Rays Announce Concerts for 2009
Rays Renegade and M C Hammer, Summer 2008
One of the greatest thing about being a Rays fan was the Hess Express concert series last season. The Rays brought such acts as The Commodores,Trace Atkins, Loverboy and M C Hammer to the Trop on special Saturday night concert events. Well, the Rays are not going to let a great thing disappear as they just announced most of the acts that will grace the stage again on Saturday nights this season. These concerts were held right after the conclusion of select Saturday games and are FREE with the purchase of a game ticket. Not only did the team go 8-0 during these concerts in 2008, but the team averaged over 30,000 fan for each of the concert events.
Most of the concerts in 2008 were sold out before the day of the game, so it might be a great thing to purchase your tickets now before they sell out again. Only one performer or act is not signed, sealed and delivered yet for the concert series. It will be the May 30th game against the Minnesota Twins. there should be an announcement before that date on the act to appear. But there are plenty of confirmed acts that will knock the socks off of Rays fans this summer. Just a bit of advice, if you are seeking a great location for the events, the best area to purchase tickets is in the even numbered area from Section 126 off of first base, to Section 142 in the right field outfield seats. Any other location on the lower level to the north of Section 142 will not be able to get a clear view of the concert stage that will be set up facing south by south west towards the stands.
Full Season Ticket holders who have seats in the Home Plate Club, Whitney Bank Club, Fieldside Box, Lower Infield Box, and Lower Box locations will again get wristbands for field access for the events. I will keep you posted and let you know if any news comes down concerning this great option for up close and personal viewing of the concerts. I know I was situated in the front rows of every concert last season and got some great pictures and video of the events. I even have a few videos floating around on Youtube and the Internet taken from those events with Trace Adkins and The Commodores. Be sure to check the below start times for the game this summer. They are designed to give the fans the true experience of the concert series without having to stay in the Trop past midnight on any of the concert events.
Here is the tentative start times for games on those dates:
Saturday, May 30 TBA vs. Twins 4:10 p.m.
Saturday, June 13 Ludacris vs. Nationals 6:08 p.m.
Saturday, June 27 Pat Benatar vs. Marlins 7:08 p.m.
Saturday, July 11 Smash Mouth vs. Athletics 6:08 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 1 Daughtry vs. Royals 6:08 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 15 B-52′s vs. Blue Jays 7:08 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 22 Big & Rich vs. Rangers 7:08 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 5 The Beach Boys vs. Tigers 7:08 p.m.
TBA – May 30 – Rays vs. Twins, 4:10 p.m.
Not known yet, but you know they will be great!
Ludacris – June 13 – Rays vs. Nationals, 6:08 p.m.
You can call Chris “Ludacris” Bridges a number of things: hip-hop superstar, actor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, restaurateur, pitchman, online visionary and columnist. All of these labels are accurate. The Grammy Award-winning, Atlanta-based entertainment maven continues to expand his reach, and his musical prowess remains as potent as ever with singles such as “What Them Girls Like,” “Rollout,” “Money Maker,” “Stand Up,” “Southern Hospitality” and “Get Back.”
Pat Benatar – June 27 – Rays vs. Marlins, 7:08 p.m.
Four-time Grammy Award-winning singer Pat Benatar is best known for hit songs such as “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” She has sold more than 12 million records, including two multi-platinum albums. She also has 19 Top-40 singles to her credit. Billboard magazine ranked her as the most successful female rock vocalist of all time.
Smash Mouth – July 11 – Rays vs. Athletics, 6:08 p.m.
With surf and garage influences, Smash Mouth found a hit in 1997 with the ’50s-influenced “Walkin’ on the Sun.” The group was formed in 1994 in San Jose, Calif., by vocalist Steve Harwell.
It became a No. 1 modern rock hit and pushed the album into the Top 40. The follow-up album Astro Lounge was released in 1999, generating the hit “All Star.” The group also contributed numerous tracks to a plethora of motion pictures, most notably their cover of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” (from their eponymous release) to the soundtrack of 2001 hit movie Shrek. Many of these appeared on the August 2005 Smash Mouth hits collection All Star Smash Hits.
Daughtry – August 1 – Rays vs. Royals, 6:08 p.m.
Grammy-nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Daughtry was the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol and has since landed a deal with RCA Records. His band’s self-titled debut album sold more than 1 million copies after only five weeks of release, becoming the fastest-selling debut record album in history. In its ninth week of release, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Daughtry’s debut single “It’s Not Over” soared to No. 1 on the Adult Top-40 chart, the Hot AC chart and the Billboard Top Singles chart. His follow-up singles “What About Now,” “Home,” and “Feels Like Tonight” also shot up the charts and remain top industry hits. His second album is set for release this summer.
B-52′s – August 15 – Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:08 p.m.
The first of many acts to cement the college town of Athens, Ga., as a hotbed of alternative music, the B-52′s took their name from the Southern slang for the mile-high bouffant wigs sported by singers Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, a look emblematic of the band’s campy, thrift-store aesthetic. The five-piece group, which also included founding member Fred Schneider, the B-52′s are known for such hits as “Rock Lobster,” “Love Shack” and “Roam.” In 2008 the band returned with a new album for the first time in 16 years.
Big & Rich – August 22 – Rays vs. Rangers, 7:08 p.m.
Country music duo Big & Rich is comprised of singer-songwriters Big Kenny and John Rich. In 2004, they released their first studio album, Horse of a Different Color, which featured what has become their signature song, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)“. This album also had three Top-40 singles, including “Wild West Show.” In 2005, they released Comin’ to Your City, which included the Top-5 single of the same name. Their 2007 album Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace peaked at No. 1 on the charts.
The Beach Boys – September 5 – Rays vs. Tigers, 7:08 p.m.
Beginning their career as the most popular surf band in the nation, The Beach Boys finally emerged by 1966 as America’s preeminent pop group, with hit singles such as “Surfin’ USA,” “Little Deuce Coupe” and the album “Pet Sounds.” The Beach Boys remain an iconic group to this day, with timeless hits like “Kokomo,” “Good Vibrations,” “Barbara Ann,” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.” According to Billboard, The Beach Boys are the No. 1 selling American band of all time. They have had 36 Top-40 hits, the most of any U.S. rock band.
Be sure to buy your tickets early and be ready for some great time with the Rays this summer as we crank up the volume and again take in a night of great baseball and awesome music. Again, be sure to buy your tickets early to avoid the games selling out and you missing these great bands in 2009.
Photo Credits: 1) RRCollections
4) Hollo Photographics ( Chris Hollo)