The Sound Amphitheater is Helping Make Gautier, Mississippi A Live Music Destination

By Johnny Cole
Photos by Stephen Anderson
Edited by Deborah Chatham

Following the recent inaugural concert at The Sound Amphitheater, The Southland Music Line highlighted not only the exciting show by KC and The Sunshine Band but also spoke of the positive impact the newly opened amphitheater and the ongoing Town Commons Project can have on the area while making Gautier and Jackson County a music destination. On Friday, April 19, 2024, The Sound Amphitheater hosted its second concert and music event. The six-time Grammy-winning Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, along with special guest The North Mississippi Allstars, performed for a crowd of enthusiastic music fans from across the region.

Appreciating The Sound

Personally, I wanted to not only enjoy the show from near the stage, but to venture out to various areas of the beautiful park-like setting of The Sound Amphitheater. I also wanted to meet some concertgoers, especially between the performers’ sets, and to watch those in attendance as they enjoyed the show. What I learned was that the people at this show were from across the region. I met concertgoers from New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana; Vicksburg and Meridian, Mississippi; Tuscaloosa and Evergreen, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida. Yes, there were many more in attendance than just music fans from the Missisippi Gulf Coast and nearby Mobile, Alabama.

Top photo: Cody Dickinson of the Mississippi Allstars and Jason Isbell at The Sound Amphitheater; above photo: Jason Isbell at April 19, 2024 concert at The Sound Amphitheater

While exploring the grounds of the amphitheater, I also learned that many of those in attendance at the Isbell concert were not at the inaugural show held on the previous Friday. The common reasons for wanting to be at this latest show: 1) They are fans of Jason Isbell, 2) They had heard great things from various media sources and friends who went to the inaugural event at The Sound, and 3) They didn’t want to miss out on the fun for a second time.

One of the things I heard from others prior to The Sound’s grand opening had to do with seating and parking. Well, I observed particularly at this most recent concert, the abundance of seating, box seats, and places to enjoy the music on The Sound’s beautiful lawn area. It didn’t take long to notice how concertgoers, who had opted for lawn area, were enjoying the show from their blankets. These fans could either stand or stretch out; plus, they were closer to the bathrooms, vendors, and exit. Several told me how much they liked the lawn. So I decided to either go back to my seat, return to the area near my friends, or join those on the lawn. My choice for much of the concert was to enjoy the music from a place on the lawn. Yes, I found a nice spot and was able to stretch out and enjoy the concert.

The Sound Amphitheater in Gautier, MS

Through social media, some have expressed concern over those attending the concert with disabilities. At The Sound, I noticed several concertgoers in areas set aside for those needing assistance and those in wheelchairs. The venue provides easy and acessible handicap parking near the main entrance and VIP parking area. And speaking of parking, the walkway between the amphitheater and the adjacent parking lot was well-lit and things flowed nicely on the night of the Isbell concert. One additional compliment that I have for The Sound Amphitheater is how the security made the event feel safe. Also, everyone from parking attendants to tickets takers at the main entrance provided a hospitable and inviting environment.

So often I am unable to venture out as I did at The Sound Amphitheater due to the responsibilities and restraints of my job at many concert and music events, but this was totally a different experience and one I will consider doing again. It was enjoyable connecting with concertgoers and appreciating the stage from a different view.

Jason Isbell at The Amphitheater in Gautier, MS

The Sound Attracts Top Music Artists

As for the concert, it couldn’t have been more entertaining, and the weather was perfect. The moonlit night provided a pleasant experience for everyone in attendance. The North Mississippi Allstars kicked off the night’s music. We at The Southland Music Line have seen the brothers Luther and Cody Dickenson many times, including shows at The Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festival in Bogalusa, LA, and the SXSW Tribute to Memphis Soul in Austin, TX. The same can be said of Jason Isbell, the former Drive-By Trucker, who has been seen regionally at a number of venues. Still, as his career and the number of Grammy awards piled up, we have enjoyed him at such places as Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin, TX. Most recently, I had the privilege of seeing him perform at the MusiCares: Artist of the Year event in Los Angeles, honoring this year’s recipient Jon Bon Jovi, and The Grammy Awards All-Star Tribute to the Songs of Paul Simon, held at The Troubadour in West Hollywood.

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit’s setlist at The Sound:

● When We Were Close
● Save the World
● King of Oklahoma
● Strawberry Woman
● Last of My Kind
● Overseas
● 24 Frames
● Super 8
● Alabama Pines
● White Beretta
● Honeysuckle Blue
● Miles
● If We Were Vampires
● Stockholm
● Flying Over Water
● Cover Me Up

● In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (Tribute to Dickie Betts who died on April 18, 2024), Isbell was joined by Luther Dickinson.
● Cast Iron Skillet

(Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are: Jason Isbell, Sadler Vaden, Will Johnson, Derry deBorja, Anna Butterss, and Chad Gamble)

Concergoers lined up buying mechandise at The Sound Amphitheater

No Shortage of Upcoming Shows

The Sound Amphitheater has no shortage of fantastic shows on the horizon. They want to make the entire concert-going experience a positive one.

● May 24 – Justin Moore with Chris Cagle and Tyler Braden.
● Aug. 4 – Dirty Heads & Slightly Stoopid with Common Kings & The Elovaters
● Aug. 16 – Lauren Daigle
● Sept. 6 – Sam Hunt
● Sept. 27 – Miranda Lambert
● Sept. 28 – Melissa Etheridge & Jewel
● Oct. 5 – Jamey Johnson

The Sound Amphitheater is located at 3855 Dolphin Drive, north of where the Singing River Mall previously stood and is part of an ongoing Town Commons Project. Plans are also underway to build a nearby Mississippi Songwriters Performing Arts Center and Hall of Fame Museum.

We look forward to attending and covering future events at The Sound Amphitheater. The Southland Music Line would like to thank 46 Entertainment and the City of Gautier, Mississippi for allowing us to cover this dynamic new entertainment venue.

Jason Isbell
Luther Dickinson
Cody Dickinson
North Mississippi Allstars
North Mississippi Allstars at The Sound
Cody Dickinson
Luther Dickinson
Luther Dickinson & Jason Isbell
Luther Dickinson & Jason Isbell


Related Article:

“The Sound Amphitheater Comes Alive on a Beautiful Evening in Gautier, Mississippi” by Johnny Cole

The Sound Amphitheater
46 Entertainment
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
North Mississippi Allstars

Page Designed & Edited by Johnny Cole

Additional Editing by Deborah Chatham
© The Southland Music Line. 2024.
All rights reserved

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