Ben Folds and Violent Femmes bring tour to Des Moines' newest venue
The famed Milwaukee band returned home Saturday, performing as an opening act for the Barenaked Ladies at the BMO Harris Pavilion on the Summerfest grounds. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The countdown for music to invade Des Moines' newest venue continues as organizers confirmed Monday the second concert headed to Water Works Park this summer.
Piano rock favorite Ben Folds and folk-punk harbinger Violent Femmes bring a co-headlining tour Aug. 15 to Des Moines' to-be-opened Water Works amphitheater, a Thursday night.
Tickets to the co-headliner go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via firstfleetconcerts.com, costing $35 for general admission lawn, $55 for the seated terrace section or $75 for standing room pit.
The show marks the first booked on the "big side" of the double-staged amphitheater. A small size stage plans to hold concerts up to 2,000-person capacity, with the larger side constructed to host 15,000-plus.
Coined the Lauridsen Amphitheater, organizers hope to open the space in June. The amphitheater plans to offer a summer home for ticketed concerts, symphony performances and heritage festivals.
The $13 million project also includes:
- A "marketplace" area to park food trucks or host other booths and tents.
- A 30-acre “great lawn” field, placed near the park’s Fleur Drive entrance, to be used for Frisbee, kite flying and picnics.
- Two playgrounds made of natural materials that mimic the park's riparian forest.
- A pavilion with restrooms.
- A Fleur Drive underpass that connects Water Works and Gray’s Lake Park. This plans to be completed in 2020.
Water Works Park leadership began discussing the project in 2014. First Fleet Concerts, the group responsible for Hinterland Music Festival, Nitefall on the River and Wooly's, aims to bring about a dozen concerts to Lauridsen in 2019 — a number that could increase in 2020 and beyond.
A piano playing troubadour known for songs "Rockin' in the Suburbs," "You Don't Know Me" and "Still Fighting It," Folds returns to Des Moines following a 2016 performance at Hoyt Sherman Place.
Hailing from Milwaukee, the musical pioneering Violent Femmes crafted its vaudevillian acoustic punk sound in the 1980s behind celebrated tracks the likes of "Blister in the Sun," "Add it Up" and "Country Death Song."
Lauridsen Amphitheater summer lineup (so far):
July 15: The Struts with The Glorious Sons
Aug. 15: Ben Folds and Violent Femmes