SUMMER CONCERTS FARE A LITTLE (I.C.) LIGHT
By Lynne Margolis
April 10, 1997
For fans of modern rock and new music looking forward to outdoor concerts, it could be one lame summer. But lovers of classic rock and reconstituted Jurassic acts ought to have a blast, if Wednesday's concert announcements for I.C. Light Amphitheatre at Station Square are any indication.
In addition to the already-announced appearance by Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, this year featuring Peter Frampton, Dave Mason, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker and Simon Kirke, promoters DiCesare-Engler have booked such acts as Steppenwolf, Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult and Pat Travers (for a June 18 show labeled as "Summer Daze"); Sammy Hagar; Daryl Hall and John Oates; Electric Light Orchestra; .38 Special; Molly Hatchet; and ZZ Top (in one of only five smaller-venue shows the trio is performing).
Combined with last week's announcements by Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, the roster of acts promised for the Pittsburgh market so far seems lean on cutting-edge music.
Speaking after a press conference Wednesday at the Pittsburgh Brewery in Lawrenceville, D-E partner Rich Engler explained why.
"First of all, there are not many of 'em out this summer," he said. "Second of all, our industry isn't making enough of 'em."
Engler said other than No Doubt, which is opening Star Lake's season May 14, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, opening I.C. Light's South Side venue May 16, "Name somebody hot. It's really hard." He proved right.
Last summer's darling, Alanis Morissette, is off the road to finish up her follow-up album to the 15-million-plus selling "Jagged Little Pill." Hootie & the Blowfish are dead in the water right now. The Presidents of the United States of America, which just about sold out the 4,000- to 5,000-capacity I.C. Light space last summer, drew only 500 people to its show at Metropol last month, Engler said.
D-E's Ed Traversari also pointed out, "We have many more shows that are going to be announced."
Still, besides the Bosstones, the more exciting events in the I.C. Light lineup are the more esoteric acts, such as "Weird Al" Yankovic and Pittsburgh Blues Festival artists Luther Allison and Roomful of Blues. (Listed by Pollstar magazine as booked for the festival, but not yet announced for the benefit event, are Monster Mike Welch and Lil' Brian & the Zydeco Travelers.)
One of the best shows also could prove to be the WDVE Rocker, featuring a lineup of homegrown talent including the Clarks, Brownie Mary, Seventh House, the Vibro Kings, the Ike McCoy Band and West Virginia's Karl Shuman Band.
The I.C. Light schedule of concerts and festivals is as follows:
Corona's Cinco De Mayo Fiesta, May 2-3, with John McDonald & the Mango Men and Guaracha; Mighty Mighty Bosstones, May 16; River Fest, May 23-26, with Electric Light Orchestra Part II, Buckwheat Zydeco and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys; Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, May 29; U.S. Beer & Music Festival, May 30-June 1; WAMO's '97 Juneteenth Celebration, June 14-15; Summer Daze, with Steppenwolf, Foghat, Pat Travers, Blue Oyster Cult, June 18; Quintex Cellular Bell Atlantic Wings Cook-off, June 20-22, with .38 Special and BTO (some incarnation of the former Bachman-Turner Overdrive); Rock, Ribs & Racing Festival, June 28, with Molly Hatchet; Guitars, Saxes and More, June 29, with Rick Braun, Craig Chaquico, Richard Elliot, Peter White; Sammy Hagar, July date to be announced; WDVE Rocker, July 3; Freedom Festival, July 4, with John McDonald & the Mango Men; ZZ Top, July 9; Pittsburgh Blues Festival, July 11-13, with Luther Allison and Roomful of Blues; "Weird Al" Yankovic, July 29; George Carlin, Aug. 2; Caribbean and Reggae Festival, Aug. 8-10, with Yellowman & the Sagittarius Band; Ziggy Marley, Aug. 16; Hall and Oates, Aug. 21; Quintex Cellular Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile's Festa Italiana, Aug. 29-Sept. 1; King's Bavarian Oktoberfest, Sept. 5-7; Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Sept. 12-14; and the Fright Festival, Oct. 10-31.