Downtown Newport there is the Newport Yachting Center. This is where they hold all kinds of events for Newport.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to get invited to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at this venue. It is really cool there! Very small which made me feel like it is more of a community event then a full blown concert! If you go with someone who is from Newport (like I did) that is when you will really see how small the town really is. Everyone knows everyone.
Here are a couple pictures from the concert... Sorry they are blurry my phone camera at night isn't the best.
Not only do they hold concerts there they have comedy shows (with some big names) this summer Lisa Lamponelli, Gabriel Iglesias, Joan Rivers (is she actually a comedian?) They have Boat Shows, Cook-offs, Octoberfest, all SORTS of events! It really is an awesome place to attend if you come during a time when there is stuff going on. So summer time.
You can find the calendar of events here :