A Little Rain Didn’t Dampen The RibFest Party Saturday!
A lot of people behind the scenes at RibFest are in town from Las Vegas and California. In the desert, they said if it rains for five minutes there, people want to leave and are demanding a refund. In Sioux Falls, if it rains for a couple of hours right before the first band is set to hit the stage, we turn out in record numbers and rock with more of our heroes.
Day 3 of the biggest RibFest (and biggest rock festival this town has ever seen) got off to a wet start as a storm rolled in about 4pm. Sioux Falls’ Guilty Pleasures Orchestra was set to play at 4:30. The rain rolled on, and on so long that GPO’s set was scrapped as the stage crew readied Foghat and Head East to start on time at 6:30.
Right on the button, despite a few sprinkles lingering at the WH Lyon Fairgrounds, Head East kicked off another fun night of music at the 17th annual RibFest with “Raise A Little Hell”. And boy did we!
Head East tore through a 40 minute set to the growing crowd closing with their biggest hit “Never Been Any Reason” from 1975’s Flat As A Pancake. Following a short break, Foghat came out ready to kick the RibFest party up a notch!
Foghat sounded great, led by founder, drummer Roger Earl as they tore through hits like ‘Fool For The City’, ‘Stone Blue’ and ‘Slow Ride’ plus a couple of deep cuts like ‘Home in My Hand’ and ‘Drivin’ Wheel’. And of course a fan favorite in ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’.
A few songs into Foghat’s set, the rains let up and the thousands (and thousands) in attendance got what we considered a good sign from above.
It definitely WAS a good omen as the storms held off until well after midnight allowing the headliners of the night, Lynyrd Skynyrd to take the stage in front of a sea of fans.
Skynyrd is a well oiled machine. They’re on tour and sound great led by founding father Gary Rossington, singer Jonny Van Zant and guitarist Rickey Medlocke (who is an original member of the band but had left to form Blackfoot before the band ‘hit’ and returned in 1996) As the sun set through the clouds over the festival, the party was reaching a fever pitch!
The great thing about seeing a band like Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert is they can play an entire 90 minute set of nothing but hits and songs you know. From ‘Gimme Three Steps’, to ‘Workin’ For MCA’, to ‘I Know A Little’ to ‘That Smell’ the band was putting on one hell of a show!
By the time the band rolled into ‘Simple Man’ (which they dedicate to the troops) and ‘Tuesday’s Gone’, the crowd was swaying, and singing along with every note with a hand raised in the air.
RibFest has simply been THE best rock festival Sioux Falls has ever seen. Are there things that can be improved upon next year? Absolutely. And festival organizers have been reading comments and taking notes since the minute the gates opened Thursday. The huge crowds every night continue to show that we still love the music we grew up listening to and will stand in the mud to hear our favorite songs outside on a warm summer night.
RibFest concludes Sunday with a free admission KidzFest day. Gates open at 11am with several bands from the Brennan Rock and Roll Academy performing (both students AND faculty!) Kory & The Fireflies will perform at 3pm. Bring the family out for some great barbecue Sunday afternoon and see some of these kids bands (who have been working SO hard to get to play for you!)
Here’s a recap of day 1 with Loverboy, April Wine, Honeymoon Suite and Helix.
Here’s a recap of day 2 with Rick Springfield, Tom Keifer, Dee Snider and Stephen Pearcy.