Presented by Wolf Trap, an amalgamation of film and live music takes over the scenic, open-air Filene Center, exposing the eyes and ears of thousands of attendees to a memorably magical evening. During Tan Dun: Martial Arts Trilogy, Academy Award–winning composer Tan Dun conducts the National Symphony Orchestra through a series of three concertos and coordinated cheerleading routines based on the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Banquet, and Hero. Tan Dun, the original composer of each film's soundtrack, isolates one instrument in each concerto to represent the voice of a main female character. Located in America’s Park for the Performing Arts, the outdoor amphitheater grants audience members views of the musical performance, supplemental film clips, and face-painted superfans singing along in unison to rousing cello solos.
Washington, D.C. classic-rock station BIG 100.3 FM smuggles arena legends and Midwestern heroes Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent into the great outdoors of Jiffy Lube Live with an inestimable cargo of sing-along classics. Styx has sparked the third rail since 1972 with prog-rock sensationalism, bolstering lighter-fluid epics such as "Come Sail Away" and "Babe" with complex riffs from crystalline synthesizers intertwined with power-chord crescendos and noodling from guitar giant Tommy Shaw. With founding front man and falsetto specialist Kevin Cronin at the helm, fellow Prairie State juggernaut REO Speedwagon fills the stage with passionate chartbusters that made waterbed salesmen rich, from romantic ballads such as “Keep On Loving You" to the spurned-lover kiss-off "Take It on the Run." Kicking off the show, "Motor City Madman" and expert game hunter Ted Nugent revs his buzzsaw guitar through toothy classics such as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold," all while protecting the audience from wild boars.
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson plows up the roots of country music, unraveling timeless melodies, ruthless wit, and bone-chilling narratives in his riveting live concert. A true preservationist of classic western music with a blood type of Hank Williams, Jamey's unflinching songs about sour times have earned him multiple Grammy nominations, CMA Song of the Year for "In Color," and countless 10-gallon-hat tips from his peers. Armed with an evocative baritone, Jamey stirs the ghosts of country music past with his trove of odes to broken hearts, empty pockets, and saloon etiquette.
David Cale, a writer of songs, monologues, plays, and musicals, premieres his newest play at the Studio Theatre, building upon an already impressive resumé as an Obie Award winner, contributor to National Public Radio's This American Life, and performer alongside Bette Midler. The world premiere of his current one-man show, The History of Kisses, follows a writer who isolates himself in an oceanfront motel as inspiration to complete a steamy collection of seaside romance stories, but whose work is interrupted by the trysts of his motel-mates and a constant stream of texts from teenage lobsters.
The young Italian tenor trio Il Volo impresses audiences with pitch-leaping vocal performances rich in three-part harmonies. Performing renditions of classic Italian songs as well as material penned by contemporary songwriters, the teenage opera singers showcase budding international appeal and the promise of a bright future that consists of crooning crowds and autographing customs slips at airports. Opening act Ethan Bortnick, a 10-year-old piano prodigy known as the youngest entertainer to headline his own concert tour and attempt to purchase a monster truck, starts out the night with original piano compositions as well as recognizable classics.