Arizona State Fair 2014:
Little Bit Country, Rock And Soul
Danny Zelisko Presents And The Arizona State Fair Are Teaming Up Once Again With The Result Being A Concert Series That On Paper May Be One Of The Best To Grace The State Of Veterans Memorial Coliseum
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 29, 2014 — Some really big names in the music world are coming to the Phoenix metro this October.
There will be Justin Moore, Sublime with Rome, Darius Rucker, Weezer, Wiz Khalifa, John Fogerty, and Barenaked Ladies. There will also be Berlin, Josh Turner, Queens of the Stoneage, Treach and Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature, Shock G, Kurtis Blow and Coolio.
No, this is not the lineup for this year’s True Music Festival, or some other new ‘mega-festival’ coming to Arizona.
And it is also not the schedule for US Airways Center or any other fancy new venue. These are the 2014 State Fair music headliners that will grace the stage of the irreplaceable Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Kudos must be poured upon the folks at the State Fair for putting together an eclectic and amazing headlining lineup. Well, really just kudos for being smart enough to hire Danny Zelisko Presents to book their shows.
First and foremost, Wiz Khalifa at the 2014 Arizona State Fair on Oct. 17 just seems ridiculous. This is a person who less than one year ago was headlining what was probably Arizona’s most expensive musical event in True Music Festival. But it is not as if he fell off, he is still riding high on a platinum album and is definitely one of the biggest purveyors of marijuana-based hip hop.
Khalifa’s presence has more to do with the stature and allure of the Arizona State Fair’s concert series than it does with his own stature within the music industry. Just last year, legendary hip-hopper Nas graced the Coliseum with his presence directly after dropping an album that ranked No. 1 on the hip-hop charts.
The fair’s two newest additions, just announced four days ago, Weezer on Oct. 16, and Queens of the Stoneage on Oct. 30, have done a lot to ratchet up the excitement level. Before they were added, there really was no strong rock and roll presence for a concert series that in the past has included Jane’s Addiction, Megadeth, and Nirvana, just to name a few of the fair’s exalted past headliners.
Weezer is returning to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum after a rather uninspiring set in 2012. But for Weezer and their hefty catalogue of iconic songs, even a bad set is a good set because the crowd can always sing along.
Another returnee from the the Arizona State Fair’s 2012 campaign are Sublime with Rome who will be playing on Oct. 12. To be completely frank, their 2013 show was horrendous. It definitely packed the arena — and quite a few pipes — but there was generally nothing good about that performance. Perhaps it was an ‘off’ night for the group, because they were invited back. It will also be their first Arizona show since being snitched on Linkin Park (for those who don’t know, Linkin Park called the cops on Sublime with Rome in Tucson last year).
Also coming back after last appearing in 2012 is the legendary John Fogerty. As a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival, he played Woodstock. Anything else he did after that was amazing, because he played Woodstock. But seriously, at $10, it’d be insane to miss out on someone like Fogerty.
Justin Turner will open things up on Oct.11, Darius Rucker on Oct. 15, and Josh Turner on Oct. 26 will represent this year’s country offerings and that’s a pretty strong lineup. Between the three acts there are more than a few Grammy nods and a treasure trove of charting singles. For country fans this is a great year to pay $10 a show.
Barenaked Ladies will make their presence felt Oct. 22 and the most prevalent question on the minds of most is “those guys still exist?” Well, apparently they do, and they are probably existing pretty well considering they have sold more than 15 million records worldwide. “One Week” may just be the single most defining song of the 1990s and for anyone born before about 1990 this is definitely a big nostalgia concert.
Also in the vein of nostalgia concerts, Dave Pratt’s 1980 Something featuring Berlin, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, and John Waite and the customary Old School Jam on Nov. 1 are both just that. 1980 Something is going to definitely going to bring out those new wave kids looking for the feel good songs of the 1980s.
While the Old School Jam is actually boasting quite a formidable line up with Treach and Kay Gee of Naughty By Nature, Coolio, Shock G. of Digital Underground, and legendary hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow. It really is a strong year for the fair but this year’s Old School Jam is just spectacular.
Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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