Downtown Alive’s Third Free Summer Concert Had People Rockin'!

Although the weather was nearing 95 degrees, hundreds swarmed Penn Street on Wednesday, July 19th to hear Sister Hazel rock out for Downtown Alive’s third free concert of 2017.  With a wide variety of local food trucks, beverage stations, and even a mist tent, concertgoers were in for a great night!

Around 5pm the opening act, Kendal Conrad, took the stage and interacted with the crowd as she covered many popular tunes. Conrad is a 25 year-old country music singer-songwriter from Montgomery County, PA. Kendal started off the night by singing one of Taylor Swift’s hit songs, Picture to Burn. From then on she covered various radio jams and sang some of her own songs including her 2015 single Country Queen.

As the sun was beginning to set, Ken Block, Jett Beres, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell, and Mark Trojanowski of Sister Hazel appeared on stage to give audience members a night to never forget! The alternative rock band from Gainseville, Florida belted out many of their hits from multiple albums as people of all ages danced and sang along to their favorite songs. Sister Hazel finished their set with megahit, All For You, which topped Billboard music charts in 1997. Even though it appeared the night was over, fans were in for a treat as Sister Hazel returned on stage to play several more songs before leaving Penn Street!

Despite the heat, it appeared concertgoers from Reading and the surrounding communities had a fun night filled with upbeat tunes from Kendal Conrad and rock band, Sister Hazel!

SMG Managed Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center lands on Pollstar’s top venues list in US and worldwide

The SMG Managed Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center are ranked in the top 100 venues of similar size in the U.S. and the top 200 arenas worldwide according to Pollstar’s mid-year ticket sales report.

Pollstar is a trade publication covering the worldwide concerts industry, and rankings for its mid-year report were based on total paid attendance between January 1 and June 30.

The Santander Arena ranked 89th in the continental U.S. and 150th in the world during this time.  Additionally, The Santander Performing Arts Center ranked 111th in the continental U.S. and 142nd in the world.

David Farrar, CVP General Manager for SMG: “In what I consider one of the most competitive markets in the country, it’s great to see both venues holding their own during the first half of 2017. These rankings show that the residents of Berks County want quality entertainment close to home. We look forward to continuing this trend, not only for this year, but for many years going forward.”

In addition to these events both venues have also hosted numerous sporting, community, and retail events throughout this time period that were not included in Pollstar’s consideration, including BCIAA Basketball Championships, theAnnual SEPA Home and Garden Show, PIAA Boys and Girls Basketball Championships, Reading Royals Hockey, and the Annual Dinner for the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce.

Downtown Alive brought some Country Music to Reading, PA!

On Wednesday, July 5th, Country superstar bands The Cadillac Three and Eli Young Band entertained a packed crowd of cowboy boot wearing fans for the second installment of Penn Street’s Downtown Alive Free Concert Series 2017. Audience members were entertained by a night of free music, delicious food, and clear skies. At 5pm the 2014 “Best New Band” recipient, The Cadillac Three, took the stage to rock out with the crowd to their multiple hit songs and new Southern melodies. Fans applauded and danced as the group sang Party Like You, White Lightening, and the band’s popular anthem The South.

Around 7:00pm, The Cadillac Three’s front man, Jaren Johnston, asked the crowd if they were ready for country award-winning group Eli Young Band! The response was a deafening roar from the audience as fans raised their beers and screamed for the upcoming band. As the sun was setting, Eli Young Band took the stage and played many of their classic songs including Even If It Breaks Your Heart, Drunk Last Night, and Dust. Fans in the audience swayed and sang along as the band rocked out to their earlier hits and many new songs from their new album “Fingerprints.”

As the night wound down, country fans were in for a treat as Eli Young Band returned on stage for an encore to play their 2012 ACM Single of the Year song Crazy Girl.  Many audience members thought the night was over after that mega jam, but think again! The Cadillac Three and Eli Young Band combined on stage to play their own version of Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle. Fans and audience members alike were thrilled by the last song and danced their way off of Penn Street. This country duo concert definitely provided the people of Reading and Berks County with a great summer night filled with fantastic free music!

Oh, What A Night with Frankie Valli!

On Saturday, June 3rd, members of the Reading community, and music lovers alike, packed into the Santander Performing Arts Center for a special night with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons! This sold-out show lured audience members from as far as Baltimore, Maryland! Before the theater doors opened at 6:30 p.m., more than 150 people enjoyed their Dinner on the Mezz in one of the building’s beautiful ballrooms. At 7:30 p.m., the crowd roared in applause as Frankie took the stage. 

