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Published: Monday, 9/14/2009

New downtown arena brings Daughtry to town

Chris Daughtry, Oct. 31, Lucas County Arena Chris Daughtry, Oct. 31, Lucas County Arena

Chris Daughtry, one of American Idol's greatest success stories, will help christen the new Lucas County Arena by rocking the house with his band, Daughtry, on Halloween night.

Led by the singer who finished fourth in the fifth season of American Idol, Daughtry's self-titled 2006 debut disc went multi-platinum and the band's sophomore effort, "Leave This Town," has topped Billboard's album chart and sold more than half-a-million copies since its July 14 release.

The $105 million Lucas County Arena also will a dose of roof-rattling rock and roll when Lynyrd Skynyrd takes the stage on Oct. 15. The Southern rock legends were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and undoubtedly will fire up their signature song, "Free Bird," when they return to Toledo.

Skynyrd isn't the only classic rock or pop artist heading to northwest Ohio this season. Among the veterans with upcoming concerts are country icon Willie Nelson, playing the Stranahan Theater on Sept. 23; Marvin Hamlisch at the Valentine Theatre's annual Gala on Oct. 2; Tesla at the Omni on Nov. 7, and Three Dog Night and Englebert Humperdinck performing at Tiffin's Ritz Theatre in March.

There are some fresh, innovative artists on the local concert schedule, particularly at the Claz-Zel Theatre in Bowling Green. That renovated 83-year-old venue is hosting a series of concerts that includes jam bands Ekoostik Hookah on Friday and moe on Oct. 15; international trio the Greencards on Sept. 24; and alt-country singer Neko Case on Nov. 7.

One of the top jam bands to come out of Ohio is O.A.R., the Columbus group that will be in concert Nov. 3 at the University of Toledo's Savage Arena.

As the holidays draw near, so will some of the biggest names in Christmas music, including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with two shows slated at the Lucas County Arena on Nov. 8; Mannheim Steamroller at the Stranahan Theatre on Nov. 29; Lorie Line at the Franciscan Center on Nov. 20, and Jim Brickman at the Stranahan on Dec. 18.

A noticeable trend for the Toledo area is the rise of tribute bands. While fans won't get to see the Eagles, Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and John Denver on a local stage, the musical banners are carried by the likes of Hotel California (Valentine Theatre, Sept. 25); Keith Hoyt (Franciscan Center, Oct. 23); Zoso (Ritz Theatre, Tiffin, Oct. 24); Thunderstruck (the Omni, Nov. 6); Ozzmosis (the Omni, Nov. 13); Echoes of Pink Floyd (the Omni, Dec. 11); Love Me Tender (River Raisin Centre for the Arts, Feb. 14); Jim Witter's The Long and Winding Road (Valentine Theatre, March 12); and Jim Curry (Toledo Symphony Pops Concert May 22, Stranahan Theater).

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