By GUY D’ASTOLFO
When something works, do it again.
So says Ken Haidaris, the Warren businessman who co-directs the popular River Rock at the Amp summer tribute band concert series at the Warren Community Amphitheater.
This year’s lineup, which Haidaris revealed at a news conference Monday morning, will include the acts that have proven most popular.
River Rock has been a driving force of downtown Warren’s reinvention as an entertainment center, and the news conference took place at the Robins Theater – a key site in that process. The decaying but ornate venue on West Market Street, unused since 1974, is being restored at a cost of $5 to $7 million.
Who’s Bad, a Michael Jackson tribute, was a huge success when it debuted at the amp last season, and will return this year. Eagles tribute act 7 Bridges – a top draw every year – will open the series May 26.
The June 23 show, featuring Shining Star, an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute, will be opened by the Beck/Ward Project, featuring Billy Beck, the Youngstown native and Warren resident who is one of the two surviving members of funk legends Ohio Players.
Beck said his band, which also features Youngstown guitarist Rick Ward, will play songs by Ohio Players.
Gates open for all shows at 5 p.m., with the opening act starting by 5:30 p.m. and the headliner at 8:30 p.m. Parking is free at Perkins Park, the Franklin Street deck and other public lots. Tickets will be sold at the gate, and in advance at the Sunrise Inn, 510 E. Market St., and at RiverRockattheAmp.com.
Here is the schedule:
May 26: 7 Bridges (Eagles tribute), with Savannah Jack (rock, country), $10.
June 9: Zoso (Led Zeppelin), with Huckin Fillbillys, $8.
June 16: Country Legends (Keith Urban, Zac Brown, Garth Brooks), with Chris Higbee, $8.
June 23: Shining Star (Earth, Wind & Fire), with Beck/Ward Project, $8.
July 7: Fins to the Left (Jimmy Buffett), with My Drunk Uncle, $8.
July 14: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd), with Morrison Hotel, $10.
July 21: Dirty Deeds (AC/DC), with Strutter (KISS; show includes a Kiss costume contest), $8.
July 28: Absolute Journey (Journey), with Harvest (Neil Young), $8.
Aug. 4: Disco Inferno (disco era), with Rudy and the Professionals, $8.
Aug. 18: Ultimate Aldean (Jason Aldean), with Northern Whiskey,” $8.
Aug. 25: King’s Highway, with Invincible (Pat Benatar), $8.
Sept. 1: Who’s Bad (Michael Jackson), with Back Traxx, $10.