We open a new package, and Miranda Lambert’s inside

They finally built it.

A brand, spanking new music amphitheater that Syracusans can call their own opened last night across the highway from the New York State Fair.

No more having to drive 90 miles east to Saratoga Performing Arts Center or 60 miles or even farther west to Constellation Brands — Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua or Darien Lake Performing Arts Center outside of Buffalo to see a big-name outside show in modern comfort.

The Lakeview Amphitheater opened Thursday night with a concert by country music star Miranda Lambert. And it was very grand.

I wrote my Mark It Up community column for Syracuse Public Media site WAER about the pavilion and grounds. You can click the link below to read my story and see more pictures.

http://waer.org/post/show-one-lakeview-amphitheater-looks-sounds-success#stream/0

It took $50 million, including taxpayer money, to get this piece of work up and running on this peninsula of land on the shore of recently cleaned-up Onondaga Lake.

Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

The weather was spectacular for Sept. 3. It was warm as country music lovers walked the path from the parking lot toward the lawn and pavilion for the very first time. Perhaps a tad humid, like a warm blanket.

But once my dear wife Karen and I got to the lawn, the view of the seating and stage and the lake beyond was pretty cool, indeed. I had to investigate more with my iPhone 6, of course.

The woman guarding the entrance to the moat let me cross the path to take one step into the coveted pavilion despite having a lawn ticket. It looked nice. One of the facts they repeatedly flashed on the three video screens attached to the pavilion so we on the lawn could better see what was happening on the stage down there said the seats were constructed to mimic the waves on Onondaga Lake.

I refused to make waves.

I refused to make waves.

Do you think so? Hmmm.

Waiting to buy dinner.

Waiting to buy dinner.

People seemed calm, even when faced with long lines at the concession stands.

Perhaps the view of the setting sun had a soothing effect.

Ready for the show.

Ready for the show.

Folks were hootin’ and hollerin’ when opener RaeLynn came to the stage.

Why are you standing in front of me?

Why are you standing in front of me?

I did not much like her squeaky, young-girl-sounding voice, though the crowd seemed to enjoy her 30-minute set.

Boats on Onondaga Lake.

Boats on Onondaga Lake.

During intermission, I enjoyed the bucolic views. Then I visited the port-a-potties. There was no line. I was proud of myself for navigating my way to some 15 or so feet directly behind Karen. I heard her calling my name in the dark.

Worth all the flash.

Worth all the flash.

Miranda Lambert came to the stage after a two-video tease — thanks, SONY, I liked the co-star turn with Carrie Underwood — and was all that.

She rocked, she rolled, she soared.

Maybe I imagined it because of all the publicity that attended her split from equally famous husband country star Blake Shelton, but her quiet songs seemed to carry an extra tinge of bittersweet.

My dear wife Karen and I quite enjoyed it all.

I ran down to the path on the side for this one.

I ran down to the path on the side for this one.

Oh, yes, her covers of Mountain’s grand Mississippi Queen and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Travelin’ Band made this old rocker very happy, indeed.

So, too, did her lovely harmonies with her two woman band mates on Smokin’ and Drinkin’.

The video start of local women caught in the parking lot declaring their claims to fame amped up Famous in a Small
Town
, and the old clips of Lambert at the beginning of her career made it all the more special.

The House That Built Me, a great and poignant song always, was even more significant on this opening night for Syracuse’s new hot spot.

Here’s a song snippet I shot from our chairs-from-a-bag on the lawn.

And here’s a later song excerpt I shot later when I ran up to the side of the pavilion.

Have you attended an opening night for a venue, and if so, what did you think? Are you a Miranda Lambert fan, and why or why not? Which is your favorite photo, and why?

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54 thoughts on “We open a new package, and Miranda Lambert’s inside

  1. “…when I ran up to the side of the pavilion.” Sounds as if you were rushing the stage. Just kidding. I am a fan of her music. Nice instrumental nice twang in her voice. You guys have a very nice facility. Thanks for sharing.

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    • I would have rushed the stage but the guards blocked the entrance to the pavilion. I was left standing outside on the path with the other lawn ticket holders pressed as close as we possibly could get. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, Benson.

      You know I love sharing these things, Benson. You’re welcome. Miranda’s voice was great last night.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re lucky to have a new venue that is conveniently located. It looks great! I like the picture of the sky over the lawn. Never was a huge Miranda Lambert fan but I guess you didn’t really peg me as a country girl. Glad you had a good time all the same.

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  3. Eh, she’s not my thing. She’s talented and all that, but I don’t love her stuff.
    I did go to an opening, so long ago, at a place called Deer Creek that is now called something else (insert sponsor name — everything is a sponsor’s name now 😦 ) and it was so long ago, I don’t remember who I saw. I feel like it was the Dead or Phish or something. Too early for Lalapalooza or Lilith…Don’t remember. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How cool! I love her voice, songs, and spunk! πŸ™‚ Her quiet songs would have made me cry.
    The house that built me is one of my fav songs of all time!
    I am sad that she and Blake are no longer together…I was hoping they would make it.
    What a beautiful venue! You must take us all with you there whenever you go! Who’s playing there next!?!?
    Love the first photo and the one of the stage that has the reds and purples in it! The sunset ones aren’t too shabby either! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚
    HUGS for you and Karen, and Happy L-O-N-G Whee-kend to everyone at your pad!!! Hope it’s filled with love and laughter and little or no labor! πŸ™‚

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  5. Lovely venue, always appreciate a nice outdoor stage ! Lambert…meh..not sure. Love her songwriting, just not sure I’m a country/crossover fan. And I have become a Blake Shelton fan…more for his personality than his music. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Mark, I must admit I became a bit fretful when I didn’t see a post from you today in my “In-box” – but here you are, safe and sound. I really liked the photos of the sunset, really nice looking place. You may find this surprising but I don’t lean towards Country/Western music at all – but it looks a very nice time was had. Last outside concert I went to was at Red Rocks, outside of Denver – saw the Moody Blues (that was ages ago).

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  7. how wonderful that this beautiful new venue is close by – looks like a great night and with a promise of many more to come, i’m sure. i’m not a huge country fan, but i’ve grown to like some of it over time and am more open to it –

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  8. Nice sunset pics. I enjoy Miranda, glad to see she hasn’t slowed down any. I can’t say as I understand why anyone would push Blake Shelton out of her bed, but that’s none of my business. “The House That Built Me” is one the best songs ever. I could certainly relate to that one.

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    • I can’t begin to figure out the dynamics of anybody else’s relationship, Kerbey, but I was sure hoping this was a celebrity duo that made it to the finish line. Yes, you and my dear wife Karen love that song to the max. Thanks for your kind words regarding the sunset photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a cool venue. I grew up going to Wolftrap in VA so I have a fondness for outdoor theaters. I have been to the the on in Saratoga too. I saw NYC Ballet performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream back in the early 70’s.

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  10. Sorry, my fat fingers hit send accidentally. Anyway, you took some great photos and I really liked this piece. I know I have New Orleans just down the road, but I am a little bit jealous of your outdoor arena on the lake. It’s really beautiful.

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  11. I really know Miranda will be around for a long time and I believe she may change her musical direction in the future. She has so much range and sassy confidence! I really like Karen’s photo in the post, too.

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