Rock festivals are coming into focus


It’s still months away, but Federal Frenzy will stir the pot with a new kickoff event Friday featuring seven bands.

Federal Frenzy is the daylong rock festival that takes place every spring in downtown Youngstown. This year, it will be April 27.

To work itself into a frenzy, it is staging Federal Frenzy Face Off, a battle of the bands-style rock-off at West Side Bowl, 2617 Mahoning Ave. The band that gets the most votes from those in attendance will be guaranteed a spot in the Frenzy lineup.

Scheduled to perform are Fifth & Aurora, the HR Department, Black Wolf and the Thief, Spy Convention, Juliet, Mediocre at Best and the Super Babes. Admission is free. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music starts at 7 p.m.

Federal Frenzy is presented by Penguin Productions at Youngstown State University, and its bands always have a YSU connection.

The event also features a national headliner, which will be announced before the end of February, according to Regan Guzik, who handles press for the festival.

RWB, Clarks, Hinder and Stapp at rib fest

The second annual Ribs-N-Rock Festival, which will take place June 27-30 in the parking lot of Southern Park Mall, has announced its musical lineup.

The Clarks will return to headline the festival on opening night. The Pittsburgh act, a longtime favorite in Youngstown, played at the inaugural festival.

Hinder, who were all over Valley airwaves in 2005-06 with their debut album “Extreme Behavior,” will take the stage June 28.

Scott Stapp of Creed will perform June 29, and Red Wanting Blue – another longtime regional favorite – will close the festival June 30.

Local bands will be added to the lineup closer to the date. The Ribs-N-Rock Festival also will feature a handful of national rib vendors.

Advance daily tickets ($7) and weekend passes ($25) are on sale now at ribsnrock.com. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

JD EICHER schedules record-release show

JD Eicher will release “The Compass EP,” his seventh studio release on March 7 at a show at Christman Hall in Stambaugh Auditorium.

The Youngstown-based singer-songwriter says the upcoming release pushes thematically and sonically into new territory. The first single, “Ain’t My Scene,” was released last summer and became the most-played song by a regional artist on 90.7 FM-The Summit Radio.

The album-release show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 (includes facility fee) and are on sale now at jdeicher.com . Each ticket includes a copy of “The Compass EP.”

BLUESMAN TOMMY CASTRO IN YOUNGSTOWN SHOW

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers will be in town April 6 for an 8 p.m. show at Rhine Haus Bier Hall, 40 N. Phelps St., downtown. Tickets are $15 (plus applicable fees) and are on sale now at tangledupinblues.ticketleap.com.

OUTSTANDING EXHIBITIONS AT THE BUTLER ART MUSEUM

Three amazing shows are on display at this time, in three adjacent galleries on the second floor of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.

“Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert” showcases 29 colorful carved and dyed leather works made by the African-American Georgia artist in the 1950s and ’60s. Rembert learned to work leather during a stint in prison that stemmed from a civil-rights protest.

The vibrant works call to mind African folk art.

Also on display is “Todd Gray: Pop Geometry,” 20 mixed media pieces that are absolutely Warholian.

Finally, the brilliant 46th annual exhibition of the Pastel Society of America, which features works by some of the nation’s premiere artists.

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator. Follow him on Twitter at @VindyVibe.

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