As I prepared for Day 11 at the Great NY State Fair, I looked forward to the day of music, some glitz and glamour with my Miss Syracuse ladies, and taking in all the exhibits, food, and festivities as the week-long Fair began winding down. It had been the most amazing week for NYS Music staff members as we covered shows and events, and took in all the fun we possibly could so that we could share with our readers. With the Grandstands holding its final concert the night before, I looked forward to the shows at Chevy Court and a local band who I had been wanting to see for a while this fine Sunday. First up at Chevy Court was MKTO, then I would be off to see The Rick Short Band, and then I would finally get to check another off my bucket list, with the Phillip Phillips show. Apparently I was not the only one with the Phillip Phillips show on a bucket list. As I approached the photography area at Chevy Court, I learned that one young lady had been there since sunrise when her folks dropped her at the gates to get the perfect seats. This was surely going to be a day to remember for her as she sat front and center with her friends, beaming from ear to ear that she would be first row center to see her favorites MKTO and Phillip Phillips. Now that’s a fan.
MKTO – Who is MKTO you ask? MKTO has recently burst onto the pop music scene over the past few years with their hits “Thank You” and “Classic”. The duo, made of up Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, met while working together on Nikolodean’s show Gigantic.
These two extremely talented young men began jamming together and the duo was born. Mixing pop, rap, and hip hop, their style is refreshing and energetic. Their background in acting, their musical talent, and their dynamic stage presence is the perfect combination to be the next big thing. Truly enjoyed watching them as they performed, and as they brought their young crowd to the feet singing and dancing along. Have to admit, do love their song “Classic”; is catchy and sends a good message to the younger generation about the importance of keeping it classy.
Set List: Could Be Me > Forever Until Tomorrow > God Only Knows > American Dream > No More Second Chances > Heartbreak > Am I Wrong > Wasted > Nowhere > Get My Way > Hide Your Girl > Goodbye Song > Thank You > Classic
Rick Short Band – Over the past few years I have tried to coordinate my schedule to be able to catch local favorites and good friend Rick Short and his band out and about. Unfortunately until today it had eluded me. With Tracy Bowens on vocals, Zach Calidonna on bass, Eddie Reilly on vocals and drums, Brian Tuttle on lead guitar, Callendra Comstock on vocals, and Rick Short on vocals and guitar, they played several songs that will be featured on their upcoming CD they are working on. With an anticipated release somewhere in the spring, the group shared with the audience some of their upcoming releases to positive results. His band, The Rick Short Band, specializes in what they call real rock and roll. We certainly were rocked, and look forward to seeing them again.
Phillip Phillips – Crowds began to gather for Phillips Phillips earlier than normal for this free show at Chevy Court. After exploring the fairgrounds for the day I decided to stake my claim to a spot close by the stage for the evening. Taking possession much earlier than normally, I wasn’t alone in my thought process. The immediate stage area was already spoken for, mainly by those who had seats from the earlier show. So as I sat there partaking in one of my favorite past times, people watching, I witnessed something pretty special that made Phillip Phillips a pretty stand up guy in my book. The security people, who by the way were awesome the whole fair, took notice of that young lady who had arrived at sunrise to see this show. Notifying the management for Phillip Phillips, shortly before the show began they surprise her and escorted her back stage to meet him in person. In tears and shaking, the young lady could barely walk to the back for the encounter. As she returned from the occurrence, she was ear-to-ear smiles chattering away about what had just happened. I just love seeing performers take notice like that and thank their fans who are so dedicated them. The humility in it sets them apart in my book.
Phillip Phillips who is best known as the winner of American Idol season 11, this young man has found a way to share his passion with the world, and we are certainly glad he has. With two albums under his belt, his song “Home” is the highest selling coronation song from any of the Idol winners to date. Phillip knew he had the music fever at the age of 14. Mentored by his brother-in-law,Benjamin Neil, Phillip pursued his passion in and around his hometown of Leesburg, GA playing with his brother in law’s band at local venues and events. Trying out for America’s Got Talent, he never made it to the final rounds. However this didn’t deter him, in fact it made him more determined to succeed, and off he went to audition for American Idol. Never in jeopardy of being eliminated during the competition, his talent shone through.
As he played at Chevy Court, it was apparent to me that this 23-year-old young man was special. As Phillip Phillip took the stage, what occurred during this performance seemed almost magical in its energy. I had covered the majority of the events over the course of the week, and as I began to watch him perform I was totally blown away. His enthusiasm and passion were transparent and you felt it as he performed. His stage presence and interactions with the audience just drew you in more. All the artists booked are talented, and I enjoy each and every performance, but WOW is all I can say about Phillip Phillips. He sang and played with a passion that mesmerized you. You literally felt the music as he played. Hands down this was my favorite performance of the Fair. He had me at hello.
The special passion and energy didn’t end at the edge of the stage either. One special couple took this opportunity to celebrate their special moment with the entire audience as Phillip Phillips played along. Yep, this show was special for sure.
although not the best quality as I had to shoot the jumbotron for a clear shot, the following video was a taste of the show and the amazing talent of everyone up on that stage.
Set List: Lead On > Get Up > Raging Fire > Unpack > Where We Came From > Gone > Man On The Moon > Trigger > Fly > Lillipop > Fool’s Dance > Home
Day 12 – $1 Day
Well as the Fair came to a close on Labor Day, they decided to try something new this year by offering $1 entrance, $1 rides, and many vendors charged $1 for favorite food items. As this new concept was born, it’s one I believe will live a long life as the record that was broken after twenty-five years the previous Saturday, was once again broken. 122,870 people took advantage of the final day at The Great NY State Fair.
Doobie Brothers – Closing out Chevy Court were the legendary Doobie Brothers. This multi-talented group has demonstrated their longevity and perseverance in the music business by doing exactly what they love, making great music. With a blend of blues, soul, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll, these multi-talented award-winning musicians just continue to make great music and rock their audiences. The band has produced 3 multi-platinum, 7 platinum and 14 Gold albums; with five top 10 singles and 16 top 40 hits.
This ever evolving group, has proven over the course of the years that no matter what changes occur within the band, within the music industry, or within the world, being true to their sound and making music their way, produces music with a heart that their tried and true fans, and an ever evolving new fan base just love. Touring now with the band we have Tom Johnston – guitars, keyboards, harmonica, vocals, Patrick Simmons – guitars, banjo, flute, vocals, John McFee – guitars, harmonica, dobro, pedal steel, violin, vocals, John Cowan – bass guitar, vocals, Guy Allison – keyboards, backing vocals, Marc Russo – saxophones, Ed Toth – drums, and Tony Pia – drums, percussion. I personally am looking forward to their newest album’s release around the beginning of November 2014. In a collaborative effort with Nashville’s top country musicians, this album is already proving to be one of the most anticipated albums of the year. This collaborative effort pushes the boundaries, and follows a trend of forging rock and roll and country music in a new direction. The Doobie Brothers consider their music American Rock, and I wholeheartedly agree.