Baby boomers who still have their hearing — well, most of it at least — and Generation Xers (you folks are getting up there too, you know), this summer’s northwest Ohio concert season is for you.
The lineup of acts is a grab bag of familiar artistic friends who seem to make their way around every year, a triumvirate of genuine legends, and a mishmash of the comedic, the shocking, and the hard-rocking. Oh, and for good measure, toss in a new boy band and a not-so-new boy band.
With that in mind here’s a chronological look at the upcoming concert season, with dates, acts, venues, ticket information, and a little about each artist. (See related story for information on the venues and ordering tickets.)
● June 14 — Weird Al Yankovic, Centennial Terrace. It’s hard to believe, but the accordion-playing Weird Al has been humping it for 30 years now, delivering his parodies on pop songs in the form of “Eat It,” “White and Nerdy,” and, of course, “Like a Surgeon.” His most recent album is 2011’s “Alpocalypse.” Tickets: $25, $39.50, and $49.50.
● June 21 — Air Supply, Hollywood Casino. The band that became synonymous with lite rock thanks to easy-listening hits such as “All Out of Love” and “Lost In Love” opens the inaugural summer concert series at Toledo’s casino. Tickets: $30.
● June 27 — Darius Rucker, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. If it seems like Rucker plays Toledo practically every year, that’s not just your imagination. Since shedding the pop-rock of Hootie and the Blowfish and plunging into a country career, Rucker played the zoo in 2011 and opened for Brad Paisley in the middle of 2010 at the Huntington Center and opened for Rascal Flatts at the beginning of that same year. The country thing is working out quite well for Rucker, whose latest release, “Wagon Wheel,” has been high on both the Billboard album and country charts. Opening acts: Jana Kramer and Rodney Atkins. Tickets: $37.50, $59.50, and $75.
● July 5 — LeAnn Rimes, Hollywood Casino. Rimes was a country darling when her first album, “Blue,” was released in 1996. Just 13 at the time, she was blessed with a big voice and lots of musical firepower. Her music has veered more toward the pop side of things over the years. Still only 30, she is touring to support her “Spitfire” album, which is due to be released Tuesday. Tickets: $45.
● July 9 — Alice Cooper, Centennial Terrace. The original shock rocker hits the Sylvania concert venue for the second time in two years. Watch Alice get his head chopped off, dance with a snake, and who knows what else as he brings his Tour Terror to town along with songs like “Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Tickets: $30.50, $59.50.
● July 10 — The Doobie Brothers, Centennial Terrace. The Doobies are responsible for an absurd number of hits throughout the 1970s that became classic rock staples thanks to their boogie-friendly vibe and relentless hooks: “Black Water,” “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove,” “Long Train Runnin’,” and “Takin’ It to the Streets.” The band’s most recent album is the 2010 release “World Gone Crazy.” Tickets: $31 and $60.
● July 18 — Willie Nelson, Centennial Terrace. All you can say about Willie Nelson is that he’s the Bob Dylan of country music. He has a massive catalog of albums and great songs (“Red Headed Stranger,” “Crazy,” “On the Road Again,” “Funny How Time Slips Away”) and at 80 he still tours regularly. His most recent album is “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” which was released in March. Tickets: $34.50, $61.50, and $71.50.
● July 26 — Buddy Guy, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. If you get lucky and happen to be sitting in just the right spot, perhaps when Guy takes his regular foray into the audience, the 67-year-old Chicago blues guitar legend will whip a solo out just a few feet away. Guy’s showy, but he delivers the goods and his concerts are a primer on blues guitar playing. His most recent album is last year’s “Live at Legends.” Opening for him will be 14-year-old guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan. Tickets: $27.50, $45, and $59.50.
● July 30 — Big Time Rush, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. A boy band that made its name on the popular children’s TV network, Nickolodeon, these four guys are busy. They have a new album (“24/Seven”) coming out in September, another season of their TV show on the horizon, and a summer tour. Expect lots of screaming from fans. Tickets: $39.50, $59.50, and $75.
