The future's not bright
Our entertainment writer, Brad Hundt, could probably offer a more incisive commentary on this, but it seems to me that hard times are ahead for Post-Gazette Pavilion, known to the locals as Star Lake Amphitheater. The venue has announced a dozen or so shows for this summer, and the first thing that strikes one is the average age of the performers. Jimmy Buffett and Rod Stewart are both in their 60s. Lynyrd Skynyrd has been around since I was a kid. Then you've got Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick. Dave Matthews and Kid Rock, who are in the range of 40 years old, are spring chickens in this bunch. Sure, there are "younger" groups such as No Doubt, Nickelback and Coldplay on the roster, but they're the exceptions, not the rule. Star Lake drew huge crowds last year for the Police and Tom Petty, the two shows I attended, but the Police concert was a one-shot deal, and the Petty show could possibly have been his last in the area. It seems to me that the success of Star Lake is tied to acts that might not be performing five years from now. In the year 2015, who will be packing them in at these large concert venues? Among newer musical acts, a relative few could be counted upon to fill a 23,000-seat concert site. Could Star Lake survive by scheduling more festival-type shows that package together several groups from a particular genre? That's the type of show I would consider attending, but maybe I'm in the minority. As it is, I don't see a single offering on the Star Lake list that would entice me to drive to Burgettstown, and it's an easy trip for me. Couple that with the cost of tickets for a Star Lake show, and I prefer to go to Pittsburgh and see bands in smaller venues, at a better price. And with the current state of the economy, a lot of other people might be thinking the same way. It could be a slow summer at Star Lake.