Downtown Amphitheater Grand Opening Friday Featuring Raleigh’s Connells

Downtown Amphitheater Grand Opening Friday Featuring Raleigh’s Connells

May, 17, 2010, by Jedidiah

Advertise on NR

photo by John Morris

Mayor Charles Meeker has announced the Downtown Raleigh Amphitheater’s Grand Opening celebration will be on June 4 and include a great collection of local bands.

5:20-5:50 - Th’ Bullfrog Willard McGee
6-6:25 - The Small Ponds
6:45-7:10 - Sleep Control
7:30-7:55 - Old Avenue
8:15 - 8:40 - Mosadi Music
9:00-9:35 - I Was Totally Destroying It
9:55 - 10:55 - The Connells

Also, we have this information about the beer selection from the PR group within the Raleigh Convention Center that is helping promote the new amphitheater:

In addition to great vending options to be announced soon, the amphitheater is aiming to have the following beers on tap. This list is subject to change, but there’ll be a great beer list regardless! Lonerider Shot Gun Betty, Sweetwater 420, Triangle Belgian White, Shock Top, Land Shark, Killa Man Irish, Triangle Golden, Longhammer, Whidmer, Big Boss Bad Penny, Blue Moon, Bud, Bud Light, Beach Bum, Magic Hat!

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Music, Other posts by Jedidiah.


Downtown Raleigh AmphitheaterRaleigh Convention CenterConnells


  • T-Plain
    05/17 12:13 PM

    Wonder how that beer list would change if the Bud Light naming deal goes through.

  • GEB
    05/17 12:25 PM

    T-Plain, that beer list is if the deal goes through.

  • semiDave
    05/17 12:29 PM

    It’s a name, not full rights to the place.  Gezz people.  Keep in mind, Busch Stadium sells local mirco-brews….

  • stupidness
    05/17 12:53 PM

    ok im a ditz. are there tickets for this or can you just…. go?

  • semiDave
    05/17 12:56 PM

    This is Raleigh, I am sure it will be a free show.

  • Josh Hofer
    05/17 01:00 PM

    Meh, kinda weak lineup.

    No one asked House of Fools to play? Weak.

  • Steve W
    05/17 03:34 PM

    I have read tons of articles about the downtown amphitheater over the past few months, and find it strange there has been no mention of its location—isn’t that the most important part?  Could anyone tell me where it will actually be located?

  • Ray P
    05/17 03:45 PM

    Hi Steve,

    The amphitheater is just West of the downtown convention center. Between Dawson, Cabarrus, McDowell & Lenoir Streets

  • JT#2
    05/17 04:10 PM

    Not a bad list.  Need to give Aviator a seat at the table though…

  • StevenG
    05/17 04:23 PM

    all very exciting news! can’t wait for this show

  • Frank
    05/17 06:50 PM

    I hate that they even have alcohol at these events. The air is full of skank and vomit with drunk people stumbling everywhere!

  • semiDave
    05/17 07:58 PM


    you’re joking right?

  • Insufferable Hipster Douchebag
    05/17 09:44 PM

    I’d love to see The Connell.

  • Disappointed
    05/17 10:10 PM

    I agree with Josh regarding the weak line-up. Although House of Fools is great, they are from Greensboro so they shouldn’t have been a pick for this event since this should showcase the top Raleigh (or at least Triangle) bands. Yet again, another disappointing show for the Amphitheater….I’m starting to get used to it.

  • matt w
    05/18 09:41 AM

    FWIW, NPR reported this morning that the official name at opening will be “Raleigh Amphitheater”.

    Curious to see whether NR will call it by this name or if they will continue to append the “Downtown” descriptor to the name.

  • Jedidiah
    05/18 10:16 AM

    Matt W,

    We are actually thinking of dropping Downtown and adding New instead.

    So we’ll just called it (the) New Raleigh Amphitheater.

    Sounds good eh?


  • oakcity
    05/18 11:12 AM

    i’m just amazed at how people are still bitching about this.

