Music festival | ‘High energy’ show expected from Jefferson Starship | News

Legendary rock band Jefferson Starship will descend in Johnstown to perform as one of the headliners of the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival on Aug. 5. 

The multi-platinum band will make its way to Peoples Natural Gas Park on Johns Street in downtown Johnstown to perform at 7:15 p.m. on the second day of the two-day celebration of American roots music.

Jefferson Starship’s tour and production manager, Lewis Robertson, said people in attendance at the Aug. 5 show will be in for a great time.

“They can expect high energy,” he said.

“They can expect to be entertained and hear more hits than I think they would have expected a single band to be able to produce, because the band has been around for so long,” he said. 

“They have hits from the ’60s to the ’80s to play.”

Jefferson Starship originated in the early 1970s by a few members of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees and 2016 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Jefferson Airplane. The group has sold out concerts across the globe and released eight gold and platinum albums featuring 20 hit singles.

The band also has a local tie, as East Conemaugh High School graduate Joseph Michno – known under the stage name Joey Covington – played with Jefferson Airplane and co-wrote Jefferson Starship’s award-winning and multi-platinum hit “With Your Love.”

The musical group has been through many changes throughout the years, yet has stayed  true to the original spirit of the music. 

The band’s current lineup includes vocalist and guitarist David Freiberg, drummer Donny Baldwin, Jude Gold on lead guitar, Chris Smith on keyboards and Grammy nominee Cathy Richardson on lead vocals.

Freiberg is the only band member to have played as a member of Jefferson Airplane. 

He joined the band shortly before the tour that promoted Airplane’s final studio album “Long John Silver.” 

During his time with Jefferson Starship he co-wrote one of the band’s all-time biggest hits, “Jane.” 

The song is the theme song for the hit Netflix series “Wet, Hot American Summer.”

Jefferson Starship is most notable for songs such as “Find Your Way Back,” “Miracles” and “Count on Me.” However, there are many more hit records that have been penned under the Jefferson Airplane umbrella. 

These tracks include “Somebody to Love,” “Volunteers” and “We Built This City.”

While he couldn’t disclose what songs the band will be playing because the set list is created roughly 10 minutes before the start of the show, Robertson said attendees will see a “cool and spontaneous” show. 

“They’ve been finding their footing after Paul Kantner passed away,” he said.

Kantner was the co-founder of Jefferson Airplane and he played with Jefferson Starship until his death in 2016.

“The band has been a very tight core of the five of them,” Robertson said. “Focusing on getting some good shows and continuing on in Paul Kantner’s honor. 

“We’re excited to be there,” said Robertson about the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival.

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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