Locals win awards at Eastwood Rib Fest

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

Two local vendors won two of the three awards at last weekend’s Eastwood Rib Fest, held at Eastwood Field in Niles.

Guy’s BBQ, which is owned by Guy Hughes of Braceville and has been involved in the event since its inception, won the People’s Choice Award. And first time competitor Buena Vista Cafe of Warren was awarded Best Sauce.

Texas Pit Barbecue picked up the trophy for Best Ribs.

The weather wasn’t cooperative for this year’s event. It was brutally hot on Friday, and a deluge hit Niles on Saturday just about the same time Starship featuring Mickey Thomas was supposed to take the stage. Thomas and company eventually went on after about an hour delay.

Saturday’s storm also hurt attendance at Saturday’s River Rock at the Amp concert featuring the Moody Blues tribute band Time Traveller backed by the Chagrin Falls Studio Orchestra.

Those who arrived early for a good seat and to see opening act Ohio were drenched in the downpour.

However, those who showed up after 8 p.m. – that would be me – stayed dry and were treated to a fine show. I am, at best, a casual Moody Blues fan, but it was fun to hear those familiar songs with the extra oomph of a full orchestra behind it.

The main bowl essentially was full, although there were some empty spaces in the corners, and the weather clearly had an impact on the size of the crowd. Let’s hope for better weather Saturday for the Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here, which has drawn big crowds to the Warren Community Amphitheatre in the past – when the weather cooperated.

Speaking of tribute bands, it turns out they’re not just for classic rock acts.

This weekend on the Quaker Steak & Lube grounds in downtown Sharon, Pa., will be a three-day music festival called Lube-A-Palooza.

Friday and Saturday will feature real classic rockers. Donnie Iris and the Cruisers perform at 10 p.m. Friday, while Warrant and Firehouse top Saturday’s lineup.

Sunday’s entertainment schedule features trio of tribute acts for current pop artists – Firework (Katy Perry tribute) One More Direction (One Direction tribute) and Just Bieber (Justin Bieber tribute).

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the gate on Friday and Saturday and $10 for all admissions on Sunday.

Monday is National Chicken Wing Day, which understandably is a big deal to the folks at Quaker Steak.

Between now and Monday, those who bring in a non-perishable food donation will receive a coupon which can be redeemed for a free sprintster (six-piece) wing order on National Chicken Wing Day.

Food donations collected in Austintown will go to the Warren Family Mission. Donations in Boardman will be given to the Youngstown Lions Club for distribution.

My other concert outing last week was a trip to Cleveland to see Michael Franti & Spearhead at House of Blues.

It was my second time seeing him live, and he is unrivaled in creating a spiritual and physical bond with his audience. Franti was all over the venue during his band’s two-hour set. He sang from the middle of the floor. He sang from the balcony. He brought people up on stage to dance with him.

It’s a live show that shouldn’t be missed. He’ll be at Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall, Pa., outside of Pittsburgh on Sept. 8. It’s kind of a lousy place to see a Spearhead show (picture an elementary school auditorium built in the early 20th century), but I’m sure Franti will make it a memorable experience.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at agray@tribtoday.com