American Idol fans can revel in the crushing rock’n’roll of 2006 winner Daughtry on the fair’s opening day, Thursday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. ($35 and $45). Buffalo’s cultishly appealing Goo Goo Dolls take the grandstand stage on Friday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. ($29.50 and $39.50), with Gavin DeGraw warming up the crowd. Classic rock rounds out the grandstand’s music slate, with a triple bill of Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick on Saturday, Aug. 23, 7 p.m. ($46 ducats remaining), the screeching guitars of Def Leppard on Sunday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. ($39.50 and $49.50) and the pairing of durable arena-fillers Boston and Styx on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m. ($39.50 and $49.50). Apparently, Live Nation was unable to book REO Speedwagon this year.
Over at the Stan Colella Stage at Chevrolet Court, named in honor of the Salt City’s late orchestra leader, the Southern-flavored swing of Asleep at the Wheel inaugurates the 2008 freebie lineup on Thursday, Aug. 21 (see page 16 for information). The smooth rhythm’n’blues sounds of The Spinners
take over on Friday, Aug. 22, with backup provided by a host of local
session musicians. Guessing what skimpy outfit the lead singer will
wear, as 2006 Chevy Court attendees soon discovered, should be part of
the fun regarding the rocking return of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Saturday, Aug. 23. The Outlaws check in Sunday, Aug. 24 (see aforementioned item), followed on Monday, Aug. 25, by the friendly folksters who fill out the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
A pair of 2007 Chevy Court veterans return this year: husky-voiced rocker Eddie “Show Me The” Money on Tuesday, Aug. 26, and country rockers Poco on Wednesday, Aug. 27. Neocon cutup Ted Nugent will display his archery skills on Thursday, Aug. 28, the same day that his movie-star buddy Toby Keith (both are in Beer for My Horses) performs at the Mohegan Sun Grandstand. Big-band-style swing dominates the Royal Crown Revue on Friday, Aug. 29, while ex-Van Halen lead singer Gary Cherone will croon with Extreme on Saturday, Aug. 30. Faith-based rockers Flyleaf, who have the track “All Around Me” on the Now 28
compilation, close Chevy Court on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1. All
concerts are at 4 and 8 p.m., except for the Regional Showcase on
Sunday, Aug. 31, a daylong gaggle of sets from statewide acts such as
Syracuse’s BlackLites at 9 p.m.
—Phil D. Rapper