Let Music Fill the Air
By: Jeremy Morris
After taking a Pandemic hiatus last summer, outdoor concerts are on the horizon in Wheeling once again.
The long-standing Wheeling Waterfront Wednesdays and Toe Tappin’ Tuesdays will return this summer to showcase the best of the region’s live and local musicians. This year’s concert series will kick-off at Heritage Port on May 26th with Taylor Jo & the Copper Creek Band, all concerts will begin at 7pm.
Waterfront Wednesdays is a decades long tradition in our community that began at our Veterans Amphitheater. These days the event has moved down river a tad to our award-winning Heritage Port Waterfront. Every Wednesday throughout the summer music will fill the air on the banks of the Ohio River with golden sunsets and the historic Wheeling Suspension Bridge as the backdrop. Toe-Tappin’ Tuesdays was added in recent years and offers concerts at Wheeling Park and Warwood’s Garden Park on alternating Tuesdays throughout the summer.
This year’s lineup brings a diverse mix of genres to the stage; spanning past and contemporary country, cover bands with costume changes, a blast from the Big Band Era, and even a few locally-grown, nationally-recognized artists.
Wheeling has a rich music tradition, from the Wheeling Jamboree to the Wheeling Symphony to the It’s Wheeling Steel radio program, music has been a core part of this valley’s history. The Wheeling Jamboree played host to every major country music artist in America during its run of shows. Led by local legends Doc and Chickie Williams, the Jamboree was regular host to Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride, Loretta Lynn, Alabama, and all the major stars of the Country music’s golden era.
The Valley has also raised its own stars over the years. Jazz legend Chu Berry grew up in Wheeling, Berry is best known for transforming Cab Calloway’s band into a jazz orchestra. Famed operatic soprano Eleanor Steber was reared in Wheeling as well, she held a long career with New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Contemporary country music star Brad Paisley hails from the Ohio Valley and attributes his love of country music to Wheeling’s Capitol Theatre and the Wheeling Jamboree. Even Lady Gaga can trace her family roots (and perhaps some occasional creative inspiration) to the Ohio Valley.
This year’s Summer Concert Series will feature an array of local talent that includes nationally recognized blues artist Adrian Niles, nationally recognized country artist Matt Van Fossen, the ever-popular Ezra Hamilton, the up-and-coming bluegrass band Crandall Creek (which was just signed to a record label), and the 1170 Band (the original WWVA Wheeling Jamboree house band).
In addition to concerts the City of Wheeling will host four movie nights free to the public. The first movie night, Friday May 28th, will feature A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the movie about Mr. Rogers. On Friday June 18th a Dog’s Purpose will be the featured presentation and will be a “Mutts and Movie Night”, so bring your pup to the river. Movies begin at dusk, roughly 9pm.
A new twist to this year’s concert series will be food trucks. The City anticipates having several food trucks and other vendors each week so that patrons can enjoy dinner and a concert.
Concerts and movies are subject to weather. In the event of rain, they are typically moved inside WesBanco Arena at the Waterfront or White Palace at Wheeling Park. At Warwood’s Garden Park the concerts are cancelled on rainy days.
For more information on being a vendor, contact the WesBanco Arena, 304.233.7000
Waterfront Wednesdays: Heritage Port
May 26th – Taylor Jo & The Copper Creek Band
(High Energy Mix of Country/PopRock/Blues)
June 2nd – WPHS Band
(Wheeling Park High School Band/Variety)
June 9th – Adrian Niles
(Nationally Recognized Recording Blues Rock Artist)
June 16th -The Muddle
(The Valley’s Best Acoustic Modern Rock Band)
June 23rd– Easy Street
(The Region’s Most Exciting Club/Party/Dance Band)
June 30th– Eli & The Mojo Kings
(Eclectic Musicianship featuring the “High Caliber MOJO” Horn Section)
July 7th – Sawyer
(Pittsburgh’s Premier Tribute Band to “RUSH”)
July 14th – Matt Van Fossen
(Nationally Recognized Country Music Artist)
July 21st – The Joseph Sisters
(Contemporary Country Music’s Sensational Singing Sisters)
July 28th – Hoard & Jones
(The Ohio Valley’s Premier Band of Musicians)
August 4th – Vince Villanova Big Band
(The Tri-States Premier Big Band)
August 11th – Twice As Nice
(Wheeling’s Best Party Dance Band)
August 18th – 1170
(The Original “WWVA Jamboree” House Band)
August 25th – WSO on The Go
(High Class Ensemble of Orchestral Jazz Musicians)
Sept 1st.– Party Time Polka (The Region’s Best Party Polka Band)
Toe Tappin Tuesdays, Too:
Wheeling Park Amplitheatre
June 1st– Crandall Creek
(Bell Buckle Recording Artist/Original & Traditional Bluegrass/Gospel)
June 15th– The Shannon Canterbury Band
(Singer/Songwriter Acoustic Rock)
June 29th – The New Age Adenas
(Good Energy Acoustic Mix of Folk/Contemporary/Classic Rock)
July 13th– Mean Mr. Mustard
(The Grooviest All “Beatles” Tribute Band in the Land)
July 27th – The Ezra Hamilton Trio
August 10th-The Gage Joseph Band
(“Up & Coming” Singer/Songwriter Country Music Artist)
August 24th– The Gypsy Cowboys
(Thrashin’ & Crashin’ Americana Appalachian Roots Rock Music)
Toe Tappin Tuesdays:
Warwood Garden Park
June 8th– Vinyl Soul
(Groovy Tribute to the 1960s-1970s)
June 22nd– Bill Gorby and The Musical Mercenaries
(Singer/Songwriter Bluegrass Southern Gospel Artist)
July 6th – M.S.M.
(Vocal Driven Uptempo Acoustic Music with a Beat)
July 20th– Seven South
(The Most Excellent Pop/Rock/Variety Mix of 80s’90s’ & 2000s)
Aug 3rd– The M-80’s
(The Tri-States Theatrical New Wave Pop/Rock Band)
Aug 17th– Pocket Change
(Wheeling’s Finest R&B/PopRock/Soul/Funk Party Band)
Friday May 28th
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Heritage Port
Friday June 18th
A Dog’s Purpose – Heritage Port (Mutts & a Movie Night)
Friday July 16th
The War with Grandpa – Heritage Port
Friday Aug 20th
Little Loopers – Garden Park