Hot sauce, hot sounds
The smell of meat cooking outdoors and the sounds of national acts return to the west bank of the Flats in Cleveland for the 23rd edition of the Marc’s Great American Rib Cook-Off & Music Festival.
Porky ‘n’ Beans from Florida, winner of Greatest Ribs in America and the People’s Choice awards in 2013, and Johnson’s BBQ of Virginia, winner of Greatest Sauce in America in 2013, will return to defend their titles at the Nautica Entertainment Complex.
Joining them will be: DD Stutz’s Jack on the Bone of Massillon, Pigfoot BBQ of Mentor, Pigtails BBQ of West Salem, Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ of New Jersey, Carolina Rib King of South Carolina, Gator BBQ of Ontario and Oh Lardys Tennessee BBQ of Pennsylvania.
Amateur grillers will compete at noon Saturday.
Music is the other main attraction at the festival. Opening night is billed as a “bone-crushing dance party” with area cover bands Disco Inferno and the Spazmatics.
Headlining the main stage at 9:15 p.m. Saturday will be Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Jett, who started in the band the Runaways, is best known for such songs as “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Bad Reputation,” “Crimson & Clover” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” She also starred in the film “Light of Day,” which was shot in Cleveland.
Sunday’s headliner will be Taking Back Sunday, whose alternative rock hits include “MakeDamnSure,” “Sink Into Me,” “A Decade Under the Influence” and “Liar (It Takes One to Know One).” And Blackberry Smoke will top a bill featuring regional country acts on the final day.
The “Live Nation Ones to Watch” stage will feature Mixed Elements Roberto Ocasio Student Jazz Band, Borrow Tomorrow, Christopher Wild, Two Days Until Tomorrow and London Flatts on Saturday; Ohio Sky, Red Sun Rising, Envoi and Ray Flanagan and the Authorities on Sunday; and Dylan Scott, Buck Naked Band, Jordan Genovese Band, Tom Frietchen Band and Georgia and the Georgia Preachers on Monday. Steve Broderick & the 100 Watt Suns will perform all weekend as part of a music residency on the “Ones to Watch” stage.