My Corner, Your Corner: Bring back big-name entertainment to Montage Mountain

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

What a waste of a great facility. The Pavilion at Montage Mountain is not cutting it these days.

This may be my yearly rant about one of the largest venues for concert-goers in the area, but when you have a facility that can accommodate 17,000 music enthusiasts and don’t get full use of it, maybe it’s time to change management or close up shop.

This summer, Montage Mountain will host only nine concerts – three being festivals with the first one cancelled. Nine! Does someone know something I don’t? Is it that this area can’t support a full concert schedule? At least there were 12 events last year.

There are a lot of places to see live music like the F.M. Kirby Center, Mohegan Sun Arena, Mount Airy Lodge, Penn’s Peak at Jim Thorpe, The Sherman Theatre at Stroudsburg and summer venues like the Bloomsburg and Allentown Fairs, but this great facility is right in our backyard.

When concerts first came to Montage Mountain in 1992, the venue was open-air, no pavilion and it was great. The venue has gone under different names, including Montage Mountain Performing Arts Center, Ford Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Coors Light Amphitheatre at Montage Mountain, Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain and now, The Pavilion at Montage Mountain.

Early on, we saw top-notch acts visit the mountain such as Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, Santana, Bob Dylan, Meat Loaf, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Styx, Goo Goo Dolls, Sting, Foreigner, Chicago, Rod Stewart, Jethro Tull, Def Leppard, Heart, The Beach Boys, Brittany Spears, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Backstreet Boys, John Mellencamp, Tony Bennett, Peter Frampton, Matchbox Twenty.

Some shows were filled to capacity, too. Tom Petty, Eminem, Rush, KISS, David Bowie, Maroon 5, and the Dave Matthews Band were all sell-outs.

Lately, there have been a lot of festivals on the mountain so, maybe instead of booking good quality acts, festivals are the way to make mney.

Taking in a concert under the stars was really special for the first few years. The pavilion wasn’t built yet and the stage was at the bottom of one of the ski runs with the ski lodge behind the stage.

One of my favorite shows pre-pavilion was The Moody Blues featuring the Northeast Philharmonic. It was a great night with not a cloud in the sky and the air was warm. It was perfect. You can’t get that now unless you sit on the lawn.

Concerts have been held at Montage for a long time and I hope they continue, but I’m scratching my head as to why there aren’t more shows every summer and why we can’t have big-name entertainment once again.

PA roads

Since we’re in the summer months, there’s nothing like taking a day trip or a long drive around the commonwealth.

I photographed the Giant’s Despair Hillclimb last weekend. That was a lot of fun and I had the chance to meet a bloke from England who had a friend competing in the race. He was a lovely chap, a retired print pressman who raved about Pennsylvania.

He told he couldn’t believe how beautiful the terrain is in PA. In fact, he said it’s so hard to believe how vast the United States is.

I didn’t have the heart to ask him what he thought of the roads in Pennsylvania. So many roads I like to travel for a Sunday drive, like Route 115 to Long Pond or Suscon Road to Thornhurst or even Schooley Road traveling to the Back Mountain are in horrendous shape.

If you have a nice vehicle or a sports car with a not-so-forgiving suspension, you really don’t want to travel these roads.

Towards the end of last year, I wrote about PennDOT’s plans to resurface Route 92 (Exeter Avenue) from the Dale Kridlo Bridge to the end of West Pittston as well as Route 11 (Wyoming Avenue) this past spring.

Well, that hasn’t happened.

Route 11 from from West Pittston to Wyoming is ratty and needs to be addressed. I did notice some of the construction on the road was being conducted this past week.

It seems when the utility companies open a road for repairs; it takes forever to fix the asphalt.

My big pet peeve of uneven manhole covers irks me to no end. There really ought to be a law requiring utility companies or paving companies to raise manholes to finished pavement. A lower manhole is no different than a pothole.

That said, I couldn’t wait until the Fourth of July arrived and now July is half over. I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Quote of the week

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. president.

Thought of the week

“Now the way of life that I preach is a habit to be acquired gradually by long and steady repetition. It is the practice of living for the day only, and for the day’s work.” – William Osler, Canadian physician

Bumper sticker

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” – Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch priest

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio