If you think no state fair is complete without elephant ears, corn dogs and country music, you’re in luck. Some of the brightest stars in the country-music constellation are set to shine on the Washington State Fair grandstand stage over the next two weeks, including Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban and Toby Keith.
Clay Walker gets the party started Friday night, Sept. 5, with a standing-room only “Dancin’ in the Dirt” show ($40, 9 p.m.). Walker is a veteran musician with six No. 1 singles to his name, including the“Rumor Has It” and the peppy “If I Could Make a Living” — just the kind of songs that’ll have fans putting miles on their cowboy boots.
Jennifer Nettles is a key cog in the hit band Sugarland but this year she took a break from the group and released her first album as a solo artist, “That Girl,” in January. It’s a stripped-down, contemplative collection of songs that very much feels like a break-up album with songs like the haunting “Me Without You” and “Good Time To Cry” setting the tone. Catch her on Monday, Sept. 8, with Brandy Clark, a songwriter who has written for Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry ($30-$75, 7:30 p.m.).
Less than a week later, on Saturday, Sept. 13, Australian-born superstar Keith Urban brings his pop-tinged style and crystal-clear tenor to Puyallup ($40-$100, 7:30 p.m.). Urban has been one of the most consistent stars in country music over the past decade, and he’s got the megahits to prove it. Expect to hear old standbys like “Somebody Like You” and “Sweet Thing” along with cuts off his 2013 album “Fuse,” including No. 1 hits “Little Bit of Everything” and “We Were Us.”
Riding the immense success of their 2012 album “Here’s to the Good Times” and singles “Cruise” and “This Is How We Roll,” party boys Florida Georgia Line take center stage Monday, Sept. 15 ($40-$90, 7:30 p.m.). Featuring Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, the band has experienced a meteoric rise since releasing their first EP four years ago. In 2013 they were named “Best Duo” by all three major country-music award shows: the Academy of Country Music Awards, the CMT Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards.
Perhaps the biggest star to grace the Washington State Fair this year, Toby Keith has sold 40 million copies over his 17-album career. Pit tickets to Keith’s Sept. 20 show are sold out, but limited reserve seating is still available ($40-$95, 7:30 p.m.). Fans today might recognize Keith’s most recent hit, “Drinks After Work,” but older country connoisseurs will remember his 1993 single “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” which finished the decade as the most played country song in America.
Head to the official Washington State Fair website, www.thefair.com, for more details and a full list of the bands that will be in town over the next two weeks.