Not surprisingly, the headliners for this year's South Florida Fair are about as rich artistically as corn dogs and elephant ears are nutritionally. And about as diverse as a diet centered around those fried, sugared items. It is a mainstream country-driven affair, with a couple of tired rock acts thrown in there for good measure. Topping the bill are country elder John Anderson and Aaron Lewis -- who used to be a tortured rocker but has recently discovered the country boy within and is now a flag-waving patriot. He'll be playing solo and acoustic.
Rounding out the country end are former pro-golfer Colt Ford, who will sing about titty beer, and John Michael Montgomery, who you may not know as the dude who originally had success with the '90s ballad "I Swear" before the briefly famous All-4-One got their hands on it. The rock side of the line-up consists of the homegrown New Found Glory, who now know that they can play teenager music well into their 30s thanks to the resurgence of Blink-182, and Grand Funk Railroad, who haven't aged a bit.
The webpage listing these acts and the rest of the headliners brings to mind a way to make this thing more interesting. The way the promo photos are placed side by side in pairs of two -- one rock, one country -- is very reminiscent of advertisements for boxing matches. Wouldn't it be fun if these acts were actually pitted against each other in fair-style contests-- rock vs country? Here are a few possibilities of what may result if such a great idea were put into action.
John Anderson vs Aaron Lewis in the pumpkin growing contest
John Anderson would win this because Aaron Lewis would have blown his pumpkin to bits by shooting it with a gun. To him, this would be a victory, and he'd parade around waving a "Don't Tread on Me" flag while singing "It's been awhile, since I could hold my head up high..."
New Found Glory vs John Michael Montgomery in an arm wrestling match
New Found Glory could have an easy win here, but they would blow it. Instead of taking a moment to strategize for a quick victory, they would be disqualified for spitting at Montgomery and kicking him in the shins before the starting bell.
Fuel vs Colt Ford in the pie eating contest
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Colt Ford eats his pies, Fuel's pies, and Fuel. Game, set, match.
South Florida Fair Concert Series 2012. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. January 13 to 26 at Palm Beach County Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach. Reserved tickets cost $10; general seating is free with fair admission. Click here for more information and here to purchase tickets.