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Wednesday, July 7,2010

TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

A quick guide to Common Ground

by Rich Tupica

Each year, the Common Ground Music Festival brings an assortment of genres and artists to Lansing. In consideration of the rockers and rap fans, below are a few attractions that might be of interest.


From 1980s hair-metal masters to A-list rappers, this year’s fest offers a broad range of acts.


The fest starts with FM rockin’ on Monday, when the Capitol Region Airport Stage hosts three hard-rock veteran bands.


For those who remember “The Lumberjack” song (yeah, the one with the chainsaw solo in it), Jackyl will perform. Also set to perform is Buckcherry (known for “Lit Up,” a.k.a. the “I love the cocaine” song ) and Drowning Pool (known for “Bodies” — you know, the “let the bodies hit the floor” song). Meanwhile, on the Pearle Vision Stage, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will toot their own horns through a set of ’90s neo-swing hits.


On July 14, on the Pearl Vision stage, reggae legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff will play his classic tunes. His 1969 song “Many Rivers to Cross” is a landmark anthem that helped introduce reggae to the pop music world. Headlining the night is Sammy Hagar, who brought about the “Right Now” era of Van Halen and scored the 1999 hit “Mas Tequila.”


Back on track after a heavily publicized brain hemorrhage on April 21, lead singer of Poison and “VH1’s Rock of Love” host Bret Michaels will rip through a set of hair metal rockers. He will also likely play his signature ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Fellow ‘80s rockers Cinderella will also take the stage. On the Pearle Vision Stage, Cavo, Neon Trees and Civil Twilight are set to perform.


On July 16, on the Capitol Region stage godfather of shock-rock Alice Cooper will smash through a set of classic rock numbers that include “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out.” Also set to perform is Tesla, which recorded the ‘80s ballad “Love Song” and the remake of the Five Man Electrical Band’s “Signs.” Hoobastank and Sick Puppies will perform on the Pearle Vision Stage.


Feel like reliving "American Idol" memories? Former "Idol" contenders Adam Lambert and Matt Giraud, both veterans of the eighth season of the show, will hit Common Ground, too. Glam-rocker Lambert arrives Tuesday, while the keyboard-playing crooner Giraud steps in July 17.


Also on July 17, the Capitol Region International Airport Stage will feature two huge names in rap music.


Ludacris, who rose to fame after he scored hit singles with “What’s Your Fantasy” and “Rollout (My Business),” will take the stage.


Three Six Mafia are also set to perform the same evening. These horrorcore gangsta rappers are best known for “Stay Fly,” “Sippin’ On Some Syrup” and “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp.” the Oscar-winning theme song of the 2005 drama "Hustle & Flow." Local hip-hop acts Ward Skillz, Yung Rich, .KOM, The Chemist, Lyric Lee and Big Perm will also perform.


If people are still in the mood for some classic rock, on July 18, you can get it courtesy of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra — and The Machine. The groups will team up on the Capitol Region International Airport Stage to present an evening of Pink Floyd favorites. (Preview The Machine’s sound at www.themachinelive.com.)


Also on July 18, Gregg Rolie, of Santana and Journey, will rock out some popular jams. Rolie’s lead vocals can be heard on “Black Magic Woman,” “Evil Ways,” and “Oye Como Va.”


11th Annual Common Ground Music Festival Monday, July 12-Sunday, July 18 @ Adado Waterfront Park, between Grand Avenue and Shiawassee Street, Lansing For ticket information, visit www.commongroundfest.com/Tickets, or call (800) 585-3737.

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