Music News & Reviews

Joan Jett, Pat Benatar and Macy Gray give strong female presence to 2014 California State Fair concerts

If the near 100-degree temperatures are making you think of July, here’s something else to remind you of those hot summer nights.

Organizers of the 2014 California State Fair (July 11-27) have announced the lineup for its Toyota Concert series, which offers a “multitude of genres including rhythm & blues, country, classic rock, Top 40 pop, and tribute bands.”

Last year’s lineup had more than a few decade-spanning surprises – Disney star Zendaya, aughts flashers Hoobastank, ’90s divas EnVogue, ’80s rockers Night Ranger, just to name a few. Country big-timers Lonestar and LeAnn Rimes where also in the mix, as well as parody master Weird Al Yankovich.

This year follows that spinning-the-radio-dial tradition while also featuring a strong female presence, with Macy Gray, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Pat Benatar set to perform. And the bandana-cowboy-hat set will likely queue up early for former Poison front man/reality show star Bret Michaels. Classic and folk rock are also in the house with Steppenwolf and America.

Also classic this year? Soul stalwarts The Spinners. Country is represented by the likes of Phil Vassar as well as Trick Pony. And Queen Nation (a Queen tribute band) returns for a second straight summer.

In addition, the series will host auditions for TV game show “Wheel of Fortune,” a new element this year.

All 15 concerts and two nights of auditions are free with fair admission. Concert begin at 8 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. VIP seating is available in advance for an additional fee ($14-$22 per seat).

The 2014 Golden 1 Stage schedule:

July 11: John Kay & Steppenwolf

July 12: Macy Gray

July 13: Phil Vassar

July 14: Hinder

July 15: Chance to Audition for America’s Game ‘Wheel of Fortune'

July 16: Chance to Audition for America’s Game ‘Wheel of Fortune'

July 17: The Spinners

July 18: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

July 19: Queen Nation (Queen Tribute)

July 20: America

July 21: Bret Michaels

July 22: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

July 23: Blackjack Billy & Jana Kramer

July 24: MercyMe

July 25: The Whispers

July 26: Trick Pony

July 27: Blaze of Glory (Bon Jovi Tribute)

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit