Remember when everybody liked the Beatles? Of course, everyone still loves the Beatles, so perhaps it’s not the best example, but just a few decades ago, there was a time when everyone knew and loved the same dozen chart-topping songs.
If you haven’t recently taken a trip across your radio dial, we dare you to press scan. Out there, between the frequencies you frequent, is an incredibly diverse world of music.
And if you happen to stumble upon something new that you like, here's some good news: Chances are there's a concert happening locally with that kind of music. Next weekend, Germain Arena is playing host to a variety of shows so surprisingly different that the cliché about there being something for everyone is really the only way to describe it.
"Without question, the entertainment component that Germain Arena brings is absolutely one of diversity. I can't think of any type of music you would want that we don't have at some point during the year," says Sammy Wallace, the venue's vice president of event programming.
Wallace believes the range in events at the arena has something to do with the facility's desire to be a part of the local community. "It's unusual to have a private arena that serves almost in a civic center capacity. We host graduations here, we're the largest hurricane shelter in the area and then, of course, we have the concerts."
Cases in point are the three shows lined up for April 12 through April 15. In the span of just four days, the area will see everything from a Christian music concert — complete with its own traveling evangelist — to the decidedly less family-friendly sounds of metal band Godsmack — with a little hip hop thrown in for good measure.
It's not every year that WAY-FM hosts a WAYFest. In fact, Jeff Taylor, half of the station's "Mornings with Jeff and Joy" program, says the station will wait until a they can get a big enough show before they'll christen it WAYFest.
"We're looking for a show with a certain sizzle to it, so WAYFest doesn't happen every year. I think this is our fourth year doing it," said Taylor. But the station is very excited for this year's show for a couple of reasons.
"The Newsboys are huge, they're very fun to watch. But we're also really excited because two of the guys from Anthem Lights are local boys," said Taylor.
In fact, Anthem Lights has been bumped up to second on the show's roster, since WAY-FM is expecting they'll be hometown favorites.
"We are super, super excited to be playing at Germain Arena. Growing up we saw so many shows there, so it's really almost surreal," Alan Powell said. Powell is the frontman for Anthem Lights and son of McGregor Baptist Church's pastor, Richard Powell.
The younger Powell expects a big portion of the crowd Thursday night will be family and friends there to support him and bandmate Chad Graham, also a Fort Myers native.
And those who come to support the locals will be treated to quite the show. According to Taylor, the performance — which includes the Newsboys, Anthem Lights and two other bands — is, in his word, "a crazy production." Complete with theatrics, a catwalk and a traveling evangelist, fans of Christian music will likely be in for a real treat.
Each year the FGCU Programing Board puts on one major spring concert. In year's past, it's always been a rock show, but this year the board opted to do something different.
"We started out looking for a rock artist. We looked at a long list of rock genres trying to find someone who was available and fit our budget, but for one reason or another none of them worked out," said Mellissa Khayata, a member of FGCU's Programming Board and head of putting on the annual concert. She added, "When we found out Wiz Khalifa was available, we jumped on it."
The decision to go hip-hop hasn't been entirely popular, but according to Khayata, the reaction to Wiz Khalifa has been more positive than negative.
"So far we've had a really good turnout of FGCU students buying tickets. We got some mixed reactions but we've also gotten some really positive feedback," said Khayata. Which isn't hard to believe. With several No. 1 hits, including the fabulously catchy earworm "Black and Yellow," it's easy to see how the show could end up a sellout.
Live X '12
In the world of hard rock and heavy metal, Godsmack and Staind are gold and platinum respectively. For local rock station 99-X, scoring the two acts for a concert is a big deal.
"These are two of our core artists, so it's great that we have them coming," the station's promotions director Jeff Hickox said. Hickox, who has been with the station 19 years, says that 99-X shows tend to bring out a big crowd, but this one should be particularly huge.
"Staind had such a strong record that they put out this year and Godsmack's drummer lives in Cape Coral, so it should be a big show."
Sammy Wallace, VP of event programming at Germain knows that, while the tattoo-per-square-inch-of-skin ratio for this concert will likely be higher than at any other show coming through the area next week, it's not something he's worried about.
"Our support staff is great, we try to just plan for the crowd, and then they do their jobs. They're complete professionals," Wallace said.
And, judging by what's on tap in just the next week at the arena, it's probably safe to say that they've seen just about everything.
If you go
All shows are at Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero. Tickets are available by calling the Germain box office at 239-948-7825 or at germainarena.com
What: Christan music festival featuring Newsboys, Anthem Lights and the God’s Not Dead Tour
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12
What: FGCU’s music festival featuring Wiz Khalifa, Sammy Adams, Spacesuit Junkies, Chaysen
When: 8 p.m. Friday, April 13; doors open at 7 p.m.
Cost: $20 FGCU students, $30 public
Live X ’12
What: Heavy metal rock show featuring Staind and Godsmack
When: 7 p.m. Sunday, April 15