TODAY is the day that all summer concert-goers anxiously await.
Pier Six Concert Pavilion and Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia have announced their summer concert schedules, but there aren't many surprises.
Merriweather opens its 24th season on May 24 with Styx, which will be making its first local appearance since June 1983.
The Pier Six season will begin unusually late, on July 25, with a gala fund-raiser for the Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts. The major act has yet to be announced.
Although Pier Six will open two months late due to delays in raising the $4 million needed to construct the 4,341-seat permanent tent, manager John Wright said the venue expects to host more than 30 shows by extending the season through the end of September.
"We'll be booking acts throughout the spring and the schedule will not suffer because of the late opening," said Wright, who announced 16 dates.
Wright also said that in upcoming seasons, the schedule will begin in mid-May and run through the end of September, coinciding with Merriweather's calendar.
With its brand new tent, Pier Six has managed to lure such mainstays as Anne Murray and Manhattan Transfer and even John Denver, The Robert Cray Band and Los Lobos -- shows Merriweather may have gotten in previous years.
But Merriweather should hardly suffer a poor season this year with its eight series of subscriptions concerts. (Subscription tickets go on sale in Sunday's editions of The Sun).
For '70s rock fans, Series 1 looks very enticing with Jimmy Buffett, Don Henley and The Rembrandts, Dan Fogelberg, The Doobie Brothers and Bonnie Raitt with Chris Isaak.
For fans of the standards, Series 2 would be the choice with Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Wayne Newton and Joan Rivers with Nell Carter.
Also slated to appear are such heavy hitters as Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias and Huey Lewis and The News.
None of the acts announced for Merriweather has included multiple-night stays, which is unusual in the case of Jimmy Buffett and Huey Lewis, who have done a pair of shows several times in the past.
Also missing from the schedule are progressive and alternative rock acts, which has previously included such bands as Depeche Mode, New Order and Sinead O'Connor.