One might think all the goings-on at the Illinois State Fair would be enough excitement for one town, but quite a few entertainment extravaganzas occur beyond the barbed-wire fencing that surrounds the people’s fairgrounds in this week’s roundup of Springfield’s finer distractions bent on avoiding a terminal case of ennui.
An interesting triumvirate of festivals conveying disparate messages reign in our fair city this weekend. The Powerlight Festival, a contemporary Christian music (CCM) show, runs from noon to nine on the Lincoln Stage at the fairgrounds on Sunday, Aug. 22. For those of you not familiar with CCM, it sounds very much like other modern music, except the lyrics lean toward a Christian message. Our local CCM purveyors, PJ Summers Band, opens the show after a noon prayer and praise service, and religious rockers Sanctus Real close the concert, with promoters promising an encore display of fireworks, of a temporal nature, I assume.
Bobstock “gives local metal fans a place where they can enjoy themselves,” according to instigator Bobby Glenn. The second annual fest also serves as Glenn’s birthday bash and aids his group DecimatioN in raising funds aimed toward manufacturing their first full-length album, recorded over the last five months in a local studio. The all-ages concert convenes Sat., Aug. 21, at Chaser’s Iron Horse Saloon on north Peoria Road, from 2 to 10 p.m. The $5 admission includes DecimatioN and the bands Ocularis, What Thou Will, the Red Shed, Foramen Ovilaris and Violent Ascension.
Our third festival entry, organized by Springfield guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Rick Mari, benefits our local chapter of the Animal Protective League. Mari, an affirmed pet lover and admirer of the APL, also wanted an opportunity to showcase the longtime-in-coming reunion of his rocking band from the 80s and 90s, The Reign. With help from APL director Rose Rebbe and festival coordinator Lorrie Eden, Mari booked several acts, including Hip Bone Sam, The Oohs, 808, Pocket Rocket and Mother Road Rockers with acoustic acts, Mike Burnett and Jeff Kornfeld, Tom Irwin (that’s me) and Kourtney Leatherwood filling in between bands. The event runs all day from noon until 8 p.m. at the Douglas Park bandshell with an after party scheduled at the Brewhaus. They’re asking a $5 donation, concessions are available and in case of inclement weather, the whole shebang moves to the Curve Inn.
In other non-festival or fair-related events, check out these hip and happening activities. Thurs., Aug. 19, End Times Trio plus One performs above Norb Andy’s during the ongoing Third Thursday art gallery show. Springfield’s only freejazz and creative music combo has long described its music as “improvised sound paintings.” The group relates its style as kin to art paintings, only with ETT 1 you must “hear the art” as you “see the art” of the many wonderful, local, often avant-garde artists displaying works in the gallery. Downstairs that night Norb’s hosts Greg Ginn and Gary Piazza. Ginn founded the seminal punk band Black Flag and owns and runs the important independent record label SST and Piazza picks guitar with him. This is really an incredible concert for Springfield to have. Way to go Jeremy. And yes, Capitol Street in front of Norb’s has re-opened, as promised and on schedule.
Remy’s continues its incredible run of better than wonderful jazz with an appearance by hometown musician David Hoffman. Dave is a local who just so happens to have traveled the world as composer, arranger and bandleader for the Ray Charles Orchestra, among other extremely incredible and highly respectable professional musician duties accomplished by the talented trumpet and flugelhorn player. Listen to him and his group this Friday and Saturday, from 8:30 to midnight in the intimate and lovely listening room at Remy’s.
Fair thee well.
Contact Tom Irwin at email@example.com