July 3 Fireworks To Be Capped with the Music of the Band Chicago


SAN ANGELO, TX — Sunday night, July 3, isn’t only about the fireworks. After the final rocket’s red glare and the last bomb bursts in the air, the River Stage will be rocking with the music of Chicago, as performed by Chicago Tribute Authority Texas.

Chicago is an American rock band that uniquely features its own horn section — a trombone, sax and trumpet — that was formed in 1967. Chicago’s schtick is to combine blended elements of rock, jazz, pop music, and most importantly classical music. As an example of the blended style, “A Ballet for a Girl in Buchanan” on Chicago’s second album is a 13-minute suite composed by trombonist James Pankow. “Ballet” netted Chicago two of its early hits, “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World,” that are movements embedded within the the suite. Ballet showcases the Chicago early style of blended musical style.

Relying on 55 years of excellent music repertoire from the original band Chicago, Rene Peña manages and plays keyboards for Chicago Tribute Authority Texas and noted that all 10 members of the band are top-notch musicians. Every show Peña and company perform is a tribute the the musical genius of Chicago, he said.

Peña said the band usually opens up with a rocker like “Beginnings" from the first Chicago album published in ’67.

“We want to get the crowd going,” Peña said. “Beginnings” is among the most well-known Chicago hits and it has a fast pace. The song showcases all of the elements of the Chicago band, from acoustic to electric guitars and the accompanying melodies of the horn section.

Beginnings by Chicago Tribute Authority Texas

Peña said crowd favorites are many of the newer Chicago compositions, such as the power ballads of the 1980s — songs like “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, “You’re the Inspiration”, and “Hard Habit to Break.” These songs in the ‘80s de-emphasized the horn section but the decade was the era of the rock power ballad and these Pete Cetera songs fulfilled fan expectations and attracted more fans back then.

Chicago Tribute Authority Texas will perform at the after party at the July 3 concert and fireworks show.

Chicago Tribute Authority Texas will perform at the after party at the July 3 concert and fireworks show.

Performing the rock-classical songs of early Chicago requires very seasoned musicians. Followers of jazz and classical music will agree that having a tribute band pull off performing “A Ballet for a Girl in Buchanan” tests the ensemble’s talent and capabilities. Peña said Chicago Tribute Authority Texas showcases the suite.

Shannon Health is sponsoring the after party when Chicago Tribute Authority Texas will perform.

Sunday night San Angelo is in for a treat! A rock band with horns, Chicago Tribute Authority of Texas!

Neff’s Park across the Concho River from the RiverStage is mostly closed off this year. The east side of the park near Oakes Street is closed by the San Angelo Fire Marshal because it is the fallout area for the fireworks in addition to the location of about a dozen Civil War era cannons from Fort Concho that will be firing in conjunction with the fireworks. On the west end, the Chadbourne Street ramp is still under construction and much of the area around that construction is fenced off.

The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is holding a celebration during the fireworks. Patrons there will enjoy an elevated view from the Museum’s balcony, an open bar, and catered meal. Contact the Museum for tickets (325) 653-3333.

The City of San Angelo Municipal Pool may be open for the show. The pool is undergoing repairs and parts are delayed getting to San Angelo because of supply chain issues. The last word we had was that the parts should be in this week and City workers will work around to clock to get the pool re-opened in time for the fireworks. Historically, the pool, which sits atop the hill looking down at the River Stage is a great vantage point for viewing the fireworks. In years’ past, a nominal charge per person of less than $20 each, less for children, got you inside. Pool area capacity is about 200. We will update you on the pool’s status later this week.

The general admission area of the River Stage is free and there are two entrances. The main entrance is on the east side where the Museum is at the box office. A second west entry is near the intersection of Avenue A and South Chadbourne Street. General admission is free. Coolers are allowed, but all coolers and bags must be inspected. No alcoholic beverages (liquor, beer or wine, and etc.) are allowed. There are no cooler fees. Space inside the River Stage is first come, first served. This year, San Angelo LIVE! continues the tradition of opening the gates to the River Stage at noon so patrons can rush in and claim their spot. Concessions are available inside the River Stage area and will include hamburgers, hotdogs, soft drinks, bottled water, and a large selection of beer and wine drinks.

Other places to watch the fireworks are from the Chadbourne Street bridge or from the east side on Veterans Memorial Drive starting behind Whiskey River Saloon up to the area fenced off near Oakes Street Bridge. Downtown establishments up and down Concho, Chadbourne, and Oakes will also have viewing areas.

Parking at the Museum, along Avenue A, and Orient will be closed for VIP parking. Uber and Lyft are available in San Angelo. The ride share should drop your party off near 1 Love Street (the museum) and it is a 1000-foot walk to the museum or at the intersection of S. Chadbourne and Avenue A for the west entrance (the west entrance has a long stair case). All traffic will be closed on Chadbourne and Oakes Streets most of the day on Sunday so the best direction of approach to the River Stage and Museum area is from the south and park in the Farmer’s Market and Paseo area off Oakes Street.

The full schedule of the concert on the River Stage:

  • 7 p.m. - Mariachi Alma Mexicana
  • 8 p.m. - San Angelo Community Band
  • 9:05 p.m. - First shot from Fort Concho Cannons beginning the fireworks display.
  • 9:45 p.m. - Chicago Tribute Authority Texas

A Star-Spangled Banner Concert and Fireworks on July 3, 2022 starts at 7 p.m. and general admission is free; VIP tables are next to the stage and are $500 each. VIP tables seat 8. Included in the VIP access is free ice cream from Sonny Cleere’s Memorial Ice Cream Party, complimentary sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers, some complimentary drinks, and a cash beer and wine bar.

About a dozen VIP tables were still available as of June 29 at 8 p.m. Get them online at Stubwire.

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