Although it may have slipped by many people, Tulsa will be hosting the "Bassmaster Classic" this weekend. More than a fishing tournament, the Classic is the world championship of bass fishing. Those familiar with the even estimate there will be an influx of approximately 200,000 people visiting Tulsa this weekend for the event.
The BOK Center, in particular, will be a flurry of activity all weekend, serving as the official weigh-in point for the tournament (the fishing itself will be held at Grand Lake, the furthest west this tournament has ever been held -- except for Lake Texoma a few years back) with a fishing expo scheduled to fill the convention center all weekend as well.
Nevertheless, with an influx of that many people, most of whom will congregate at BOK Center at least once over the three day event, the arena wasn't about to let an opportunity like this slip away. It is pulling out the stops to put together a free event on 3rd Street that will shine a light on local talent.
With thousands of people projected to be rolling through the neighborhood, BOK teamed up once again with the McNellie's group (which helped organize the NCAA parties last year) to throw a weekend long gathering outside that's open to everyone.
Instead of relying on standard fair-style food, McNellie's gave Josh Lynch (owner of The Dog House food truck) a call and he, in turn, called a few others to arrange for a variety of food options. Lynch has also partnered with Justin Orcutt in Okie Tone Records and before the meetings were over, they were also involved, taking over booking the weekend's entertainment, which will provide a great showcase of local talent over the course of two evenings.
For you foodies out there, the food court will host four of Tulsa's food trucks, providing a variety of styles to choose from. Of course, The Dog House will be on hand with its gourmet hot dog selection, but that's not all. Lone Wolf Bahn Mi is also participating, bringing its Vietnamese/French fusion to the party, along with the Mexican of Mr. Nice Guy's Taco Truck and Rib Crib. The food court will be open for lunch from 11:30am until roughly 2pm Friday thru Sunday afternoons and will reopen again at 6:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights until roughly 11pm.
This isn't just about food, though. Friday and Saturday evenings are when the stars align and get to shine on our local talent, giving a handful of artists a chance to play in front of a new audience of local and visiting music fans alike. Once again, there will be a large, heated tent set up on 3rd Street in front of BOK Center with beer and bar service available and a stage sponsored by Okie Tone Records to provide the entertainment.
Admission is free, so you'll want to take advantage of this, especially if you find yourself downtown, to catch a glimpse of a few acts that have become local favorite and a few you may not have heard yet.
Friday night's lineup starts at 6:30pm with Jacob Tovar's Honky-Tonk Happy Hour, which has been appearing at The Colony on Thursday evening for the past few months. Grazzhopper then takes the stage at 7:30pm, followed by Wink Burcham at 8:30pm, Klondike 5 at 9:30pm, and the evening's finale and blowout with John Moreland and the Dustbowl Souls at 10:30pm.
Saturday evening kicks off at 6:30pm again, this time with Sparrow Thieves opening the night, followed by Grasscrack at 7:30pm, The Fiddlebacks at 8:30pm, and Electric Rag Band taking the stage at 9:30pm until the night comes to a close.
Okie Tone even has a new sampler disc in the works, with an eye on a late spring release for a compilation that will tentatively include tracks from Ali Harter, Damn Quails, Carter Sampson, Red Dirt Rangers, Brandon Clark, John Moreland, Electric Rag Band and more. That means we'll be hearing a lot more from Okie Tone as the year progresses and Orcutt keeps an eye set on building a label that ties together bands from Tulsa, Norman, Edmond, Stillwater and elsewhere around the state to give them all more exposure.
As for this weekend, however, do yourself a favor and stop by the party outside the BOK Center to catch some free music and support your local artists.
From Rockin' the Classic to Classic Rock
For those of you that were unfortunate and missed it last week, rock legends The Who arrived at BOK on Valentine's Day and delivered a spectacular performance of Quadrophenia to an audience that spanned at least three generations.
2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the album's release, the first time the band has performed it in full since 1997, and in all reality, likely the last time the band will take its seminal rock opera on tour. Anyone who thought this version of Quadrophenia would be lackluster, however, was truly off track.
Perhaps most impressive over the course of the night was just how good the band sounded. Although Daltrey's voice has lost a step over the years and he doesn't hit quite all of the high notes, he's still got a power behind his voice that few can rival and Townshend's guitar playing is still as agile as ever. In reality, the 2013 production of Quadrophenia actually delivered a better performance than the 1997 production in many aspects, including Townshend's guitar work.
By the time the band completed the rock opera with a stunning version of "Love Reign O'er Me," the crowd at BOK Center had been fully dazzled. Yes, the band has aged, but anyone who missed the show missed one heck of a Valentine's gift from the band to its fans. The Who will always be known as one of the great arena rock acts of its age, but this final production of Quadrophenia proved it still has a few tricks up its sleeve and can still teach the young bands how to deliver a stellar show.
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If you thought last week was busy, you haven't seen anything yet. Tulsa should be buzzing from downtown all the way out to the far east outskirts at the Hard Rock as we get an influx of visitors for the Bassmaster Classic. All our local clubs and concert venues are prepared, though, so you've got a ton of options this weekend, ranging from local artists to touring acts. Make sure to reference the Live Music and Events calendars for full listings, but we've got the highlights for you here to get you pointed out the door for some of the coolest shows in town.
Thursday, February 21
It's a great night for country music, regardless of your taste. Contemporary country fans should love Rodney Atkins at The Joint while old-school outlaw country fans won't want to miss a new breed outlaw with Jamey Johnson at Cain's Ballroom. If you want things a little bluesier, check out Uncle Lucius with Quaker City Night Hawks and Nicnos at Vanguard or party down with a Tulsa favorite as Ben Miller Band returns to Mercury Lounge.
Friday, February 22
The free showcase on 3rd Street in front of BOK Center is a safe bet for local music fans and Friday night's headliner, John Moreland & the Dustbowl Souls will keep the crowd rocking. Across the tracks, Sparrow Thieves play Hunt Club while Electric Rag Band is at The Yeti and Kicktree plays Vanguard with Beautiful Bodies and Carnegie. 306 Phoenix House takes a more mellow angle with Sharla Pember in a café/listening room atmosphere. Meanwhile, the big show of the night is the return of North Mississippi All Stars with London Souls at Cain's Ballroom.
Saturday, February 23
The Okie Tone showcase continues into the weekend with Electric Rag Band headlining the free stage. Elsewhere Tulsa native JD McPherson headlines Cain's Ballroom with The Bellfuries opening, Carter Sampson plays 306 Phoenix House and Oil Boom returns for a show at Mercury Lounge. Vanguard rocks as well with Society Society headlining with OTSB, 4:20 and Bruce Flea opening the show. Meanwhile, classic rock fans will congregate at The Joint for a sold-out show by REO Speedwagon.
Sunday, February 24
Cain's Ballroom continues its marathon of shows with Excision, Paper Diamond, and Vaski bringing a night of dubstep to the classic dancehall. And if you're on the south side, you can check out Dan Crossland at Baker Street.
Monday night sees the local scene take a brief rest, but it fires up again on Tuesday, February 26 as Cain's presents Tame Impala and The Growl for indie rock fans, Vanguard hosts Sick/Sea and The Shrine brings in Harkreader and Finchburg Revival.
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