Jefferson Starship booms into Frisco
FRISCO – There’s so much to thank the Baby Boomers for – McDonald’s, flower power, disco – and now, Boomer Fest.
Jefferson Starship takes off with an out-of-this-world show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the Main Street stage in Frisco.
When Jefferson Airplane debuted in 1965, the band brought not only a new sound, but a new way of thinking. The band was so huge that musicians such as The Who, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Santana and Jimi Hendrix opened for it. In 1996, Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame.
As the Jet Age evolved into the Space Age, the musical explorers changed their name to Jefferson Starship to represent their commitment to keep reaching toward the outer limits. Now, their journey has landed them on Frisco’s Main Street, playing such hits as “White Rabbit,” “Somebody to Love,” “Wooden Ships” and “We Built This City.”
“We mix it up every night for ourselves,” Starship vocalist and original Airplane member Marty Balin said. “We take different songs and throw them around, depending on where we’re at. We just do (songs) from all the way back to the latest things we’ve done, including “America’ and “I’m a Dreamer.'”
Starship’s six-member lineup includes Balin, drummer Prairie Prince, vocalist Princess Di, bassist Tom Lily, guitarist, vocalist and original Airplane member Paul Kantner and Mark Aguilar on lead guitar.
“We’ve gotten better (over the years),” Balin said. “People get better at what they do and get rid of the things that are in their way – egos, problems, drugs and drinking. People either die or grow up – It’s just soul. You put it out on the line and hope the audience jumps in and puts their soul down on the line.
“We’re still an underground band,” he said. “We’re free to do whatever the hell we want to. People come and they grow and they groove with us. They’ve grown up with us. It’s truly American, original music. Having a good time, that’s what it’s all about.”
Long before Jefferson Starship arrives on Main Street, the party begins with the Lee Rogers Band at 12:30 p.m.
The Lee Rogers Band combines Chicago blues with Southern rock and blues and emerges with no-nonsense, good-old American rock.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Lee Rogers describes his music as psychedelic blues, influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and ZZ Top.
“I grew up on a solid dosage of blues and heavy metal in Austin, Texas,” Rogers said.
At 2:30 p.m., AKA brings its East Coast rockin’, hip-hop funk with a metal edge to Main Street.
Guitarist Brian Bell, who has opened for such acts as the Black Crowes, Jon Bon Jovi, Dave Mason and Arlo Guthrie, joins East Coast musicians Mike Conners and Jim Miller on vocals, Patrick “Fitzy” Fitzgerald on drums and Isaiah on bass. The band, formed this year, has 18 new songs.
“It’s like Linkin Park meets Robin Trower,” Bell said. “We’re completely suited to be in Los Angeles and New York and not in the mountains.”
“(Conners) has a (vocal) range from here to the top of Mount Lincoln,” he said. “He brings the rap and hip-hop part of the vocals. And Isaiah is the funkiest bass player in Summit County.”
“Fitzy brings intricate percussion, yet he’s the primal backbone of the band,” said Bennett Brown, videographer of Max Trax media. “He could be as caveman as he wants to be, but when they want to be funky (he comes through).”
At 4:30 p.m., The New Majestics let loose with a synergy of acid jazz, funk, reggae and pop music. Combining members of some of the best bands in Denver, such as Judge Roughneck, The Fabulous Boogienauts, Buckner Funken Jazz and Emilio, Emilio, the musicians crank out soulful grooves, acid jazz rhythms and incredible vocals.
Zac Coletti’s lead vocals have been likened to Sting’s. Keyboardist Chad Aman is out there – think Bernie Worrell with groove, while bassist Colin Mitchell and drummer Zach Pietlock hold down a tight, interlocking rhythm section. Guitarist Devon Kurzweil transcends the early ’70s fusion jazz hero, and Jon Hagel soothes the mind with his tenor sax.
Food and beverage booths open at noon, and beer and margaritas will be available. Pets and glass bottles are not allowed.
“We think (Boomer Fest is) not really being done anywhere else,” Frisco community relations director Linda Lichtendahl said. “Hopefully we’ll start a new event that will get larger each year. The bigger the event, the better talent we’ll be able to attract.”
Reserved VIP seating directly in front of the stage is available for Jefferson Starship for a sponsorship price of $250 for six seats. General admission is free. For more information, call (970) 668-5547.
– When: begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24
– Where: Main Street stage, Frisco
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