NORTH TONAWANDA – For a second year, the Cornerstone Niagara River Rocks summer concert series in Gratwick Park will kick off with the hugely popular alternative rock band, Primus, with guests Fishbone, on June 22.
But unlike last year the concert will not be free.
Also appearing in the summer concert series will be Tom Cochrane with Kim Mitchell on July 20; The Fray on July 27; and Dennis DeYoung on Aug. 24
Last summer, the second year bringing summer rock concerts back to North Tonawanda, there were three free concerts in the park, but this summer the series has been expanded to four shows. There will be free admission for both the Tom Cochrane and Dennis DeYoung shows, but organizers are selling advanced tickets for $7 to $10 for Primus and The Fray.
Just like Artpark, which began charging admission for its previously free concerts, Niagara River Rocks organizers say they are charging admission to both offset costs and keep crowds in check. Both VIP tickets and general admission tickets are available at a reduced rate for one week before the event.
“I am so happy to announce that Niagara River Rocks is returning to Gratwick Riverside Park and adding an additional show,” Mayor Robert G. Ortt said. “Last year nearly 20,000 people attended the three concerts here in North Tonawanda. Since returning to North Tonawanda, these shows have been a great success and we anticipate this year to be no different.”
Kathy Paradowski of Special Vending, the promoter for the concerts, is known for launching a concert series in Gateway Park along the canal. That series moved to Lockport in 2008 after a falling-out with the previous North Tonawanda mayor. The Lockport concert series was discontinued this year due to a lack of funding.
Primus is a San Francisco-based three-piece rock band formed in 1984 that defies classification with a quirky and irreverent style of music. It is known as the band that came up the theme for the “South Park” TV show and in 2013 its “Sailing of the Cheese” album was nominated for best surround sound album.
Cochrane is a Canadian musician best known for his hit songs “Life is a Highway,” “Lunatic Fringe,” “Human Race,” and “I Wish You Well.” He was the front man for the rock band Red Rider and has won seven Juno Awards. Appearing with Cochrane will be Kim Mitchell and the Jeremy Hoyle Band.
The Fray is a rock band from Denver, which was formed in 2002. It achieved success with its debut album, “How to Save a Life,” in 2005, which went double platinum. Its first single, “Over My Head (Cable Car),” was a top 10 hit. Also appearing with The Fray will be Barcelona and Oh Honey.
DeYoung is a singer, songwriter, musician and producer best known as a founding member of the rock band Styx and was the group’s lead vocalist and keyboardist from 1961 to 1999. Also appearing will be Dirty Smile, Famous Fred, and the Creatures Unknown.
There will a $5 charge for parking for all of the concerts and no tailgating will be allowed in the parking lot. Food and beverages will be sold at the venue and no food, backpacks or coolers will be permitted in the park. The park opens at 2 p.m. with opening acts beginning at 5 p.m.
Ticket and show information is available online at www.niagarariverrocks.com. Tickets may be purchased online through ticketfly.com or during regular business hours at the Collins Marine box office, 4444 River Road.