Famous names and favorite tunes at the 2005 Iowa State Fair Grandstand will prove once again that the fair is more than fried candy bars and gigantic vegetables.
This years lineup promises to dazzle audiences with some of Americas favorite artists, ranging from Keith Urban and Garrison Keillor to Switchfoot and Hoobastank. Country, rock, oldies and even a little radio humor will travel through the Grandstand stage Aug. 11 to 21.
"We really have something to suit everyones liking," says Lori Chappell, marketing director for the Iowa State Fair. "Its a cross-section of everything.
"Its a great lineup because so many of (the musicians) have recently won awards," Chappell adds.
Chappell warns fair-goers to get their tickets while they can still get their hands on them.
"Were slightly ahead of last years ticket sales right now, and we do expect some sell-out crowds," says Chappell. "(The Grandstand) holds 10,000 people, and we hope that all seats are filled."
Tickets range from 18 to 30 and are currently on sale through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or on the Iowa State Fair Web site at www.iowastatefair.org. The Iowa State Fair ticket office opens for walk-up orders July 5. All concerts are reserved seating. Convenience charges apply to all tickets.
Switchfoot with Sleeping at Last
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11; 25
San Diego-based guitar-pop/ rock outfit Switchfoot is set
to kick off the hefty list of grandstanders in the same month it releases a new album, "Nothing is Sound." The bands last album, "The Beautiful Letdown," went
Switchfoot has taken home six San Diego Music Awards during its career, including
two in 2003 for "Album of the Year" and "Pop Album of the Year." Five of the groups songs were included on the Gold-certified soundtrack for 2002s "A Walk to Remember."
Switchfoot has found its name on rosters alongside such greats as Janes Addiction and Audioslave.
Brothers Jon and Tim
Foreman join keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas and
drummer Chad Butler in what is sure to be a high-octane performance.
Sleeping at Last landed on Relevant Magazines list of the top debuts of 2003 with its album "Ghosts." The group has garnered comparisons
to the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and U2.
with Sara Evans
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12; 25
Brad Paisley won the Academy of Country Musics "Video of the Year" award for "Whiskey Lullaby," his new single is called "Alcohol" and his new album "Time Well Wasted." So dont be
surprised if you see a few beers in the crowd.
Since his debut in
1999, Paisley has taken home the Country Music Associations Horizon Award (2000) and Vocal Event award (2001), a handful of Grammy
nominations, an Academy of Country Music award and has been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Sara Evans was named one of this years 50 most beautiful people by People magazine, but beauty isnt all she has. Evans first record to hit No. 1 was 1998s "No Place That Far." Two years later, album "Born to Fly" shot to No. 1 with the help of the hit single "I Could Not Ask for More." Evans took home "Video of the Year" at the 2001 Country Music Association Awards and has toured with the likes of Martina McBride, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and Reba
McEntire. The versatility of 2004s most-played female country artist has listeners coming back Evans newest release, "Restless," features everything from bongos to banjos.
Rock n Roll
featuring Johnny Rivers, Felix Cavalieres Rascals, Lou Christie, Brian Hyland and The Shangri-las
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; 25
The stars best known for 60s hits like "Secret Agent Man," "Mustang Sally," "Im Gonna Make You Mine," "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and "Leader of the Pack,"
respectively, hit the stage again to prove
A Prairie Home Companion
with Garrison Keillor: The Rhubarb Tour
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14; 18
Garrison Keillor leads radio listeners on a dusty gravel trail through whimsical
callbacks to 1940s radio sagas, bluegrass music
and imaginative storytelling to fictional Lake Wobegon, Minn., every Saturday evening on his NPR show "A Prairie Home Companion." His soothing baritone has captured the hearts of many Iowans and lured them into memories of their childhoods in the heartland. The Rhubarb Tour promises a night of music, the latest news from Lake Wobegon, a suspenseful Guy Noir adventure, the "Lives of the Cowboys" and commercials for ketchup, Powdermilk Biscuits, and of course rhubarb. Three stops on the Rhubarb Tour will be broadcast on "A Prairie Home Companion," but Keillors time at the Iowa State Fair will not be one of them.
Chevrolet presents Big and Rich
with Cowboy Troy and special guest Cross Canadian Ragweed
8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16; 30
To say theyre a little bit country and a little bit rock n roll wouldnt do them justice. John Rich and Big Kenny pride themselves on mixing it up and hopping genres to blow a booze-tinged breath of new life into the world of country music. Kenny is a 6-foot-3-inch self-described "Minister of Love" and Rich stands a little shorter and acts a bit slyer. They may look like a mismatched pair, but together their sound gels into a boot-stompin good time. These guys know how to play hard on stage and off. Look no further then saloon brawl salute "Kick my A**" and friendship tribute "Wild West Show" for evidence of that.
With an entourage full of all kinds, its no surprise that Big and Rich are bringing Cowboy Troy along for the ride. The rules of country continue to bend with Cowboy Troy, the worlds first 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound black cowboy rapper. A degree in economics and the ability to speak three languages could have landed Cowboy Troy a job just about anywhere in the business world, but instead
he decided to join up with Big and Rich for the experience of a lifetime. Be sure to stick around for Troys famed Mandarin-Chinese raps.
Cross Canadian Ragweed has created a genre all its own by blending Oklahoma country and classic rock. The group should fit perfectly with the headliners in that gray area between country and rock.
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; 28
Legendary for their classic rock tunes as well as their unique facial hair, the members of ZZ Top came straight out of Texas to rule the world more than 35 years ago. Along the way, they have picked up a string of accolades. The group was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, has sold millions of records and continues to release albums and garner fans young and old. The men of ZZ Top are perhaps best known for their hits "La Grange," "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man." Their newest album is "Mescalero." With track names like "Liquor" and "Tramp," this record promises to deliver classically lewd and gritty ZZ Top rock.
with special guest Phil Vassar
8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20; 28
Some musicians take two decades to have four No. 1 songs and eight Top 5 hits. For Keith Urban, it took just two records. Nearly a year has passed since country radios most-played artist of 2003 released "Be Here." Before that, 2002s double-platinum "Golden Road" spent more than 100 weeks on the charts. Urban has earned top honors for his music, including the 2001 Country Music Associations Horizon Award, the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Male Vocalist Award and a Grammy
nomination for his instrumental rendition of "Rollercoaster." An Australian by birth but a down-home country boy at heart, Urban is known for wowing fans with his uplifting, live-for-the-present message and rousing performances.
Keith Urban isnt the first celebrity Phil Vassar has ever shared a roster with. The singer/songwriter/ pianist has shared the spotlight with everyone from soulful crooner Al Green to newly-crowned American Idol Carrie Underwood.
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21; 28
Guitarist Dan Estrin, drummer Chris Hesse, bassist Markku Lappalainen and singer Doug Robb pride themselves on being "average Joes," but their music careers are anything but average. Singles "Crawling in the Dark" and "Running Away" rocketed Hoobastanks self-titled debut album to platinum status and the groups second album, "The Reason," continues to hold it in the spotlight. Formed nearly a decade ago in the Los Angeles suburb
of Agoura Hills, Calif. alongside fellow rock group Incubus,
Hoobastank has traveled the globe cranking out everything from hard rock ("Out of Control") to crooning love tunes ("The Reason").