The Great New York State Fair is one of the most highly regarded and visited fairs in America, providing fair goers with an enough crafts, food, rides, entertainment, musical performances and competitions to last 12 days. Each year, the first day is held high with expectations as staff look forward to seeing large crowds and hosting some of Americas’ best musical performers to fill the first day. This year was no exception, inviting ’90s rock group Everclear and singer/actor Rick Springfield to the Chevy Court along with rising country star Eric Church to the Grandstands to cap off the night.
Everclear has been traveling the world for many years, performing their hit singles such as “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine,” “Everything to Everyone,” and “Wonderful” to name a few. With the release of their new studio album Black is the New Black this past April, the band has been on tour supporting and sharing their new songs with audiences all over the world. Their set, which was supposed to start at 2pm, kicked off late but rockin’ as the band came out in all black clothes with instruments in hand. The group played just a few select songs from their most recent release, but stayed strong with their hits and crowd pleasers.
Once the sun had nestled into the horizon, the Chevy Court had again filled with folks waiting to see the next performer. As 8pm approached, the audience kept growing by the large numbers, thus enhancing the excitement. Soon, the stage lights dimmed and a brief video began, showing a collage of video clips of highlights throughout Rick Springfield’s’ career. With the video screen flashing on a dark stage, to a crowded audience, Rick and the band quietly made their way onto the stage preparing to burst into song. This particular performance was filled with top hits and sing-a-longs including “Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Human Touch,” and “Love Somebody. During the evening, Rick even brought up some very young kids to help sing the chorus’ of “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” The quintet of rock stars took a short break to chug some water and let the anticipation of the encore increase. As cheering echoed in between the buildings, Rick and the gang boarded the stage yet again to end the “Opening Day” show with his top hit “Jessie’s Girl” and “Kristina.”
While Chevy Court was rocking to some good ole fashioned rock and roll from Rick Springfield, the filled to capacity Grandstands were preparing for what was to be the first of the last three shows to be performed at the venue. First up on the billing was Eric Church, one of country music’s biggest names in the business. The country music equivalent to Hollywood’s James Dean, this jean clad, sunglass wearing young man is definitely a rebel, but with a cause. Making his own music his own way and not apologizing for following his dreams, he has won the hearts of country music fans all over the world with his unique musical style. As the crowd began to fill in, it was apparent that the grandstands would be filled to capacity for the first of the last of shows here.
First up for the evening was opening act The Cadillac Three; three long-haired hell raise’n dudes that rocked the stage like a seasoned rock and roll band. Although they may appear to resemble members of Duck Dynasty, don’t let their appearance fool you as they are some of the most talented rockers in the business today. Playing their style of country with a southern rock and roll flare, it was the perfect pairing for the main event to follow and had the crowd a rocking when they came a knocking.
As Eric took the stage, he started us of with a “Cold One”, followed by a chaser or “Creepin”, and then eased into “Guys Like Me”. Contining to mesmerize the crowd, Eric played all of this girls favorites, including his newest “Like Wrecking Ball”, sentimental favorite, “Give Me Back My Hometown”, and even threw in a little Springsteen with “Dancing In The Dark”. How can you not love someone who plays “Dancing In The Dark”? Seriously. With a catalog of hit after hit, it was no wonder the crowd loves this hell raisin country bad boy. It was the largest “church” service I had seen in a while.
As Day One closed it’s gates, it was apparent that they definitely had set the bar high Day One and set the pace for the rest to the week to follow suit. If they continued to rock both venues, beat first day attendance crowds with their $3 Thursday promotions, it was going to be one memorable 2015 Great NY State Fair.
Set List: Creepin , Guys Like Me, How ‘Bout You, Talladega, Pledge Allegiance to the Hag, Jack Daniels, Livin’ Part Of Life, Drink in My Hand, Like a Wrecking Ball, Lotta Boot Left to Fill, That’s Damn Rock & Roll, Give Me Back My Hometown, Homeboy, Smoke a Little Smoke, Over When It’s Over, These Boots, Dancing In The Dark/Springsteen. Encore: Loves Me Like Jesus Does