Fairgoers Give 38 Special Warm Reception | Fair


With his performance Thursday night, 38 Special became the first musical artist to take the main stage of the Washington Town & Country Fair since David Lee Murphy completed his set in 2019.

The arena rock band hasn’t missed a beat since it rose to popularity in the early 1980s, and it shows. 38 Special unfolded directly into “Rockin ‘into the Night” to open the night, and the audience greeted the old favorite as they stood up and sang along.

The sea of ​​white plastic folding chairs that obscured the grassy field was not completely full, but busy enough to make the room feel full, and the group was greeted with enthusiasm.

“You look beautiful tonight, Washington! Lead singer and band’s only founding member Don Barnes called the crowd after performing the band’s 1988 hit, “Second Chance.”

It was a chilly night at the fun fair, with a breeze blowing over the crowds of Lions Lake, sweeping away the scent of flavored cigarillos mixed with cigarette smoke. Illuminated balloons, won by children in carnival games, provided a light show outside the crowd as lasers on the stage and middle lights illuminated everyone in the middle in red, then in green, then blue. A child spun wheel after wheel as her family played to the beat of rock music.

38 Special crushed through hit songs like “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught Up in You”. He also wowed attendees with covers like “Travelin ‘Band”, originally written by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The songs were written to be performed at venues such as the Town & Country Fair, and those in attendance on Thursday night were delighted. Gary and Janice Burkhead of Robertsville came over to listen to “the classics” and left satisfied enough to buy some t-shirts at the merchandise table. They are big fans of southern rock, and 38 Special does the job perfectly. Janice said she especially enjoyed the light show. The Burkheads were hoping to see the Charlie Daniels Band in 2020 but missed the game when the show was canceled. Singing 38 Special was good consolation, they said, adding that the performance exceeded their expectations.

38 Special came to Washington in the middle of his summer tour, having previously performed in Madison, Wisconsin; Castle Rock, Colorado; and, more recently, Toledo, Ohio. This was the second time 38 Specials have played in Washington – they were also in town for the fair in 1996 – and from the crowd reception it’s clear why they returned.

“Now you’re going to sing, aren’t you?” Barnes asked the crowd before the band embarked on “Hold on Loosely” to cap off the performance.

“And my mind goes back to a girl I left a few years ago …” everyone replied, not missing a word for the rest of the show.


Corina C. Butler

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