Erie Events 2016 Community Report

Read about all the 2015 highlights from the Erie Insurance Arena, Warner Theatre, Bayfront Convention Center, Jerry Uht Ballpark, Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, Bayfront Place and the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel. It was a great year for all of our facilities!

2016 Community Report

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Straight No Chaser Announce the “I’ll Have Another..World Tour”

November 10 – Warner Theatre

Atlantic Records recording group Straight No Chaser has announced early details of the “I’ll Have Another…World Tour.” The North American leg – which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the a cappella group’s formation in 1996 and first show at Indiana University – begins October 14th at Reno, NV’s Grand Theatre and then continues into 2017 with a January 3rd finale at Kahului, HI’s Maui Arts & Cultural Center (see attached itinerary). The group returns to the Warner Theatre in Erie, PA on November 10, 2016 at 7:30pm.

Pre-sale tickets will be available to members of Straight No Chaser’s official fan club beginning Tuesday, May 3rd; all remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 6th. Tickets for the Erie performance go on sale at 10:00am and can be purchased at the Erie Insurance Arena box office, www.erieevents.com or by calling (814) 452-4857. In celebration, Straight No Chaser will fly and cover hotel costs for two lucky winners to attend any Straight No Chaser show of their choosing within the Continental US. For complete ticket information and other news, please see www.sncmusic.com/tour.

Meanwhile, Straight No Chaser’s hugely successful “The New Old Fashioned Tour” concludes with a series of upcoming summer shows, highlighted by a two night weekend spectacular at Los Angeles’ historic Hollywood Bowl with the one and only Weird Al Yankovic, set for July 22nd and 23rd.

The “I’ll Have Another…World Tour” follows Straight No Chaser’s most recent release, 2015’s “THE NEW OLD FASHIONED.” The album sees the renowned group bringing their unique touch and inimitable vocal style to a stunning range of contemporary standards spanning The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” to Radiohead’s “Creep” and Bob Dylan’s tender “Make You Feel My Love.” “THE NEW OLD FASHIONED” further features a number of Straight No Chaser’s incomparable medleys, including “Beggin’/Counting Stars” (blending favorites from Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and One Republic) and “On The Road Again/I Play The Road” (originally by Willie Nelson and Zac Brown Band, respectively).

For more, please visit www.sncmusic.com, www.facebook.com/StraightNoChaser, twitter.com/SNCmusic, and www.youtube.com/sncmusic.

Zoso – Warner Theatre – October 22

Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience formed in 1995 to perform the most accurate and captivating Led Zeppelin live show since the real thing. For Zoso, it’s much more than just being a tribute. It’s about touching a golden era in music. Zoso embodies Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones in their spirit, tightly-wound talent and authenticity.

Each band member has been carefully selected to portray both the appearance and playing styles of their Led Zeppelin counterparts. In eighteen successful years of touring, they have perfected their art. As one of the longest tenured Zeppelin tributes, Zoso’s 2,400 live shows around the world, including a slot at Bonnaroo in 2003, have established them as the most traveled and successful band in the market.

Zoso’s live shows are not about simply playing the right notes, they are about aura and feeling, harkening back to the unique atmosphere Led Zeppelin created. It’s in the way they play: Each band member’s mastery of authentic vintage instruments coupled with spot-on vocals, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, their compelling stage persona and distinct Led Zeppelin sound, with astounding visual imagery recreates the music, magic, and mystery of a Zeppelin concert. The impact is so powerful that band members constantly hear from young rockers that they were the catalyst behind turning them into new, die-hard  Zeppelin fans.

Their passion, musical ability, showmanship and precise attention to detail earned them critical acclaim, name recognition and a loyal national following. The Los Angeles Times hailed the group as being “head and shoulders above all other Zeppelin tributes,” and the Chicago Sun-Times declared Zoso is “the closest to the original of any tribute.”

If you missed Led Zeppelin live in the 70’s or are looking to relive the “Hammer of the Gods” phenomenon, you must experience what the St. Petersburg Times calls “the most exacting of the Zeppelin tributes bands in existence.”

Senator Bernie Sanders Campaigns in Erie

In front of his hundreds of supporters, Senator Bernie Sanders took the stage at the Bayfront Convention Center to people chanting his name and loud cheers. The energetic crowd of nearly 2,200 started to gather as early as 7:30am even though Sanders wasn’t set to take the stage until 2pm. The crowd first heard from a local volunteer, then City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Scott Slawson, the UE Local 506 President. Slawson introduced Sanders, but first addressed the job layoff situation at GE Transportation. While on stage, Sanders rallied the crowd behind his beliefs on job creation, income inequality, comprehensive labor reform, climate change and much more. His speech lasted about 55 minutes with him calling on PA constituents to get out to vote in the primary saying “I think we’re going to win Pennsylvania next week!”

