FORT WAYNE – The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department is continuing its new strategy of bringing bigger-ticket acts to the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, with this summer’s lineup including Foreigner, the Guess Who, Mavis Staples, Styx and REO Speedwagon.
Parks Director Al Moll announced the summer concert series Tuesday.
The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to bringing the highest quality performances to Foellinger Theatre, Moll said. We’re extremely grateful for the continued response and support the community gives us as we kick it up a notch each year.
Bringing larger acts to the stage started a few years ago, and officials began slowly – bigger names command larger fees, and officials did not want to lose money if they didn’t sell enough tickets. Those efforts culminated last year with the appearance of Chicago: To break even, the concert had to be close to a sellout.
Instead of the city losing money, the bigger acts seem to have generated more excitement and drawn even more ticket sales. Officials say they’ll continue the concert series as long as it is self-supporting.
The season begins at 4 p.m. May 18 with a free concert by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony and Concert Orchestra. In addition to the big headliners, there will be concerts by well-loved acts like Eagles tribute band Hotel California, the Grass Roots, the Buckinghams, and Beatles tribute band BritBeat.
Co-founding members Jim Kale and Garry Peterson bring the 1970s group the Guess Who back to Foellinger Theatre, famous for their mega-hits These Eyes, No Sugar Tonight, Clap for the Wolfman and American Woman.
REO Speedwagon’s concert June 24 features founding member Neal Doughty and Kevin Cronin, lead singer since 1972. They’ll play their biggest hits Keep on Lovin’ You, Time for Me to Fly, Roll with the Changes, Ridin’ the Storm Out and other favorites from their 40 million albums sold.
Bolstered by the return of founding member and primary songwriter Mick Jones, Foreigner makes Foellinger a stop on its 2014 World Tour on July 12. With enduring anthems like Juke Box Hero, Hot Blooded and I Want to Know What Love Is, Foreigner brings 30 years of rock ’n’ roll history to the stage, along with 10 multiplatinum albums and 16 top 30 hits.
Tommy Shaw, James JY Young, and Lawrence Gowan will be leading Styx through Renegade, Come Sail Away, Too Much Time on My Hands, Babe and Fooling Yourself Aug. 16.
Mavis Staples helped create the delta-inflected gospel sound in the 1950s as a member of the Staples Singers, sang protest songs in the civil rights era and returned to pop radio with a series of soul anthems such as I’ll Take You There and Respect Yourself. She is now on her second album collaboration with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco.
Los Lobos brings four decades of raw intensity to the stage Sept. 27 with hits such as La Bamba, Come On, Let’s Go and Will the Wolf Survive?