Pregame block party, free concert kicks off 20th season for Reading Royals – Reading Eagle

Berks Entertainment columnist Rodeo Marie Hanson with former front man of the band Fuel, Brett Scallions, backstage. (Submitted photo)
Berks Entertainment columnist Rodeo Marie Hanson with former front man of the band Fuel, Brett Scallions, backstage. (Submitted photo)
November 2, 2021 at 5:54 p.m.

Sports fans and music lovers united for Reading Royals’ Downtown Alive Pregame Block Party and free concert with hard rock musician Brett Scallions from Fuel performing Oct. 23.

Threatening grey clouds and a light drizzle could not dampen the atmosphere of jubilation and ultimately gave way to sunshine for the event held as a thank you to supporters of the East Coast Hockey League team, affiliated with both The Philadelphia Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Brett Scallions, former front man of Fuel, in concert at Reading Royals Downtown Alive Pregame Block Party. (Photo by Rodeo Marie Hanson)

The occasion also kicked off the Reading Royal’s 20th anniversary and served as a prelude to the season opener against the Norfolk Admirals.

The pandemic canceled the Royals 2020-2021 season and this bash was a well-earned reward for the patience of sports fans and the team alike who waited 594 days to use terms like: apple, barnburner, bottle rocket, biscuit, and basket to describe games.

Dylan Coyle, Director of Communications for Reading Royals, with Ice Angels dancers at the Downtown Alive Pregame Block Party. (Photo by Rodeo Marie Hanson)

At one end of Penn Street, fans dressed in purple, black, and silver the Royals’ team colors took turns swinging a sledgehammer against a beat-up vehicle spray painted with the words Norfolk Admirals while being cheered on by Royals mascot Slapshot and The Royals’ Ice Angels professional dance team.

Central PA Ghostbusters, a group that dresses up like characters from the movie, showed up in full regalia including proton packs and brought their Ecktomobile, making for some interesting photo opportunities.

The former front man of the band Fuel, Scallions stepped onto the makeshift stage at the other side of Penn Street with a Fender guitar in hand. Along with his backing band, he took a straight forward approach to the show. Gritty, raspy vocals, crunchy guitars, feedback and cymbal crashes bounced and echoed against the brick wall structures and asphalt of the city.

Fuel, which was formed in Harrisburg, brought Scallions to the attention of the public in the early 2000s with the release of their album “Something Like Human.” Some fans at the front of the stage pressed against the barricade and opened jackets to display T-shirts with the Fuel moniker.

Fan shows off her Fuel T-shirt as Brett Scallions from Fuel performs on Penn Street stage. (Photo by Rodeo Marie Hanson)

Fuel songs “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” and “Bad Day” were included in the set along with material later in the band’s catalogue “Puppet Strings” and a cover of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

Scallions joked with the audience in between songs and even offered relationship advice for those who find themselves with someone who tries to change them before closing out his set.

Later that night, the Reading Royals skated to a 6-4 victory over the Norfolk Admirals. As Mike Myers’ Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey’s Garth Algar expressed in the movie Wayne’s World, “Game On!”

Rodeo Marie Hanson of Fleetwood is a teen columnist specializing in coverage of entertainment events and celebrity interviews. Follow Rodeo’s Drive-Thru Hollywood News on Facebook at

and on her YouTube Channel Rodeo’s Hollywood Drive-Thru News at


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