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River Rock ready for '22 | News, Sports, Jobs – Warren Tribune Chronicle

by Arifa Rana

Apr 17, 2022
WARREN — Ken Haidaris is anticipating a summer where the National Weather Service, not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the government agency that has the biggest impact on River Rock at the Amp.
The outdoor concert series at the Warren Community Amphitheatre will feature 14 nights of music — 13 Saturdays and one Friday — between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
“I’ve kind of put it behind me,” Haidaris said of COVID-19. “Last year people came out to it. Being outdoors everyone feels pretty comfortable. A lot of big events are coming outdoors in northeast Ohio this summer, and I think we just have to learn to live with it and take our precautions. We’re full speed ahead.”
The season will open May 28 with the Heart tribute act Straight On, which was supposed to kick off the 2021 season, but the show was canceled. Weather, not COVID-19, was the culprit.
Many old favorites are scheduled to return — Journey band E5C4P3 on June 25, Eagles tribute 7 Bridges on July 2, Queen Nation on July 30 and the Pink Floyd tribute Wish You Were Here and the Led Zeppelin tribute ZOSO in August.
“We keep the stuff that really sells and try to do something new,” Haidaris said. “Queen Nation probably was the busiest show we had last year. Ever since the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie came out, Queen has become more popular.”
Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi tribute act, will make its first River Rock appearance on July 16, and a couple of other tributes will make debuts as opening acts. Best of Times, opening for E5C4P3, plays the music of Styx, and In the Heartland, opening for Slippery When Wet, is a Michael Stanley Band tribute act.
“We thought that would be a good pairing,” Haidaris said of Slippery When Wet and In the Heartland. “If they don’t like one, they’ll like the other.”
Classic rock dominates the offerings, but 2022 will include a country night (Jason Aldean tribute Ultimate Aldean on June 11), some soul (Earth, Wind & Fire tribute Shining Star on Aug. 6) and disco (Disco Inferno closes out the series on Sept. 3).
Joining 7 Bridges the weekend before the Fourth of July will be the Jimmy Buffett tribute act Fins to the Left on July 1, the only Friday concert.
“There was no grand plan behind it,” Haidaris said. “(Fins frontman) Shawn Lawless was available that weekend, and I think people are looking for things to do on a holiday weekend. People have time on their hands, or as Styx would say, ‘Too Much Time on Their Hands.’”
In the past, members of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band have joined Fins to the Left at the amphitheater. As long as Buffett sticks to his usual schedule of not working around the Fourth of July, members of the Coral Reefer Band are expected to return this year.
With Sunrise Entertainment also operating the Robins Theatre in downtown Warren, it allows Haidaris to book certain acts at whichever venue works best. The dance-heavy performance for the Michael Jackson tribute Who’s Bad required a special floor to be put down at the amp and might be better suited for the indoor theater. The popular ballads in the repertoire of the Chicago tribute act Brass Transit (which plays the Robins on May 14) also may work better indoors.
“At the amp, you need upbeat music, and the horns of Brass Transit will sound incredible at the Robins,” Haidaris said.
The air-conditioned restroom trailers brought in last year will return in 2022, and concertgoers will have some new adult-beverage choices and plenty of food options.
“Aunt Annie’s pretzels is coming back,” Haidaris said. “They were there for two shows last year and ran out of everything. They were so busy. We’ll have some new vendors, but most of our vendors have been there for years. They’re happy to be there every week, and we like to work with people we’re familiar with.”
2022 River Rock at the Amp Schedule
May 28 — Straight On (Heart tribute) and Jersey (Bruce Springsteen tribute) (admission is $8)
June 11 — Ultimate Aldean (Jason Aldean tribute) and Northern Whiskey (modern country)
June 18 — Dirty Deeds (AC / DC tribute) and The Fillbillys (southern rock) ($8)
June 25 — E5C4P3 (Journey tribute) and Best of Times (Styx tribute) ($12)
July 1 — Fins to the Left with members of Coral Reefer Band (Jimmy Buffett tribute) and My Drunk’n Uncle (rock)
July 2 — 7 Bridges (Eagles tribute) and Bobby Ocean (country)
July 9 — Draw the Line (Aerosmith tribute) and The Michael Weber Show (rock)
July 16 — Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute) and In the Heartland (Michael Stanley Band tribute)
July 23 — King’s Highway (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tribute) and Brass Metropolis (Chicago tribute)
July 30 — Queen Nation (Queen tribute) and Bad JuJu (music from 1980s to 2000s)
Aug. 6 — Shining Star (Earth, Wind & Fire tribute) and No Funk No Justice (dance / cover band)
Aug. 20 — Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd tribute) and Morrison Hotel (The Doors tribute) ($12)
Aug. 27 — ZOSO (Led Zeppelin tribute) and Harvest (Neil Young tribute)
Sept. 3 — Disco Inferno (disco tribute) and Old Skool (hits from ’80s to today) ($8)
All concerts are at the Warren Community Amphitheatre, 321 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren, and admission is $10 unless stated otherwise. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Gates open at 5 p.m., and the music starts at 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.riverrockattheamp.com.
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