With a wonderful start to The Great New York State Fair, dug in their heels to bring readers more of what is/was to come over the next week. Already covering Days 1, 2, and 3, we couldn’t wait to get back out to bring you more of the outstanding line up scheduled for Fair attendees.
DAY FIVE – Rap, Rock , and Country Collide to an Explosive Show
Some basic musical math here – What do you get when you add Rap + Country + Rock & Roll? You get Kid Rock and Big Smo of course. Rocking the Grandstands on Day 5, this unlikely pairing of the Detroit rocker and Tennesee country star seemed a bit out of place, but this trend of marrying those artists from Motown and those from the country music capital of Nashville just seem to work these days. Big Smo came out and rocked the crowd getting them ready for the main event, Kid Rock. This guy has a presence and attitude I just wouldn’t mess with, adding to the reasons I think these two were the perfect pairing. Both are no nonsense, this is who I am, without apologies types. Delivering country in a hip hop rap style, Big Smo certainly has found a way to deliver his music his way, to an audience that eats it up.
As Kid Rock came out, he rocked the stage belting out hit after hit in his hip hop, rap, country southern rock style and he didn’t disappoint. Ever evolving, Kid Rock has made his mark on the music industry his own way with no excuses. With a career, including multiple hits, multiple awards, and such a diverse catalog of music for followers, he continues to grow in the music field, and also in his merchandising field with his hands into his latest venture of brewing up some “Badass Beer”. Kid Rock is about his fans. Taking a stand on increasing pricing for live show tickets during his 2013 tour, Kid Rock went against the current of increasing prices and all tickets were $20 with each beer was $4, and without fees associated if purchased through area Walmarts. This proved to be a huge success in increasing attendance and sales at shows, and putting the kibosh to out pricing tickets for regular joes who want to enjoy live concerts.
These two unlikely performers give the impression of being rebels, and going against the current upstream; however what you don’t see behind the scenes is they are two of the best business men in the business with talents of not only musical skills…but producing, acting, merchandising, writing, and so many other talents. This translates to the stage and the energy felt from this show once again solidifies that although genres may be completely different, entertainers unconventional, the music comes from the soul and no matter where it originated, and by whom, music is a unifying language.
DAY SIX – Rocking Around the Clock at The Great NY State Fair
Bowzer’s Rock & Roll Party. For those of you who are unfamiliar who Bowzer is, let me introduce you. Bowzer, also know as Jon Bauman, was part of the famous group Sha Na Na. Sha Na Na introduced new generations to the world of the 1950’s and 60’s, poodle skirts, and the emergence of rock and roll. As I looked around the full crowd sitting at Chevy Court, it was apparent that his charm and timeless tunes are still transcending generations and being enjoyed by those young and old. Bowzer & The Stingrays along with Rocky & The Rollers brought a few of their special friends to the Rock & Roll Party. Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Johnny Cantardo (formerly of Sha Na Na), and the Duke of Earl Gene Chandler often joined Bowzer on the road over the years and on this day these gentlemen truly entertained the crowd with tunes such as “Lovers Never Say Goodbye” by the Flamingos, “Rocking Robin”, “Only Have Eyes for You”, and of course “Duke of Earl”. These spry young men still got it, and I must add Mr. Gene Chandler was one of the most dapper men I’ve ever seen with the greatest blue suede shoes ever made.
This was my first time seeing Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman live, and he didn’t disappoint. Being in the audience when Grease was first released in the theaters, his appearance in the movie was one of my favorite scenes of the whole film. The twist, the jitterbugging, and of course the Hand Jive was electric and timeless. If transcendence was a reality, I would have been right there with them. Those in attendance at Chevy Court received a free lesson and/or refresher course on how to Hand Jive, and as I looked around seeing the entire audience participating was a bit nostalgic.
A little known fact about Jon Bauman: he is a classically trained pianist, studying at the acclaimed Julliard School of Music at the age of 12 in New York City. He treated the audience this day to a taste of Chopin’s etude in A- Flat Major, which was his mother’s favorite tune. Spectacular doesn’t begin to describe this moving performance. He is truly talented. His mother’s dream was to see him perform at Carnegie Hall. She was able to see this dream, as he joked “Even if the music was ‘Shama Lama Ding Dong’.” Despite the humid temps and scorching sun, it was fun to watch these legends and the audience enjoy these timeless classics.
Over to the Grandstands on Day 6 we had The Wallflowers and Train. Opening to a full crowd, Jakob Dylan along with his band, The Wallflowers, came out ready to make their mark and leave an impression. Unlike their name, they certainly didn’t blend in like a wallflower, instead they stood out. Being the first time I’ve ever seen him, I found myself very drawn to Jakob’s unique voice. To me it was the perfect blend of the family tone with a Bruce Springsteen’esq sound to it. It was strong, yet sultry, and addictive; it a pleasant surprise. Taking the last few years to tour solo, Jakob was ready to get back together with the band and tour this summer. Being known as the son of a legendary musician has to be difficult. I admire and respect how he’s carved a sound and presence out for himself that makes him stand alone as the gifted musician he is. The first, but definitely not the last time I’ll catch a show with Jakob, for sure.
Warmed up and ready to hit the stage, Train barreled through onto the stage like the force they are. Emerging in the 1998 with their Top 10 hit “Meet Virginia”, these guys came right back in 2001 with the Grammy award winning song “Drops of Jupiter” solidifying their place in history as a force to be reckoned with. Here we are 16 years later, numerous hits, numerous awards, and miles and miles of touring on the road, Train is now known as one of the most loved groups out there today. With Pat Monahan on lead vocals, percussion, harmonica, acoustic guitar, trumpet, saxophone, vibraphone, megaphone; Jimmy Stafford on lead guitar, mandolin, ukulele, slide guitar, backing vocals; Jerry Becker on rhythm guitar, keyboards, piano, Hammond organ, slide guitar, percussion, backing vocals; Hector Maldonado on bass guitar, rhythm guitar, percussion, backing vocals; and Drew Shoals on drums these guys belted out hit after hit, with audience members singing along and rocking the Grandstands as though a freight train was barreling through.
Set List – Calling All Angels > 50 Ways to Say Goodbye >If It’s Love > Get To Me > Meet Virginia > Bulletproof Picasso > What Is And Should Never Be > Look To The Sky > Bruises > Save Me San Francisco > Free > Angel In Blue Jeans > Marry Me > Wonder What You’re Doing For The Rest of Your Life > Soul Sister > Drive By > Drops of Jupiter > Dream On ( Aerosmith)
Night Ranger – Getting pretty good at the dodging and weaving amongst the crowd, I high tailed it over to Chevy Court just in time to see the end of Night Ranger’s encore performance of “Sister Christian”. Wow! They still got it. With the crowd on their feet cheering and singing along, I managed to grab a few shots for the readers to see these legends in action.
Building on the momentum that had started this awesome entertainment lineup at The Great NY State Fair, I couldn’t wait to keep this going and capturing all the events planned ahead, all the sights there to see, and of course all the foods yet to try. Stay tuned as brings you more coverage of the 2014 Great New York State Fair.