WonderStruck prepares for debut at LCC

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

• WonderStruck music festival, put on by the folks responsible for LaureLive, makes its debut this weekend at Lakeland Community College.

Festival organizer The Elevation Group announced one lineup change this week.

Noah Cyrus dropped off the bill on Sunday and will be replaced by KennyHoopla, a Cleveland native who’s released a couple of buzz-attracting singles in the last year or so that each have about 15 million plays on Spotify — “estella” and the wonderfully titled “How Will I Rest in Peace if I’m Buried by the Highway?”

He joins a second day lineup that is headlined by Portugal. The Man and also includes AJR, Trombone Shorty, Dayglow, Jade Bird (whose second album, “Different Kinds of Light,” comes out next month) and Ricky Montgomery.

Youngstown’s The Vindys headlines the third stage on Sunday.

Walk the Moon tops a Saturday lineup that includes Third Eye Blind, Lennon Stella, Tate McRae, JP Saxe and Shaed.

The new location adds about 10 to 15 minutes to the drive from the Mahoning Valley, but it also offers on-site parking, which wasn’t available at the Laurel School. Parking on site is $20 each day, and cars will be directed to nearby lots once that lot is full.

Tickets and parking information are available at www.wonderstruckfest.com.

• Back in the spring I wrote about “Biggest Show on Turf: 55 Years of Halftime Shows,” a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition in Cleveland celebrating the history of the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

The Rock Hall recently added to a display that already featured Prince’s suit and guitar from his iconic halftime performance and portions of the set from The Weeknd’s performance this year.

The exhibit now features the 1964 Rickenbacker guitar Tom Petty used for his performance at Super Bowl XLII in 2008 along with the dark suit, yellow shirt and polka dot neck scarf he wore during the 12-minute set that included “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin'” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

“Biggest Show on Turf” will remain on display through September.

• As COVID-19 restrictions recede and live shows resume, I’ve seen a couple reduced-capacity concerts at the Robins Theatre and went to Cincinnati a couple weeks ago to see Red Wanting Blue’s first public concert since the pandemic started at an open air venue.

But I’d forgotten how much fun it is to see a great band in a packed club until a trip Saturday to Columbus to see the X-Rated Cowboys at Rumba Cafe.

Don’t feel out of the loop if you have no idea who the X-Rated Cowboys are. The band self-released three CDs in the early 2000s of raucous roots rock / alt country (imagine The Replacements if they listened to a lot of Uncle Tupelo).

The band had a loyal following in Columbus and regularly made the trek north to Youngstown to play the old Cedars Lounge.

Howland native Bob Hite is the band’s keyboard player. He also plays accordion, and the Cowboys have one of my all-time favorite concert T-shirts — an illustration of Hite with his squeezebox that says, “Our accordion player can kick your entire band’s a–,” a sentiment that is even funnier if you know Bob.

The band playing its first gig in about 6 years seemed like a good excuse for a road trip, although after a long week at work, I was regretting booking a hotel room and talking a friend into driving in from St. Louis for the show.

Once the music started, the regrets disappeared. Lead singer Quinn Fallon is a talented lyricist, equal parts self-deprecating and insightful, and a set list featuring “Evited,” “High & Lonesome,” “$100 Guitar,” “Low Self-Esteem and Alcohol” and “’70s Porn Star” highlighted both qualities. And, as if to confirm The Replacements comparison I’d been using all week to explain to people who I was going to see, the Cowboys sandwiched the ‘Mats’ “Skyway” and “Waitress in the Sky” in the middle of the originals.

Seeing old friends and hearing great music was invigorating, intoxicating. There are a lot of songs I’d like to have heard that they didn’t play, but Fallon said they might do it again in December.

I hope everyone finds a live show that brings them as much joy as the X-Rated Cowboys did.

Andy Gray is the entertainment editor of Ticket. Write to him at agray@tribtoday.com.


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