It’s no secret that as the weather warms up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the concert season really starts to sizzle.
Leading the way once again, as it has since the permanent structure was built in 1999, is the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton. The amphitheater run by LiveNation seats 7,000 and has room for another 10,500 on the lawn, so it is well-equipped to bring the biggest stars to NEPA for some hot summer nights.
The Dave Matthews Band, which was the first act to completely sell out the facility on its first visit to the area in June 2005, will kick off the season on May 29.
“Dave Matthews loves the area,” said Jason Resetar, the general manager at the Toyota Pavilion. “He’s excited, we’re excited, and we think it is a great way to start the summer.”
Resetar said the opening act for the DMB show this year will be moe, which has headlined in the area on its own in the past.
“They are only playing two locations with Dave Matthews Band this year, and one of them is right here,” he said. “It is a tremendous opportunity for concert-goers to see two great bands, and I want to stress that there are still lots of great seats available. Sometimes people hear ‘Dave Matthews Band,’ and they automatically think it is sold out and they can’t get tickets, but that’s not the case.”
The lineup at the Toyota Pavilion is full of the one-day festivals area music fans have come to expect, including the Mayhem Festival (July 13), the Vans Warped Tour (July 16) and the Uproar Festival (Aug. 9), this time with Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction and seven other bands.
But the centerpiece of the schedule will once again be the Peach Music Festival, hosted by the Allman Brothers Band. After last year’s highly successful inaugural get-together, the Peach has been expanded to a fourth day this time and will run from Aug. 15 through Aug. 18.
“That’s not only the centerpiece of our season but also the centerpiece of what we see as our future,” Resetar said. “That was the first step in taking more control of our future and not being so dependent on who’s on the road and whether it is a good or bad year. We are evolving (the Toyota Pavilion) from a place with the typical touring shows to more of a destination, and the Peach was a tremendous success on many, many fronts. We are expecting it to be even bigger and better this year.”
The Toyota Pavilion also will play host two other festivals with a decidedly more local slant: the Old Farmers Ball Music Festival on Saturday and the Steamtown Beer & Music Festival on June 15.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Cabinet, probably the premier local act in the market at this point, and with local charity Marley’s Mission on the Old Farmers festival,” Resetar said. “We have been told that the area wants things like that, and we are very excited to be teaming up for it.
The Steamtown Beer & Music Festival “is truly a beer-driven event that has been a great success in the Atlantic City market, and we are excited to be bringing it to Scranton. It is two pay-one-price four-hour sessions with unlimited sampling and great music by both regional and national acts.”
The other highlights of the Toyota Pavilion’s roster include returning favorites Lil’ Wayne (July 21) and Jason Aldean (Aug. 25) plus the first area performances by Kid Rock (July 6) and Maroon 5 with Kelly Clarkson (Sept. 1).
Resetar said the schedule is not yet finalized so we can expect a few more surprises soon and noted that the box office is now open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
“Kid Rock is partnering with LiveNation on the national level to bring a groundbreaking, highly affordable night out for his fans, and we are thrilled that one of the stops will be in Scranton, and on a holiday weekend no less,” Resetar said of Kid Rock’s plan to price all seats at $20 including all fees. Resetar said the Toyota Pavilion also is working on a $20 food and beverage special for that night.
“And to close out the season with probably the hottest tour out there is just tremendous,” he said of the Maroon 5 and Clarkson double bill. “We don’t think we could have made that night any hotter, and we think that is the perfect way to end what we feel will be an incredible concert season.”