NEPA Scene Staff

Alabama on July 23 will be first live concert inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre since COVID-19 shutdown

Alabama on July 23 will be first live concert inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre since COVID-19 shutdown
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From a press release:

The Alabama concert set for Friday, July 23 at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza will be the first live music event hosted inside the Wilkes-Barre Township venue since March 6, 2020. The arena will be at 100 percent capacity per the state of Pennsylvania’s loosening of restrictions on indoor venue capacities.

While it has been a long wait for live music to return, it has been an even longer wait for local fans of these Country Music Hall of Famers. First announced in October of 2018, the Alabama concert was originally postponed after vocalist/guitarist Randy Owen came down with “a severe sinus infection and an infected throat,” then again due to Owen’s “ongoing complications with cluster migraines and vertigo.” It was pushed to Oct. 2, 2020 due to the pandemic, but conditions across the country did not improve enough for the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour to continue at that time.

Additionally, The Charlie Daniels Band was booked to open the Wilkes-Barre show but the 83-year-old singer died of a stroke on July 6, 2020. Special guest Tracy Lawrence will now serve as the opening act.

All tickets purchased for the original performance dates will be honored on July 23. This includes any tickets for the previous dates in 2019 and 2020. A limited number of tickets, which start at $56, are still available at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre) and

“This is the night we’ve been we’ve been waiting for,” said Will Beekman, the ASM Global General Manager of Mohegan Sun Arena. “On July 23rd, we are officially back. We are a better, stronger, safer venue for having gone through what we’ve gone through, but we are putting that behind us. It’s time to move on. It’s time to go live again.”

Arena managers ASM Global remind everyone planning to attend to adhere to the new hygiene and security policies in place consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance for the safety of all participants, guests, and employees, including:

  • Face coverings and social distancing for guests who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required. All vaccinated guests are free to continue to wear face coverings if they choose to do so.
  • All guests 2 years of age and older who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings during their visit except while actively eating or drinking.
  • Guests do not need to show physical proof of being fully vaccinated. However, if guests are not fully vaccinated, they must follow the current guidance and continue to wear a face covering.
  • The venue will rely on our guests to accurately follow the guidelines based on their vaccination status.

If anyone is experiencing any of the following, ASM Global asks that they stay home:

  • A guest who has COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A guest who has a COVID-19 test result pending.
  • A guest who is under a healthcare provider’s care for a positive COVID-19 test.
  • A guest who has been exposed to COVID-19 (unless fully vaccinated).

Mohegan Sun Arena continues to maintain enhanced cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection standards through the activation of the ASM Global VenueShield program, providing the highest levels of safety, security, and consumer confidence in alignment with approvals from local government officials and health care experts.

It’s been 50 years since Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the summer playing music in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. It is a classic American tale of rags to riches, from humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields to international stars that went on to sell 80 million albums while changing the face and sound of country music.

Quality songs that have become the soundtrack for American life are the foundation for Alabama’s stellar career. Alabama introduced rock-style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics, and sounds to the country audience that has inspired many of today’s brightest country stars, including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan.

“I thank God I’m here to see these great artists see fit to sing some of the songs we did,” Owen said with the everyman sincerity that has helped so many identify with the humbly born superstars.

“More than anything, our longevity is a tribute to the hard work we did in selecting songs because it’s the songs that people remember,” Gentry added.

“We were renegades in sneakers and T-shirts. We had long hair and played loud and some of the country folks resisted us for a while. But then, of course, they did accept us, and then after that, our success made it lots easier for other bands to try it in country music.”

While their music continues to stand the test of time, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. Five decades since starting the band, Alabama has charted 43 No. 1 singles, including 21 No. 1 singles in a row, and have won over 179 CMA Awards, Grammy Awards, and ACM Awards. They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and have their own star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are also world-class philanthropists who have raised over 250 million dollars for charity.

“A lot of fans will start a conversation with, ‘I don’t want to bother you,'” Cook said, “but what they don’t understand is that everything that’s happened to us, every one of those awards, happened because we’ve been accepted and supported by our fans.”

Tracy Lawrence is one of country music’s truest traditionalists and, this year, he is celebrating his 30th anniversary in the industry. His impressive catalog of timeless music has made him a mainstay in the genre, selling more than 13 million albums and charting 18 No. 1 songs. He has garnered numerous CMA and ACM awards and nominations, as well as a Grammy nomination. Commemorating his three-decade career in 2021, he is releasing three new albums, which include all new music along with some of his favorite career hits.

In addition to his chart-topping success, Lawrence hosts the award-nominated, nationally syndicated radio show “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence,” for which he has received two ACM nominations for National On-Air Personality of the Year. The show features music from the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s and is heard on more than 115 affiliates. He is also the co-creator of “Storming Heaven: The Musical,” a production based on the novel “Storming Heaven.” He helped to develop the storyline of the musical and also composed songs for the drama.

Lawrence was honored by the Nashville chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals with Philanthropist of the Year for his nationally recognized annual Mission: Possible Turkey Fry and Concert, which has raised over half a million dollars for the homeless and hungry in Dallas, Louisville, and Nashville and served more than 84,000 meals. Mission: Possible is poised to make an even larger impact in the future as the 501(c)(3) organization expands into more markets across the country.