The concert announcements for this summer lack the pizzazz of last year's vacation season lineup, but the bookings may improve as the warm weather increases.
Last year, the city had its first new casino in nine years open with Revel, which hosted an array of multi-platinum stars, including Beyonce, Kid Rock and Sugarland. Bader Field hosted a show by Phish and the Metallica's Orion Music + More festival. Jimmy Buffett, Jennifer Lopez and others performed concerts at Boardwalk Hall before summer ended. Wildwood even added to the excitement with a free concert by country star Kenny Chesney.
This summer can't match last summer for superstar names yet, but there may be more variety.
Resorts Casino Hotel joins the City of Atlantic City in offering a free show, and Revel presents nationally signed music acts for $5. For the first time, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony in Bridgeton will play five purely classical music concerts at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
The first weekend of June kicks off Atlantic City's free summer concert schedule in Gardner's Basin. Acts include Regina Belle and Midnight Star on Saturday, a battle of the soul artists with Ray, Goodman & Brown and Blue Magic on June 22, Sly's "Original" Family Stone on July 20 and the king of the funk George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic on Aug. 24.
This Saturday, tickets for the all-day VetRock2013 festival only cost $25. The show features Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and Mark Farner, founder, lead vocalist and guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad.
Atlantic City contracted this month to host more concerts at Bader Field. Tentative dates are July 6, Aug. 9 or 10 and Aug. 31. Bobby Laws and Associates, who has the agreement with the city, told The Press it could not comment on possible acts as the group works to nail down contracts.
Resorts Casino Hotel will give local residents and visitors' wallets a break with a free beach concert on June 15 with 1990s chart toppers Wilson Phillips along with pop act Andy Grammer and country musician Mac McAnally. The concert is being held to celebrate Resorts' enhanced beach vibe and the launch of its $35-million Margaritaville casino and entertainment complex.
Boardwalk Hall is not offering as many shows this summer as last summer at this point.
Beyonce returns to the city for the second time in two years, this time with a show titled The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour Starring Beyonce on July 26. The rock of Journey gets mixed with the country music of Rascal Flatts with the co-headlining bill on Aug. 4. The Atlantic City Comedy Festival returns for the fourth time on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 with performers that include Sommore and D.L. Hughley.
"We get spoiled sometimes," said Greg Tesone, general manager of Boardwalk Hall, which has the capacity for 14,000 spectators. "In some respects, we do some really great shows on a first run, but we have to remember we are still not an 'A' market. We are not New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago. We get spoiled because we are able to pull off a Madonna or a Lady Gaga, and we get them on the first go round. We have to remember that those ones we get, we are lucky to get. We are not going to get them all like that."
Looking around at the concert industry, Tesone said this summer looks to be a good one for outdoor amphitheaters, such as the 25,000-person capacity Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, which holds more people than his venue, and even stadium shows, such as Taylor Swift and the Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake double bill, which are being staged in Philadelphia and not Atlantic City.
One of those stadium acts is Chesney, who performs next month at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Last summer, he did a free concert on Wildwood beach.
So far, Wildwood has not booked a performer to do either a beach concert or a show at the Wildwoods Convention Center this summer, but it is still possible, said Ben Rose, director of marketing and public relations, Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority.
"The Kenny Chesney concert, if I remember correctly, we had three-weeks notice on that, so we can turn on a dime," Rose said.
Tesone said even though things are a little bit slow for Boardwalk Hall, the city is doing well from his perspective. There are many concerts already booked for the summer in the city, but it is smaller stuff that would not work in his building.
One of the surprises of the year was the booking of the Pitbull and Ke$ha tour by the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which has its closing concert tonight of a two-show Memorial Day weekend engagement. This is a show that is playing amphitheaters in other parts of the country, such as the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Monmouth County. It is rare for Golden Nugget to book a show that would be more expected at Revel, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa or Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.
This summer, Borgata retains its title as the casino offering the most headliner entertainment.
Borgata has been the most consistent entertainment property in the city for the past decade. It celebrates its 10th anniversary with a July 1 show in its Event Center featuring the Roots, Jill Scott, Slash and Aziz Ansari.
