It has been the kind of summer where we can’t seem to go more than a few days without throwing a little rain into the mix. Such was the case off and on Sunday at the Minnesota State Fair – of course during the times when I was standing outside trying to photograph rock stars. I must applaud the vendors who anticipated such circumstances and were ambitiously handing out plastic rain ponchos, proudly advertising their brand logos. Even country music performer Terri Clark took notice while on the Grandstand stage and commented on what brightly dressed audience we were.

I was fortunate to have time to join the good size crowd of people who had settled in to see Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone for what was their second night of headlining the “Bandshell Tonight Concert Series” at Leinie’s Lodge. The sound and feel of the 60’s was well represented by Noone, who was witty and bursting with energy, backed by his expert band who were pleasantly invested in playing the great tunes of this era.

Back at the Grandstand, Clint Black had performed his co-headlining set (sans media coverage) and it was time for Trace Adkins who’s currently out on the “Don’t Stop Tour”. His big stage production was well put together and tastefully enhanced by an active and refreshingly colorful display of lights. The band was certainly of the caliber required to bring these established songs to life and the music couldn’t have sounded any better in this open air environment. The best part was Adkins rare low vocal register coming in smoothly over the top in such an unexpected way that catches you off guard in a good way and was the absolute star of the show.

Review and photos by Patrick Dunn