The DuQuoin State Fair always seems to have better entertainment then the Illinois State Fair, don’t ask me why. Perhaps the fact that it is down south closer to Tennessee and Kentucky and bands can easily travel Interstate 57 to get to it? It’s roughly a three hour drive for me, two and half depending on if I stop or not, but worth the drive in the rain no doubt.

Hurricane Issac had decided to make it’s way up to Illinois Saturday and we did travel through some heavy downpours to get to the fair, but once we made it we found the Exhibition Hall where the concert was being held and sat there as it was easier then roaming around in the rain. The concert itself was going to be delayed by a good hour anyway, so we had plenty of time.

Listening to the sound check, and anticipating the concert was enough to get me excited to see the band below.

Default is a band I’ve been a fan of for years, but never had the chance to see them live. They are from Canada and they have several number one songs from their first album “The Fallout” It was the album that put them on the map so of speak, and Dallas Smith (the lead singer) mentioned that Saturday night. They have a total of four albums, and mixed up there set list with hits from each album.

From “The Fallout” they sang: “Sick and Tired”, “Deny”, “Wasting my Time” and “Live a Lie.” Their next album was released in 2003 titled “Elocation” and from that album they sang: “Taking My Life Away”, and “Throw is all Away”. Next they released “One Thing Remains” in 2005 and from that album they sang: “All is Forgiven”, “Count on Me” and “The Way We Were” I believe. The last album they released is titled “Comes and Goes” and from that the band rocked “Comes and Goes” but to be honest I can’t remember if they sang another song off of this album. Dallas made the comment that they were only doing two tour dates this year as family and other obligations were priority. Dallas Smith just released his solo Country album as well, entitled “Jump Right In.” I do know he will be touring on that album, so perhaps Dallas and Default will do a tour again? I would love to see them live again since his voice is unique. The band sounded amazing at the fair, vocals, guitar.. it all worked well together for only having two tour dates.. please Default, TOUR AGAIN!!..

Saving Abel is a band that’s been around since 2004.Jared Weeks the lead singer calls them “rednecks.” As he said Saturday night, Saving Abeldraw an interesting crowd, basically country folk that love to drink a lot which would explain the abundance of State Police guarding the stage. Jared did ask everyone to “Thank the State Police” for protecting them.

I’ve seen Saving Abel a few times and they always put on a great show. They just came out with a new album called “Bringing Down the Giant” and they sang new songs from that album along with their hits from the past three. Unlike Default, they only have three albums out, but have had major hits off of the two prior. There big hit is “Addicted” which comes off of the 2008 release “Saving Abel” it’s the hit that put them on the map as well.

Saving Abel’s set list consisted of:

  1.  Bringing down the Giant
  2. Hell of a ride
  3. Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)
  4. New Tattoo
  5. New Loser
  6. I’d do it again
  7. Drowning Face down
  8. Pictures of Elvis
  9. Michael Jackson’s Jacket
  10. 18 Days
  11. Addicted

Overall they sounded great.The acoustics are good in the Grandstand at the DuQuoin State Fair but the seats not so much. The Grandstand doesn’t have a PIT section, you are basically right in front of the stage, and the sections that are listed in front of the stage are deceiving, we were in Section 4 which was down from the stage, yet still in front of it, just not center of it, if that makes sense. Sections 5, and 6 are the two that are dead center to the stage, so in the future we will remember to get seats in that area.

We did however move up in the seats during Saving Abels set and I was able to get better photos, which worked out really well.

Overall great performances by both bands, they did have a little local band opening, called Against the Tide, they sounded along the lines of Saving Abel, and fit in with the other two bands, they played for roughly thirty minutes, before Default took the stage. I have only been to the DuQuoin State Fair once before, so for a second trip it was worth the drive and if the entertainment is good, I’ll probably go back in the future.

Concert goer, Network Engineer, Midwest dweller.
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 8:49 am.
Categories: Reviews.

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