on, we have Johnny Blas & his Afro-Libre Orquestra, we have The Fat Babies — those are new performers that have never been to the Northwestern campus.”

Perez added she expected about 100 to 150 people at each concert, including residents from surrounding neighborhoods. She said the event helps the Evanston community connect with NU’s campus and learn about the activities the University holds.

Rebecca Krause, a first-year student in the Kellogg School of Management, was met with tunes from the 1960s when she arrived at Norris.

“As someone who’s pretty exhausted and busy studying for exams, it’s nice to have a little break,” she said. “It reminds me of stuff I would listen to in the car growing up. … Nice and classic.”

Krause said she wished the event had been advertised better so she could have planned to attend in advance.

Nickel and his friend Jim Kratz (Weinberg ’71), longtime fans of Lunch on the Lake, agreed, but said they enjoyed the event regardless thanks to the delicious food and good company.

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