Pavilion Announces Summer Line-Up

In a press conference yesterday, Charlottesville Pavilion representatives announced a planned July 30 grand opening of the rebuilt amphitheater on the east end of the Downtown Mall, along with the lineup for the first couple of months. There will be a soft opening on July 27, with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe performing a free concert. Beginning that Friday — the 29th — Fridays After 5 will be held at the amphitheater. On the 30th, Loretta Lynn will play the grand-opening concert, in a benefit for Live Arts, with Sissy Spacek joining her on stage. Other acts playing this summer include Bob Weir & Ratdog, Little Feat, and Bruce Hornsby.

Though it’s looked like the amphitheater is nowhere close to being ready in time, yesterday the concrete slab was poured, leaving the installation of the roof and some seats. Charlottesville Pavilion representative Kirby Hutto explained that, construction-wise, that’s about it — it’s not tough to build an amphitheater.

John Yellig has the story in today’s Progress.

06/21 Update: Charlottesville Podcasting Network has the raw audio of the press conference, including comments from Kirby Hutto, David Brown, Gary O’Connell, and John Gibson.

2 thoughts on “Pavilion Announces Summer Line-Up”

  1. I disagree. Give them a break – they don’t even have a facility yet. Consider this season the dry run.

    Ratdog is a nice “get,” and so is Hornsby. Those are extremely good acts for this venue, I think. They need acts that can sell over 3,000 tickets (no word on pricing yet – that will be a very important part of the “is the Pavilion cool or not cool” calculus). That’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if they want to pull of a couple of shows each week. If they can keep the pricing reasonable, this venue is going to be a huge, huge success.

    I would imagine that a lot of the acts who play Wolf Trap would fit nicely here – acts such as Keb’ Mo’, Brian Wilson, Riverdance (not my cup o’ tea, but I’ll bet it would do really well here), Buddy Guy, the B.B. King Blues Tour, Bela Fleck, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, John Mayer, John Fogerty, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, CSN, Allison Krauss, etc,. and maybe some aging rockers to keep 3WV happy. And every once in a while, somebody for whom this venue would be considered small – say, the Allman Brothers Band, or perhaps Dylan.

    I would hope to see a few more bookings this year – since they have a roof, they don’t need to end the season in September. But if not, I think we can wait until next spring to see what Kirby and Co. can do when they’re allowed to focus on booking acts instead of removing oil tanks and pouring concrete, and I really think it’ll be worth the wait.

    Not so excited about Feat, however. I’m a huge Little Feat fan, but not so much lately (was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry disappointed by their 25th anniversary “Waiting For Columbus” show in D.C. a couple of years ago – – to wit, the best part of the show BY FAR wasn’t even by the band, it was a SCORCHING sax duel between Lenny Pickett (SNL bandleader and former Tower of Power horn) and Ron Holloway, which was barely audible because of a sound problem — and all the shows I’ve heard the past 3-5 years have been pretty much the same. They’re still great musicians, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of spark there any longer. I’d go if they brought in Catfish Hodge and called themselves Chicken Legs, but no matter how hard they try to redefine themselves, they still seem like the Beatles without John.

    As for Loretta Lynn, while her legend is cast in stone I really can’t think of many acts that are more unlike the Charlottesville musical ethos. I’ve always thought of this as much more of a blues/jazz/jam/rock town than old school country, frankly. I’m sure it’ll be a great show, but it’s gotta be a little disappointing that plenty of good seats are still available for opening night. With Capshaw’s connections, I really expected something more for the first show. Well, not “more,” just “different.”

    But I don’t think it’s fair to judge them on this truncated season.

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