Memorial Hospital Outdoor Stage is the place to be

Special to the EnterpriseApril 25, 2014 

The Memorial Hospital Outdoor Stage is the place to be every evening during the Merced County Spring Fair. Fairgoers who gather at this intimate stage will enjoy the music of up and coming country music artists as well as new and innovative acts.

Leading the concert lineup will be up and coming country-western artist Weston Burt who will perform Friday night. Burt can best be described as the latest in a long line of talented country musicians to come from the state of Alabama.

Burt is a commanding performer steeped in the traditions of Southern rock and country. For the 27-year-old singer and songwriter, the state is his home.

“There is nothing I love more than to play,” says Burt, who first embarked on his career in music while attending college at Auburn University. In addition to his regular class load, he played a staggering 150 dates a year – everywhere from fraternity parties to clubs – developing a reputation as a dazzling performer, as well as a tireless work ethic.

“I’ve been plugging away at this for years. I didn’t breeze into town expecting a record deal right away, but it happened almost immediately,” he says of his signing with Hit Shop Records.

Burt is ready for the national stage eager to establish himself as country’s next breakout male vocalist. In January 2013 he embarked on his first national radio tour, promoting his debut single “Lucky Sometimes.”

“I’m a hardworking guy from Alabama who loves country music,” he says. “And I’m ready for my shot.”

Opening night of the fair will feature the Second Wind Band with Aaron Avila. This well-known Northern California country-rock band has been performing together for 16 years and plans to offer a rocking salute to ’90s country music at their 8 p.m. performance.

On Thursday night there will be a little change as the Spazmatics unleash a cover of ’80s rock tunes. The Spazmatics may look like preppy dorks in neck braces and taped eyeglasses, but they can rock like nobody’s (risky) business. From new wave to pop trash, ’80s classics by Wham, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode and more are covered with cheeky exuberance.

Back at the fair by popular demand on Saturday night will be Journey Unauthorized. This concert tribute show provides a great rendition of 1980s Journey. The band’s vocals are 100 percent live as they perform a full range of Journey’s multipart harmonies. This high-energy show is packed with familiar songs and megahits.

No other rendition of Journey’s music comes close to this level of performance that has taken years of mastery and unmatched attention to detail.

Rounding out five nights of fabulous entertainment will be a salute to the Valley’s Latino heritage with Fresno-based Los Cocineros.

Fair manager Ron Brandt said this year’s concert lineup represents efforts to both showcase talent and offer fairgoers value for their admission price.

“This smaller stage setting is a great concert venue with every seat less than 100 feet from the stage. Come early and get front row seats,” he said.

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