Sounds of Taylor, Springsteen, Journey and Joel on tap for Point Park

PARKERSBURG – The music of James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Journey and Billy Joel will be heard along the Ohio River on the first Friday of June through September.

Downtown PKB this week announced the lineup for the Point Park Concert Series, the third year of the free event that brings tributes to popular acts to the area.

Earlier this month, Downtown PKB executive director Carrie Nesselrode gave the organization’s Facebook followers the choice between a Billy Joel tribute or an ABBA homage for the final installment.

“We let the public kind of pick the last concert,” she said.

The Piano Man won out, and New York-based Songs in the Attic will take the stage on Sept. 5.

The series kicks off June 6, with James Taylor tribute act Fire and Rain.

The concerts continue on the first Friday in July, which happens to be July Fourth. A few extras are being planned for the evening, which will feature Tramps Like Us, a tribute to Bruce Springsteen.

Journey Unauthorized will present the sounds of Journey, arguably the most popular ’80s band of the 21st century, on Aug. 1.

Attendance at the concert series increased over the summer of 2013, Nesselrode said, with about 1,800 attending the June performance by Chicago tribute band Beginnings and about 3,000 for the finale, featuring Michael Jackson-centric Who’s Bad.

“By the last concert, we had people coming down the night before to set up their chairs,” Nesselrode said.

While general admission to the concerts will remain free, reserved seating is available this year for a price.

An individual can get a guaranteed seat for all four concerts for $60, or $100 a couple. Downtown PKB volunteers will set up canvas folding chairs for those individuals at each concert. When the series is over, the buyers get the chairs to keep.

“You’re going to be guaranteed a primo spot … front and center, without having to come down and set your chair up,” Nesselrode said.

The Friends of Blennerhassett offered a fundraising cruise in conjunction with some performances last year, and Nesselrode expects them to do so again this year. She’s also working with some downtown businesses to get them to take advantage of the crowds.

“We are actually working with the local downtown restaurants to have them stay open on those Fridays,” she said.