Bookings range from Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Diana Ross, the former lead singer of the 1960s Motown girl group The Supremes, and Sting, the former lead singer and bassist for the English rock band The Police, to up-and-coming acts the British-Irish boy band The Wanted and the Las Vegas indie rock band Imagine Dragons, which will be doing separate shows on Aug. 23 and 30 respectively in the Event Center.
The classical music of Verdi and Mozart and others will be heard inside Borgata's Music Box as the Bay-Atlantic Symphony plays on July 7, 14, 21 and Aug. 4 and 19.
"We have always had an aggressive approach, to have a premier entertainment program. That strategy hasn't changed... We will have as busy a lineup as we ever had in 2013," said Joe Lupo, Borgata's senior vice president of operations, whose casino didn't let the recession decrease the number of shows it hosts.
Revel also will offer veterans and acts on the rise, but there were more booking in its 5,000-seat Ovation Hall at this time last year compared to this year.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Steely Dan perform on July 19 in Ovation Hall, but the casino is putting events into its underused smaller concert venue, The Social, such as a sold-out performance by Icelandic indie folk/pop band Of Monsters and Men in the 700-person capacity venue on June 9. Tickets are only $5 each in The Social for performances by adult-alternative, singer-songwriter ZZ Ward on June 14 and the Los Angeles indie rock duo Capital Cities on June 21.
Along with Ovation Hall, the Taj's Mark G. Etess Arena is the biggest concert venue inside a casino with a 5,000-person capacity.
Some notable shows this summer inside the Etess Arena include early MTV star Cyndi Lauper performing her best and most commercial CD, "She's So Unusual" in its entirety for its 30th anniversary on July 6 and the triple guitar bill of Louisiana blues slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, English rock guitarist Peter Frampton and legendary blues guitarist B.B. King on Aug. 10.
"There is some stuff that's out this summer that's playing outdoors that you might see come here (Atlantic City) on a second leg," Tesone said.
Contact Vincent Jackson:
Summer concert schedule
2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-348-7000
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour Starring Beyonce8 p.m. July 26. $85.85, $106.85, $112.70, $277.10.
Journey, Rascal Flatts6:30 p.m. Aug. 4. $69.50, $102.10, $171.55.
Sommore, Bruce Bruce, Don DC Curry,more 8 p.m. Aug. 31. $55.75, $72.25, $93.60.
D.L. Hughley, Arnez J, DeRay Davis, more 8 p.m. Sept. 1. $55.75, $72.25, $93.60.
Bally's Atlantic City
1900 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, 609-340-2000
Legends In Concertvarious times tonight through Sept. 1. $39.50.
Peltz Boxing7:30 p.m. June 1. $57.50, $84.50.
Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest 7 p.m. June 15. $39.50.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, 609-677-1000
Russell Peters8 tonight. $49.50, $55, $65
Sting8 p.m. June 14 and 15. $126.50, $146.50, $176.50, $226.50.
Tim Allen8 p.m. June 29. $55, $65, $75.
Counting Crows, The Wallflowers8 p.m. June 30. $55, $66, $76.
The Roots with special guests Aziz Ansari, Slash and Jill Scott8 p.m. July 1. $75, $95, $125, $150.
Jackson Browne8 p.m. July 5 and 6. $56, $66, $76.
Kevin James8 p.m. July 13. $65, $75, $95, $145.
Jeff Dunham4 and 8 p.m. July 14. $59.50, $64.50, $69.50, $75.
Jerry Seinfeld8 p.m. July 20. $95, $135, $155.
Jonas Brothers Live Tour8 p.m. July 26. $75, $85.
Flogging Molly8 p.m. Aug. 1 $32.
Jay Leno8 p.m. Aug. 10. $55, $65, $75.
Diana Ross8 p.m. Aug. 18. $76, $86, $96.
The Wanted, Hot Chelle Rae8 p.m. Aug. 23. $55, $59.50.
Jim Gaffigan7 and 10 p.m. Aug. 24. $75, $85.
Gladys Knight and The O'Jays8 p.m. Aug. 25. $65, $75, $85.
