Foellinger Concert Series heating up
Jackson Browne taking stage June 21
Air Supply got the Foellinger Theatre Summer Concert Series started Saturday, June 11, but the venue is far from out of breath.
One of the top acts of the season, Hall of Famer Jackson Browne, is set to visit Tuesday, June 21, with ZZ Top, comedian John Mulaney, The Guess Who, Melissa Etheridge, and Five For Fighting also on the slate for this year.
“There’s really something interesting for everyone,” Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation’s April McCampbell said. “We have the free concerts again, which are always fun, and along with the Fort Wayne Area Community Band and Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, we’ll have New Millennium Jazz Orchestra with trumpeter Roger Ingram. He’ll also be instructing a workshop, which should be interesting.”
The first free Fort Wayne Area Community Band concert was slated for June 14, but had to be canceled due to hit. Next up will be An Evening with Sousa at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 and Greatest Hits with vocalist Tim Didier on Aug. 23. The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir is set to perform at 7 p.m. on July 29.
The New Millennium Jazz Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. on July 13, but before that, Ingram will teach a master class for all ages earlier in the day, with a focus on middle school through college students.
As for the national shows, Browne is on his “Evening With” tour in promotion of his latest album Downhill From Everywhere, which was nominated for the 2021 Best Americana Album Grammy.
“I see the writing on the wall,” Browne said on his website. “I know there’s only so much time left in my life. But I now have an amazing, beautiful grandson, and I feel more acutely than ever the responsibility to leave him a world that’s inhabitable.”
Browne, regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, has sold more than 18 million records in the U.S., thanks to hits like “Running On Empty” and “The Pretender.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
Following Browne, ZZ Top comes to town July 5 in support of their album Raw, which was recorded in connection with their documentary, That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, their last with Dusty Hill, who died in July. Filling the void is Elwood Francis, a longtime guitar tech who received Hill’s blessing.
Foellinger Theatre shifts gears a little bit July 21 when Mulaney pays a visit during his “From Scratch” tour, followed by The Guess Who on July 30 and Melissa Etheridge on Aug. 2.
On Aug. 9, pop, rock, R&B, and jazz come together when Lake Street Dive hit the stage, along with opening act Madison Cunningham.
“They’re a band that many people might not be familiar with, but if they give them a listen, I really think they’ll enjoy it,” McCampbell said.
Five for Fighting with The Verve Pipe is set for Aug. 13, followed by Tommy DeCarlo with Rudy Carenas on Aug. 19, and Brett Eldredge on Sept. 23.
Tribute bands will also be a part of season, with Hotel California performing on June 24, Brit Floyd on July 30, and Stayin’ Alive on Aug. 5.
Something new for the venue will be a showing of the hit 1993 film Jurassic Park with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic supplying the score Sept. 17.
“I think that will be very interesting, because it’s something that’s been held indoors in past years,” McCampbell said.