NEPA Scene Staff

Classic rock band The Guess Who plays free outdoor concert in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 19

Classic rock band The Guess Who plays free outdoor concert in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 19
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From a press release:

While the Rockin’ the River series has come to a close for the summer, the free live concerts in Wilkes-Barre aren’t over yet.

Mayor George C. Brown has announced that legendary Canadian rock band The Guess Who, known for classic hits like “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” and “No Time,” will perform on Public Square on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre’s own blues rockers Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen will open the all-ages show starting at 6 p.m.

The event will include local food vendors; alcohol is not permitted. Attendees are welcome to bring their own chairs and blankets. For safety, Public Square will be closed to traffic beginning at 5 p.m. and reopening soon after the end of the concert. For more details, see the Facebook event page.

The Guess Who enjoyed chart-topping hits in the late 1960s and early ’70s with an impressive catalog of songs, including “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,” “Undun,” “Laughing,” “Share the Land,” “Hand Me Down World,” “Clap for the Wolfman,” and “Bus Rider,” among many others. During the course of their career, the band released 11 studio albums and charted 14 Top 40 hit singles, two of which went to No. 1 in the United States. The Guess Who is best known internationally for their 1970 album “American Woman,” which hit No. 1 in Canada and No. 9 in the United States, with five other albums also hitting the Top 10 in Canada.

Their fan base spans multiple generations. Very few bands have survived numerous member changes – let alone having smash hits with different lineups – but The Guess Who’s motto is “the music is the message.” The most recent version of the band features original drummer Garry Peterson with Derek Sharp (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano), Leonard Shaw (keys, sax, flute), Michael Devin (bass), and Michael Staertow (lead guitar).

The group has mastered a wildly entertaining romp through the early hits mixed in with their current creations, taking the whole experience to a new level. These live shows are a celebration of life, being alive and thriving in these uncertain times. The Guess Who never leave anything less than their hearts on the stage at the end of every performance.

They are currently on a U.S. tour supporting their latest album, “Plein D’Amour,” released on June 30. Their new musical offerings are “stunningly sophisticated, searingly emotional, and musically eclectic, while remaining eminently sing-along-able,” according to the quintet.

Over the course of an iconic career spanning more then six decade, Peterson is best known for being a founding member and co-owner of The Guess Who, performing with former Guess Who lead singer/keyboardist Burton Cummings, and playing with Bachman Turner Overdrive during their support of Van Halen’s 5150 Tour.

Being a child prodigy meant success came at a very young age, with his first professional gig by the age of 4 and by 6 he had already performed with Peggy Lee at The Chicago Theatre. Similar gigs would follow with the likes of Lionel Hampton, The Four Lads, and The Andrews Sisters, to name a few. By 16, he had joined the Winnipeg band Al & The Silvertones, which would eventually transform itself into The Guess Who.

As a member of The Guess Who, Peterson has to his credit 15 albums that have charted on the Billboard 200; 14 singles that have charted on Billboard’s Top 40, including two No. 1s; and three gold singles and three gold albums certified by the RIAA.

Through The Guess Who, he has also been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement for contribution to popular music in Canada. The 78-year-old is the only current or former member of The Guess Who that has performed on every single album and participated in every single tour over the course of the band’s lengthy history.

Wilkes-Barre has made this free concert possible through contributions by sponsors, such as Diamond City Partnership, Visit Luzerne County, BHW Construction Consultation Services Inc., Franchelli Enterprises, M&T Bank, Pennsylvania American Water, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, Allied Services, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Luzerne Foundation, PennEastern Engineering, Stell Enterprises Inc., UGI, and Roscoe Advertising.