    “we don’t like the bands, we don’t like the name, we don’t like the beer list.”

    then stay the f*** at home and get over yourselves

  • matt w
    05/18 11:16 AM


    That’s an idea I can get behind.  Can you put up a form mail that I can forward along to Meeker?

  • richardfoc
    05/18 01:54 PM

    For all those bitching about the bands that suck and the name that sucks and the beer selection that is going to suck why don’t you all pool your money and go buy the old Hideaway building and book bands that don’t suck and name it something that doesn’t suck and have a beer selection that doesn’t suck? It’s still for sale.

  • MMI
    05/18 02:52 PM

    Hideaway tried all of that, Richard.  None of it could overcome shoddy top management.  Well, that and a sucky location with little parking.

  • arthurb3
    05/18 04:49 PM

    Local bands would be great. I don’t really want to see this place become a mini-walnut creek with only Nationally known bands!

  • k
    05/19 10:32 AM

    how about an actual list(nobody is a huge star):

    john butler trio
    kelly joe phelps
    jeffrey foucault
    jurassic 5
    nick driver(local)
    state radio
    ray lamontagne
    sufjan stevens
    dave barnes
    old crow medicine show
    shawn mcdonald
    iron and wine
    do it to julia
    forest sun
    and me if you want
    and as much folk blues as possible

    the beer is great, but PBR and Guinness would rock!!

    downtown is getting awesome.

  • corey3rd
    05/19 02:24 PM

    where’s Clay Aiken?

  • B
    05/19 02:29 PM

    It’s a good beer list.  The local bud light distributor actually carries most of those beers.  Lonerider Brewery makes some of the best beers around and they are brewed right here in Raleigh. 

    The other locals are Killaman Irish (Fayetteville), Triangle Golden (Durham) and Big Boss Bad Penny (Raleigh).

    Support your locals!

  • mcm
    05/19 04:46 PM

    You wanna know what really sucks? The amphitheater! What…. A…. Dump.

  • Will
    05/20 03:50 PM

    Harris Wholesale actually distributes all of those beers, (except for Big Boss and Blue Moon)so they will be there regardless of whether the naming rights go through or not.

  • WS
    05/21 12:12 PM

    This beer list is better than just having bud products but it is still quite far from being respectable & it’s definitely not “good”...such a ..let down.

    Oh well, at least they’ve finally booked some real talent(Gov’t Mule)

  • C
    05/21 12:32 PM

    How many fucking beer choices do you need for a 2 hour concert?  I’m sorry they don’t have The Shit Your Brother Brewed In His Garage on tap.  Have a couple of Sweetwaters and get over it.

  • Steve W
    05/21 12:51 PM

    That’s funny, C!  Maybe instead of the number of beers that will be available, we should be concentrating on what we’ll be able to use the amphitheater space for when concerts aren’t being held—to ensure we get a return on our public investment.

  • WS
    05/21 03:13 PM

    Sweetwater sucks!

    No one is focusing on the number of beers but the quality of beers & where they come from. It’s more about having a venue that fits with dwntwn Raleigh & showing some class. Why not make this place special instead of just settling for mediocrity?

  • richardfoc
    05/21 05:23 PM

    OMG! Four local breweries who make good beers on this list and some of you people are STILL whining? Jesus! You folks must be a blast at parties.

  • Bobby
    05/25 03:29 PM

    Liking that it’s local bands to kick everything off and I agree with ^, stop complaining about the beer selection.  Pretty good for a venue (remember, it’s not a bar).

  • shonna greenwell
    05/28 12:06 PM

    Once again the city has planned an event on First Friday.  Why couldn’t they open it the next night?  Wouldn’t that bring people back downtown?  In general the art galleries put a lot of effort and money into First Friday and yet that doesn’t seem to matter when the city plans an event. 

    I guess it could be worse like opening an ice rink on First Friday in December, one of the best months for retail, during one of the most economically challenging years in recent history.  Wait…that did happen.

    shonna greenwell, rebus works

  • chippa
    06/01 05:43 PM

    Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Just stay home and clog up the internets with your stupid comments instead of going out and supporting local music!

  • CtrlBurn
    06/01 06:04 PM

    If they have Bad Penny, I’ll never complain about the beer selection.

