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Lionel Richie, Journey, KISS part of biggest Usana Amphitheatre season yet

Music » Lionel Richie, Journey, Steve Miller Band among highlights of 2014 summer.

By David Burger

Special to The Tribune

First Published May 15 2014 09:01 am • Last Updated Jun 03 2014 04:43 pm

Hello? Is it Lionel Richie you’re looking for?

If it is, you’ll find the 64-year-old R&B crooner performing in Utah this summer, opening what venue officials are calling the biggest Usana Amphitheatre lineup to date.

At a glance

Usana Amphitheatre 2014 lineup

Lionel Richie/CeeLo » June 10

One Republic, The Script, AX » June 14

KISS/Def Leppard » June 23

The Soulshine Tour, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Soja » July 3

Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry, Plain White T’s » July 16

Journey/Steve Miller Band, Tower of Power » July 17

Styx/Foreigner, Don Felder » July 23

Tim McGraw, Kip Moore, Cassadee Pope » July 25

Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper » Aug. 1

Boston/Doobie Brothers » Aug. 5

311, Pepper, Dirty Heads, Aer » Aug. 15

Lynyrd Skynyrd » Aug. 29

Keith Urban, Jerrod Niemann, Brett Eldredge » Aug. 30

Alabama » Sept. 13

Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Dan + Shay » Sept. 26

Australian Pink Floyd Show » Sept. 27

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The 16-show slate declares that yes, summer is almost here, with dancing on the ceiling in store for those who want to get close to heaven.

"Summertime is the time to tour in the life of Lionel Richie," said Richie in an interview with The Tribune.

The first leg of his "All the Hits All Night Long" tour took place last fall, and he said that was a time for experimentation and polishing his set list. By the time he is in Utah, on June 10, he will be in top form.

"June, July and August — that is called showtime," he said.

Steve Miller, whose eponymous band will perform with Journey and Tower of Power at the 20,000-capacity West Valley City amphitheater on July 17, said summer is the time when his band summits to the peak.

"These shows that we’re getting ready to do are big, big outdoor shows, and that’s a different kind of thing," he said. "It’s like a big kind of festival, very happy, big large group of people. Those shows are fun too because 20,000 people will be singing all the songs and it’ll be a very joyous occasion. There will be people out of control and there will thousands of cameras and flashbulbs going off and all that kind of stuff. … So, my challenge is to kick that guy who’s standing there with his girlfriend with his back to me, leaning against the front of the stage taking a picture of himself in front of me, right smack in the middle of his a--."

"It’s a lot of fun," said guitarist Neal Schon of Journey about summer shows at amphitheaters. "You know, the weather’s great, the music’s great, audiences come out in droves, and it’s going to be awesome. It’ll be a lot of fun."

Here are some more tidbits on this upcoming season at Usana:

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• In 2007, Usana Amphitheatre was the first of its kind in the country to be designated as a "Green Amphitheatre" by incorporating initiatives such as recyclable cups, carpool lots and increased numbers of recyclable containers on site. The venue also created a volunteer "Green Team" to tell concertgoers about recycling. During the 2013 concert season, the amphitheater recycled 12 tons of waste, equal to 204 mature trees being saved.

• KISS and Def Leppard will kick off their nationwide summer tour at Usana on June 23. Both bands have decided to support men and women in uniform by partnering with military organizations, including the USO, Hiring Our Heroes, Project Resilience/The Raven Drum Foundation, August Warrior Project and the Wounded Warrior Project. Military charities will receive a portion of ticket sales, with the money raised being split among the nonprofit organizations participating in the summer tour.

• The band Foreigner, performing at Usana on July 23 with Styx and Don Felder, is looking for a high-school choir to sing the group’s signature ballad, "I Want to Know What Love Is," onstage at the concert. Voting for the contest, which is in support of local school music programs, can be done at Summerhays Music Center’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/summerhaysmusic.

• 311, which performs Aug. 15, has been called "Usana Amphitheatre’s house band" by venue owner and operator United Concerts. This summer’s show marks the band’s 10th consecutive summer tour appearance at Usana.

• Mötley Crüe, a frequent headliner at Usana, has announced its retirement and this tour will be the hard-rock band’s last. The quartet performs with Alice Cooper on Aug. 1.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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