Sioux Falls is Loving Ribs, Warm Weather and Rock n’ Roll With Another Great RibFest Turnout Friday
If there was any doubt that classic rock can still be a good concert draw in Sioux Falls, they ought to be erased after day 2 of RibFest drew in huge crowds again on Friday.
A brief late afternoon rain shower delayed the start of music and shortened the planned sets by Sioux Falls' Neo Johnson's and Stranger Than Fiction. But the rain stopped, it warmed up, and all was right with the weather by the time Stephen Pearcy hit the stage at 6:30.
Pearcy came out for a brief set of Ratt's classics to get the crowd fired up for the evening. Despite some microphone level issues, Pearcy looked happy to be on stage in front of a big crowd and had his classic swagger back as he and his Rat Bastard Band ripped through "You're In Love", "Wanted Man", "Lay It Down" and Ratt's biggest hit, "Round and Round"
Next up was Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. Snider 'borrowed' Pearcy's band to back him as well. It was the first time he had ever played with the guys, but as he explained to the students at the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy Friday afternoon when he gave a seminar on "How To Be A Great Rock Frontman", sometimes you can cover up the imperfections with a little BS and being that high energy frontman!
Snider is one of (if not THE) highest energy frontmen of the 1980s, especially considering he is still out there putting on great rock shows at 59. Yeah, for those of you that were at the show or are looking at the pictures or watching the video, Dee Snider is 59. He sure doesn't act it! Snider tore through a short set of songs that 'made him who he is today (for better or worse)' like the song he feels should be the Rock & Roll anthem: AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell' and Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" to Twisted Sister classics like "You Can't Stop Rock and Roll", "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It".
Tom Keifer from Cinderella was next on a muggy Friday night. By 8:00 the crowd had really started to fill in, in anticipation of the night's headliner Rick Springfield.
Keifer came out with a nice mix of classic Cinderella like "Night Songs" and "Somebody Save Me", plus tracks from his new solo debut "The Way Life Goes". Keifer has had a lot of vocal problems in the past 15+ years and works hard to keep his vocal cords ready to perform. He was MORE than ready Saturday night, sounding great, but having to battle a weird sound mix that had his guitar player way too loud and drowning his voice out at times.
Keifer brought his wife, songwriter Savannah Snow out to sing a few songs with him when they stripped the set down to go acoustic including Cinderella's power ballad smash "Don't Know What You Got Til It's Gone". Keifer had the crowd back up and rocking after that, leading to one of my favorite social media posts that I came across:
"Rick Springfield is going to have to have rainbows fly out his butt to even come close to what Tom Keifer just did on the ribfest stage."
Personally, I have no idea if said rainbows appeared with Springfield as this old rocker called it a night after Keifer's set to rest up for what's shaping up to be a monster Saturday at the 17th annual Sioux Falls RibFest, but first at the WH Lyon Fairgrounds. Friday looked like we were on pace for yet another record crowd.
I did see and hear reports of Springfield crowd surfing, bringing some of the students from the Rock Academy on stage with him and like Snider, going shirtless on a humid South Dakota evening (he can't really be 64, can he??)
Gates will open at 11am with free admission until 3pm if you want to head out for some award-winning barbecue from the eight vendors. Admission is $20 after that. Music starts at 4:30pm with Sioux Falls own Guilty Pleasures Orchestra (a band consisting of Sioux Falls veteran musicians: Dick Bartling, Steve Grimes, Beno, Evan Jones and Gumby) FUN cover band!
Head East hits at 6:30 followed by Foghat at 7:45 and Lynyrd Skynyrd at 9:30.
RibFest has been a blast thanks to this year's sponsorship from the Dollar Loan Center and tied into the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy (remember that students and faculty bands will play Sunday starting around 12:30!)
Here's some more pictures from day 2 at RibFest!