Final Phase of the Warner Theatre Restoration to Begin

Restoration and expansion of the historic Warner Theatre will move forward after decades of tremendous efforts by Erie Events (Erie County Convention Center Authority) and the Warner Theatre Preservation Trust. The land acquisition issues that put the fourth phase of the project on hold for many years have been resolved with the owners of Mid City Towers agreeing to sell the property necessary to complete the expansion. Erie Events will purchase a portion of Mid City Towers land, the theatre’s neighbor to the south, an office building at 821 State Street and parking spaces located behind the property.

Phase IV will transform the Warner Theatre from its 1931 movie house/vaudeville stage into a historically preserved, fully-functional performing arts center. It will create basement, ground and mezzanine levels with approximately 13,750 square feet of new space and will rehabilitate approximately 9,000 square feet of existing space. The stage depth will increase by 20 feet and a new stage house with new rigging, lighting, a sound system, dressing rooms and loading docks will be added. New production equipment and a custom designed orchestral shell will also be included in the renovation.

The project will be funded in part by an $11 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a $3.5 million contribution from the Warner Theatre Preservation Trust, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Once the purchase is completed, the Commonwealth’s Department of General Services will remobilize the project architect, Daniel Coffey and Associates of Chicago, to finish the final design.

The preservation and upkeep of the historic theatre is necessary because the venue is a vital asset to the community and the local groups who call the theatre home, including The Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Broadway Series and the Lake Erie Ballet. In 2015, there were more than 82,000 patrons through the theatre doors, with a direct economic impact of $10.7 million. A significant increase in events and economic impact is expected after the renovations are done.

“The new stage infrastructure will be able to accommodate much larger touring productions, allowing the theatre to reach its full potential and further stimulate Erie’s economy and improve its quality of life for all citizens of Northwestern Pennsylvania,” said Casey Wells, Erie Events Executive Director.

The project spans a lengthy timeline dating back to the planning in the 1990s and restoration starting in 2002.

  • Phase I: 2002 – $2 million – The theatre roof was replaced and all decorative surfaces in the lobby and auditorium were cleaned, painted and restored.
  • Phase II: 2003 – $1 million – New seats were installed on the auditorium level and the balcony seats were renovated.
  • Phase III: 2007 – $2.3 million – Expansion and integration of the theatre with the National City Bank building at 8th and French Streets. The updates incorporated the new entrance on French Street, an electronic marquee, more lobby space, an elevator, additional restrooms and concession areas. These renovations included improvements to make the theatre compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Phase IV will begin after the purchase of the Mid City Towers property this July and the construction schedule will be released once the project is remobilized. Once work begins, the theatre will need to be closed for five months during the summer, but the closure will not interrupt the Erie Philharmonic and the Erie Broadway seasons.

KISS 2016 SUMMER AMERICAN “FREEDOM TO ROCK” TOUR

Erie Insurance Arena – August 27 – 8pm – Tickets go on sale April 15th – $125.00, $89.50 and $39.50

April 8, 2016 – Los Angeles, CA – America’s # 1 Gold Record Award Winning Group of all time KISS, has announced its 2016 Summer American “Freedom To Rock” Tour and will visit 35+ cities nationwide with more markets being announced soon. The long-awaited & highly anticipated “Freedom To Rock” Tour will kick off on July 7th in Boise, Idaho and will travel the country throughout July and August and will close September 10th in Huntington, West Virginia. Tickets will go on sale beginning Friday April 15th for all concert dates (The Grand Rapids, MI and Youngstown, OH shows go on sale Monday April 18th). Visit www.kissonline.com for more ticket information. The KISS “Freedom To Rock” Tour will bring epic rock to 25+ cities it hasn’t been to in over 10+ years and four brand new cities as well. KISS specifically wanted to take the “Freedom To Rock” Tour to its fans in markets that haven’t had the chance to see them in some time or ever at all. This 35+ city tour will rock those markets and allow fans across the country to see America’s favorite rock band of all time, KISS.

