WA State Fair schedules run of great entertainment for grandstand shows


By Dave R. Davison

Each year, the Washington State Fair rivals the region’s largest venues in acquiring performers of national stature. This year is no exception. Starting with the opening night rock concert by Nickelback, the grandstand will become the crucible where musical wizards of all flavors will conjure up their own particular blend of musical enchantment.

Following is a complete list of grandstand performances. All concert tickets include Washington State Fair gate admission, a $14 value. Tickets are required for children 2 years of age and older. See thefair.com for details.


Fri. Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Nickelback with special guest Daughtry
Reserved Concert Seating $80 – $100

Nickelback: Nickelback has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, received nine Grammy Award nominations, 12 JUNO Awards, two American Music Awards, and six Billboard Music Awards. The group is a World Music Award recipient for World’s Best-Selling Rock Artist and has 12 consecutive sold-out international tours, playing to well over eight million diehard and adoring fans.

Daughtry: Since forming, Daughtry has released four studio albums (“Daughtry,” “Leave This Town,” “Break the Spell” and “Baptized”) scored four number one hits, garnered four Grammy nominations, won four American Music Awards, won three People’s Choice Awards, sold more than 8.2 million albums and 16 million singles worldwide and sold out concerts around the globe.  On the radio, the band has earned four number one singles, including the multi-format number one song “It’s Not Over.”


Sat. Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Lady Antebellum with special guests Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young
Reserved Concert Seating $80 – $100

Lady Antebellum: Honing in on the melodious foundation that first brought the multi-platinum trio together, Lady Antebellum returns to radio airwaves today with “You Look Good,” while concurrently announcing it as the debut single off their sixth studio album “Heart Break.” With more than 18 million album sales worldwide, seven-time Grammy award-winning group Lady Antebellum has earned six platinum singles, nine chart-topping hits, countless other awards including Billboard Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards, while also taking home ACM and CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” trophies three years in a row.

Kelsea Ballerini: Dubbed “Country’s Next Queen” by Billboard, Kelsea Ballerini continues to blaze her own trail to superstardom as she is the only female artist in country music history, including female duos and groups, to go number one with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album.

Brett Young: An athlete all his life, Brett Young sidestepped a Major-League Baseball fast track to focus on music. His “Republic Nashville” introduction follows a string of previously released recordings that gathered a cult following encompassed in “Caliville” — the world between Young’s Southern California roots and Music City coming-of-age. Young’s songwriting credits are extensive, having his music appear on shows like “Chrisley Knows Best” (USA), “Real World” (MTV) and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” (E!).


Sun. Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Steven Tyler with the Loving Mary Band
Reserved Concert Seating $60 – $90

Steven Tyler: Headlining his solo tour, “Out on a Limb,” legendary front man Steven Tyler brings the classic rock of Aerosmith, some Beatles tunes and a few country songs backed by top flight musicians, The Loving Mary Band. Tyler is the iconic songwriter and prolific voice of the best-selling American rock band, Aerosmith. He is considered one of music’s most recognizable, dynamic front men and has been cited by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest singers of all time.” Tyler and Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million records worldwide; he has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and an Emmy Award. Tyler’s highly anticipated country solo album “We’re All Somebody from Somewhere” debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and number one on the iTunes Top Country Albums charts in both the United State and Canada to rave reviews.

Mon. Sept. 4, 11:30 a.m. 
to 6:30 p.m.
End of Summer Bash

The all-ages festival will feature three iconic Washington bands/artists: a Jimi Hendrix tribute by Randy Hansen; a Heart tribute by Heart by Heart; and The Spazmatics.

Heart by Heart’s mission is simple — to create music that is authentic, passionate, and true to Heart’s original recordings. After all, Steve Fossen and Mike Derosier, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as members of Heart, would never do the music any injustice.

The Spazmatics: The Ultimate 80’s New Wave Show, brings all the awesome songs and geeky dance steps from the 80′s decade that you wished you had forgotten. Complete with high-water pants, pocket-protectors and nerdy glasses, The Spazmatics recapture all the best of the worst. Outstanding musicianship, combined with creative flair and style, makes for pure energy and entertainment.

Forty years after his death, Jimi Hendrix is still leaving an impact on the music world. The 2010 release of “Valleys of Neptune,” a collection of previously unreleased studio recordings, rocketed Hendrix to number four on the Billboard 200 Chart, making it the highest-charting album of his career. While the legend of this true “guitar hero” lives on, no one celebrates it more than the remarkable Randy Hansen.  Hansen has acquired himself quite a reputation as one of the best Hendrix impersonators and is one of the few players officially recognized by the Hendrix family.


Fri. Sept. 8, 9 p.m.
Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr.: Dancin’ in the Dirt Party
Please Note: This is the Dancing in the Dirt Concert, not the rodeo and Concert.
General Admission $40 (standing room only in the dirt)

Don’t miss the biggest party at the Fair. The Dancin’ in the Dirt Party features a live concert from up and coming country music star Granger Smith. These exclusive “Standing Dirt Only” tickets offer access to the concert and party up close and in the dirt. Tasty food, wine, beer and cocktails will be available for purchase.

