2 big concerts on tap tonight in Youngstown




Youngstown will be reveling in classic rock tonight because two of the best are in town at the same time: Elton John at Covelli Centre and ZZ Top at Stambaugh Auditorium.

The simultaneous major concerts at the two venues is a first, and one would have to go back many years to find a similar evening in the center city.

Any concerns that having the two acts on the same night would hurt ticket sales proved to be unfounded.

Elton John’s concert is sold out, which means about 7,000 fans will come to the downtown arena. Small amounts of seats are sometimes freed up at the last minute after the stage is set.

At Stambaugh, about 175 seats – mainly in the $79 range at the rear of the floor level – were available.

Both concerts start at 8 p.m.

Elton John typically plays for 21/2 plus, and will have no opening act.

The ZZ Top concert will be opened by Tim Montana and the Shrednecks. ZZ Top is expected to go on stage about 9 p.m., said Alyssa Connelly of Sunrise Productions, the promoter.

Because a larger-than-normal pre-concert crowd is expected at downtown restaurants and bars, the Youngstown police will have extra officers in the center city, said Lt. William Ross.

“Our concern is for the people coming downtown for dinner or drinks before the concert,” he said.

Traffic from concert-goers getting off Interstate 680 from the South Avenue and Market Street exits typically backs up, so folks should expect a slowdown on those thoroughfares as they approach Covelli. Lt. Ross recommends they leave early.

The two concerts in Youngstown are not all that’s going on in the Mahoning Valley tonight.

“In the Mood,” the musical revue that captures the big band swing music and dance of the 1940s, will be at W.D. Packard Music Hall in Warren at 7:30 p.m.

Tom Conroy, a Boardman native, is the musical director and pianist for the production, which has been on tour for 22 years. Tickets are $40 ($10 for students) at ticketmaster.com.