HAZELWOOD, Mo. — They rode in by the dozens, kept coming and quickly packed the parking lot at a former north St. Louis County mall Thursday night.
Music-loving moms, dancing dads and concert-craving kids in cars all pumped for the POWERplex.
"It's just pretty cool," said 10-year-old Thomas Chung.
"I saw that it was opening online and I told my kids, 'Oh, we got to go and get out of the house,'" said Dana Hollinger.
Fed up with being cooped in their home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hollinger and her two kids could hardly wait to dash to St. Louis' first drive-in entertainment venue.
The energetic crowd first enjoyed a pre-concert from St. Louis native Molly Lovette.
All eyes were then on Exit 180, as the independent band from Jefferson County hit the main stage and belted out lots of rock and country hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
"The live music was great, being around people, so it was just nice," said Hollinger.
"My mom and I were also just so excited about getting out of the house," said Angela Bell as she jumped around.
Bell and her mom were among the hundreds of concert-goers having a great time as they stood by or sat in their cars and practiced social distancing.
"This used to be an old mall. The space is now being used for families. It's wonderful. I'm happy to be here," Bell said.
An old-fashioned, happy time that first captivated the crowd with a drive-in style concert and then capped off the evening with an old movie, "Raiders Of The Lost Ark".
"We just had a fun time. We'll definitely be back," added Bell.
Thursday, May 21: The concert series kicks off with Exit 180, rocking 70s, 80s, and 90s country and rock hits, followed by Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screens. Tickets are half price on opening night.
Friday, May 22: Fans of Tom Petty and Johnny Cash will love the music of Petty Cash Junction and the movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Saturday, May 23: Klose Kuarters will open for Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys, followed by the cult classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the big screens.
Sunday, May 24: Dance Floor Riot will get things rockin' with the movie Purple Rain to follow.
Tuesday, May 26: Family night - Band TBD, followed by Pixar/Disney’s Onward.
Wednesday, May 27: Family night - The teenage boy band, Scamps. Movie: Pitch Perfect.
Thursday, May 28: Family night - Another great group of young rockers, Mint Queso. Movie: Space Jam.
Saturday, May 30: It's '70s supergroup SuperJam with the movie Dazed and Confused.
Friday, June 5: One of St. Louis' favorite dance bands, Trixie Delight, followed by the movie Dirty Dancing.
Saturday, June 6: Jeremiah Johnson with Chrome and Steele featuring Steve Scorfina of REO Speedwagon and Pavlov’s Dog. There is no movie on this major concert night.
POWERplex is located at 5555 St. Louis Mills Blvd in Hazelwood.