STEUBENVILLE - Mount Pleasant native and performer Joe Zelek and Scott Blasey, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Clarks, both said they are fired up and ready to rock the second-annual Stars and Stripes Concert July 1 at Harding Stadium.
Tickets for the concert, co-sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTOV-TV, are on sale at Kwik King locations on Main Street in Wintersville, North Seventh Street in Steubenville and Franklin Street and Fourth Street in Toronto; Peoples National Bank branches on East Main Street in Adena, Union Street in Mount Pleasant and Smithfield Street in Dillonvale; online by visiting the chamber website at www.jeffersoncountychamber.com; or in person at the chamber office, 630 Market St., Steubenville.
General admission bleacher tickets cost $15, while field seating tickets cost $20 if purchased in advance. General admission bleacher tickets will cost $20 and field seating tickets will cost $25 if purchased the day of the concert. The gates open at 5:30 p.m., with the Joe Zelek Band scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and the Clarks scheduled for 8:15 p.m.
TAKING THE STAGE – The Clarks will be heading to Harding Stadium for the second-annual Stars and Stripes Concert, scheduled for July 1 and sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTOV-TV. The events will include games, food vendors and an additional performance by the Joe Zelek Band. -- Contributed
Zelek said he's eager to take the stage with his friends in the Clarks.
"I'm good friends with the Clarks," said Zelek of the Pittsburgh-based rock band. "They've been really supportive of my career lately."
Zelek said the two have shared stages before, and "they are a local legend. They are what we local artists aspire to be. I think we have a lot of the same fans."
Zelek said he's ready to share some of his songs from his new six-song CD, "Even in the Rain," which is set to be released by the time of the Stars and Stripes Concert.
"I recorded it in Steubenville with Mike Ofca," said Zelek, adding the new album is a mixture of rock and country influences. "He and I have been friends for years. I was really impressed with what he's been doing lately, and he's impressed with my new stuff. I think it's my most authentic album. A record should be of where you are at the time, and I think we achieved that. It reflects all of my influences. The songwriting is the deepest I've done so far."
He added the first single "Like You Do" is being played on Pittsburgh country-oriented radio stations. Zelek said he enjoyed last year's concert, and the event is a coup for the Tri-State Area.
"I think it's great that Steubenville is doing something like this," he said.
Blasey said the Clarks have performed in Steubenville before and believes the band has lots of fans in the Ohio Valley.
"We'd played around that area and have drawn really good crowds," said Blasey, adding the band is celebrating its 26th year. "It's amazing and something we all take pride in.
"We generally play at Generations Pub (in Wheeling) once a year," Blasey continued. "We're just beginning a new album, and we hope it will be finished by next year. We released the last album in 2009, so we're ready for something new."
Blasey said playing before larger festival crowds such as the Stars and Stripes Concert was different from performing in a nightclub.
"You have to play to the back row," he said of the difference. "You have to make it a little larger than life. (Festivals) tend to be more of a diverse crowd. It's all about drawing people in and playing for the people in the back row."
Blasey said he equally admires Zelek and is looking forward to sharing a stage with his band.
"We've played with his band before," said Blasey. "I'm really looking forward to this gig."
Other activities during the show include a Family Fun Zone on the Harding Stadium track, sponsored by the Fort Steuben Mall, where local crafters and vendors will be surrounding the venue.
Opening ceremonies begin at noon with city Mayor Domenick Mucci at the Harding practice field. A car cruise featuring karaoke and a disc jockey will be held from noon to 3 p.m. in the Harding School upper parking lot. Inflatables and other games will be in the Harding parking lot, while a beer garden and a local food vendor will be in the Kroger grocery store lot.
The concert will be followed by the city's annual fireworks display above Hollywood City Center. The city, Hollywood City Center and TEAM Automotive are again joining to present the grand finale to the day's activities. With the exception of the concert, all other activities are free and open to the public.
Major event sponsors are Chesapeake Energy, the city of Steubenville, Hollywood City Center, Steubenville City Schools and TEAM Automotive. Other sponsors include WesBanco, the Hollywood Plaza, Choice Brands of Ohio, the Herald-Star, AEP Ohio, Iron City Distributing, Kwik King Food Stores and New York Life.
For tickets and information on the Stars and Stripes concert, go to www.jeffersoncountychamber.com or call (740) 282-6226.