Imagine Dragons8 p.m. Aug. 30. $42.50.
Gabriel Iglesias8 p.m. Aug. 31. $75, $85, $95.
An Evening With John Mayer8 p.m. Sept. 1. $100.50, $126.
The Music Box
Frankie Valli9 tonight. $64, $74
Bill Burr 8, 11 p.m. June 1. $39.50, $45, 8 p.m. SOLD OUT
The Burlesque Show9 p.m. June 6, 13, 20, 27. $25.
Jay Mohr8 p.m. June 7. $29.50, $35.
Mike Marino9 p.m. June 8. $25.
Jo Koy9 p.m. June 14. $35.
Iron Chef Bobby Flay for a culinary demonstration3 p.m. June 15. $35.
Lenny Clarke9 p.m. June 15. $25.
Tracy Morgan9 p.m. June 22. $49.50, $55.
America9 p.m. June 28. $55, $59.50.
The Cast Of Impractical Jokers7 and 10 p.m. June 29. $40, $45, $85.
The Burlesque Show9 p.m. July 4, 11, 18, 25. $25.
Bay-Atlantic Symphony Summer 2013 Concert Series5 p.m. July 7, 14, 21. $25.
Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Alejandro Escovedo9 p.m. July 12. $45, $49.50.
Seth Meyers9 p.m. July 13. $39.50, $45.
Bob Saget9 p.m. July 19. $39.50, $45.
Jim Jefferies9 p.m. July 20. $35, $39.50.
The Burlesque Show9 p.m. Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 $25.
Frank Caliendo9 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3. $55, $59.50.
Bay-Atlantic Symphony Summer 2013 Concert Series5 p.m. Aug. 4, 18.
Wayne Brady9 p.m. Aug. 9. $39.50.
Artie Lange9 p.m. Aug. 10. $49, $55.50.
Lewis Black9 p.m. Aug. 23 and 24. $75, $85.
Styx9 p.m. Aug. 30. $75, $85.
John Pinette8 p.m. Aug. 31. $35, $39.50.
Fedde Le Grand10 tonight. $35.
Martin Solveig10 tonight $25.
Caesars Atlantic City
2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City
Deana Martin8:30 p.m. Friday. $52.50, $57.50, $68.50.
Willie Nelson9 p.m. June 8. $73.50, $84.50, $99.50.
Doobie Brothers9 p.m. June 29. $57.50, $78.50, $89.50.
Donny & Marietimes vary from July 29 to Aug. 11. $52.50, $73.50, $94.50.
Blue Man Group(Touring) times vary from Aug. 22 to 30. $52.50, $63, $84.50.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Huron Avenue and Brigantine
Boulevard, Atlantic City, 800-
Pitbull, Ke$ha, Justice Crew8 tonight. $63.95, $231.80.
Foreigner9 p.m. June 15. SOLD OUT.
Mario Cantone9 p.m. June 29. $39.39, $51.94.
Lyle Lovett9 p.m. July 19. $58.20, $81.80.
Brian Wilson With Al Jardine And David Marks9 p.m. July 20. $69.75, $104.85.
777 Harrah's Blvd., Atlantic City,
The Midtown Men9 p.m. June 8. $46, $56.50, $67.
Air Supply9 p.m. June 15. $37, $47, $57.50.
I Love Lucy Live On Stagetimes vary July 17 to Aug. 4. $36, $56.50, $67.
Straight No Chaser: Under The Influence 2013 Tourtimes vary Aug. 21 to Sept. 1. $42, $52.50, $63.
Resorts Casino Hotel
Boardwalk and North Carolina
Avenue, Atlantic City, 609-340-
Allen Edwardstimes vary Tuesday through June 2. $32.75.
Bachman & Turner9 p.m. June 22. $44, $54.50, $65.50.
Fat Pack3:30 p.m. June 30. $32.75.
Lee Brice9 p.m. July 5. $32.75, $44.
Divas Do ACtimes vary tonight through June 30. $32.75.
Allen Edwardstimes vary Tuesday through June 2. $32.75.
2nd Annual AC Boxing Gala6:30 p.m. Saturday. $115.25.
