Page 16 - Salem Magazine Spring 2016
P. 16

   Let There Be Rock
The Salem Civic Center stage has supported its share of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in the past five decades, but in recent years, hard rock shows have been few and far between in the building that once welcomed the likes of Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Rush and KISS.
So, when promoters announced that Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin were bringing their United States tour to Salem
with opening act Sevendust
last November there was understandably some skepticism on a number of fronts.
“We knew we had to prove ourselves and going into this we felt like a crowd of 4,000 would be really good,” says Paul Bowles, Salem Civic Center Assistant Director. “We sold 5,412 tickets and just missed a sellout by 200 people, so the rock music fans in the area really stepped up for us.”
The show was Salem’s first hard rock concert since Godsmack
played in the arena in 2001. It attracted fans from as far away as West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and it was such
a success “Billboard” magazine named the concert one of its Top 20 rock shows of 2015.
“Our goal for this show was to prove that there was still a viable rock market in southwest Virginia and I think we accomplished our goal,” says Bowles. “Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another 15 years for the ground to shake.”
SPRING 2016 |

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