My wife and I made our first trip to the new Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park for last week's Beach Boys show and now I can't wait to go back!

As an avid concert-goer, I was a little nervous about going to a show at a new venue. Would there be long lines for everything? What is the parking situation going to look like? How about the sound and lighting? Will there be enough concessions?

We came into Waite Park from Sartell and followed the "Event Parking" signs toward the venue. I didn't know where it was exactly and decided to just follow the prescribed path. We hit a little "traffic" on 17th Avenue but it never stopped moving, it just flowed freely into the venue.

The parking lot is a dirt field that could have been a free-for-all to find parking but was anything but. The venue had a ton of staff directing traffic very efficiently and we parked in no time.

Getting into the venue was a breeze as well. Although we cut it close and showed up very close to the show's start time, the line was short and, again, moved quickly. We were in the queue for less than five total minutes.

We were greeted warmly when we entered the venue by staff and grabbed some hot, fresh-popped kettle corn. When we went to get a drink we walked right up and got one with no waiting at all. Of course, the $14.95 price tag on the venue's signature drink was a bit of a price shock but to be expected at a concert.

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Our seats were in the "200" level and I was concerned we would feel far away from the show but we were anything but. The seating bowl has a great, downward slope that allows the folks in the back to see clearly above the heads of those in the "better" seats.

The actual chairs themselves were much more comfortable than the folding chairs you might find at other venues and there was plenty of leg room. Of course, I am barely 5'9", but I only know what I know!

The sound was pristine, even from our spots farther from the stage and off to the side. There was no reverb or echo, nor did it feel like you were listening in mono being off to one side of the stage.

During intermission we had a chance to check out some of the scenery at The Ledge. There are a couple of fountains inside of the old quarries with lights that display spectacular colors when the sun goes down.

Leaving the venue was even easier than getting there. There were attendants directing traffic and Waite Park Police had certain roads blocked off to create a smooth flow for people leaving.

When we got home from the concert I could not stop raving to my wife about how impressed I was with The Ledge, to which she accurately pointed out that I am usually only complaining about things.

She's not wrong, it's just that The Ledge is just that awesome.

 

Dave Overlund
Dave Overlund

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