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JackFest Concert, ZZ Top Concert

Date: 07/28/2007
Time: 06:00 AM


JACKFEST feturing ZZ Top, Gin Blossoms, The Pretenders and The Stray Cats

104.1 Jack FM has teamed up with  the Xcel Energy Center to bring Twin Cities concert goers JACKFEST 2007.  The first-time festival will feature the Stray Cats, ZZ Top, The Pretenders and Gin Blossoms at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, July 28 at 6:00 pm.


Jack FM is a popular Twin Cities radio station whose format is based on a wide range of artists from many musical genres and eras. The stations' slogan revolves around witty ramblings about "not knowing Jack." The station is relatively new to the Twin Cities area but continues to grow with listeners that enjoy a wide variety of music and Jacks eclectic format.  


The Xcel Energy Center will have a full house concert set-up with their standard three sections of reserved floor seating. The doors will open at 5p.m. and the event is sure to be a blast!


Opening act the Stray Cats have been around since the early eighties, formed officially in 1979 by guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer with school friends Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom in the Long Island town of Massapequa, New York. The groups style is heavily influenced by Bill Haley & His Comets and features a smooth rockabilly sound.


The Stray Cats released their self-titled debut album, Stray Cats, in 1981 on Arista Records. The album became quickly popular, scoring three straight hits that year with "Runaway Boys," "Rock This Town," and "Stray Cat Strut."  By 1984 the band was beginning to drift apart and it is rumored that Setzer broke up the band amid much bad blood. In 1986, Stray Cats got back together in Los Angeles, and recorded Rock Therapy, which sold poorly. In 1989, they reunited once again for the album Blast Off, which was accompanied by a tour with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Then again, after a dozen years apart, the Stray Cats reunited for a month-long tour of Europe in 2004 and will be touring in the USA in summer 2007 with Don Henley and The Pretenders.


Brian Setzer is the most popular Stray Cat and is still part of his 1990's swing-revival band The Brian Setzer Orchestra. He has Seven Grammy nominations and has remained in the public eye playing stints with various other stars including Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks.


Next up on the JACK FM stage will be the Anglo-American rock band, The Pretenders. The original band consisted of group founder, songwriter, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist Chrissie Hynde, lead and rhythm guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers. The band was fractured by drug-related deaths and numerous subsequent personnel changes over the years, with Hynde as the sole constant.


The Pretenders formed during the tail end of the original English punk movement, in 1978. The album, Pretenders, was released in January 1980, and was a great success in both the United Kingdom and the U.S., both critically and with chart-topping sales. The Pretenders was subsequently named one of the best albums of all time by VH1 and Rolling Stone. The second full-length album, Pretenders II, was released in August 1981. Most critics at the time called it disappointing, although it is now generally considered a great album. Pretenders II is more spread-out than the debut, and included the Extended Play hit singles, the MTV video hit, "Day After Day", and popular album-radio tracks "The Adulteress", "Birds of Paradise", and "The English Roses." The next couple of decades were on again off again music stints for Chrissie Hynde as she tried to keep The Pretenders name afloat. In 1999, Viva el Amor was released as was The Pretenders collaboration with Tom Jones on the album Reload. A Greatest Hits compilation followed in 2000. In 2002 Loose Screw came out on Artemis Records to only modest commercial success. It was the first Pretenders record to be released by a company other than WEA. Rolling Stone noted its "refinement, stylish melodies and vocal fireworks," while Blender called it "slick, snarky pop with flashes of brilliance."


In March of 2005, the Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Only Hynde and Chambers were at the ceremony. In her acceptance speech, Hynde named and thanked all the replacement members of the group, then said: "I know that the Pretenders have looked like a tribute band for the last 20 years. ... And we're paying tribute to James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we wouldn't be here. And on the other hand, without us, they might have been here, but that's the way it works in rock 'n' roll."


The Pretenders have been touring across the world lately and opened for rock legends The Who for their November 14th, 2006 concert at Denver's Pepsi Center. Chrissie Hynde thanked Who guitarist Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey for inviting them. Summer 2007 will find the band opening for ZZ Top and Rod Stewart.


Next up on the JACK FM stage will be alternative rock band the Gin Blossoms. Formed in 1987, in Tempe, Arizona, the band took their name from a photo of W.C. Fields which bore the caption "W.C. Fields with gin blossoms," referring to the actor's gin-ravaged nose. Members during the band's early years included guitarist and songwriter Doug Hopkins, bassist Bill Leen, vocalist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Richard Taylor and drummer Chris McCann. The Gin Blossoms were huge fans of The Byrds and Tom Petty and have many songs fashioned after their idols. Gin Blossoms released three albums and had several hits in the mid 1990s, before breaking up in 1997. Five years later in 2002, the band reunited, released a DVD, resumed touring, and promised a fourth album. Major Lodge Victory, the Gin Blossoms' first album in ten years, was released on August 8, 2006.


Frontman Robin Wilson is best known for his interaction with the crowd. He often hands off a tamborine to a lucky fan in the front row to strike in sync with the drum beat. He's also been known to sing directly into fans' cell phones during some of their more established hits such as "Follow You Down" and "Til I Hear It From You". Gin Blossoms also have major main stream hits such as "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You."  It's a show you won't want to miss!


Last up on the JACK FM ticket are rock legends ZZ Top.  Formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas, ZZ Top is well known for their slick guitar playing, sun glass wearing and chest-length beards style. The group members are Billy Gibbons on guitar and lead vocals, Dusty Hill on bass and lead vocals and Frank Beard on drums. They hold the distinction of being among the few rock bands still composed of its original members after more than 35 years. ZZ Top reached the peak of their commercial success in the 1970s and 1980s, scoring many hit songs during that era, but they remain together today and are still touring and releasing albums. ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 2004.


Nearly as well-known as their music is the group's appearance: Gibbons and Hill are always pictured wearing sunglasses (a nod to their 1979 song "Cheap Sunglasses"), similar if not matching clothing, and their trademark chest-length beards (also referred to as "Texas goatees"); Beard sports a mustache, sometimes with a beard, and sometimes without. In 1984, the Gillette Company reportedly offered Gibbons and Hill US$1 million apiece to shave their beards for a television commercial, but they declined.[1]


The band reached new heights of popularity with the 1983 album Eliminator, boosted to prominence by memorable music videos for the tracks "Gimme All Your Lovin'", "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man" each of which featured a small bright red 1933 Ford Coupe 3 window hotrod called The Eliminator and a trio of mysterious, beautiful women who travel around helping various people. The album also featured a distinctive synthesizer-laced sound-a rarity in the blues rock genre-which added a modern, electronic edge to the music, and helped the album become successful and a fan favorite. Eliminator remains their most successful album to date.


In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones gave the induction speech, after which ZZ Top gave a brief performance, playing "La Grange" and "Tush." In 2007, ZZ Top continues to tour surrounding many rumors of another album in the works.


All of these great bands under one roof is sure to be a great time. Buy your JackFest ZZ Top Xcel Energy Center Tickets today!





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