By Frank Barron
Universal CityWalk threw a party for thousands, and they all showed up. The enthusiastic crowd came to enjoy Cee Lo Green launch the new high tech performance “5 Towers” at CityWalk, and it was a great summer night last week to open the summer series of free weekend outdoor concerts.
The Voice winner Javier Colon was there just to introduce Green. The multi-talented music man and popular coach on NBC’s The Voice, Green welcomed everyone then proceeded to rock the center stage. He officially unveiled the state-of-the-art outdoor concert plaza called “5 Towers.” The interactive “5 Towers” concert area lets everyone see all the action going on, with a new giant screen over the stage showing off the performers in great detail.
Green wasn’t wearing his usual wild outfits, but he utilized the wild lighting features, which electrified his performance. He let loose with a litany of his hits, starting with “Bright Lights, Bigger City,” and ending with his crowd-pleasing “Forget You.” Joining him were his good looking backup dancers called the Wonder Twins and lovely disc jockey DJ Rashida. All were bathed in the colorful shower of lights and graphics that are one of the coolest features of the new stage.
The elaborate concert centerpiece is equipped with thousands of LED fixtures, motion capture sensory, five soaring 42-foot light tower sculptures, a massive video monitor and a cutting-edge audio system — all to enhance great performances.
An eclectic array of the hottest artists will be performing on that new stage for the CityWalk summer series called Plugged In. Talent from pop groups to rock acts, to salsa entertainment, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through August 28.
On Friday nights from 7 to 10 p.m., the 98.7 FM “Close to Home” music showcase will feature great local bands. On Saturdays, two bands will perform nightly, with a lineup that includes Carolina Liar on July 16; Jessie Payo and Shytown on July 23; Stealing Heather on July 30; Evolove and Dilana on Aug. 6; the a cappella group Vybration and NBC’s The Sing Off finalists The Backbeats Aug. 13; and Ernie Halter and Thomas Nicholas Band on Aug. 20. Sunday Nights will heat up with a Latin flavor featuring acts presented by Telemundo y mun2. It’s all family-friendly entertainment. There are parking fees, but the concerts are free at Universal CityWalk.