The party follows the Saturday evening rodeo playoffs at approximately 9 p.m. Please note that the entrance time may vary depending on when the rodeo concludes. A limited quantity of tickets is available.

Concert only tickets do not include admission to the rodeo performance. Remember to wear appropriate footwear for standing in the dirt.

Granger Smith: Country music trailblazer, Granger Smith, is the flagship artist on BBR Music Group’s imprint, Wheelhouse Records. With sold-out national tours, a social media following of more than 5 million, and YouTube views exceeding 50 million, Granger Smith has amassed a rabid audience, while building a truly groundbreaking career.


Sat. Sept. 9, 9 p.m.
Easton Corbin Dancin’ in the Dirt Party
Please Note: This is the Dancing in the Dirt Concert, not the rodeo and Concert.
General Admission $40 (standing room only in the dirt)

Easton Corbin: With two number one singles, multiple awards and nominations, plus performances on some of the biggest stages in the world, Mercury Nashville’s Easton Corbin has made a lasting impression on the country music landscape. He is lauded for his traditional country sound, authentic lyrics and mastery of understatement. American Songwriter says, “Easton Corbin has one of those rare, glorious voices that was made — just made — for singing country music.” His self-titled debut album released in 2010 and spawned back-to-back hits “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll with It,” making him the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach number one.


Mon. Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Melissa Etheridge
Reserved Concert Seating 
$28 – $48

Melissa Etheridge: Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy,” for which she won a Grammy in 1992.

In 2016, Etheridge released “Memphis Rock & Soul,” her first album since 2014’s critically lauded “This Is M.E.” recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, the album has received stellar reviews from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and more. Guitar World raved “the album is a triumphant application of Etheridge’s signature rasp and substantial guitar chops to this classic genre,” while Edge Media Network declared she “is a singer who can fire it up like Janis Joplin, touch the heart like Elvis Presley and steam up the windows like her musical hero, Otis Redding.”

Wed. Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Masters of Illusion: The largest magical touring show in the world
Reserved Infield Seating $25 – $35

Masters of Illusion is the largest magical touring show in the world. Nothing beats the experience of seeing a magic show in person. Audience members will marvel at the huge production values and be drawn in by the immediacy of a live performance. It’s the time-honored art of the master illusionist combined with the speed and modern design of the 21st century.


Thur. Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.
The Beach Boys
Reserved Concert Seating $30 – 55

The Beach Boys continue to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut more than 50 years ago.

Captained by Mike Love, The Beach Boys play an astoundingly busy schedule of concerts, averaging 150 shows a year, ranging from sundrenched summer festivals to gala New Year’s celebrations and special events worldwide. In 1974, Mike Love’s concept album “Endless Summer” ignited a second generation of Beach Boys fans and stirred a tempest that rocked the music world.

Grammy-winning songwriter Bruce Johnston, (Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs”) joined The Beach Boys in 1965, replacing Glen Campbell, who filled-in for Brian Wilson on vocals/bass, when he retired from touring. Highly regarded as a singer-songwriter, Johnston’s vocal work with such legendary artists as Elton John and Pink Floyd firmly established him among rock’s elite artists.


Fri. Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
I Love the 90s Tour with Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, and Tone Loc
Reserved Concert Seating $40 – $75

Reminisce about the trendsetting decade with some of the most iconic, indelible names in rap, hip hop and R&B. The tour features performances by iconic ’90s artists including Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd and Tone Loc.


Sat. Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Hank Williams Jr. with special guest The Cadillac Three
Reserved Concert Seating $45 – $70

In the music industry, there are very few artists who surpass superstar status to become true American icons. Hank Williams, Jr. is a founding member of that elite club. Throughout his career, he’s helped shape our country’s cultural landscape with his unbridled creativity, from his gut honesty and unwavering personal convictions. His music not only reflects his own life, but the common experiences that unite us.

The Cadillac Three: The Cadillac Three have launched a movement in country music, forging a bond with fans both in the U.S. and overseas in a way not seen since Garth Brooks. Born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., the trio of singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, lap-steel player Kelby Ray and drummer Neil Mason are brothers in spirit and in music. They are effortlessly cool, as real as they come and arguably the most vital addition to the country-music landscape this decade. The proof lies in both their hard-rocking live shows and their blistering new album “Bury Me in My Boots,” their first recorded for Big Machine Records. Onstage, the group possesses a sonic power that other touring bands couldn’t match with double the players.

Sun. Sept. 17 1 to 4 p.m., 6 to 9 p.m.
Fiestas Patrias
Free with fair admission

This full day event celebrates Latin culture and arts, with special entertainment and fun for the whole family throughout the fairgrounds. Plus, two free festivals will be featured in the grandstand.

