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Fort Wayne Hosts Big Name Bands

Written by: Communicator StaffDecember 04, 2014

Slipknot 2 copy

Joe Blust

FORT WAYNE – Fort Wayne hosted the Prepare for Hell Tour featuring Slipknot, Korn and King 810 on Nov. 23 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, the only date for the international tour in Indiana since Indianapolis no longer has a rock station to support the show.

Drew Cage, music director at 98.9 The Bear, said the tour could play in Fort Wayne instead of Noblesville at the Klipsch Music Center because of their popularity. “Slipknot could play anywhere they want to, and do just fine anywhere they go,” Cage said. This popularity allows the band to sell enough tickets at any size of venue to make a profit and play to any audience that they want, according to Cage.

“Recently in Indianapolis, they had a rock station that flipped to pretty much straight up alternative and plays nothing even close to Slipknot anymore,” Cage said. Since Indianapolis no longer has a station that supports rock music, Cage said they looked at Fort Wayne as the second biggest city in Indiana when considering locations to play.

According to Cage, 98.9 the Bear was not responsible for booking the act at the Coliseum, but the exposure the station gives to rock music made Fort Wayne the next choice after Indianapolis. “Well they got a big rock station up there, they’re playing our song, they got the metal show, so let’s play a show up there and see how it goes,” he said.

The Prepare for Hell Tour is headlined by Slipknot to promote their newest album, “.5: The Gray Chapter,” released Oct. 17 through Roadrunner Records. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 charts at number one selling 132,000 copies in the first week according to Nielsen sales records.

The tour has a 52-show schedule, which started on Oct. 25 in San Bernardino, CA and ends on March 1, 2015 at the Soundwave Festival in Sydney, Australia. At the show, 98.9 The Bear said that ticket sales from the Fort Wayne date helped raise $12,000 for a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

According to Cage, the reason why most rock bands that come to Fort Wayne perform at Pierre’s Entertainment Center or other, smaller venues instead of playing at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is that they cannot sell enough tickets to fill the venue. The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum serves as an arena-style venue with 10,480 seats compared to the 2,000-person capacity of Pierre’s Entertainment Center.

Cage said that the combination of this large seating capacity and the work of the business team to find concerts that will sell in Fort Wayne makes the Coliseum a good fit for national tours that want to visit Northeast Indiana, but there are few acts in rock popular enough to fill the venue. “Some of the biggest active rock bands out there in the world could not fill in a show at the Coliseum, it’s just too big,” Cage said. “You’re looking at maybe Avenged Sevenfold, Foo Fighters definitely. Other than that, I don’t know who would really fill a show at the Coliseum,” he said.

“Which is why at the Coliseum you see a lot of country acts, they’ll sell a lot of tickets. It doesn’t matter who’s playing, they got a silly hat on and silly boots, they’ll sell a lot of tickets,” Cage said.