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News:
Oakland County Venues Announce Summer Show Schedule
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

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Despite vastly increased competition from all over the metro area, Palace Sports & Entertainment rolled out summer schedule Thursday that will keep crowds flowing into its venues from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September.

Some 84 events are slated to perform at PS&E's three Oakland County facilities -- the Palace of Auburn Hills, the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Independence Township and the Meadow Brook Music Festival on Oakland University's Rochester Hills campus. Veteran rocker Eddie Money will perform his annual season-opening show on May 25 at DTE, ushering in more than four months of big names from the worlds of rock (the Police, the Dave Matthews Band, Tool, Rush, Genesis), pop (Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, American Idols Live!) and country (Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul 2 Soul tour) along with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's annual Meadow Brook performances and a selection of comedy and family acts and theatrical productions.

"We're always bullish," says PS&E President and CEO Tom Wilson. "Some of the other (amphitheaters) are doing 12 to 15 shows and that's it. We understand that this city loves going outdoors in the summer and virtually everything seems to work. You can bring Chicago back for the 100th time and there'll still be 10,000 people there."

This year's bookings come in the face of stiff competition around the Detroit area, ranging from an aggressive Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights -- which grabbed such DTE regulars as Steely Dan, Bob Dylan and Sheryl Crow -- as well as new events such as River Days in downtown Detroit and the Stars & Stripes Festival in Mt. Clemens, both of which run the days leading up to July 4th.

"There are fewer shows overall in the business and there's more competition for them," Wilson acknowledges.

Currently 53 concerts are slated for DTE, which hosted 77 in 2006 and drew the highest amphitheater attendance (more than 830,000) in the U.S. for the 16th consecutive year. Meadow Brook, which had 43 shows last summer, has 27 on its schedule right now. More bookings are expected for both venues in coming weeks.

And even though the focus of the summer tends to be outdoors, the Palace will be busy as well, with concerts by Gwen Stefani and Akon (June 1), John Mayer (July 5), McGraw and Hill (July 11), Clarkson (Aug. 10), the "American Idol" package (Aug. 12), the Wiggles (Aug. 15), Beyonce (Aug. 17), and reunion tours by the Police (July 17) and Genesis (Sept. 30).

DTE, which is touting $6 million in improvements -- including a new pavilion roof and upgraded concessions -- will host several of rock's biggest traveling festivals, including Korn's Family Values Tour on Aug. 2, Linkin Park's Projekt [cq] Revolution on Aug. 22 and OZZFest 2007, this time cast as a free festival on Aug. 26.

Some of the summer's intriguing teamings include Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaak (June 9 at DTE), the Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton (June 14 at DTE), Def Leppard and Styx (July 24 at DTE), Bryan Adams and George Thorogood (Aug. 8 at DTE), Marilyn Manson and Slayer (Aug. 11 at DTE), Nickel Creek and Fiona Apple (Aug. 11 at Meadow Brook), David Sanborn and Tower of Power (Aug. 17 at Meadow Brook) and a rock package of Hinder, Buckcherry and Papa Roach (Sept. 7 at DTE).

Country star Toby Keith (July 5-6 at DTE) and children's act the Wiggles (two shows Aug. 15 at the Palace) are they only performers planning multiple shows so far, though Meadow Brook will also host theatrical productions of "Nunsense!" (July 20-21) and "The Rocky Horror Show" (Sept. 7-8).

PS&E will also continue its Love It Live promotion, cutting lawn prices to $10 or $15 for more than 40 of its events and offering specially priced lawn four-packs for nine shows.

Ticket details on all of the shows are available at www.palacenet.com.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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