southtownstar
LUMINOUS 
Weather Updates

First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre’s 2012 season

Hip-hop star Drake will kick off First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre's 2012 seasJune 2.  |  File photo

Hip-hop star Drake will kick off First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre's 2012 season on June 2. | File photo

storyidforme: 31307615
tmspicid: 11384420
fileheaderid: 5196898

FIRST MIDWEST BANK
AMPHITHEATRE

◆ June-September

◆ 19100 S. Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park

◆ Tickets at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the FMBA box office and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000

◆ (708) 614-1616, livenation.com

Article Extras
Story Image
Maps

Updated: September 12, 2012 4:54PM



Big names, returning acts and new amenities await concertgoers at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in 2012.

So far, the Tinley Park outdoor venue has surpassed the 2011 season concert count with 17 shows scheduled this year.

“I’m really excited that Jimmy Buffett is coming back to Tinley Park. I think it’s great for the Southland,” said Jon Reens, senior director of marketing/Midwest for Live Nation, which operates FMBA.

Some Buffett fans have been grumbling that the tailgating at FMBA will begin at 2 p.m. June 30, saying they prefer the all-day tailgating experience prior to Buffett concerts.

But Reens said, “You get six hours of tailgating prior to the show, and we want people to see that it may not be 8 a.m., but it’s still a full day’s experience with Jimmy Buffett at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.

“The fact that we were able to get approval for tailgating for that show is fantastic. I think that’s just a great addition for what we have in the market.”

Returning acts include Toby Keith on Sept. 2 and Motley Crue on Sept. 7.

“I’m excited to see Rascal Flatts (July 28) come back, Jason Aldean (Aug. 18) after his Academy of Country Music Awards and to see Sugarland (June 23) out there,” Reens said.

Radiohead (June 10) is going to be ridiculous. I think that’s just awesome. It’s such a huge show for that building as well. We’ve just got a lot of really good stuff out there.

“The other cool thing is we have Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller (July 27) out there. That is going to be big.

“We’ve got a very well-rounded concert experience at Tinley Park this year.”

Unlike previous years when a country act has kicked off FMBA’s season, hip-hop star Drake will be first up, performing on June 2.

“He is huge,” Reens said. “And let’s not forget that with Drake, the support that we have is very well-known as well.

“You’ve got J. Cole, who’s headlining and selling out clubs and theaters; Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2Chainz and French Montana. It’s a very big bill.”

Many of the concerts slated for FMBA’s 2012 season are already on sale.

“There’s a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar,” Reens said. “There’s a finite budget for it in a person’s personal budget.

“Instead of sitting on shows, we wanted to provide the opportunity for people to know what is coming and to be able to plan that out a bit.”

From Iron Maiden on July 5 to Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2012 with Shinedown in August or September, big names are booked at FMBA.

“There’s a lot of stuff out there. Jason Mraz (Sept. 15) is going to headline FMBA for the first time. We’ve got the Fray and Kelly Clarkson (Sept. 1),” Reens said.

“I’m really stoked about the Linkin Park and Incubus show (Aug. 24), the Honda Civic Tour with Mutemath, just because I’m a really big fan of all three bands.

“I’m stoked to see Slipknot and Slayer on the same stage (at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2012 on July 21). I haven’t seen Slipknot in a while. Their live show is insane, and I love it. I’m a rock fan.

“And then Vans Warped Tour (July 7) has the youth. It’s kind of bringing it full circle. Those are always fun shows.

“Kevin Lyman does such a great job of programming them. There’s always some cause-driven aspect to it. It’s just one of those really good feel-good days.”

Live Nation has added a number of amenities to enhance the concert experience at FMBA.

Chief among those was an investment of more than a quarter of $1 million in sound improvements specifically targeting the lawn area.

“That building’s been around for a long time. I think that amphitheaters have a bad rap,” Reens said.

“People would be surprised with the upgrades that we’ve done. People would be surprised with how fan-friendly that place is and the mix of music that we are able to provide there as opposed to some other location.

“We’re providing the opportunity to see a large variety of music, live and in person, and to have an experience as opposed to it just being a quick one-off show.

“Our booking team has done an awesome job being able to bring in bands like Radiohead, another strong country year, Big Time Rush (Aug. 4) and then you’ve got Kiss (Sept. 7) and Motley Crue on stage.

“It’s just going to be a great summer in trying to provide the best possible experience that we can.”

Jessi Virtusio blogs about music, movies and much more on Elaborating on Entertainment at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.

NEW FMBA AMENITIES

Here’s a look at what Live Nation is offering in 2012 to enhance the concert experience at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre:

◆ $4 12-ounce domestic draft beer

◆ Investment of more than a quarter of $1 million in sound improvements specifically targeting the lawn area

◆ Full renovation of 11 of the VIP Sky Suites

◆ Additional VIP rest room facilities.

◆ New spotlights

◆ New pavilion party decks located in the back of the reserved section

◆ 4-Pack lawn deals on most shows.

◆ Restaurant-quality upgrades to concessions including the addition of Connie’s Pizza

◆ Value meals including a choice of a cheeseburger, hot dog or chicken tenders, with fries and a soda, for a discounted combination price; and a 32-ounce souvenir fountain soda with a free refill

◆ Package ticket deals and Groupon offers for select shows

◆ The Live Nation Concert Calendar Facebook App, which enables fans to share and connect with other fans, the artists they love and the hot shows they want to see

◆ Live Nation’s iPhone App, which exclusively sells tickets that stay on one’s phone and will allow that person to enter Live Nation venues and delivers set lists in real time

FYI ON FMBA

Keep your eye on FYI on FMBA, blogs.southtownstar.com/fmba, for what you need to know about First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.