Chingawassa Days moves in right direction

Chingawassa Days has a well-established pattern regarding the headliners it selects for the main stage the Saturday night of the celebration. It’s classic rock most years, occasionally with a little bit newer country band. But that is changing for 2013.

This year’s selection, FireHouse, is the first rock band to get its big break in the 1990s to headline Chingawassa Days. They had seven top 100 hits in the U.S., all between 1991 and 1995. I was just a kid back then and didn’t pay much attention to music, but I recognize some of their songs, and not from classic rock radio stations.

It’s a move in the right direction. Some of the classic rock bands still know how to put on a show, but others haven’t held up as well. At least FireHouse still has the majority of its original lineup playing together. I’d rather see that than a glorified tribute band whose only remaining original member is the keytarist.

Booking a band that has had a hit single in the past 20 years sends the message that Chingawassa Days isn’t only for the children of the 1960s and ’70s. You can see it in the Chingawassa Days committee — they have made a commitment to getting a younger generation involved in events.

I hear there may be an even bigger youth movement for another performer at this year’s festival, but we’ll just have to wait and see about that.

— ADAM STEWART

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