The Spinners – Grandstand Stage – Minnesota State Fair – August 30th 2021

Lens on Music at the Fair – Day 5  The Spinners

Review and Photos by Patrick Dunn

A second day of nice weather played a part in attracting a nice size crowd to the Minnesota State Fair where it was senior day.  Appropriately, the Grandstand lineup consisted of three bands known for their hits that spanned across the 60’s and 70’s.

A headlining set by The Spinners was like a masterclass in harmony.  Although Henry Fambrough is the only remaining original member, the current lineup more than adequately delivered on the band’s biggest hits, “Working My Way Back to You”, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” and “Then Came You”.  Staying true to their name, coordinated dance moves had them spinning and really upped the entertainment value in their performance, along with giving these classic tunes the full dose energy they require and deserve.

Backed by a large band including a 4-piece horn section, Little Anthony & the Imperials also delivered on harmony.  Their immediate attention grabber is the upper register vocal stylings of lead singer Jerome “Little Anthony” Gourdine, which I can happily say are still on point.  They captured the crowd’s attention with “Going Out of My Head”, “Tears on My Pillow” and “Hurt So Bad”.  The Grass Roots also performed an opening set including well know hit “Live For Today”.

The afternoon show at the Leinie Lodge stage featured Country artist Pam Tillis (yes, the daughter of Mel).  Although her hits occurred during the 90’s, the still seemed to resonate with the older crowd, but also appealed to a broad range of fair-goers.  Tillis interacted well with the audience who were up and having fun during a catchy version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (The Beatles), but were most engaged during her best established hits “Spilled Perfume” and “Maybe It Was Memphis”.

Additionally, I’m glad I made time to get over and check out Big Sandy and His Fly-rite Boys on the Shell’s Stage.  This American roots quartet led by Big Sandy has good chemistry and a ton of personality.  I especially enjoyed the tunes that brought fans out on the dance floor to groove along doing the Rockabilly Stroll.