By Tobias Wall
Posted Jun. 29, 2014 @ 8:18 pm
Updated Jun 29, 2014 at 8:38 PM
When Kerry Cusick arrived at the new Bank of Springfield Plaza for the Under the Sun Tour concert Sunday evening, she was skeptical about watching from her seats in the Prairie Capital Convention Center parking garage.
“But once I saw it, I thought it was really cool. Really well done,” Cusick, 20, of Springfield, said.
The BOS Plaza's visitors — among the first for the downtown venue — were treated to a quadruple-play of popular bands as Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker performed their hits from the 1990s and 2000s.
Cusick came to the show with Lauren Henderson, 19, of Springfield and Scott Sexton, 20, of New Berlin. They watched from the fourth level of the PCCC parking garage, overlooking the bandstand and downtown.
“I think it's gorgeous. It's absolutely gorgeous,” Henderson said. “It's a little different than most of the events down here. It's new, people are attracted to it. It opens up more opportunities that downtown Springfield can have,” she said.
She said that while there are other places to see an outdoor concert, shows held at the BOS Plaza are the only ones with a rooftop view.
Cusick said she liked the venue because music fans of all ages could come see the bands.
Sexton agreed that the addition of the venue made downtown more accessible to people his age. “I'm not into the whole downtown scene since I'm underage. Other than bars, there's not much down here to do socially,” he said.
A large, open-air concrete pad dominates the 8,300-square-foot venue where the bulk of the 1,500 or so attendees saw the show.
Fans could also watch from the edge of each of the four levels of the adjacent parking garage or from a VIP terrace on the second level of the Center. Bill and Cathie Bryant of Springfield, who caught the show from the second level of the parking garage, thought the venue was a success, too.
“I think it's really neat, I really do,” Bill, 55, said.
“We didn't know at all what to expect, really. It's a nice surprise,” said Cathie, 56.
“It definitely changes the landscape (of downtown),” she said. “I think it attracts more tourism, which we want.”
Cathie said the BOS Plaza takes the ball the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum got rolling and runs with it.
“That (the museum) has done so much good, and the more we can add to that, the better,” she said.
Contact Tobias Wall: firstname.lastname@example.org, 788-1519, twitter.com/reTcWall.
Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140629/News/140629388#ixzz38zL9UI9d
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