Rockin’ by the river

WARREN – ”Fun, fun, fun” were words used to describe the season’s first outdoor concert in a popular series.

“I’ve been coming here since it started,” Niles resident Jerry Boyce said during Saturday’s River Rock at the Amp held at the Warren Community Amphitheatre in downtown Warren.

“It’s close to home, they have good tribute bands. It’s about time Warren did something,” he said.

His daughter, Alexis Boyce, 13, said she enjoys the outdoor shows because she gets to spend time with her dad as well as listen to older music, which she enjoys.

“I get to see people I know. I think it’s really fun,” she said.

Kim Patrnchak, 45, of Austintown, agreed.

“It’s fun, it’s family-oriented. You get to see everybody that you know. It’s like a little reunion,” she said.

The concert series, in its fourth year, is primarily comprised of tribute acts. Saturday’s concert featured The Gary Markasky Project – Markasky played lead guitar for The Michael Stanley Band – followed by Led Zeppelin tribute band ZOSO.

Upcoming shows include tribute bands for groups such as Queen, Guns ‘N’ Roses, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, KISS, Aerosmith and others.

Aside from having a good time, many residents said they enjoy the series because of the family atmosphere.

“You don’t have to worry about any trouble,” Patrnchak said.

“It’s cool, it’s exciting. It’s like home. It’s a lot better than all the crime on the street. Maybe this will bring it home, calm everybody down a little bit,” said Brian Slider, 36, of Warren. “We don’t need that around here,” he said, referring to violent crime in the Valley.

Slider said it gives everyone in the community a chance to sit down and enjoy some nice entertainment.

Watching the show with him were best friends Landon Johns, 9, and Kasey Benson, 9, both of Warren.

“I’ve been here a lot. A lot,” said Benson.

Johns and Benson both expressed their excitement and said they both liked the shows.

“We’re going to get his autograph,” exclaimed Johns, gesturing toward the stage, where The Gary Markasky Project performed.

Fourth-Ward councilman Greg Bartholomew also was making his way down to the amphitheater to attend the event.

“I usually come to a couple a year,” he said, admitting that he also is a huge Led Zeppelin fan. “It’s reasonably priced, it’s a good atmosphere. I like rock ‘n’ roll, so nine times out of 10, they have a band here that I’ll pay a couple bucks to see,” he said.