Watseka Theatre hosting tributes to Pink Floyd and country music legends
The holiday weekend will be a cause for celebration for many, and the Watseka Theatre will do its part with back-to-back dynamic shows on Friday and Saturday.
The Echoes of Pompeii, a Pink Floyd tribute band, will commence the festivities at 7:30 p.m. Friday, before the much-celebrated The Highwaymen Live at 7 p.m. on Saturday. It’s a tribute to Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
“We’ll kick off the Memorial Day weekend with two big shows,” said Watseka Theatre owner Chuck Gomez.
Pink Floyd has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, so it makes sense for a bombastic tribute band.
According to its website, Echoes of Pompeii is comprised of a 10-piece orchestra to give fans the true sound of a Pink Floyd concert. With synthesizers, delayed vocals, slide guitars and back-up singers, Echoes of Pompeii has it all covered.
It also will employ state-of-the-art visuals such as lasers, lights, video and images that Pink Floyd was known to produce. All eras of Pink Floyd are covered from Syd Barrett to Roger Waters.
All tickets for Echoes of Pompeii are general admission and are $30 for the historic theater at 218 E. Walnut St. in downtown Watseka. The building’s excellent acoustics should bode well for a dynamite show.
The Highwaymen Live show will take over the stage on Saturday, and it’s a tribute to three of country music’s biggest stars in Nelson, Cash and Jennings. The trio will be portrayed by musicians Michael Moore (Nelson), Philip Bauer (Cash) and August Manley (Jennings).
The Highwaymen have been on tour since January, and seven of the 10 shows have sold out, including one on Friday in Lebanon, Ohio.
“I just got back from Texas, and we’re going to load up and go back out on tour,” said Moore when reached by phone on Tuesday.
Moore was born and raised in McKinney, Texas, and he’s had a passion for Nelson’s music since he was a youth. He has worked hard over the years to capture Nelson’s voice and style.
Manley is a native of Tacoma, Wash., and was raised on country music in the ’70s. He’s been performing his role as Jennings since 2005.
Bauer has been playing music for more than 30 years, and his tributes to Cash have taken him across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia, according to The Highwaymen’s website.
So what can fans expect on Saturday?
“A lot of music, some stories and some chit-chat on stage,” Moore said. “We’ll also have a multimedia video show behind us that enhances the songs we sing. It’s a walk down memory lane for sure.
“I’m not sure what the audience will be like, but we tend to be an over-the-top kind of show. ... If you were a fan of any of these three guys, we got it all for you.”
Tickets for The Highwaymen are $40, and a dinner is available for $15. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For tickets, visit watsekatheatre.com or call 815-993-6585.
Gomez is expecting a good crowd on Saturday.
“It’s always a last-minute show,” he said. “In the big cities, they sell out in two hours. In cities like Watseka, in the last two days, we always get a push.”