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Flashbacks Can Be A Good Thing As Opening Night Of Sioux Falls RibFest Was Filled With Them

The 17th annual Sioux Falls RibFest got off to a record start Thursday night thanks to the biggest lineup in the history of the festival, a bigger venue with the WH Lyon Fairgrounds, and a perfect weather day.

We don’t have an official count yet, but it appeared that better than the 20,000 people we drew several years ago for Joan Jett, came to relive some great memories of the 1980s with Loverboy, April Wine, Honeymoon Suite and Helix.

We got out to the Fairgrounds after Helix had performed, but everyone we talked to sounded impressed with their sound.

RibFest Day 1 050
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)

Honeymoon Suite has been together for over 25 years and still sound great, bringing the crowd in with hits like “Feel It Again” and “New Girl Now” as the crowd began to grow as people got off work.

After a tight 50 minute set, April Wine took the stage. I’ve been a fan of this band since 1978 and with news coming out in the past couple of weeks that guitarist/singer Myles Goodwyn was retiring from the road, it made the show that much more special.

RibFest Day 1 100
Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)

There was talk that Sioux Falls might actually BE the final show with April Wine and they definitely didn’t disappoint, getting into “Say Hello”, “Enough is Enough” and “Just Between You and Me” early.

I had forgotten that April Wine had covered King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” on their ‘Harder Faster’ album so it took me by surprise when they busted out the full 7 minute glory of the song. But they quickly won us back over with “I Like To Rock” which contained not only a cool drum solo, but a couple of verses of each “Day Tripper” from the Beatles and “Satisfaction” from the Rolling Stones, “Roller”, and encore of “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” and “Big City Girls”. If this was Goodwyn’s final April Wine show, he went out on top with a great 70 minute set.

Loverboy closed the night out with their third appearance in the 17 year history of Sioux Falls RibFest after being voted RibFest’s favorite band.

Mike Reno has been in Sioux Falls since Monday, getting to know the town and spending some time both at the radio station and at the local TV stations. The veteran band is celebrating 34 years this summer and know how to get a huge crowd behind them right away: play songs they want to sing along with!

They opened with “Notorious” and followed it right up with “Lucky Ones”. By the time they tore into “Take Me To The Top”, “Turn Me Loose” and “Working For The Weekend”, the crowd was having a blast reliving all the great memories of leather pants, big hair, MTV, and rock n’ roll!

Gates open at 11am Friday and free admission until 3, so if you want to stop out for lunch, there’s no gate admission.

Music will start at 4pm with Sioux Falls own Neo Johnson’s followed by Stranger Than Fiction, also from Sioux Falls.

Stephen Pearcy of Ratt will hit the stage at 6:30, followed by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister at 7pm. Tom Keifer of Cinderella will play at 8pm and Rick Springfield will headline at 9:30. Tickets are just $15 at the gate. Plus you can sign up for a chance to win free cash at the Dollar Loan Center booth at RibFest. They had drawings for $500 cash in between every band Thursday night and will do it all weekend long.

RibFest Day 1 055
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)

(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
(Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)
RibFest Crowd
Photo Courtesy of Terry Torkildson/SMG)

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