Now playing 8-12-04
I hope you got some rest this past week or you're going to be plain pooped out for the next week's festivities surrounding the great and glorious Illinois State Fair. There are almost as many bands playing at various venues around the grounds as there are houseflies coming to enjoy the fine delicacies offered by the fair.
Local rock bands lap up the gravy at the Budweiser and Miller beer tents to the tune of three a day for all 10 days. The big band dance groups blow through the Twilight Ballroom playing instruments your children have never heard before. The Key West/One Particular Harbor stage entertains with local groups and national acts plus the added attraction of air conditioning. The new Stage X near the Gate 2 entrance hosts the Battle of the Bands along with rock bands from around the state aimed at hitting the 20-something crowd. The Grandstand entertainment has something for somebody, but put my money down on Little Feat at the Multi-Purpose Arena (hey Ed, let's call it the Sally Weiskopf Arena) on Tuesday.
In an extreme honor gig and a great fit, local legends, the Groove Daddies, bagged the opening slot for the long-lived original jam band. Toss in the Lincoln Stage, roving entertainers, the kid's section, and you've got a pile of music being played during the fair.
And of course that's not all, because the fair brings with it what we like to call the peripheral entertainment factor. City fathers have slightly tightened the late night leash on local bars by forcing them to ask permission to remain open until 3 a.m. In years past, any and all taverns could stay open late during the fair to allow partyers more time to complete their formidable tasks of taking it to the limit too many times.
Quite a few nightclubs have bulked up entertainment schedules to accommodate fairgoers (actually that would be fairleavers). The Alamo lined up Mr. Opporknockity for Saturday and Filthy Johanson for Wednesday. Dempsey's staged a Frank Trompeter weekend with elevator shoe featuring Trina Madonia on Friday and the FT Quartet with guests, percussionist Craig Russo sans the Latin Jazz Project and bassist Chad Sanders of 56 Hope Road on Saturday.
The fifth annual JoeFest begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday and staggers on until 3 a.m. at Bootlegger's and features Posamist, Luke Turasky Band, and The Station. The Last Chance Blues Band resurrects itself for an outside show at the Forty-Niner Bye-Bye on Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. Up from St. Louis comes a pair of striking groups as the Phonocaptors and the Good Griefs rock the world at Café Kanichi-Wa on Saturday, while 56 Hope Road of Chicago-by-Boulder takes it home on Sunday night after a Stage X appearance. All three groups playing the Café have the critics raving, fans adoring, and listeners pleasantly stunned at their diverse excellence.
Harmonica wizard Mark Hummel, always a hit in Springfield, takes on the host job at the Illinois Central Blues Club Blue Monday Jam at the Alamo. Then next Thursday, Aug. 19, Tres Femmes, an acoustic trio comprised of three young women waltzes into the Underground City Tavern. And on Friday, Aug. 20, Springfield's sweetheart Rosie Flores returns to the UCT.
See what I mean about needing your rest?