Concert series good for area

This season’s summer concert series at the Louis and Sandra Berkman Amphitheater at Historic Fort Steuben begins Thursday.

Once again, the lineup offers something for everyone and that, we hope, will mean packed crowds enjoying an evening of entertainment as well as the warm weather and view of the Ohio River and hills of West Virginia throughout the summer.

This year’s lineup at Historic Fort Steuben runs the gamut.

Thursday’s event is an “oldies” concert featuring the bands One-A-Chord, an a cappella quartet specializing in doo-wop songs, and the Original Fantasy’s, which plays hits from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. There also will be a cruise-in complete with dash plaques and awards.

May 30 brings Big Band Night, which will feature the Vince Villanova Big Band playing the familiar tunes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, among others.

Dancing Queen of Pittsburgh will take the stage on June 6 during Disco Night, and on June 13, Swing and Blues Night, Blue Lunch, an eight-piece band from Cleveland that performs ’50s-era swing and jump blues along with Chicago-style blues and New Orleans R&B, will entertain.

On June 20, Contemporary Pop Night will feature Three’s Company, a local band, and Jeff Jimerson, a vocalist from Pittsburgh.

Area residents can enjoy Family Night on June 27, including performances by Kelsey Friday, Spinning Jenny and U.S. Kids at the amphitheater. Kelsey Friday is the former lead singer of Brownie Mary, a band that began in Pittsburgh, while Spinning Jenny is a local band made up of three sisters and their dad. And, the U.S. Kids have been performing in the Tri-State Area for more than 25 years.

Even on Independence Day residents are invited to listen to the melodies of the Tri-State Community Band during Patriotic Night at the amphitheater.

Tribute Night on July 11 will feature the hits of Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra and Karen Carpenter, while Blues Night on July 18 will feature Pat Heiserman of Weirton, as well as Billy Price and his band of Pittsburgh.

The amphitheater will host two bluegrass groups during Bluegrass Night on July 25. Kicking off the evening will be Awesome Possum, a four-piece band from Bergholz who play the high energy traditional bluegrass music. The Hillbilly Gypsies of West Virginia, the second group, specialize in playing their own homegrown style of Appalachian old time music.

And for the second year in a row, the Beatles Tribute Night Beatlemania Magic will conclude the series on Aug. 1.

There’s seating for about 300 on the benches at the amphitheater, but many who attend the shows bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. There’s also free parking within easy walking distance of the amphitheater.

We applaud the efforts of everyone who has helped organize the successful concert series. Now all that’s needed are area residents who want to spend a relaxing evening downtown listening to some great music.

We’re betting this season will bring back young and old alike, with many new admirers to boot.