Take one legendary rock ’n’ roll band (with horns), one highly anticipated collaboration, one transoceanic reggae bill, a couple of upper Midwest-influenced folk-rock stars, add summer and what you’ve got is the first set of dates for the Oregon Zoo’s 2016 summer concert series, presented by the Oregon College Savings Plan and Banfield Pet Hospital.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 18, for evenings with Chicago, case/lang/veirs, UB40 and the Wailers, and Trampled by Turtles and Lord Huron.
Pre-sale tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16. To receive pre-sale access, register for the Zoo Concerts newsletter, on our home page!
More dates will be announced in coming weeks, but the first batch already has something for everyone.
- Chicago, June 19: Recently announced honorees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2016 class (they’ll be inducted next month along with Cheap Trick, N.W.A., Steve Miller and Deep Purple), Chicago will return after opening last summer’s zoo series. They’ve sold more than 100 million albums and are the only band to chart Top 40 albums in six decades.
- case/lang/veirs, July 2: In the midst of a career built on musical wandering, k.d. lang made her way to Portland, which she now calls home. Same as Laura Veirs, the highly respected indie-folk singer-songwriter. Neko Case, who does a little of everything (avant-rock works well enough as a label) lives in Vermont. At the suggestion of lang, the three got together and wrote songs to bridge distance and styles. They recorded them in Portland late last year and will release that album on June 17.
- UB40/The Wailers, July 22: Formed in England in 1979, UB40 helped define British reggae music in the 1980s, selling 70 million records on the strength of hits like “Red Red Wine.” Founding members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue highlight the 11-piece touring band that spent 2015 earning rave reviews. The Wailers, from Jamaica, helped invent reggae — backing Bob Marley (most famously) but also acts like Stevie Wonder, Sting and Carlos Santana. Bassist Aston Barrett, who featured prominently on Marley’s classics, anchors this iteration of the Wailers.
- Trampled by Turtles/Lord Huron, Aug. 20: Low’s Alan Sparhawk, who produced Trampled by Turtles’ 2013 album Wild Animals, described their sound as a “wall of strings.” That sound — which also features some sweet, layered harmonies —has taken a band that formed in Duluth, Minn., and carried them around the world. Lord Huron is out of Los Angeles, but came together when singer Ben Schneider took a trip to the family home in northern Michigan on Lake Huron. Last year’s Strange Trails took indie folk and added pulp narrative.
“Nothing says summer in Portland like a warm evening listening to some great music on the zoo’s concert lawn,” said Ivan Ratcliff, zoo guest services manager. “And the best part is knowing these shows benefit the our programs for animal welfare, education and conservation. Our summer concerts would not be possible without the generous support of our presenting sponsors, the Oregon College Savings Plan and Banfield Pet Hospital.”
In 1979, the Oregon Zoo became the first in America to host a summer concert series. The series has become one of the top outdoor events in the Northwest, and is the region’s longest continuously running outdoor series.
The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on Asian elephants, polar bears, orangutans and giant pandas.
Support from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and animal welfare. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.