Archive for Thursday, May 15, 2008

Outdoor concert impresses visitors

Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy, left, and drummer Glenn Kotche perform Wednesday at the corner of Ninth and New Hampshire Streets. It was the city's first major outdoor downtown concert.

Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy, left, and drummer Glenn Kotche perform Wednesday at the corner of Ninth and New Hampshire Streets. It was the city's first major outdoor downtown concert.

May 15, 2008


Fans flock to downtown Lawrence for Wilco concert

Music fans from far and wide flock to downtown Lawrence for a unique outdoor concert tonight. Enlarge video

The city's first major outdoor downtown concert proved successful Wednesday night, leaving many people wanting more family-friendly outdoor events of its kind in the future.

On the lawn north of the Lawrence Arts Center where opening band Retribution Gospel Choir and headliner Wilco played, Vanessa Sanburn, Jake Lowen and their five-year-old daughter Nadia Sanburn relaxed in between sets.

"When is Wilco going to sing?" Nadia asked while dancing around her parents.

The family of Wilco fans drove from Wichita for the concert. In two weeks, the family will move to Lawrence.

"Lawrence is attractive because of outdoor events that draw the community together," Lowen said.

Entertaining a community of families is important to the couple, too. Last year, the couple had to leave Nadia at home while they went to see Wilco, "so an all ages show was exciting," Sanburn said.

The Grammy-award winning band itself seemed to draw a variety of fanfare downtown, as well, and followers from as far as Vermont. About 6 p.m. Sarah Farr, 43, from Bristol, Vt., was at the head of the line of about 40 people waiting to enter the ticket gates at 7 p.m. Farr, a painter, said she takes vacation time to see Wilco shows across the country.

"It's just really fun to travel and see their shows, it's always a great time," she said.

The concert was staged by Lawrence-based Pipeline Productions. Crowd estimates were between 2,000 and 3,000. Promoters closed and fenced off most of the 900 block of New Hampshire Street, with the stage sitting at the north end of the site.

Margaret Morris, program manager for the Kansas Arts Commission and former Lawrence Arts Center art educator, helped organize the 16 or so volunteers serving Budweiser at the concert.

"I think it's a fun thing to have," she said of the beer, a rare commodity at downtown events. "With this kind of event it's good."

Some of the money raised from selling beer, an estimated $6,000, is going to help the Lawrence Arts Center. Morris said she would like to see more events like Wednesday's concert in the future, especially in the summer.

"Lawrence is so great," Morris said. "It's such a great mix of young people, young families and baby boomers, it gets people out and a beautiful night like this, what more could you want?"


Steve Jacob 7 years ago

The real show was at Liberty Hall. I have never seen a crowd get into a show like last night with M.I.A. That place was so full, everyone dancing. And exciting show, she is a great performer who knows who to get a crowd going. And "Bird Flu" and the ending song "Paper Planes" you can't help but get fired up.

MCwzMC 7 years ago

What an amazing show! The acoustics were great, and Wilco was spot on. I would love to see some more outdoor events like this in Larryville. What a way to kick off summer!!!

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

I am sure Wilco is a fine band. How many "paid" tickets did Wilco have anyway? Is "Crowd estimates" means they paid or showed up.

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

srj--Where are you getting this Willie Nelson info? According to his website, he's playing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that night.

lori 7 years ago

Thanks Downtown Lawrence and Wilco for the great concert! Our family loved it.My one criticism--please please please provide some beer options next time. Why not Boulevard, or better yet, Free State? I suspect your profits at the beer tents would have been bigger. I know I would have purchased a couple of beers had there been something good. Either serve something decent or allow people to BYOB a couple of bottles of beer.

Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years ago

bozo it was a compliment to you and the band at least that was my take and I know you would not be nasty about the quake.

PeteJayhawk 7 years ago

Where's the guy that was worried about riots?

fosso 7 years ago

Love Lawrence.Block away and could feel/hear the love. Music. People. Peace.Wouldn't post anything. But thought it was funny that the LJW trolls were preaching it would be anarchy. hehe

Sigmund 7 years ago

"Some of the money raised from selling beer, an estimated $6,000, is going to help the Lawrence Arts Center. Morris said she would like to see more events like Wednesday's concert in the future, especially in the summer."The City should go into the bar business. $6,000 is almost enough to cover the cost of running the empTy for one day.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I'd say at least 2000 were inside the fenced-in area. Probably fewer than 1000 total outside.

7 years ago

It was a fun time, I enjoyed myself. I agree with lori, Boulevard would have been a better choice over Bud (at 5 bucks a cup) No matter I had a good time.

Aileen Dingus 7 years ago

Genius- I heard something on NPR this morning about Willie @ Liberty Hall, but I didn't catch the date.

supercowbellninja 7 years ago

this show rocked - and a great view from the parking garage for all us freeloaders!

Gail Grant 7 years ago

Where did they publish the event?I wish we knew about it...

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

Oh, and Wilco fans, FYI Willie Nelson July 20 at Liberty Hall. That would proablly make a better outdoor concert, but oh well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

What kind of beer did they serve? ( I watched from the back yard of some friends who are immediately adjacent.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Wow! If bozo has something positive to say this event must have been off the charts! ;-)"Would it please you if I posted some absolutely rave reviews on the Chinese earthquake thread?

BrianR 7 years ago

It may be time to schedule another.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"The real show was at Liberty Hall."While the M.I.A. show may very well have been a good one, that doesn't mean that Wilco didn't put on a "real" show, as well. And they did. I thought it went well, and everyone in the few houses that are immediately adjacent to the grounds were very appreciative.

Chris Tackett 7 years ago

Brett, Logan and everyone else involved in putting this on, thanks!Great work. I blogged my thoughts on it here:

geniusmannumber1 7 years ago

He's playing in Columbia in late July, so he's in the area. Maybe they've just added a date. Sure would like to know the actual date, though.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years ago

It means Liberty Hall doesn't often place announcements with them.

Chris Millspaugh 7 years ago

liberty hall box office has a poster for the willie nelson show hanging in the window.says tickets go on sale later in may.

hawklet21 7 years ago

srj, I am SO jealous!! I would have loved to see M.I.A., but I had a final. :(

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

Neither the Liberty Hall nor Willy Nelson websites lists a Lawrence show.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years ago

I heard it on KPR this morning and this is the response from an email.This is not a venue we would be affiliated with, but I went ahead andcalled Liberty Hall and they said Willie Nelson WILL perform at LibertyHall on July 20th, 2008. The tickets go on sale next Tuesday, May 20thand are $70.00.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"So Bozo didn't actually pay admission:.his fair contribution."Contribution for what? I was in my neighbors' yard at their invitation-- no admission charge was requested.The sound was definitely not as good as if I had bought a ticket, which I might have done had I been able to go to the entire concert.If there are more concerts, I would definitely consider buying a ticket. I might also accept the invitation of my neighbors to visit their back yard, too, which is fully within their rights to extend, and mine to accept.

af5 7 years ago

Massive thanks to the City of Lawrence for allowing this show to happen. It was a great show, at beautiful venue, with a fantastic crowd!

grandpaws 7 years ago

Just called radio station here in Lawrence and they had not heard that Willie Nelson was going to be at Liberty Hall. If anyone knows for sure please let the radio station know.

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

This is where I got my info, but I also saw the flyer... the best website, but it usually has dates for Liberty Hall, the Uptown, ect. a few days before everyone else.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.