Billboard Bits: Aerosmith, Bridge School, Guarini
News on Aerosmith, Bridge School, GuariniAs first tipped here in July, Aerosmith will headline the National Football League kick-off event Thursday (Sept. 4) at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The veteran rock act joins previously announced performers Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin. ABC will broadcast the event live from 8-9 p.m. ET, followed by the first game of the season between the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets.
Aerosmith is wedging the performance into an off-day on its North American tour with Kiss, which hits Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, tomorrow and East Troy, Wisc., on Saturday.
To open last year's season, the NFL staged a similar event in New York's Times Square. Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Alicia Keys and Eve performed before a crowd of 500,000, preceding the San Francisco 49ers/New York Giants game. Bon Jovi also played at halftime during the game.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The 17th annual Bridge School Benefit concert will be held Oct. 25-26 at Shoreline Amphitheatre outside San Francisco. The only confirmed acts thus far are event founder Neil Young and, as previously reported, Pearl Jam, which will be making its sixth appearance at the show. Ticket on-sale information has not yet been announced.
Foo Fighters, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Ryan Adams, James Taylor, Vanessa Carlton, the Other Ones, Jack Johnson and Tenacious D performed at last year's event. The benefits raise funds for the Bridge School, a learning facility for physically challenged and severely speech-impaired children founded by Young and his wife Pegi.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Former "American Idol" contestants Justin Guarini (season one runner-up) and Julia DeMato (season two finalist) will perform as part of the second annual Stars, Stripes & Skates Icetravaganza, Sept. 7 in Uniondale, N.Y. Hosted by former Olympian Nancy Kerrigan and actor Steve Buscemi, the event will benefit the Coalition of 9-11 Families and the 9/11 Families Give Back Fund.
Guarini is expected to perform the National Anthem and two songs from his self-titled RCA debut album, while DeMato will perform "God Bless America." The event will also feature such well-known skaters as Philippe Candeloro, Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn, Johnny Weir, Jennifer Robinson, and Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen.
Tickets range from $8.50 to $73.50 and are available via Ticketmaster. For more details on the event, visit the Stars, Stripes & Skates Web site.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.