Niagara Gazette

May 9, 2013

Kellie Pickler among acts for Lockport Canal Concert series

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Final confirmation of the series' move to Chestnut Street came Thursday with announcement of the performers' lineup in the 2013 Labatt Canal Concert Series.

The free, Friday night shows will begin again June 28, with returning headline act Puddle of Mudd, on city property behind Lockport Public Library and the YMCA.

The eight-show lineup consists equally of returning acts — Theory of a Dead Man on July 5, Kansas on July 12 and Rik Emmit on Aug. 16 — and newcomers to Lockport.

For some, the LCCS headliner of the year surely is Kellie Pickler, the country music artist who rose to fame on American Idol and is now Dancing With The Stars. Pickler is performing here Aug. 9.

The tribute bands Pink Floyd Experience and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience are set to perform back-to-back shows on July 19 and July 26. A laser show and possibly a flying pig await Pink Floyd fans. Led Zeppelin Experience features Jason Bonham playing in front of video footage of his dad, original Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Blues artist Jonny Lang completes the lineup with an Aug. 2 performance.

"They're all great shows," series organizer Kathy Paradowski promised.

The concert series is leaving the Ulrich City Centre courtyard for a larger public space this year, the municipal parking lot off Chestnut Street between Charles and Elm streets.

The advantage of the new site is elbow room for show-goers, Paradowski said. The VIP (premium/paid) and handicap-accessible areas will both be larger and, for the first time, there'll be a designated area where lawn-chair seating is allowed.

With the move to Chestnut Street comes "the possibility that everyone can be more comfortable," Paradowski said. "We heard the concerns (in prior seasons) and we do try to listen."

Here's the new setup: 

• The concert stage will be set up behind the YMCA, facing east/away from Market Street.

• On Fridays, parking in the city-owned lot will be allowed in the area behind Lockport Public Library only, until 5 p.m. The rest of the lot, from the library west to Elm Street, will be closed all day.

• Regarding the YMCA, leadership agreed to close the facility at 3 p.m. Fridays during the series, Tucker said. The city will reserve space on Main Street for the last bus of the day arriving from Camp Kenan.

• There will be two venue entry/exit gates, east and west on Chestnut Street. Access from Charles and Elm streets will be blocked.

The Canal Concert Series, now in its sixth year in Lockport, is one of the only admission-free series still going in Western New York. Series sponsors pitch in to pay the bands and cover set-up costs.

Main sponsors of the 2013 series include Labatt, Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union, Tops Market, Heinrich Chevrolet and the City of Lockport, which covers the roughly $80,000 cost of weekly stage rental and assigns a number of police officers and firefighter-paramedics to the scene each week.

VIP passes cost $22 per show in advance and $27 at the gate. For more information, go to www.canalconcerts.com.