Photo by Fred Pollard
Alton Mayor Brant Walker announces the summer lineup of acts at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater during a press conference Tuesday. Upcoming performers include Kenny Rogers, John Michael Montgomery, Uncle Kracker and Sugar Ray.
ALTON – The city has announced its summer lineup for the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater … and what a lineup it is.
“We are very excited about this,” Mayor Brant Walker told AdVantage News before a press conference to announce the list of acts slated to appear. “These are some big names and Alton is very proud.”
Four city-sponsored concert events were revealed during the press conference Tuesday.
“When we took office less than a year ago, we had many conversations about…how to make Alton a destination again,” Walker said. “In less than a year, we have brought national acts to the riverfront and to our city.”
John Michael Montgomery
The star-studded lineup kicks off June 7 with country music star John Michael Montgomery, whose hits dominated the country charts in the 1990s. “Life’s a Dance,” “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” and “I Can Love You Like That” can still be heard on country stations. Funds raised will support Senior Services and the Meals on Wheels program. Popular bluegrass group The Harman Family Band will open the show.
Under the Sun Tour
On July 2, pop and alt-rock acts Smash Mouth, Uncle Kracker, Sugar Ray and Sister Hazel will perform.
Smash Mouth, with a current lineup of Steve Harwell (vocals), Paul De Lisle (bass), Michael Klooster (keyboards), and newer members Jason Sutter (drums) and Sean Hurwitz (guitar) rose to fame in the late ’90s with the hit “Walkin’ on the Sun” and the novelty song “All Star.” The latest release, “Magic,” was released in 2012.
Uncle Kracker helped redefine the blurred lines between rap and country in the early 2000s with hits “Follow Me,” “Smile” and “Drift Away.” He toured last year with Kid Rock and released his latest CD, “Midnight Special,” in 2012.
The 1997 single “Fly” put alt-rock group Sugar Ray at the top of the alternative charts, and “Every Morning” the following year helped the band reach No. 3 on the Billboard charts. 2009’s “Music for Cougars” is the group’s most recent effort.
The Florida-based folk rock group Sister Hazel rose to fame in the mid-’90s in part due to its unique southern-style harmonies and alternative appeal. 1997’s “…Somewhere More Familiar” reached platinum status in the United States, and the original band lineup (Ken Block, Jett Beres, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell, Mark Trojanowski) continues to tour.
Fireworks viewing party
For years, Alton has been a destination for many to enjoy the country’s birthday with food, music, and of course, fireworks. For 2014, regional bands Leslie Craig and the Hellbenders, the Tyler Fillmore Band and Nashvegas will perform July 3, followed by a fireworks display.
On Sept. 6, iconic country star Kenny Rogers will take the stage in Alton to perform his many hits. Since the 1960s, Rogers has amassed 130 hit singles, sold 130 million records worldwide, and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. From 1967 until 1976, Rogers was lead singer for the First Edition, whose hits included “Reuben James,” “Something’s Burning,” and the psychedelic classic “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).” Going solo, he veered more into the country genre, scoring No. 1 hits in the late ’70s and throughout the ’80s with “Lucille,” “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream” (with Dolly Parton), “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine” (with Ronnie Milsap), and many more.
Rogers’ latest album, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” was released in October 2013.
Tickets for all shows are on sale.
Earlier this year, the amphitheater, long known for providing a venue for cover bands and private events, received a new title sponsor and logo.
“Liberty Bank has been a great supporter of the amphitheater project and we are happy to announce that they have committed to being our title sponsor for the next three years,” Mayor Walker said.
The 4,100-capacity venue in Riverfront Park is owned by the city of Alton, administered by the Alton Amphitheater Commission, and operated by the Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau. Illinois-based Pit Stop Concessions LLC will handle food and beverages during the summer events at the amphitheater.
“I have to say in just five or six short months, it has been energizing and very exciting to see this city come together…for what is going to be a fantastic inaugural season,” producer Sam Foxman of Evntiv of St. Louis said.
“At some point, we needed to step up our game, and we thought the amphitheater could be more than cover bands,” Mayor Walker added. “You won’t find a better venue in the entire St. Louis area to see a concert; it’s absolutely beautiful.”
Additional support for the venue is provided by Coors-Fitz Distributing, Argosy Casinos, Dr. Pepper, Bank of Edwardsville, Simmons Law Firm, Alton Marina, Allied Waste, Illinois American Water, Roberts Ford, Nautilus Fitness Center, Traube Awning, Dr. John Lindsay, Alton Memorial Hospital, 1st Mid America Credit Union, CNB Bank and Atlantis Pools.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.libertybankamphitheater.com, Metrotix, The Fox Theatre, or charge by phone at (314) 534-1111.
Tickets also are available at the Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau.