The Show Me Center will make up for the drought in a big way when Sara Evans, Phil Vassar and Carolyn Dawn Johnson join the high-riding Chesney on stage April 19.
Once a Show Me Center staple, country music has undergone a marketing upheaval in recent years that has left venues like the Show Me Center empty handed. Clear Channel Entertainment, previously a radio empire, bought up many independent promoters that produce concerts.
"They are vertically integrating," says David Ross, director of the Show Me Center.
Clear Channel Entertainment now is promoting concerts almost exclusively in areas where they own radio stations. "They are one of the 800-pound gorillas," Ross says.
Southeast Missouri is not one of those areas.
This show by RCA artists led by Chesney is being promoted by TBA Entertainment, an independent promoter from Nashville, Tenn. The Show Me Center is simply renting the building and merchandising food, beverages and parking.
The concert has sold well wherever it has played in the country so far. Ross expects an audience of about 5,000 will attend. Capacity at the Show Me Center is 7,000.
Chesney's single "Young" currently is No. 7 on the Billboard chart, and his greatest hits album is No. 15. Evans' CD "Born to Fly" has been on the charts for 72 weeks and still is No. 26.
Vassar has a hit, "That's When I Love You," at No. 14 and an album, "Phil Vassar," doing well. Johnson, who struck gold with the song "Complicated," is doing well with the new single "I Don't Want You To Go." Her album, "Room with a View," was at No. 54 on the Feb. 23 Billboard chart.
Last week, the Show Me Center announced the scheduling of its first rock 'n' roll show in a long while, an April 30 concert by Smash Mouth. The concert is being jointly presented by the Show Me Center, the Student Activities Council and a St. Louis promoter.
Ross said the Show Me Center has had to diversify since concerts became more difficult to book. "We're got a strong calendar of booking for spring, but they're not entertainment-based," he said.
They include the Jerry Falwell revival, a youth conference sponsored by area Pentecostal churches and a home show.
335-6611, extension 182
Where: SHOW ME CENTER
Tickets on sale: MARCH 19. LOTTERY BEGINS AT 7 A.M. AT SHOW ME CENTER BOX OFFICE.