BANGOR, Maine — Even with the eclectic nature of the inaugural Hollywood Slots Waterfront Concert Series, some local music fans have complained that the series is a little too country and needs a little bit more rock ’n’ roll.
The series that led off with Celtic Woman took on more edge with a double bill of the Charlie Daniels Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but with three country-Western acts — Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert — sandwiching the indie-smooth rock-reggae stylings of Jason Mraz, some were saying the series lacked oomph.
The addition of Boston heavy metal rock band Godsmack with opening bands Drowning Pool and Five Finger Death Punch as the seventh series tour date on Oct. 10 should quiet the critics and rev up the rockers.
“This is obviously not another country show,” said Alex Gray of Old Town, concert series promoter. “It seems many people are dying for a harder-rock show, so this should satisfy that part of the population.”
The Grammy-nominated Godsmack is headlining its own “The Oracle” tour, promoting its fifth studio album of the same name. “The Oracle” debuted as the top-selling album in April.
The band has had several No. 1 singles, including “Keep Away,” “Vampires,” “Voodoo” and “I Stand Alone.” Another single, “Awake,” was used by the U.S. Navy in recruitment commercials.
Tickets for the general admission show — the only one in the series with no reserved seating — go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday. Tickets are $45.50 plus fees and are available locally at Mark’s Music at Penobscot Square in Brewer, online at www.waterfrontconcerts.com or by phone at 783-2009.
Gray said this will be a test case of sorts as he continues to look ahead to scheduling acts for the 2011 concert series.
“If you want to see Nickelback in Bangor next year, buy a Godsmack ticket because the proof to booking agents and promoters is ticket sales,” said Gray. “I still get questions from agents on whether this is just a honeymoon phase and if it will last, but I attest that Bangor is a strong market.”
Gray said coming shows, the next of which is McGraw and opening act Brett Eldridge on Saturday, Sept. 4, will feature changes and improvements.
Gay credited Bangor Deputy Police Chief Peter Arno and Bangor police Lt. Mark Hathaway for working diligently with Jeffrey Austin, supervisor for the Maine State Police Liquor Licensing and Inspection Unit in Augusta, to come up with a plan to handle complaints about overcrowding and long lines at the “beer garden” where adult beverages are bought and served at the waterfront series venue.
“We’ll be trying it for McGraw and it’s on a trial basis,” Gray said. “As long as people respect the rules, there shouldn’t be a repeat of the Charlie Daniels-Lynyrd Skynyrd beer garden debacle where you had roughly 10,000 people and quite a crush in the beer garden.
“We’re going to want to give people the option to take drinks back to their seats to alleviate long lines and crowding. It’ll be one drink per person at a time.”
Another change is the opening of Railroad Street an hour before gates open for shows. That will allow fans to buy food and drinks from vendors outside the concert venue while they’re waiting to get in.
“We’re also going to do a secondary point of purchase for food items separate from the beer garden and sprinkling more Porta-Potties along the inside of the venue,” Gray said.
Also, most of the spaces or gaps that were open, allowing people to look inside the venue and check out the shows, now will be closed off or covered.
“We will also have more [handicapped-accessible] parking spaces, which takes away some of the free spaces closer to the venue. We already had enough spaces by law, but found we actually had demand for more,” Gray said.
Another act is coming to Bangor, only this show will be inside as 1970s and ’80s supergroup Styx will perform at the Bangor Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, in person at the Bangor Civic Center box office, or by phone at 800-745-3000 or 990-4444. Tickets are $55.75, $45.75 and $35.75.
“We had a chance to do the Styx-Kansas tour earlier, but we didn’t have the venue in place yet, so they ended up going to Meadowbrook [in Gilford, N.H.,] instead,” Gray said.