● Aug. 2 — Trace Adkins, Centennial Terrace. Country veteran Adkins is another frequent visitor to Lucas County, with his most recent appearance here in April of 2012 at the Stranahan Theater. Since 1996 the traditionalist 51-year-old singer/songwriter has charted 30 singles, including several No. 1 hits such as “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” His most recent album is “Love Will...,” which was released this month. Tickets: $32.50 and $51.50.
● Aug. 4 — Tesla, Centennial Terrace. Yes, Tesla emerged in 1986 playing hard rock in the midst of the hair metal craze. Yes, they were lumped in with those pop rockers and suffered when grunge exploded in the early ’90s. But there was always a much more traditional, bluesy hard rock approach to the band that transcended trends, which is probably why they’re still on the road. Their most recent release is “Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions” from 2011. Tickets: $25, $35, and $45.
● Aug. 4 — The Backstreet Boys, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. The Backstreet Boys are still around despite the general short shelf-life of boy bands. Their breakout album in 1996 featured a mix of pop, hip-hop, and R&B ballads set off with dance routines and rabid fans. Oh, and there were plenty of hits, too, including the ubiquitous 1999 song “I Want It That Way.” Their most recent album was 2009’s “This Is Us.” Opening acts are Jesse McCartney and DJ Pauly D. Tickets: $49.50, $75, $89.50, and $125.
Aug. 8 — The Happy Together Tour, Centennial Terrace. Practically every summer the Happy Together tour hits Centennial Terrace and takes boomers back to the days when the radio was filled with the sounds of the Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Three Dog Night (represented here by Chuck Negron), Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Expect hit after hit after hit. Tickets: $41.50 and $51.50.
● Aug. 8 — Colt Ford, Lucas County Fairgrounds. The first of the Yark Automotive Group 30th Annual Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, presented by The Blade concerts features Ford and his unique blend of country and rap that has been dubbed “hick-hop.” His most recent album is last year’s “Declaration of Independence.” Tickets: general admission $5 in advance and $7 at the gate. VIP seating for Ford is $15 in advance and $19 at the gate. All tickets for Rib-Off concerts are available at any Tireman or The Andersons location, the Stranahan Theater Box Office, or via phone at 419-381-8851, or at www.etix.com.
● Aug. 9 — Bret Michaels, Lucas County Fairgrounds. The Poison frontman wears one hat (or at least a do-rag) all the time and two hats musically. Poison is still a working band, but Michaels also cleans up on the concert circuit by touring as a hard-rocking solo act. Don’t worry, Poison fans; he still plays the band’s songs. Tickets: general admission $7 in advance or $10 at the gate. VIP seating for Michaels is $30 in advance and $35 at the gate the day of the show. This is a Yark Automotive Group 30th Annual Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, presented by The Blade concert. (See Colt Ford entry for ticket information.)
● Aug. 10 — Kansas, Lucas County Fairgrounds. Kansas managed to combine progressive rock intensity with meat-and-potatoes heartland rock simplicity that scored a number of radio hits in the 1970s. “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son” are still classic rock staples. Tickets: general admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the gate. VIP seating for Kansas is $25 in advance and $30 at the gate the day of the show. This is a Yark Automotive Group 30th Annual Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, presented by The Blade concert. (See Colt Ford entry for ticket information.)
● Aug. 28 — Chicago, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. A cascade of horn-heavy ’70s era hits will rain down on the zoo crowd for the last show of the summer season. Music industry Bible Billboard magazine says that Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as most successful chart-topping American band. That is thanks to hits such as “Saturday in the Park,” “Colour My World,” “25 or 6 to 4,” and a bevy of others. Tickets: $38.50, $56, and $76.
Contact Rod Lockwood at: email@example.com or 419-724-6159