The Original Jersey Boy, Frankie, took the audience back to the 1960’s, as he performed his greatest hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man.” The crowd rose to their feet to dance and sing along to their favorite songs; all were amazed at how Frankie performed like he always has, with amazing energy! Frankie connected with the audience before him by saying, “We haven’t been to Reading in a long time and I’m not sure why. We have to do this more often!” Frankie, with the support from his band, brought the show to a close with “December 1963” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Individuals of all ages made their way down the aisles to fill the open orchestra pit and to dance with Frankie! 

As the night came to an end and audience members made their way toward the exits, all were grinning from ear to ear. Many expressed their enjoyment of the show and promised to return for ‘Jersey Boys’ in March of 2018. Frankie definitely shook up the Santander Performing Arts Center with his unforgettable tunes, timeless voice, and impressive dance moves! “Oh, What a Night” it was, indeed!

WWE LIVE Recap!

The men and women of WWE Raw hit Reading, PA on Saturday, June 3rd, to perform their live event tour! There was a mob of people flooding into the Santander Arena as early as 5:30 PM excited to see their favorite wrestlers enter the ring. At 7:30 PM, the crowd went wild when Finn Balor took the stage to defeat Curt Hawkins.

Throughout the night, there was an eight man tag team, a Cruiserweight Championship, a 6 woman tag team, an Intercontinental Championship, a tag team championship consisting of three different teams, and more.  There were many fan favorites in attendance such as Sasha Banks, Bayley, Dean Ambrose, and Enzo & Big Cass. There were also some that were not so favored by the fans, such as The Miz, who had the whole crowd booing and yelling at him for purposefully pronouncing “Reading” wrong numerous times! The wrestlers engaged with members of the audience by shaking their hands before entering into the ring and by leading the crowd in cheers.

The night consisted of excitement and thrill as each of the wrestlers one by one took their spot in the ring to defeat their opponents. The crowd’s energy was felt throughout the entire arena, whether they were angrily booing a wrestler or cheering joyfully for another.  An excited and satisfied audience left the Santander Arena on Saturday night thrilled that they were able to spend their night watching their favorite wrestlers at WWE Live.

Ready To #GOTOASHOW?

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2017 started off with a bang at the Santander Arena and Santander Performing Arts Center!

The past five months were filled with successful and sold out events between both venues, and we’re thrilled for many more to come. On Friday, June 2nd at 10am, keep your eyes peeled for an announcement on all our Social Media platforms regarding an entire list of Upcoming Events for 2017 and the first half of 2018. Our announcement will feature a variety of shows that will bring excitement to an array of generations. Check back soon!

Grab your tickets to the following shows of 2017:
May 13: Blackberry Smoke
May 18: Eric Church
May 20: Mel Brooks
May 21: Daniel O’Donnell
June 2: The McCartney Years
June 3: WWE Live
June 3: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
June 24: Magic Men Live!
June 30: The Ultimate Queen Celebration
July 18: Bring It! Live
July 20: Johnny Mathis
August 22: Donny and Marie
September 14: Scorpions and Megadeth
September 29: YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin & Rick Wakeman
September 30: Shopkins Live!
October 1: Red Hot Chilli Pipers
October 7: MercyMe with special guests Unspoken & Ryan Stevenson

The Illusionists - Live From Broadway Show Review!

After awaiting their arrival for months, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway, magically appeared in Reading, PA last night on April 10th! The night began with a swarm of people filing into the Santander Performing Arts Center in anticipation to enjoy a magical night. At 7:30pm, the theatre lights went down and the cast of The Illusionists took the stage.

One by one, the cast consisting of The Escapologist, The Deductionist, The Daredevil, The Trickster, The Inventor, The Manipulator, and The Anti-Conjuror took the stage to perform their unique set of skills. Each member of the cast happily engaged with the audience by communicating from the stage, or by bringing audience members on stage to assist with a magic trick. “How did they do that?” was the question running through everyone’s mind.

The night was filled with incredibly talented illusionists who dared each member of the audience to use their imagination and gave them feelings of awe, laughter, shock, and amusement throughout the entire performance. The captivating show captured the attention of the audience and left them anticipating which suspenseful act was next! Happy faces departed the Santander Performing Arts Center last night, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Just like The Anti-Conjuror repeated numerous times last night, “It’s Magic”!