    Good question about whether this inaugural show is free.  Does anyone know for sure?

  • Aaron
    06/01 09:44 PM

    Drove by the site today and was impressed by the views of the stage. Is anyone else concerned about how the small the lawn is turning out? I wonder how many people they expect to pack into that small strip of grass?

  • starlight
    06/02 12:56 AM

    y’all pretty please stop your bitchin’ and moanin’ and enjoy the fact that we are finally getting some interesting show venues back in this town! :)

  • M
    06/02 10:36 AM

    According to the Raleigh Convention Center site, the first show on Friday is free.

  • BC
    06/02 01:47 PM

    I am still wondering if there is a plan to control sound from the shows or if anyone can hang out just outside the gates and listen.

  • gd
    06/02 02:49 PM

    im trying to figure out how in the hell you would do that BC…

  • C
    06/02 04:06 PM

    There will be forced earmuff distribution to all non ticket holders in the immediate area.

  • BC
    06/03 08:19 AM

    Hi gd. I recall being at an outdoor concert in Rochester, NY in the early 90s where they had multiple devices set up outside the seating area that produced a ‘blowing air/wind’ type sound. Outside the venue you heard that sound but inside the venue you did not hear it.

    Without something like this, I can see an issue arising with people loitering outside the gated area. Not that I mind personally but the RPD or amphitheater security might have a concern. We’ll see how it plays out once the shows begin.

  • gd
    06/03 08:49 AM

    Interesting.  Never heard of that.  Thanks.

  • Tony
    06/03 07:55 PM

    Hey I have been around Raleigh for a while….and reading all these comments just confirms my belief that for 40 + years Raleigh folks can’t and won’t do shit…..but I say they can.  It is time to move on and get over the inane.  Raleigh can have some real good stuff….you naysayers need to go to Wal Mart or some such frigging place…...the joke is over it is time to move forward and actually HAVE SOMETHING WORTH A DAMN.

  • Insufferable Hipster Douchebag
    06/03 08:00 PM

    @Tony - I agree. As a guy who spent 1998 to 2007 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (the epicenter of hipster madness) I can say without any irony that Raleigh (and Durham) have got good things going on. People bad-mouth the area as not being fun and interesting in a sad attempt to be cooler-than-thou but they only prove that they really have no idea what what they are talking about.

    Fact is that Raleigh has lots going for it.

  • Captain
    06/04 10:45 AM

    The “RAMP” is going to be an unbelievable venue.  Just wait until the exhaust of the bass drum and the thundering crowd, shimmer the “shimmering wall” of the Convention Center.  Summer sunsets, with the Raleigh skyline completely engulfed with backlit colors.  I am not exactly talking about the every band on the ticket, but hopefully the concert organizers will learn from their mistakes. 

    Let’s experience it, before we make any judgements.

    Like any organization, it takes fans help grow an idea.  Thanks to Raleigh, for bringing us another option.  Changes can be made, but it will take a steady commitment. 

    Before you know it, the bands that you want to see, will be encoring the new bars on South Street after their shows.  The RAMP can be a launching platform for music and growth in local entities. 

    Bring your Bike.  Take the Bus.  Walk on down, to the New Town.

  • rdugirl
    06/05 10:20 AM

    Went down to the “RAMP” to check out the last band and left after the 2nd song. $9 for a Budlight!  $6 for a bottle of water!  Parched, I ask for a water only to be told “Sorry, we are closed”  What?!  I can understand stopping alcohol sales before the end of the show, but WATER?  WTF?  At that point, the 5 of us looked at each other and headed back to the Landmark for an ice cold $4 beer and music we could hear.  Made me appreciate the beauty of KoKa Booth, despite it’s lack of volume.  The “RAMP” has a long way to go to be a cool, hip, downtown venue.  Piss poor line up of bands aside, my friends and I won’t be returning.  BRING BACK DOWNTOWN LIVE!

  • Peter Eichenberger
    06/05 10:38 AM

    Raleigh typically has a long way to go with the amphitheater. I went to a show last night at Charlottesville’s Bud Light Friday night concert series at their impossibly cool pavillion pavillion&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi
    Five dollar microbrews. a great local act amid an easy Friday crowd, trees and grass. It’s going to take time and imagination, but I believe with some tweaks Raleigh’s can work.

