Ready to Rock

This summer, SMG-managed American Bank Center welcomes some all-time favorites to the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium and Arena for one heck of a party.

By: Kristin Bily

May 10: Alice Cooper
American Bank Center Arena

Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock. Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood and boa constrictors.

Alice Cooper continues to tour regularly, performing shows worldwide with the dark and horror-themed theatrics that he’s best known for. With a schedule that includes six months each year on the road, Cooper brings his own brand of rock psycho-drama to fans both old and new, enjoying it as much as the audience does.

Known as “the architect of shock-rock,” Cooper (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie, even in an era where CNN can present real-life shocking images.

In the ‘80s, Cooper explored different sounds, highlighted by the New Wave-ish album, “Flush The Fashion,” the heavy metal “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist And Yell,” and then 1989’s melodic hard rock album, “Trash,” which featured the massive hit single, “Poison” and became his biggest selling album and single worldwide. During this period, Cooper also appeared in the horror films, “Monster Dog” and John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness,” and recorded songs for the soundtracks to “Roadie,” “Class of 1984,” “Friday the 13 Part VI: Jason Lives” and Wes Craven’s “Shocker.”

May 23: The Cult
American Bank Center Selena Auditorium

When the Cult was preparing to hit the stage at Coachella in 2014, few were expecting the fury that the band delivered. As the festival-goers milled about, packing in the field in front of the stage, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy were building up to a crescendo, which, when the smoke cleared, Rolling Stone would hail as “the Messianic moment of Coachella.”

Critics have hailed the band as incendiary, groundbreaking and transcendent, but the band themselves choose to look forward. And in a lot of ways, they prefer to be seen as survivors, marginalized and vulgarized, much in the same way their song subjects have been.

The Cult emerged in 1984 as one of England’s leading heavy-metal revivalists. Picking up the pseudo-mysticism and Native American obsessions of the Doors, the guitar orchestrations of Led Zeppelin and the three-chord crunch of AC/DC, while adding touches of post-punk goth rock, the Cult gained a dedicated following in their native Britain with mid-‘80s singles like “She Sells Sanctuary” before breaking into the American metal market in the late ‘80s with “Love Removal Machine.”

May 24: ZZ Top
American Bank Center Selena Auditorium

ZZ Top will heat up the road mid-winter with a run of North American dates they’ve called their 2017 Tonnage tour. “It’s gonna be a good time,” front man and guitarist Billy Gibbons assures fans. “We’ve been at this long enough that we’re starting to get good. Come and see us; it’s gonna be loud and live.”

This sturdy American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums). They were formed in 1970 in and around Houston from rival bands the Moving Sidewalks (Gibbons) and American Blues (Hill and Beard). Their first two albums reflected the strong blues roots and Texas humor of the band. Their third album, “Tres Hombres,” gained them national attention with the hit, “La Grange,” a signature riff tune to this day, based on John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillen.”

One of the few rock ‘n’ roll groups with its original members still aboard after four decades, ZZ Top play music that is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful and 100 percent American in derivation.

They have continued to support the blues through various means, perhaps most visibly when they were given a piece of wood from Muddy Waters’ shack in Clarksdale, Miss. The group members had it made into a guitar, dubbed the “Muddywood,” then sent it out on tour to raise money for the Delta Blues Museum. ZZ Top’s support of and link to the blues remain as rock-solid as the music they play.

June 12: Brit Floyd
American Bank Center Selena Auditorium

The hotly anticipated rock event of the year returns, as Brit Floyd brings the music of Pink Floyd to life once again with its lavish new stage show, “Immersion World Tour 2017.” The spectacle of a Pink Floyd concert experience is truly recaptured in high-definition sound, and with a stunning million-dollar light show and state-of-the-art video design.

As well as performing the favorite moments from “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “The Wall” and “The Division Bell,” Brit Floyd will also pay special tribute to the “Animals” album, in its 40th anniversary year, with a show-stopping rendition of “Dogs,” as well as a host of other Pink Floyd musical gems.

The Brit Floyd show has truly become a phenomenon, widely regarded as the world’s greatest live tribute to Pink Floyd. Faithfully recreating the scale and pomp of the final 1994 Division Bell tour, complete with circle screen and multiple moving light design, lasers, inflatables and theatrics, a Brit Floyd show really is as close as fans will ever get to experiencing the magnificence of a Pink Floyd show live. More than a tribute, it’s as good as they say. Believe the hype, and don’t miss it! The new “Immersion” show promises to be Brit Floyd’s most ambitious and best production yet.

Sept. 29: Kansas
American Bank Center Selena Auditorium

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their breakthrough album, “Leftoverture,” this is the first time in history the band will be performing the album in its entirety. The tour will showcase two hours of classic Kansas music, including hit songs, deep cuts and new songs from their recent album release, “The Prelude Implicit.”

Composing a catalogue that includes 15 studio albums and five live albums, Kansas has produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums (“Leftoverture,” “Point of Know Return” and “Best of Kansa”), one Platinum live album (“Two for the Show”) and two one million-selling Gold singles (“Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”).

Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. “Carry on Wayward Son” continues to be one of the top five most-played songs on classic rock radio, and “Dust In the Wind” has been played on the radio more than three million times.

SMG-managed American Bank Center is Corpus Christi’s premier event center. Follow us online at www.americanbankcenter.com, www.facebook.com/americanbankcenter or www.twitter.com/americanbankctr, or on Instagram (@americanbankcenter), Tumblr (@AmericanBankCenter), Periscope (@Americanbankcenter) and now Snapchat (@americanbnkctr).

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