Summer in the City
Those first shows were highly symbolic, proving that promises made to Southern California music fans by Live Nation, FivePoint and city of Irvine officials could and would be kept.
“We are here tonight in an interim facility and we are planning a much bigger, much greater facility,” Mayor Don Wagner said on opening night. “Live music is going to stay in Irvine.”
Now, a year after the excitement of the initial approval, anticipation is building for the first full season at the FivePoint Amphitheatre, as well as for a permanent venue as part of the ongoing plans for the Great Park.
Several summer shows have been announced, with more on the way. It looks to be a great season for classic rock fans, with performances from well-known bands from different eras and a variety of genres.
Headbangers will be out in force for the farewell tour of heavy metal band Slayer (May 11) in a multi-band lineup. Good times are promised as Cheap Trick joins Poison on May 18; we love rock and roll with Styx and Joan Jett on May 30; it will be a Saturday in the park with Chicago and REO Speedwagon on June 16; fans will go crazy on shooting stars Ann Wilson (Heart), Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds) and Paul Rogers (Bad Company) on July 20; and jukebox heroes Foreigner, Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Zeppelin Experience rock and roll on Aug. 1.
Comedy and country music fans will have their nights also: movie star and comedian Kevin Hart takes the stage on June 23, while the Country Megaticket tour includes Irvine dates for Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker (Aug. 24), Rascal Flatts (Sept. 15) and Jason Aldean (Sept 29).
Shows designed to draw a younger demographic include progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria (Aug.11); pop and social media stars Nial Horan (Aug. 5) and a double bill of Charlie Puth and Hailee Steinfeld (Aug. 15); and California singer/songwriters Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen (Sept. 15).
Concerts we wish well but will have to miss include Slightly Stoopid (June 15), Counting Crows (July 8), Five Finger Death Punch (July 27) Godsmack (Aug. 4), and Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson (Aug. 29).
More acts will be announced, no doubt. Fans can speculate about other possible appearances by checking LiveNation shows at nearby SoCal venues, including everything from a Jethro Tull 50th anniversary tour led by Ian Anderson and a concert by Tom Jones.
We can keep fingers crossed for Irvine Meadows favorite Jimmy Buffet. He is touring large arenas and stadiums with The Eagles this summer, but his August looks pretty open.
And as for the rumors of incredibly cool players making special acoustic appearances, ICN will let you know just as soon as we do.