The Iowa State Fair kicks off on Thursday, August 7, so there will be a lot more live music to look forward to over the eleven-day span from the 7th to the 17th. The Central Iowa concert calendar for August 7 is chock full of interesting shows, including ones from Newsboys, Los Lonely Boys, Winger, Kristian Bush, Vocal Trash, and 311. Here is a preview.
Newsboys will play the Iowa State Fair Grandstand on opening night at 8 p.m. The Christian music legends have recorded 33 #1 Christian singles and totaled seven #1 Christian albums, five Dove Awards, four Grammy nominations, and one Billboard Music Video Award. Newsboys released their latest album, entitled Restart, last September. You can check out the album's #1 smash "We Believe" in the nearby video. Tickets for the all ages Grandstand show are $30. Two-time Grammy nominee Matthew West will open the show.
The Iowa State Fair will have a number of all ages free (with paid admission to the fair) shows on Thursday that are worth checking out as well. Texas rockers Los Lonely Boys will perform on the Fairview Stage at 8 p.m. The band won the 2005 Grammy Award for "Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" for the #1 smash "Heaven" off of their double-platinum eponymous third album.
Vocal Trash will play two shows on the Fairview Stage everyday of the fair. Billed as "Stomp meets Glee", the Texas-based group combines street instruments like trash can lids, buckets, and hubcaps with acapella vocal harmonies to perform contemporary versions of oldies and rock and roll. Catch them every day at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The Willis Clan will take the Anne and Bill Riley Talent Stage at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursday (and again on Friday). The Willis Clan is a family of fourteen musicians, dancers, athletes, writers, and artists. The Tennessee clan merges their Irish roots with other music and dance genres to create a unique blend of the old and new. The family is competing on the current season of NBC's America's Got Talent.
With two platinum albums and six Top 20 singles, Winger was a huge success for a five-year span from 1989 to 1993. But grunge soon pushed hair bands to the back burner, and the band broke up in 1994. However, they reformed in 2006, and have since released three more albums. The band's latest effort, Better Days Comin', came out in April. Winger will take the Bud Light Stage at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Kristian Bush, one-half of the platinum-selling country duo Sugarland, will play the fair's Susan Knapp Amphitheater at 8 p.m. on Thursday. Bush is a Grammy, CMA, CMT, and ACM Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist. (Most people don't know that he is also the cousin of Jay Bush, spokesman of Bush's Baked Beans, and that their great grandfather A.J. Bush started the company.) Kristian Bush released a new solo single entitled "Trailer Hitch" earlier this year.
The Iowa State Fair is not the only place to find good music on Thursday. Omaha alt-rockers 311 will make a stop at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines on Thursday for an 8 p.m. show. 311 has racked up ten Top 20 albums, four platinum/multi-platinum albums, 6 gold albums, and 15 Top 20 singles. The band topped the Alternative chart twice, with the 1996 smash "Down" and again in 2004 with their remake of The Cure's "Love Song". 311 released their 13th studio album, the #1 Alternative smash Stereolithic, in March. Tickets for this all ages show are $39.50.
Also worth checking out on Thursday:
Burning Down the House at Music in the Junction
5th and Railroad in West Des Moines
5:30 p.m., all ages (free)
Hotel Pattee in Perry
7 p.m., all ages (free will donation)
The Soul Searchers
The Greenwood Lounge in Des Moines
9 p.m., 21+ (free)
Men on Horseback
DG's Tap House in Ames
9 p.m., 21+ (free)