Awards & Events

River Rock Schedule Sets Stage for Warren’s Summer

WARREN, Ohio – Sunrise Entertainment will kick off this year’s River Rock at the Amp schedule with Eagles tribute band 7 Bridges and conclude the season with Michael Jackson tribute artists Who’s Bad.

Local leaders joined Sunrise Entertainment cofounders Ken Haidaris and Marty Cohen and the concert series’ sponsors to announce this year’s 12-week lineup of artists performing at the Warren Community Amphitheatre.

“This is our ninth year, if you can believe it,” Cohen, Sunrise’s technical director, reflected during Monday morning’s news conference. “We attribute it to you people who are standing out there. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work on our parts … but you people have made it happen.”

This year, the River Rock series will open May 26 and continue most weekends through Sept. 1. The schedule features mostly tribute bands paying homage to artists as diverse as Pink Floyd, Jimmy Buffett, Kiss, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Tom Petty.

“We always try to do some different stuff. You never know what’s going to work,” Haidaris, Sunrise’s president, said. Last year, Who’s Bad received “a huge response,” with several families coming down for the concert.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring people downtown,” he said.

The lineup, which each night offers an opening act and the main performers, features several returning favorites such as Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso – “I know we have them every year but people show up,” Haidaris said – and Disco Inferno.

The schedule also features the Ohio Players, a funk and soul band popular in the 1970s. The group will open for Shining Star, an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band.

“We’re going to have a good time that night,” Ohio Players keyboardist Beck said. “Bring your dancing shoes.”

The River Rock website offers the full lineup and online ordering is available as well. Tickets for the shows range between $8 and $10, depending on the acts.

Monday morning’s news conference took place in the Robins Theatre, which Downtown Development Group is renovating with plans to reopen it as a performing arts venue. Sunrise will book acts for the venue once it reopens in early 2020.

The theater’s seats have been removed for refurbishing and plaster casts are being taken to form molds for pieces of the interior that have deteriorated, said Bob Felix, project manager. Electricians also are working with FirstEnergy to reestablish electrical service in the building, he said.

The project is on schedule, Mayor Doug Franklin said. “This is the inconvenience of progress that we’re sitting in,” he said.

Sunrise already is at work booking acts for when the Robins reopens, Haidaris said.

“Our opening weekend is starting to shape up. We have five days we’ll be opening in January 2020 that are going to be incredible,” Haidaris said. “I can’t talk about the opening night yet because it’s not secured, but we’re going to have an incredible international band here for the opening.”

The mayor characterized Cohen and Haidaris as catalysts for the momentum taking place in downtown Warren.

“If anybody happened to be downtown last Saturday night, you couldn’t find a parking space. It was that busy in downtown Warren,” he said. “That’s the kind of energy and synergy that we need in our downtown, and that’s what this project is about.”

Pictured: Thomas Adair, Sunrise Entertainment; Eric Lanham, 7 17 Credit Union; Steve Toth, Cumulus Media; Ken Haidaris and Marty Cohen, Sunrise Entertainment cofounders; Mayor Doug Franklin, Enzo Cantalamessa, Warren director of service and safety.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.