Ribs, Rock ‘n Roll, Rain and Rick Springfield. See Over 100 Pictures From Ribfest
Back in the 80′s, my friends and I would drive around in my parents Ford LTD blasting our favorite bands from the factory speakers. The LTD had an 8-track player, but all of our music was on cassette, so I was cool and bought an 8-track cassette adapter. This past weekend at Ribfest we were able to relive our high school days all over again. The same music we played down Main Street in Wagner we heard live nearly 30 years later.
Thursday night’s lineup included Helix (which we missed), Honeymoon Suite, April Wine and Loverboy. None of them disappointed. They know their fans were there to hear the hits and that’s what they played.
Honeymoon Suite busted out their biggest hits like “What Does It Takes” which was featured in the John Cusack film “One Crazy Summer”, their biggest U.S. hit “Feel It Again” and the song everyone knew the words to, “New Girl Now.”
Myles Goodwyn, the lead singer of April Wine, is rumored to be retiring from the band soon, so this may have been one of his last live shows. ”Just Between You and Me” had everyone at the Fairgrounds singing. Not every band can play every deep cut, but my friends and I loved their song “One More Time.” They didn’t play it, but we understand. We can always watch the You Tube video.
I had the privilege of attending a Meet and Greet at the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy on Thursday. Members of Helix, Honeymoon Suite, April Wine and Loverboy answered questions from the audience. Mike Reno of Loverboy is a class act! He is one cool cat. I just loved him. He engaged the crowd and was super nice and fun. It’s pretty cool to know that the person you’ve loved on stage is just as nice in person.
Loverboy featured all the original members, except for bassist Scott Smith who died in a boating accident almost 14 years ago. They had the crowd singing and dancing to their favorite Loverboy hits like “Notorious”, “Workin’ for the Weekend” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It.”
Before I immerse myself in the details of Friday night, let me extend my appreciation to Chuck Brennan, the Dollar Loan Center and the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy. The past 16 years of Ribfest have been fun. We’ve seen Joan Jett, Soul Asylum and the Gin Blossoms, just to name a few, but this year’s entertainment is the best lineup Sioux Falls has ever seen in one weekend. Eleven national acts in one weekend? That is a huge deal in this city and people supported it. Thousands of people came out to the Fairgrounds and proved that not just country music can bring a crowd. A big ‘Thank You’ to Mr. Brennan for everything he’s doing for the kids of the Sioux Empire, giving them a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in rock and roll, who give the kids advice and encouragement to believe in their dream. Proceeds from Ribfest benefit The Brennan Rock & Roll Academy.
Back to Friday night. It’s no secret I’m a Rick Springfield fan and have been since I was 12. You can only imagine my delight when I heard the Ribfest lineup for this year. Not only was Rick Springfield going to be performing, but many of the bands I loved when I was growing up. The night started with RATT frontman Stephen Pearcy and his band, the Rat Bastard Band. First of all, all four leading men on Friday night have taken VERY good care of themselves over the years. All were in top shape. Stephen Pearcy played the hits you jammed to in high school, from “Wanted Man” to “Lay It Down” and capping it off with his biggest hit, “Round and Round.” I have to admit, the red zipper was very distracting (in a good way).
Next up was Dee Snider of Twisted Sister who used Stephen Pearcy’s backup band and admitted it was the first time he played with them. This is how good the Rat Bastard band was. They learned several songs with probably only days notice and nailed it! Dee Snider was on his game. The man is a performer and he did not disappoint. His high energy set included the rock anthems, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”, which my friends and I learned all of the words to during breaks in Driver’s Ed class. AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” were songs “that made him who he is today”, and he nailed those as well.
Next up was one of my all time favorite singers, Tom Keifer of Cinderella. First of all, I’d like to thank Jon Bon Jovi for discovering Tom. Tom brought his solo band and performed a couple of songs from his solo album, “The Way Life Goes.” The set also included Cinderella’s biggest hits like “Somebody Save Me”, “Nobody’s Fool” and “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone” which he brought his wife, songwriter Savannah Snow, on stage to help him sing. You’ll be able to see more pics of Tom in the slideshow below, but I thought I’d post my favorite right here. The dude looks as good coming as he does going.
And, now the highlight of the whole weekend…Rick Springfield! I’ve seen many, many comments on Facebook from people who had never seen a Rick Springfield concert and were pleasantly surprised. Duh! I’ve been telling everyone for years about this guy. Rick Springfield is more than a pretty face. He is one of the most talented musicians and high energy performers I’ve ever seen. The guy had 17 top 40 hits! He wasn’t a one-hit wonder. Three things you can count on at a Rick Springfield concert – he’s going to take his shirt off, he’s going to shred roses on his guitar and he’s going to get into the crowd. He did not disappoint. By the way, Rick is going to be 65 years old in August! He played several staples like “I Get Excited”, “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Love Somebody” (my favorite Rick song), and of course, “Jessie’s Girl.” He also did a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar” which had everyone singing and appealed to the younger audience, many of whom were there from the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy. During “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, Rick brought three kids on stage to help him sing the song.
The highlight of the night for me was when Rick sat on the railing right in front of us! I nearly passed out! To be honest, I can’t even remember what song he was singing. When he was done, he put his hand out into the crowd with his guitar pick. I swear he was trying to hand it directly to me. I’m guessing he was trying to make up for basically blowing me off at Grand Falls Casino. Several people reached for the pick and it fell to the ground right in front of me. I GOT THE PICK!!!! I’ve always wanted a Rick Springfield guitar pick!
On Friday afternoon, I was able to attend a Meet and Greet with Dee Snider, Stephen Pearcy and Rick Springfield. Each talked to the audience and answered questions. It is very obvious Rick Springfield is not comfortable in front of crowds unless he is performing. He was a little awkward (and possibly tired) and it’s just not his thing. Put a microphone and a guitar in his hand and he is an entirely different person.
Ribfest 2014 was definitely THE best Ribfest this city has ever seen. I can’t wait to see how Chuck Brennan is going to top this next year.
Enjoy a slideshow of over 100 pictures from Thursday and Friday night’s entertainment.