“When the idea was first initiated of bringing classic rock and roll to the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, it was considered an experiment. Ten years later the Tesla coils of a music form that has brought the greatest names in pop music history to Portsmouth have never been hotter,” Mix 99.3 Radio Host and show co-promoter Steve Hayes said.
Over the years the annual concert has included recording artists such as Mitch Ryder, Johnny Rivers, Wilson Pickett, Three Dog Night, Tommy James, The Little River Band, Chubby Checker, Micky Dolenz, the Temptations and many more.
“Anybody who loved rock and roll in the ‘70s and ‘80s rapidly grew to know the vocal-laden group from Chicago. Denis DeYoung penned and sang the music for an appreciative rock audience,” Hayes said.
The music of Styx includes such classics as “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Best of Times,” “Blue Collar Man,” and “Mr. Roboto,” plus many more.
According to Hayes, the show’s opening act, “The Classic Rock All Stars” consists of members who blazed a trail that everyone will remember.
“I have worked with these guys several times and whenever you can assemble this much successful talent with the lack of excessive egos, you know they’re special. We virtually broke every rule in our criteria of artist selection to bring them back to Portsmouth again,” he said.
The “Classic Rock All Stars” feature Pete Rivera, who was the drummer and vocalist for “Rare Earth.” Mike Pinera was one of the driving forces with “Iron Butterfly.” Jerry Corbetta blazed his musical trail with the group “Sugarloaf” while Dennis Noda cut his chops with the ‘60s group “Cannibal and the Head Hunters.” The group will perform all of their collective hits together with a show “guaranteed to tap into the musical memory bank,” he said.
“We try every year to plug into the passion factor. We feel with the combination of both these artists that we have most certainly captured the best of almost three decades of pop music’s most loved songs all being performed by the original artists. That’s what Wendy’s Old Fashioned Rock and Roll House Party is all about,” Carl Daehler, director of the Vern Riffe Center For the Arts said.
Concert tickets are on sale at the McKinley Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations and on ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $65, $55 and $45.
As part of the promotion for the show, Hayes is offering a trivia question for those who may be knowledgeable about contemporary music:
Who was the first act on stage April 8, 2000 to begin the string of more than 150 certified hits performed live? Email your answer to wnxtradio.com to register to win a free pair of tickets to “Wendy’s Old Fashioned Rock and Roll House Party 10.”
For more information about the show or for tickets call the McKinley Box office at 351-3600 or visit rockandrollhouseparty.com.
WAYNE ALLEN can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 208.