Opening for KISS will be Recording Artist Caleb Johnson (American Idol Season 13 winner) for shows July 7 – August 10 while the All-Star rock band THE DEAD DAISIES will open for KISS for shows August 10 – September 10. The “Freedom To Rock” Tour is produced by: National Shows 2 (nationalshows2.com), Frank Productions (frankproductions.com), and CMoore Live (cmoorelive.com).

ABOUT KISS: As America’s #1 Gold Record Award winning group of all time, and that’s in every category, KISS can easily be named one of rock’s most influential bands. The Rock N Roll Hall of Famers have released 44 albums and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.  Honored by their peers, KISS received the illustrious ASCAP Founders Award in 2015.  Over 40 years of record-breaking global tours have brought KISS to their fans. They kicked off their recent world tour with 5 headlining shows in Japan and a #1 single in 2014 “Samurai Son” with pop group, Momoiro Clover Z.  Their 40th Anniversary World tour also rocked North America, South America and Australia.  Additionally,  once a year the “KISS Army” becomes the “KISS Navy” as fans from across  the globe board the KISS Kruise (this year will be  their 5th voyage). KISS teamed up with Warner Brothers in 2014 to create the well-received original movie ScoobyDoo and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery. Other high-profile appearances have included the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, Rockin’ The Corps concert, a FOX alliance with KISS appearing in multiple episodes of Family Guy, plus two special guest performances on American Idol finales. KISS has been featured in major advertising and marketing campaigns for John Varvatos, Google Play, Hello Kitty— even appearing  in a Dr. Pepper Super Bowl commercial and advertising campaign in support of their Hottest Show On Earth tour. This year represents the 3rd season of the LA KISS Arena Football League team bringing professional football back to Los Angeles.  KISS founding band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have also entered the culinary world by opening a string of successful restaurants aptly named Rock & Brews. KISS is dedicated to numerous Veterans Organizations including: The Wounded Warriors Project, The USO, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hire A Hero”  program, The Legacy Organization in Australia, Help For Heroes United Kingdom and The Dr. Pepper Snapple Groups Wounded Warriors Support Foundations. For more information, visit www.KissOnline.com

ABOUT CALEB JOHNSON: In the tradition of rock & roll’s most iconic performers, Caleb Johnson turns his own passion and unrest into music with a fierce and gut-punching but wildly uplifting emotional power. Winner of the thirteenth season of American Idol, the 24-year-old North Carolina native has already electrified audiences of millions with his commanding vocals and a fiery energy that honors his longtime love of all things rock! Johnson’s singing breakthrough happened at a high school talent show in his hometown of Asheville, when his performance of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song left the crowd floored. “When I heard the audience erupt, it just gave me the chills and I realized that making music was what I wanted to do with my life,” he says. “After that, I started singing every day and just immersed myself in the craft of performing and tried to hone that in. It was completely my passion.” Forming his first band in 2010 and spending the next few years touring regionally and cutting an album, Johnson made his way onto the thirteenth season of American Idol and eventually seized his victory by reworking songs from the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Faces, and the Rolling Stones with his deeply passionate delivery. For Caleb, this is a labor of love and a way to show his gratitude to all of the people that have supported him from his humble beginnings in Ashville, NC to winning season 13 of American Idol and beyond.

ABOUT THE DEAD DAISIES: Influenced by 70’s and early 80’s hard rock, The Dead Daisies sound is soulful and accessible – equal parts of The Faces, Bad Company and Foreigner: muscular vocals, bluesy riffs, big choruses, powerful melodies and strong hooks. With stellar musicianship and pulverizing live shows, fans across the globe are discovering the band that is bringing back Rock & Roll! Since exploding onto the scene in early 2013, The Dead Daisies have taken the Rock world by storm, releasing two albums to date & touring with the biggest names in rock including: ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Judas Priest, KISS, Whitesnake and Def Leppard.  The Dead Daisies feature in their ranks some of the finest Rockers on the planet. The band has just recently announced the addition of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) as their new lead guitar player. He completes a powerhouse lineup that features John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) and David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink). The current incarnation of The Dead Daisies is part of musical collective created by a rotating line-up that have individually and collectively left their mark on the high-class brand of Rock & Roll the band is known for. This includes names such as Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses/The Psychedelic Furs), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses/Hookers and Blow), Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones, Sting), Charley Drayton (The X-pensive Winos/The Cult), Jon Stevens (Noiseworks/INXS), Tommy Clufetos (Black Sabbath/Rob Zombie) and many more. Rock ‘n’ Roll is alive and well!!!