`Sleeping giant' wakes with a roar

Music: Pier Six jumps up several notches in booking big-name talent for its summer concerts.

April 13, 2000|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC

When the New Jersey-based Metropolitan Entertainment took over the booking of Baltimore's Pier Six Concert Pavilion last summer, promoter John Scher referred to the Baltimore concert market as "a sleeping giant" and promised to wake it up with more big-name bookings at the mid-sized venue.

This season's alarm clock begins buzzing in earnest Saturday, when tickets to concerts by two stars enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, plus a third that pairs two well-known traditional music acts, go on sale.

Al Green, the R&B and gospel legend responsible for such hits as "Let's Stay Together" and "Look What You Done for Me," performs June 11. Opening for the Hall of Fame inductee is the retro-soul act the Soft Tones.

Fellow Hall of Famer Lou Reed, whose work was a major influence on artists ranging from David Bowie to R.E.M., is scheduled for a June 17 show, in support of his current album, "Ecstasy." Quirky singer/songwriter Victoria Williams, who was the subject of the 1993 benefit album "Sweet Relief," opens the show.

The traditional Irish band the Chieftains (who performed at the Meyerhoff last month) will return for a June 28 concert. Mexican-American rockers Los Lobos, who topped the charts with a remake of "La Bamba" in 1987, share the bill for that show.

Tickets for all three concerts go on sale at noon Saturday. Call 410-481-7328. Tickets for a May 28 concert by "Weird Al" Yankovic -- who is not in the Hall of Fame, but who has parodied many famous rock and roll songs -- are already on sale.

Pier Six is no longer offering season subscription series. More concerts at the Pier are expected to be announced in coming weeks. Call 410-625-3100 for further information.

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