Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rotaryfest Stage 1 & Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews!!

To stay ahead of things regarding this weekend's concert previews, we're doubling up on posts today, tackling shows taking place in Sault Michigan and for one stage of a major annual festival. If you're interested in previews of this weekend's Tym Morrison and (short notice) Soundcheck shows, or tonight's Downtown Street Party, check out this morning's post below, and if you're hoping for The Tea Party, Stage 2, Northwest/K.I.C.K., and Id Iota/ Mike Mikus previews, check back tomorrow! Now, let's continue this weekend's stacked concert previews!

This year's Rotaryfest began TODAY at Clergue Park in Sault Ontario, and that includes three days' worth of all-covers action on Stage 1, so what should you know about it's lineups this year? Unfortunately, this year's main stage lineup at our annual summer festival has noticeably fewer hard rock bands (partly due to That's Chester and Griphook falling inactive), and as a result, only tomorrow's lineup has bands whose genres fit our primary coverage. That said, many readers will be curious as to the full lineup, so here's who to look for tonight and Saturday! Tonight's schedule will be headlined by new Coverfly side project Encore, with country quartet Crossroad, local DJ Jeff MacNeice's Neil Diamond tribute band Hot April Night, classic rock veterans Flathead Ford, and blues/country mainstays The Algo Rhythms opening. Saturday night's lineup will actually be headlined by local country veterans Bone Yard, with Southern Ontario-based Keith Urban & Blue Rodeo tribute bands Ultimate Urban & Blue Radio playing featured sets prior.

Remaining local bands on Saturday will include R&B collective The Reptiles, blues rock standout Paul Dellavedova, Obsession frontwoman Valerie Powley's new Janis Joplin tribute band Janis Full Tilt!, 1960s-themed classic rockers The Peace Vibe, blues rock quintet Red & The Muscle, and improv jazz outfit The Jazz Cats. Solid lineup of local talent on these two nights, including many familiar and newer faces alike, and lots of tribute band action, so see the above links for more details, and click here for full set-times and band descriptions (or find your program from the mail!) 

As for TOMORROW's lineup (expanded from 5 bands to 6 this year), tomorrow's music at the main Clergue Park stage will be bookended by some hard rock action, so who can you look out for? Your 10:30 PM headliners are hard/party rock cover trio Stiffler's Mom in their third Rotaryfest set in four years, and they should end things with a bang as usual tomorrow night! Classic rock veterans and Rotaryfest regulars Obsession will co-headline at 9:30 PM, as preceded by a special Garth Brooks tribute set by local country artist Mark Tarantini at 8:00 PM, similiarly to his tribute last year that the former Mourning Wood served as backing band for. Classic rock quintet Mustang Heart's 13(+?) year streak of Rotaryfest Stage 1 sets will continue at 7:00 PM tomorrow, while veteran blues rock quartet Five Below Zero will return to the festival at 6:00 PM. Finally, classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will open the evening's action in their Rotaryfest debut at 5:00 pm, shortly before they hit The Esquire Club.

All three days of entertainment on Stage 1 are FREE & ALL AGES as usual, so check the above links for full timeslot and additional information on this year's first stage! While those who complain about Stage 1's covers-only focus and regular bands may not be won over, there's still a lot of variety within their range, with many new bands, a lot of tributes, and for the first time since 2009, out-of-town country bands, so there should be lots of classic tunes this weekend! Of course, if you want hard rock, I recommend coming tomorrow night, but give this year's bands a look to learn what to expect, and here's Stiffler's Mom live at Rotaryfest 2014!

Next up, let's touch on Traverse City, Michigan metal trio Scarkazm's return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino, as they'll return north for headlining shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Definitely Scarkazm shows after last month's confusion whether they or Peril were playing in the Soo over the June 15th weekend, these will be Adam, Dave, and Jeff's first collaborative shows in our area since headlining in St. Ignace in May, and first at The Rapids Lounge since April. Always great to see Scarkazm up north, so look for more heavy originals and covers this weekend! As usual for Scarkazm's local gigs, expect 9:00 PM start times, no announced cover charges, and 21+ age limits tomorrow and Saturday night. Scarkazm always deliver a solid night of hard hitting selections, so keep their return north in mind for this weekend, visit the official Facebook event pages linked here & here for more details, and here they are live!

Finally for today's previews, this weekend will see more out-of-town headlining action in Sault Michigan, as Marquette hard rock quartet Spun will return to The Satisfied Frog for shows TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT themselves! The Nudge successors will be making their third trip east on this busy concert weekend, and fans of their accessible and hard hitting covers should be out in full force at The Frog, so keep their local return in mind over the next two nights! As was the case during Spun's prior local bookings, expect 9:30 PM start times tomorrow & Saturday night, there are no announced cover charges, and you must be at least 21 years old to attend. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details on Spun's local gigs this weekend, and here they are live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our third weekend concert preview post of this extremely busy weekend next! Thanks everyone!

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