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Party time in downtown Youngstown

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A busy weekend in Youngstown begins tonight with a concert by heavy metal gods Judas Priest at Covelli Centre.

A few hundred seats remain available across the far reaches of the arena, but those are sell-able at Covelli and should be snared by walk-up concert-goers.

Also tonight, 38 Special – the Southern rock band that was all over the airwaves in 1981 – will play Stambaugh Auditorium. Plenty of seats are available for that one. You know, they just don’t name bands after guns anymore.

The stage will remain up at Covelli for two nights in a row so that the great Earth Wind & Fire can return to town for a Friday concert.

All three of these bands started in the ’70s and ’80s, but that’s about all they have in common.

Downtown Youngstown will stay busy Saturday for Green Day (St. Patrick’s Day, not the band). The bars on West Federal will be opening early, and V2 and The Federal will have a party tent set up with live music.

Of course, there will be plenty of other St. Patrick’s Day bashes around the area, with massive gatherings at Austintown Plaza and Kravitz Deli. Some even open as early as 5:30 a.m., for those who like to get their partying out of the way by noon.

One thing that will not be open today is the DeYor Center for the Performing Arts box office, due to routine mechanical upgrades. If you need to buy tickets to a show at Powers Auditorium or Ford recital hall, just go to The DeYor box office will reopen on Friday.


Expect another big concert announcement Friday morning. I can’t reveal who it is, but here’s a hint: the artist’s last name is the opposite of the type of music he plays.


Friday night will be opening night at four local community theaters. That is not good planning, especially since there were no openings last weekend (which also wasn’t St. Patrick’s weekend).

Rust Belt unveils its original comic musical “The Rockin’ Horribles,” the Youngstown Playhouse has the local premiere of the taut abortion drama “Keely and Du,” Stage Left will present the comedy “Boeing Boeing” and Salem Community Theatre will offer “8-Track: The Sounds of the Seventies,” which is really a cabaret show.


Candace Campana will sing the National Anthem before the Cleveland Indians-Chicago Cubs game at Progressive Field on April 24.

Campana, of Struthers, released a single titled “Pink Ink” in December. The song, available on, is a show of support for those battling cancer.


Federal Frenzy, the season-opening street festival in downtown Youngstown, will take place April 21, from 2 to 11 p.m. The band lineup, including the headliner, will be released next week or soon after.


Stambaugh Auditorium’s experimental spring production of “Porgy and Bess” last week seemed to have met expectations. The attendance was in the ballpark of the November productions of Opera Western Reserve.

The venue produced the show, contracting Opera Western Reserve and the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra. The cast was led by OWR veteran Rhea Olivacce, who was just about perfect as Bess, the main role.


Chris Gunther, who has his own show on Rookery Radio (YSU’s Internet radio station), will be headed to Las Vegas next week to cover the Stellar Awards, which recognize the top gospel music artists.

Gunther and Rookery advisor Kenny Reyes will be in Vegas March 22 through 24.

“The Chris Gunther Show” is a Christian radio show in which the host routinely interviews the genre’s top artists.

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator.