Big week for music at The Fair

A preview of the mainstage musical acts during the last week of the California State Fair.

This is it, folks, the week that the California State Fair brings out the big guns on the Golden 1 Stage. Well, more like medium range artillery. I can’t say that I am thrilled about any of these acts, but am curious to see what kind of show they will deliver and they should each please their target audience. Hey, I was pleasantly surprised last week by the Hullabaloo Music Festival and I didn’t hate Salvador, so I am going in with an open mind.

Wednesday brings us Lou Gramm, who is best known for his years as the lead singer of Foreigner. I have checked out his setlist online and it leans heavily on rocking hits with only has a smattering of his solo work (which includes a Christian Rock release this past year). Butt rock it ain’t, but should give us a good fix of 70’s arena rock, even though there are a few songs he won’t perform anymore because they are too risqué.

On Thursday, we get MC Hammer. Sigh. Does anyone remember the funky headhunter Hammer? The friendly gansta Hammer? His gospel album? His post 9/11, pro-American military album? His “bring the troops home, maybe this Iraq War was a bad idea” album? Has anyone seen him performing new material on his reality show HammerTime? The Reverend Stanley Burrell has reinvented himself every couple of years to stave off a constant threat of being an anachronistic punchline, and I can’t help but wishing him the best of luck, but I fear the potential of this show to be terrible. I fear that it will be so bad that it will not even be entertainingly bad, but excruciatingly bad.

Friday night will be a Three Dog Night. I always felt that Three Dog Night was a bit square and that they appealed to fans of vocal combos who felt that Crosby, Stills and Nash were too edgy for them. I have heard good reviews of their shows and they have a deep pocket of hits and covers to draw from, so I would expect a crowd pleasing good time for the middle aged target audience.

Saturday night will be country night at The Fair, with tight Wrangler jeans hugging firm country butts of both sexes. Country star Blake Shelton holds more appeal for me than many run-of-the-mill country stars. He’s got an resonant baritone that spins yarns of traditional C&W topics like prison, guns, drinking and heartbreak. His newer material leans too far towards country-pop for my tastes, but expect Shelton to bring his black hat to Cal Expo.

8 thoughts on “Big week for music at The Fair”

  1. The Official State Fair has Hammer! The stupid mid-state fair in Paso Robles only has Carrie Underwood, Journey & Heart, Kelly Clarkson, Styx & REO Speedwagon, Tim McGraw, KISS, Judas Priest w/ SG Whitesnake, The Black Eyed Peas, Dave Koz & Brian Culbertson. How do we fire the State Fair board and hire people on the mid state fair level? Official State Fair? More like the official state fail.


  2. Nick, apples and oranges. All shows at the CA State Fair are free. All of those musical acts at the Mid-State Fair are an average of $50. If any of those acts were plating Cal Expo for $50, would you go? I wouldn’t.


  3. I would. It would actually give me a reason to go. I am not too good for the crowd at Denio’s, but I am too good for the crowd at the state fair. The county booths look the same year after year, the vendors are the same year after year, the high school shed building competition is the same year after year… I would go to the state fair if it actually had acts that could draw me out, or if they had a dress code.


  4. “I want fewer stabbings. I want a dress code. I want new carnies. I want new sheds built. I want more REO Speedwagon and Blue Oyster Cult.” Sheesh. If you wanted change, y’shoulda voted for O’Bama and to eliminate the “stabbin’ is my culture day” at the fair.

    I want more Tawney K’tain an’ to win the lottery. I’ll exchange the lottery part for more of Ms. K’tain. IT THE FAIR! It’s $20 to get in (plus $10 parking, plus $4 sodas/$4 water/$5 beer/plus $40 to ride anything). Be happy with new fried stuff (try the O’reo), rides that don’t kill you, and rodeos that don’t involve gorings (most of them). Unless you are into Göring.


  5. shut the damn thing down already so we can get back to the waterslide park.

    mc hammer is keeping me out of the wave pool!


  6. Waterslide park is open. You can buy a ticket that gets you into BOTH the State Fair AND Raging Waters. You can also buy a discounted season pass for BOTH The Fair and Raging Waters.


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