'Good chaos': Thunder shows draw more than 2,000 to PNG Park

Jun. 26—The heavy metal death growl of the electric guitar-playing, vulture feather-mohawk-wearing Jasmine Cain gave people a proper end to their work week and to the past 14 months of missing out on concerts because of COVID-19.

More than 2,000 people attended Thunder in the Valley's musical shows at Peoples Natural Gas Park throughout Friday, said event volunteers, and the line for the $5 general admission and alcohol wristbands stretched around the block for hours, right up to the main act at 10 p.m.

Cain engaged the PNG Park crowd, at one point saying she'd like to crowd-surf on a piece of plywood so that she could continue playing her guitar.

A total of 11 bands performed at three venues in Johnstown Friday for Thunder in the Valley.

Country music fan Gary Zittle, of West Virginia, enjoyed the bands at Central Park, especially Saddle Up.

"They came down from the stage and performed in the crowd," he said. "It made me feel good. The whole rally is good chaos."

At Peoples Natural Gas Park, Johnstown musician Ben Ressler's rock band, Van Waylon, played a set in the afternoon.

"I thought the turnout was great," Ressler said. "Everyone is enjoying themselves, and we had fun."

Jasmine Cain first performed at Thunder in the Valley about seven years ago, and the rocker from Nashville, Tenn., has become known as the first lady of Johnstown's Thunder in the Valley music. Among her returning fans was Judy Adams, of Johnstown.

"I've watched her since the first time she was here seven or eight years ago," Adams said. "She's enthusiastic and genuine. I like all of her music. And when she is done here, she'll talk to anyone who wants to talk to. She is such a sweetheart."

The couple hundred tickets for the VIP viewing area for main acts at PNG Park sold out, said Jayne Korenoski, advertising director for Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Following Jasmine Cain Friday was Colt Ford, who performed a mix of country, hip-hop and rock.

Korenoski said the crowd that bought Colt Ford VIP tickets Friday is totally different from the crowd that bought VIP tickets to Hairball, an '80s hair band, on Saturday.

"I love it," Shawn Springer, of Westmont, said in the Colt Ford VIP section, "and I love that people are brought back together and are enjoying what they are doing."