Jason Mraz added to waterfront concert series

Posted July 19, 2010, at 3:29 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Hollywood Slots Waterfront Concert Series has a new name, a new primary sponsor and a new concert date to promote.

Jason Mraz is the latest to join the inaugural artist lineup.

When concert promoter Alex Gray of Old Town said he wanted this first concert series based in Bangor to be as eclectic and wide-ranging as possible in terms of musical genres, he wasn’t kidding.

Mraz, who is scheduled to perform in Bangor on Saturday, Sept. 11, almost satisfies that desire all by himself as an artist who regularly incorporates and blends smooth rock, reggae, folk, jazz and indie into his songs and sets.

The married, 32-year-old musician’s biggest hits include “The Remedy,” “Curbside Prophet,” “You and I Both” and “I’m Yours.” Gray likened him to Dave Matthews as both have a huge following with the college-age set.

“Obviously, the goal was, once school got back in, to add something that was driven heavily by the college crowd in the area,” said Gray. “We’re reaching out to UMaine student government members to help out. He’s a big, up-and-coming act without being too big to play here.”

It turns out getting Mraz to play here wasn’t too difficult.

“They really wanted to play this market. They pursued us as much or more than we pursued them,” Gray said. “They really like the area and how it looks, its proximity to UMaine and Husson [University], they saw the ticket sales figures, and it seemed like a really good fit.”

The addition of Mraz brings the total number of concerts in the series to five — so far. The others are Celtic Woman on July 28, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels Band on Aug. 5, Tim McGraw and the Warren Brothers on Sept. 4, and Alan Jackson on Sept. 10.

Gray is still trying to line up at least one more concert date and has a solid connection with popular rock band Godsmack. A good bet for a date would be in the fall, possibly as late as Columbus Day weekend.

Tickets for Mraz, who was touring with Lisa Hannigan earlier this year but has not announced an opening act for the fall, go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday. They are $45.50 for a limited number of “pit seats” arranged in an orchestra pit arrangement in front of the stage, $45.50 for the first section after the pit, and $35.50, and $25.50 lawn seats discounted and available for anyone with valid college IDs.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show, the second of Mraz’s fall tour, can be purchased online at the series’ website www.waterfrontconcerts.com, by phone at 783-2009, or in person at Mark’s Music at Penobscot Square in Brewer.

Construction of the rented stage, which will be transported to Bangor’s waterfront site in six tractor-trailer trucks, is scheduled to start Saturday morning. If weather is an issue, the start date will be moved up to Friday. It should take three days for completion.

About 30 workers, two 5,000-pound forklifts and a heavy crane will be used to assemble the stage, which is rated to hold 60,000 pounds of equipment from the roof and another 20,000 pounds on each of the 17-foot wings to the left and right of the 60-foot-wide, 40-foot-deep main stage.

Reaction and ticket sales have been so positive, Gray can easily see expansion next year.

“Next year we’ll be bringing in a bigger stage,” he said. “Our market is very hot right now. Everybody is talking about this venue.”

Tickets for the front sections at the Lynyrd Skynyrd-Charlie Daniels Band, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw shows are virtually sold out, and section seats are sold out for Jackson.

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