Darin MacDonaldtimes vary June 4 to June 19. $32.75.
Michael McGeehantimes vary June 9 to June 26. $32.75.
500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City,
Steely Dan9 p.m. July 19. $76.25, $96.25, $106.25, $136.25.
Bill Maher9 p.m. July 27. $60.25, $80.25, $100.25.
Depeche Mode9 p.m.Aug. 30. $95.25, $115.25, $125.25, $145.25, $165.25.
Of Monsters and Men8 p.m. June 9. SOLD OUT.
ZZ Ward8:30 p.m. June 14. $5.
Capital Cities8:30 p.m. June 21. $5
Revel's Got Talent: Revel Professionals6 p.m. June 30. $5.
Revel's Got Talent6 p.m. July 7. $5.
801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City,
House of Blues
Gov't Mule7 p.m. Saturday. $42, $47, $52.50.
Anthony Hamilton8 p.m. June 7. $63, $73.50, $84.50.
Billy Idol8 p.m. June 8. $52.50, $73.50.
Lamb of God6:30 p.m. June 14. $32, $42.
TGT(Tank/Ginuwine/Tyrese) 8 p.m. July 19. $63, $73.50, $84.50.
Alice Cooper7 p.m. July 20. $47. $57.50.
Dark Star Orchestra7 p.m. July 26. $32.
Godsmack8 p.m. Aug. 8. $52.50, $63, $73.50.
Darius Rucker8 p.m. Aug. 10. $57.50, $84.50.
Casino and Resort
South Brighton Avenue and
Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 609-
Sinbad8 p.m. Saturday. $72.50.
Lou Neglia's Ring Of Combat45 Championship Mixed Martial Arts 8:30 p.m. June 14. $56.50, $67.50, $82.50, $133.50.
Lakis Lazopoulos Sorry... I'm Greek8 p.m. June 15. $72.50, $93.50, $108.50, $133.50.
Jersey Shore Wine Festivalnoon June 29 and 30. $19.50.
Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience8 p.m. June 29 and 7 p.m. June 30. $86.32 for June 29 and 30. $98.61 for June 29 only.
Gretchen Wilson9 p.m. July 5. $46.50, $56.50, $67.50, $82.50.
An Evening With Kansas8 p.m. July 13. $41, $51.50, $61.50, $100, $145.
David Cassidy In Concert9 p.m. July 26. $36, $46.50, $56.50.
Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood8 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17. $39.62, $46.90, $57.08.
KC & the Sunshine Band8 p.m. Aug. 24. $30.50, $56.50, $61.50, $82.50.
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino
The Boardwalk at Mississippi Avenue, Atlantic City
Beatlemania Now8 p.m. July 2 to Aug. 31. $38.75, $48.70, $57.90.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort
1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
Terry Fator8 p.m. Saturday. $37.75, $54.80.
La Explosion Salera II8 p.m. June 15. $70.35, $91.25, $112.95.
Supreme Reflections3:30 p.m. June 18. $43.85.
Ron White: A Little Unprofessional8 p.m. June 29. $58.90, $70.35.
Cyndi Lauper8 p.m. July 6. $26.05, $37.75, $58.90.
Don Rickles8 p.m. July 20. $37.75, $58.90, $81.60.
New Kids On the Block, Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees7:30 p.m. July 26. $114.
Rodney Carrington8 p.m. Aug. 3. $37.75, $48.70.
Jeff Foxworthy8 p.m. Aug. 9. $37.75, $48.70, $71.40.
Peter Frampton, B.B. King, Sonny Landreth7:30 p.m. Aug. 10. $44.90, $67.05, $109.65.
American Idol Live!7:30 p.m. Aug. 16. $42.80, $56.30, $78.
Cheech & Chong, War8 p.m. Aug. 17. $26.05, $70.35.
Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Shirley Alston Reeves8 p.m. Aug. 17. $54.80, $66.05.
Toni BraxtonAug. 24. Start time and ticket prices tba.
Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two Woman Show8 p.m. Aug. 24 in the Xanadu Theater. $34.70, $48.70.