  • Make It, Don't Hate It
    06/05 11:44 AM

    Great night at the grand opening. Richardfoc and many others here are right. People are making things happen. Be part of it.

  • corey3rd
    06/05 12:00 PM

    we should all be part of a place that charges $6 for repackaged Raleigh water!

  • Mick1907
    06/05 12:37 PM

    First off state all the facts when you say “$9 beers” the said beers(and not just Bud Lite, I had Bad Penny) were 24 oz which is two beers @ $9 divided by 2= $4.50 per.  Is it still pricey? Yes compared to your local zip mart but not really when you go out.  Let’s make sure to paint a more accurate picture when we go about our hatin’.

    Sound was good, sounds even better outside, site lines for the back sector seats are bad, lines for bathrooms and beverages could be very bad, id’ing every time could be a problem, better get the wristbands, friendly staff, grass was nice, what’s up with all the strollers people, great backdrop with the convention center oak, still needs some work, but could be a great place to check out a show. I’ll hold judgment and I’ll be back at least for STS9!

  • Phillo
    06/05 04:37 PM

    @Peter Eichenberger

    “Raleigh typically has a long way to go with the amphitheater” 
    How would you know?  You said yourself that you were in Charlottesville last night.

    06/05 07:02 PM

    I had a good time. The sound was on point, which is all you really need.  I had a VIP pass so my sweetwaters were free.

  • Insufferable Hipster Douchebag
    06/06 11:23 AM

    The local beers were $8 for a 16oz and $9 for a 24oz. The piss-in-a-can were cheaper. Concessions were from EmpireEats and around $7.00. So it’s a little more expensive than First Fridays were. Water was not $6 (liar).

    Sound was good and lines of sight allowed you to see the stage well from just about every angle. The convention center wall added to the atmosphere. Plenty of restrooms.

    Was a little disappointed in the talent for the first show. I Was Totally Destroying It was the best showing. The Connells have slipped considerably since their hey-day.

    Overall, the venue doesn’t disappoint. Let’s see what they do with bringing in talent.

  • corey3rd
    06/06 12:10 PM

    So for an extra buck you can get 8 more ounces of beer - thus the Bud Light venue is promoting binge drinking.

    and what’s the point of calling someone a liar for saying water was $6 when you can’t be bothered to post the “real” price. Or were you too wasted from your Supersize me for a buck beers to misremember it wrong?

  • Insufferable Hipster Douchebag
    06/06 12:58 PM

    Wow. It’s almost pointless to reply or post facts given the trolling on this subject. It’s a shame that troglodytes want to spoil everyone’s fun.

    I don’t remember exactly how much water was, but the Gatorade was $4.

    Nice ad hominem attack there. I bought two 24oz Shotgun Bettys which were consumed over a 4 hour period.

    And since you want to hurl attacks, in what language does the phrae “misremember it wrong” make any sense. Trollese?

  • corey3rd
    06/06 01:17 PM

    you’re sober enough to remember Gatorade prices.

    What sort of douchebag hipster can’t even get the “Misremember it wrong” reference. Maybe you’re too drunk to watch the news. Of course we know you must be an old man since you remember when the Connells were in their heyday - in a time before there was a single Law and Order on TV.

  • rdugirl
    06/06 03:14 PM

    Douchebag..I have never paid $4.50 for a can of Bud, so in my humble opinion, I think $9 is a bit much.  The water was $6 a bottle (stand at the end of the ramp next to bathrooms) but what was worse than the price was the fact that I couldn’t even get one!  Why stop the sale of water prior to the end of the show?

  • poolplr
    07/23 04:10 PM

    Does anyone know where you can tailgate before the concert?

    07/23 05:02 PM

    On top of the parking deck across the street.

  • Doc
    07/23 05:09 PM

    In order to tailgate at this concert, you will also need a DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor.

  • Me
    07/24 12:47 PM

    Where do u park when going to a concert and do they have a drop off area?

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