There will be two showtimes, the first one starting at 1 p.m. and the second one starting at 6 p.m. In both shows you will enjoy live music including the fabulous Carmen Jara and El Chichicuilote as well as a fabulous collection of Latin entertainment ranging from traditional mariachis to colorful folkloric dancers and authentic food.


Mon. Sept. 18, 7:30
Casting Crowns with special guest Matthew West
Reserved Concert Seating $30 – $50

Casting Crowns: Casting Crowns has achieved sales milestones with 10 million album sells including one RIAA 2x multi-platinum album, four RIAA platinum albums, two RIAA platinum DVDs, seven RIAA gold albums, four gold DVDs, one RIAA platinum certified single and five RIAA gold certified digital singles. The band currently holds the position as Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music since 2007.

Matthew West: Four-time Grammy nominee, multiple-ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner and Dove Award recipient, Matthew West was awarded an American Music Award (2013), a Billboard Music Award (Top Christian Artist, 2014), a K-LOVE Fan Award (2016), and named Billboard’s Hot Christian Songwriter of the Year (2016).


Wed. Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Rhett with special guest Michael Ray
Reserved Concert Seating $70 – $90

Thomas Rhett: As Thomas Rhett continues his journey to stardom, he is making waves with the fastest-rising single of his career “Star of the Show,” featured on the newly released 18-track “Tangled up Deluxe.” Filled with party anthems, dance tunes, drinking songs, love ballads as well as five never-before-heard tracks, the release includes his record-breaking two-time platinum six-week chart-topping smash “Die a Happy Man,” which is currently Grammy nominated for Best Country Song and has already garnered major trophies from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Awards and CMT Music Awards. Rhett has already garnered major trophies from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Awards, and CMT Music Awards.

March 2017 brought Michael Ray his second number one hit with “Think a Little Less” off his debut self-titled album. This followed his first number one single, “Kiss You in the Morning” which went to the top spot in just 24 weeks.

Michael was raised in Eustis, Fla., an hour from Orlando, and grew up hunting alligators and fishing for tarpon at the end of white sand dirt roads. The child of a family full of musicians, he began his professional career before he was a teenager, graduated to the bar scene as soon as he could drive and hasn’t let up on the pedal since.


Thur. Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Modest Mouse with special guest Built to Spill
Reserved Concert Seating $58 – $85

Modest Mouse: Modest Mouse was formed in 1993 in Issaquah and, over the last decade, has become the indie rock standard and one of the few bands capable of treading the narrow path where massive popularity is possible without sacrificing their longtime fans.

Built to Spill: Built to Spill is an American indie rock band based in Boise. The band has released eight full-length albums.


Fri. Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Earth, Wind and Fire
Reserved Concert Seating $45 – $80

Earth, Wind and Fire is America’s seventh top-selling musical group of all-time. With a signature sound, the band’s legendary journey has set the standard for music across all genres. One of the most important, innovative and commercially invincible contemporary forces of the 20th century, Earth, Wind and Fire has released a total of 23 albums. They have recorded eight number one R&B singles and eight double platinum Top 10 pop albums. The band has earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums and sold 90 million albums worldwide, earning them a solid spot on the list of all-time best selling music artists.


Sat. Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Marlon Wayans
Infield Reserved Concert 
Seating $30 – $40
Grandstand: Limited Free Seating (admission ticket required)

Marlon Wayans is an actor, producer, comedian, writer and film director. His films have grossed more than $736 million in domestic box office, an average of nearly $50-million per outing. As a standup comedian, he is selling out nationwide and adding shows every weekend.

With decades on the big and small screen, Wayans has a lengthy list of credits and has appeared on several popular television programs, including Fox’s “In Living Color,” Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital,” BET’s “Second Generation Wayans” and The WB’s “The Wayans Bros.,” which was the highest-rated comedy on The WB network. He is part of the famous Wayans family with whom he has worked on a variety of projects throughout the years.


Sun. Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Jason Aldean with special guest Kane Brown
Reserved Concert Seating 
$100 – $150

With his seventh album, “They Don’t’ Know,” Jason Aldean continues to lead the way, advancing the sounds and style that helped define today’s country music.

With his first release since 2014’s “Old Boots, New Dirt” — which debuted at number one on the Billboard album chart — the reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year returns with a crowd-pleasing array of emotions and observations, from sizzling party-starters to hard-earned heartbreak.

Kane Brown was born and raised in the Chattanooga, Tenn. area by a single mother, moving from Rossville to Fort Oglethorpe and LaFayette in Georgia, finally settling in Red Bank, Tenn. The singer was exposed to country music from a young age and was encouraged to enter his 11th-grade talent show singing “Gettin’ You Home Tonight” by his favorite singer Chris Young. He won the talent show and he began his dream of pursuing a country music career. Using social media as his platform, and posts both cover songs and original material on Facebook and Instagram. The videos have spread virally and his Facebook following has grown to over 1.5 million loyal and engaged followers.

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