Danny Zelisko, President
Danny Zelisko Presents
I began promoting concerts in Arizona in 1974. I founded the legendary concert promoting firm called Evening Star Productions, that brought worldwide attention to the youngest state on the US mainland, by the entertainment industry. I became known as one of the world’s best promoters and talent buyers, a true rainmaker when it comes to discovering and booking talent in all sorts of situations.
Beginning with promoting concerts at Dooley’s Nightclub, 700 capacity, in Tempe, my staff and I promoted hundreds of new and veteran bands in facilities till then foreign to touring attractions. Acts such as The Police, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, Talking Heads, KISS, Bon Jovi, No Doubt, Nirvana, among many others, performed at the intimate venue from its opening in 1976, till it closed after several ownership and name changes, (aka After the Gold Rush and Electric Ballroom) in the mid-1990′s. Nightclub concerts by recording stars began happening all over the country, with Zelisko leading his territory in this area of booking.
My company and staff grew, in the 80′s became the state’s most prominent concert promoter, producing hundreds of shows each year, while also becoming New Mexico’s busiest promoter. Evening Star promoted shows in every venue, small and large alike, all over the southwest, including Vets Memorial Coliseum, original home of the Phoenix Suns, then America West Arena, now known as US Airways Center. Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney were among the stadium Events promoted by Evening Star.
My focus was always on putting the right acts in the right places at the right time with the right ticket prices in order to maintain fun and excitement for audiences and artists alike. I specialize in smaller facilities, especially now, in modern times, where there are fewer top name acts and audiences that have shrunk over the years, due to repetitive appearances and old age.
In 1990, Evening Star began promoting shows in the Desert Sky Amphitheatre, with its grand opening show with Billy Joel. The facility has undergone several name changes, including Blockbuster Pavilion, Cricket Amphitheatre and finally now known as Ashley Furniture Pavilion.
Evening Star also promoted shows in almost every state in the USA during the 80′s and 90′s.
By the year 2000, consolidation of concert promoters began by SFX, as they bought up many of the country’s biggest promoters, including Bill Graham Presents from San Francisco, Electric Factory from Philadelphia, Don Law from Boston, Pace Concerts from Texas, and many more. Evening Star joined the ranks of these fabled promoters, by selling to SFX in 2001. I was President of the Southwest office of SFX, until a few years later, Clear Channel Communications bought SFX, and my staff and I were now part of Clear Channel Entertainment.
In 2006, Clear Channel spun the entertainment division and all of its promoters/venues, into what is now called Live Nation, where I remained as President and then Chairman of Live Nation Southwest, until I left this post earlier this year.