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Big Wu, LAZERfest final BotB, Ski Patrol, Guillen, and Ripp top Friday's shows

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The weekend is almost here, and this weekend's concert calendar is jam-packed with shows. Start your weekend off with a bang by hitting up one of these Central Iowa live music events on Friday.

Katy Guillen & The Girls will close out a great night of music at Des Moines' Gas Lamp Friday night. Bob Pace & The Dangerous Band will kick off the night with the venue's Friday Work Release Party. The early show will run from 4:30 p.m. til 7:30 p.m. and feature blues from Pace and the boys and free food while it lasts. The early show has a $5 cover. Guillen headlines the late show with opening act Get Along. Katy Guillen & The Girls just finished competing in the International Blues Challenge at the end of January. The late show also has a $5 cover charge.

Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines will have a concert doubleheader on Friday as well. At 6:30 pm., the venue hosts Des Moines alternative pop/rock band Sky Patrol with opening acts Stoopid and Barrett Beeler. The early show has a $5 cover and is open to all ages. Then at 10 p.m., the Mews has Kansas "thrashabilly" band Deadman Flats with openers Jacob County & the Damaged Goods. The late show is 21+ and has an $8 cover.

Friday night at Wooly's, LAZER 103.3FM (KAZR) will crown the 2014 winner of their annual LAZERfest Battle of the Bands. That winner will earn a spot on stage at the 2014 LAZERfest later this summer. Competing Friday at 8 p.m. will be Green Death, Dead Horse Trauma, Through the Darkness, and Apathy Syndrome, each having already competed once to make it to this final showcase of Iowa talent. Tickets for this all ages event are $5, and they can be purchased at Wooly's or online through Ticketfly.

The Big Wu returns to DG's Tap House in Ames on Friday. The Minnesota roots band has been a staple at Wakarusa and has hosted their own music festival for 12 years running. Opening for The Big Wu at 9 p.m. will be Ames locals Fuzzy Logic. Tickets for the 21+ show are $12 at the door.

Singer/songwriter Andrew Ripp will play The Maintenance Shop in Ames on Friday night. The Nashville-based musician has written songs for a number of television shows. Ripp released his third full-length album Won't Let Go last spring and his latest album Simple just two weeks ago. Another Nashville band, the Americana group Judah & The Lion, will open the show at 9 p.m. Tickets for this all ages seated show are $10 in advance ($8 for ISU students), and ticket prices will go up $2 the day of the show. Tickets may be purchased through the M-Shop box office or online through MidwesTix.

Country musician Gene Watson will play Terrible's Lakeside Casino in Osceola Friday at 8 p.m. The man behind hits like "Fourteen Carat Mind", "Farewell Party", "Love in the Hot Afternoon", and "Memories To Burn" has charted over 75 singles, including six #1's, during his fifty-plus years recording and performing. Tickets for the show are $10, $20, or $30, and they may be purchased online through Red Truck Tickets. You must be 21 or older to attend the show.

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