The 40th annual Pig Out in the Park is already underway, and if you're smart, you'll have already gorged on all kinds of deep-fried confections and listened to some great live music. But some of the festival's biggest headliners are taking the stage this week, so we're taking a look at the names you shouldn't miss in the next few days.
All of the following shows will take place at the Lilac Bowl stage.
Thursday, 7 pm
At its peak, the rock band Creed was one of the biggest in the world, with songs like "Higher" and "With Arms Wide Open" scoring big on mainstream radio. But following a hiatus, three of its members formed Alterbridge, with (coincidentally enough) Spokane native Myles Kennedy taking Stapp's place. Stapp began a somewhat rocky solo career and publicly wrestled with demons, but he appears to be back on the straight and narrow, having cleaned up his act and releasing his third LP, The Space Between the Shadows, earlier this year. You're sure to hear several of those old Creed songs during his Pig Out set, and don't pretend like you don't know every word.
Friday, 8:30 pm
It was late summer 1995 when Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" seemed to play on an hourly rotation on every Top 40 station in the country. Built on a sample of the Stevie Wonder classic "Pastime Paradise," the track became the year's biggest single, winning a Grammy, selling millions of copies and inspiring one of "Weird Al" Yankovic's most beloved parodies. But Coolio is more than just his signature song: His other '90s singles like "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Fantastic Voyage" weren't too shabby and he has released six post-"Paradise" studio albums. He's also an actor, reality-show contestant and celebrity chef, so he's kept plenty busy.
BLACK OAK ARKANSAS
Saturday, 8:30 pm
Talk about old pros. Black Oak Arkansas has been around, in one form or another, since the 1970s, though the band dates back another decade when they were known as the Knowbody Else. With their blend of blues, roots and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, BOA has developed a cult following, and despite its revolving door of members, current frontman Jim "Dandy" Mangrum and guitarist Rickie Lee Reynolds have been rocking with various incarnations of the band since its early days. They've become known for their high-energy concerts — in fact, they seem to have released as many live recordings as studio albums — so don't miss them in this setting.
Sunday, 8 pm
The Posies formed in Bellingham around the birth of grunge, when the duo of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow were merely college kids. But whereas their fellow Pacific Northwest groups trafficked in hard-rock riffs and sandpaper vocal stylings, the Posies, perhaps unfashionably, spun sugary sweet melodies that recalled the Raspberries and Big Star. They're responsible for such power-pop gems as "Dream All Day," "Flavor of the Month" and "Golden Blunders," all of which are as catchy as they are lovely. Auer and Stringfellow have made several Spokane stops in the last few years, and if you've seen any of those shows, you'll know that they're still at the top of their game. ♦
Pig Out in the Park • Continuing through Mon, Sept. 2 • Free • All ages • Riverfront Park • 507 N. Howard • spokanepigout.com
There are far too many acts to list here, but here's a handful of other artists to keep an eye out for.
Thursday: Sunflower Dead (5 pm) and Messer (6 pm) at the Lilac Bowl stage; Too Slim and the Taildraggers (7:30 pm) at the Clocktower stage.
Friday: Cordell Drake (7 pm) at the Lilac Bowl; Teresa James and the Rhythm Traps (8 pm) at the Clocktower stage.
Saturday: Limberlost (6:30 pm) at the Lilac Bowl; Super Sparkle (8:15 pm) at the Clocktower.
Sunday: Sammy Eubanks and the Workin' Class (8 pm) at the Clocktower Stage.