TAMPA — Journey and Willie Nelson are the two latest acts booked to play invitation-only gigs during the Republican National Convention.
Nelson's tour bus rolls into town Aug. 29 for a private show at the Dallas Bull in Tampa. Nelson and fellow country singer Jerry Jeff Walker will be part of a benefit show for Got Your 6, a nonpartisan organization that wants to "bridge the civilian-military divide."
Journey's VIP-only show Aug. 30 is expected to cap a week of entertainment at Liberty Plaza, a swank party zone proposed for the southeast corner of Whiting and Morgan streets, a few blocks from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Booked earlier that week at the plaza are Lynyrd Skynyrd (Aug. 26), Trace Adkins (Aug. 28) and Kid Rock (Aug. 29).
Since these are private shows, the best bet for Journey fans may be to look to Oct. 12, when the band is scheduled to return to Tampa and play with Pat Benatar and Loverboy at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre.
During the RNC, plans call for the bands to play inside a temporary building that's 213 feet long and 132 feet wide and air-conditioned. The plaza, which is being put up by a Washington, D.C.-based charity called Citizens Helping Heroes, anticipates catering to crowds of about 3,000 VIPs with air-conditioned hospitality lounges, on-site catering and a cigar tent.