Concerts, like dimly lit chandeliers, are more impressive outdoors and are more enchanting when adorned with strategically placed glow sticks. Enjoy fresh air and fresher acoustics with today’s GrouponLive deal: for $14, you get one Pavilion C ticket to “The Songs of Elton John” performed by Michael Cavanaugh and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra at the Riverbend Music Center on Saturday, July 23, at 8 p.m. (up to a $27 value). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for children 12 and under typically cost $13.
The stars glistening overhead at the Riverbend Music Center compete with those on stage as piano-pounding rock musician Michael Cavanaugh romps through a set list of classic 70s tunes originated by Elton John, Styx, the Eagles, and Paul McCartney. Sculpting a soulful interpretation of the modern-rock songbook with his smooth voice and nimble hands, the man whom Billy Joel tapped to star in his Grammy-nominated Broadway musical Movin’ Out takes on another legend with help from the renowned Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. World-class musicians feverishly blow trumpets and brass kazoos to keep up with songs that could include an explosive rendition of “Rocket Man” and an interpretation of “Crocodile Rock” so stirring it could make a leather handbag weep.
The outdoor Riverbend Music Center greets concertgoers with unobstructed stage views and cool breezes wafting up from the Ohio River. An acoustically attuned venue that can house a huge capacity allows ample room for fans of all ages to clap along and avoid the ghosts of rock stars past who lurk about the lawn seats.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra—under the direction of Louis Langrée—has matured into one of the nation's melodic heavyweights. Not only was the ensemble the first American orchestra to tour the world, backed by the US Department of State, it also hit the road stateside, playing Carnegie Hall 47 times since 1917. With such an enormous history, it's no surprise that some of classical music's biggest names are associated with the institution. It has housed famous conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Max Rudolf, and has premiered the works of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, and Bartók. It's not only responsible for introducing Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to audiences, it also commissioned his Fanfare for the Common Man into existence. Attracting only the finest players from Ohio and around the world to its stable of musicians, the orchestra continues its second century as an ambassador of symphonic culture.