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July 3, 2014

80s band night gains steam

Tonawanda News —

After a successful kickoff to another Weekend on Webster cover band concert series, the owner of Crazy Jake's, Greg Doel, said the event has gained steam since it was first introduced in 2012. 

Doel, who started the series with Canal Fest of the Tonawandas organizer Larry Denef as a means to draw foot traffic to Webster Street, said with attendance doubling to 2,800 for the first show of the year, held last Saturday, and four more shows to go through August, it appears that effort is working. 

"Last year we didn't start until the July 4 weekend," he said. "This one was a week earlier and it proved to be quite successful. It was a really good start and there was definitely a lot more people." 

The fact that the cover bands are largely comprised of early 80s musical genres also draws an older crowd, Doel said, including last week's Journey cover band. 

"It's more of a mature crowd there's no doubt about it," he said. "With that, we've had no trouble at all from a security standpoint or a health standpoint. There hasn't been any altercations."  

Doel said since he first opened Crazy Jake's in August 2008, the change along Webster Street has been noticeable. The city has granted approval to shut down a portion of the street for Weekend on Webster. This summer there is an event nearly every day of the week in the downtown corridor. 

"This area in general has increased in popularity," he said "People want to run a businesses down here and people want to come in and go the river and go to our local concert." 

The remaining shows will include cover bands devoted to the likes of AC/DC, Heart and Kiss, and held on July 5, July 12, July 25 and Aug. 2. 

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