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Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016

Concert attracts 1,000-plus

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fort Scott native and Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche holds up a silver platter award from Under Armour as a joke. At left is Luke Bryan and right is Jason Aldean. Both are friends of LaRoche, who along with the YAT, was one of the key people behind Saturday's concert at Memorial Hall. The concert benefits Ellis Park.(Gary Palmer/Special to the Tribune)
Snapping away with anything that could take photos and singing along with their favorite tunes, close to 1,400 fans turned out to hear country singers Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan at Memorial Hall Saturday night.

But it wasn't just a chance to enjoy the music, it was an opportunity to raise funds for improvements to Ellis Park, located on 15 acres at 12th and Shepherd streets in the east-central part of town near Fort Scott Middle School.

The Youth Activities Team organized the concert. Fort Scott native and Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is close friends with Aldean and Bryan and a key person behind the event.

Local youngster Hunter Hawley was an honored guest at Saturday's concert.
(Gary Palmer/Special to the Tribune)
The concert sold out in July with people camped outside Buck Run Community Center waiting for their chance at tickets to see the show. Clayton Tatro, YAT co-convener with Diana Mitchell, said 1,340 tickets were sold. With concessionaires, ushers and others, there were 1,500 people in attendance.

"It was absolutely awesome, fantastic, superb," Mitchell said. "I truly have to say it's probably the best concert we've had."

YAT hosted two previous concerts showcasing Aldean and Bryan, both to raise money for Ellis Park.

Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean played without backup Saturday night at Memorial Hall to a capacity crowd of nearly 1,400 audience members.(Gary Palmer/Special to the Tribune)
By selling out early, Mitchell said YAT team members took hundreds phone calls from people who wished they'd known about the concert and had obtained tickets. However, she said it also allowed the 150-plus volunteers to focus on things that needed to be done.

And it paid off. She said the feeling when the lights went down and Aldean and Bryan began playing was that they felt at home. "It was just an at-home concert," Mitchell said, and the crowd was "with them the whole time."

After putting on a two-hour concert, Aldean and Bryan spent at least 15 minutes signing autographs for the audience. "You could see their talent shine," Mitchell said. "The crowd sang almost all night long. I think that's what kept them going. We never dreamed they would be on stage that long. They wanted to keep playing. They were in 100 percent control of when the concert started and when it ended."

Aldean and Bryan play for the crowd at Memorial Hall Saturday night. The two-hour concert benefits improvements to Ellis Park.
(Gary Palmer/Special to the Tribune)
The team hasn't had a wrap-up meeting on the concert yet, but Mitchell said the group is excited about how much money has been raised for the park and what's next.

Trees have been planted and Tatro said within the next year, project-watchers should be able to see some above-ground amenities such as sand volleyball courts and basketball courts and outdoor pavilions. "We are hopeful for batting cages as well as a walking trail," Tatro said.

With this concert in the books, Mitchell said she's started getting phone calls asking when the next one will be. At this point, she's not sure but says, "we think we've figured out how to put on a concert."

YAT team members (back row) are Tom Robertson, Eric Bailey, Paul Martin, Clayton Tatro and Larry Fink; front row, Laura George, Diana Mitchell and Carolyn Sinn.
(Gary Palmer/Special to the Tribune)

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My mom, little sister and I attended this concert and it was amazing. My sister is one of Luke Bryan's biggest fans. I was wondering if you had any really clear pictures from the concert that I could have framed for her birthday in April. Please contact me at 620 212 2393 or email me at paulsgirl1987@hotmail.com.

Thank you,


-- Posted by SOBrien on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 6:33 PM

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