For this year’s variety of free (with Fair admission) concerts, the Minnesota State Fair has booked some ringers. On the recently announced free music lineup, names like Belinda Carlisle and Dessa are at the top.
Carlisle, a Go-Go gone solo, will perform one evening for the Fair at the Leinie Lodge on Aug. 23, most likely bringing hits like “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Summer Rain” to the fairgrounds’ largest free stage. Also playing at the Leinie Lodge are the British Invasion band Herman’s Hermits; the War and Treaty; the country swing group the Quebe Sisters; and Dessa, each performing a pair of dates. Then there’s the tribute One Night of Queen performed by Gary Mullen and The Works.
This year’s free-stage lineup also includes Early Eyes, Nooky Jones, Aby Wolf, the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, Sarah Morris, Pert Near Sandstone, and Pushing Chain — all at the Schell’s Stage in the West End. Other notable groups in the lineup include blues band Big Bob Scoggin with daytime shows at the Ramberg Music Cafe; Duluth-based acoustic singer/songwriting duo Bill and Kate Isles also at the Ramberg; and the Fab 6: A Beatles Tribute at the Schell’s Stage.
For an additional charge (worth it!), this year’s Grandstand music lineup includes Lionel Richie; Hall and Oates; “Weird Al” Yankovic; ZZ Top; Tommy James and the Shondells; a reunited Hootie and the Blowfish; and of course Brandi Carlile for The Current’s Music-on-a-Stick.