Levitt Pavilion – SteelStacks

The lawn was illuminated with the recessed lighting giving the venue a magical feel.  Star-spangled flags blew in the warm air.

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This particular night was heavy with heat as people toted chairs condensed down in drawstring bags.  The lawn was not the only seating – a great view of the show could be seen from Sands Deck.  That’s where we were heading after a quick stop for a beer – the plastic cup sweated as we climbed the stairs.

The stairs coiled around the glass sculpture that rose above into a vast array of flames.

The deck loomed above the crowd below.  The sunset was breathtaking – the sun slinking behind the steel stacks making windows of vacant buildings glow and patriotic pendant banners pop with vibrant color.  As it went down, the band started playing – the brass instruments luring in the night with melodies.

As day fades, the whole venue becomes alive with neon color.

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The Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks is an amphitheater at the base of the blast furnaces on the ArtsQuest campus.  Every summer it hosts 50+ free concerts for the community.  All shows vary in genre from jazz, folk, indie pop, oldies, etc.  The concerts are free of charge, but you are offered opportunities to donate to help sponsor the future shows.

If you are unfamiliar with one of the artists, prep before the concert.  You can easily stream music (on Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, etc.) with a simple search to find out if a band is your cup of tea.  This evening Amy Lynn & The Gunshow was playing – they classify themselves as a “traditional memphis-motown soul/rock” band.  Check out a great song of their’s here.

Once you settle on your show of choice – note there are tons of seating choices!  There is the lawn where you can lay a blanket or pop open some lawn chairs.  There are also concrete slabs to sit on, umbrella covered tables along the sidewalk and in the Air Products Town Square.  Also, as mentioned, there is the Sands Deck which towers 30 feet above Founders Way which runs through the ArtsQuest campus.

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If you work up an appetite jamming out, food is also available for purchase at the shows – a nice luxury is that they allow you to bring your own cooler.  They only prohibit alcoholic beverages – but these are available for sale inside the ArtsQuest Center or outside at Mack Café.  The Mack Café is unique as it is a concessions stand inside a Mack tractor trailer.

This venue is also dog-friendly – there is the “Pet Park” section of the lawn for people and their four-legged best friends.

The concert series at Levitt Pavilion just opened this past memorial weekend – so there are many concerts to go!  A list of this summer’s artists can be found here.  Check one out, you won’t be disappointed!

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