Connecticut’s concert king is ready to let the music play.
Live Nation’s Jimmy Koplik has waited over a year for his industry to open up, and the moment is getting closer and closer. He has been busy organizing tours to plan stops around the state and preparing to open a new location, the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport.
“I’ve been promoting gigs for 53 years, but it’s really 52 since we lost last year,” Koplik said.
The lost year has been a tough one for the industry and will take time to recover, Koplik said, but knowing that summer shows are on the schedule marks the starting line for rebounding.
Performers are starting the touring season late. Summer tours usually start as early as March, with early dates in warmer climates, but this year artists don’t really get going until July, so they choose major markets over secondary markets. Connecticut is the latter, Koplik said.
But Koplik has convinced several bands to commit to LiveNation venues like Xfinity and the new Hartford HealthCare amphitheater, and said the 2021 concert season will run until early fall.
LiveNation’s first show of the season takes place on July 16, when Luke Bryan takes the stage at Hartford’s Xfinity Theater. There are around 400 staff at the venue and Koplik has not seen them since the summer of 2019.
“I didn’t see the stagehands, the backstage crew, the ushers, the ticket clerks and everyone,” Koplik said. “It’s going to be a great night.”
Another big night will take place when the new Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater opens in Bridgeport on July 30 with a performance of Blackberry Smoke with The Allman Betts Band, Jaimoe and The Wild Feathers.
The venue sits on the site of the Old Harbor Yard and is a 5,700-seat amphitheater with bespoke steel doors and stone walls, a stretched roof, marble bathrooms, food stalls wrapped in stone, granite counters, twinkling lights, four huge video boards and cup holders at each seat.
The venue also features a state-of-the-art sound system, outdoor patio and fireplace, local cuisine and the services of a personal chef. Music lovers can dine three hours before each concert, with local food and drinks from Blue Point, Micalizzi’s Ices, Timothy’s Ice Cream, Hummel Hot Dogs, Donut Crazy, Tasty Yolk, Bad Sons and Two Roads Brewing.
Greta Van Fleet stops by the amphitheater on August 27 for her only Northeastern show. Also in attendance will be Langhorne Slim & The Nude Boys.
Tickets range from $ 35 to $ 65 and go on sale today at 10 a.m. on livenation.com.
“It truly is a monumental period in history to be able to perform again,” Greta Van Fleet group said in a press release.
The Grammy Award-winning group have just released their critically acclaimed second album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate”. The album debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Hard Rock Album and Vinyl Album charts, as well as the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
The Michigan group, formed in 2012, consists of three brothers – vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka and bassist / keyboardist Sam Kiszka – as well as drummer Danny Wagner. Greta Van Fleet has sold over 2 million albums, performed worldwide, and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2019.
The rest of the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater schedule includes:
Kings of Leon with Cold War Kids, August 17.
Brothers Osborne with Travis Denning and Tenille Townes, August 20.
311 with Iration and Iya Terra, August 24
The Greatest Hits of Foreigner, August 25.
The Beach Boys and The Rascals by Felix Cavaliere, August 29.
Alice Cooper with Ace Frehley, September 19.
The Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater is located at 500 Broad St., Bridgeport. For more information or for tickets, visit livenation.com.
NEW SHOW AT NEW HAVRE: Modest Mouse will perform on August 9 at College Street Music Hall in New Haven.
Tickets are $ 45 to $ 60 for the all ages show. Doors open at 7 p.m. the show starts at 8 o’clock.
The alternative rock group has been around since 1993 and is known for their darkly comedic lyrics and musical idiosyncrasy.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit collegestreetmusichall.com.
MORE TICKETS ON SALE: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will be at the Westville Music Bowl in New Haven on July 30, July 31, and September 4. Tickets go on sale for the last shows at noon today.
The tour will also take place on May 28, 29 and 30 and June 18, 19 and 20; all May and June shows are sold out.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is a Grateful Dead cover band featuring Marco Benevento, Dave Dreiwitz, Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger and Joe Russo.
For more information or for tickets, visit westvillemusicbowl.com.
THIS WEEK IN ROCK: On this day in 1977, Declan McManus made his live debut at Nashville in London under his new name: Elvis Costello.
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