San Antonio’s new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens Thursday night with performances by the San Antonio Symphony, Opera San Antonio and Ballet San Antonio, part of a monthlong opening gala that includes an Oct. 1 fundraiser concert by Paul McCartney.
The McCartney show is a rare small-venue performance for the artist, in the center’s 1,750-seat main hall. (The complex also inlcudes a 250-seat studio theater and a 600-seat outdoor plaza on the River Walk.)
It remains to be seen whether the Tobin will be more of a complement or a competitor to similar-sized Austin venues such as Bass Concert Hall, Austin Music Hall and the Long Center. This month’s bookings include Sept. 6 with Jason Mraz (who plays Bass the following night), Sept. 20 with Loudon Wainwright III (who plays Austin’s One World Theatre the next night), and Sept. 28 with Citizen Cope (who plays Stubb’s the night before). Acts playing the Tobin but not in Austin include Lynyrd Skynyrd Sept. 5, Trace Adkins Sept. 7 and the Charlie Daniels Band Sept. 17.
An intriguing angle to the Oct. 1 McCartney fundraiser is that the Tobin will actually host both living Beatles within a week’s time. Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band are booked on Oct. 7, just prior to two dates at ACL Live on Oct. 8 and Oct. 12. There’s also an interesting Austin City Limits Music Festival overlap, with Latin pop star Juanes playing Oct. 2 just before his ACL Fest appearances Oct. 4 and Oct. 11.