GREENVILLE – Mother Nature and the sound system did not cooperate at the annual Sunday Show at the Great Darke County Fair. Prior to the concert, Darke County was put under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch and many people could be seen checking their phones to watch the approaching storm.
Night Ranger, who was filling in for Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, played the previous night in Lucas County, but was expecting to have the night off. They were expected to play for an hour, but cut their set short in order to give Three Dog Night an opportunity to take the stage.
The 80’s rock band played most of their hits, as well as a few from other bands the members had been in. They opened the show with Four in the Morning (Can’t Take Anymore) and went on to perform Sing Me Away, Secret of My Success, and When You Close Your Eyes. Fans were also treated to songs from Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and Damn Yankees. Guitarist Keri Kelli formerly played with Alice Cooper and he was featured on 18. Guitarist Brad Gillis, who has been with every incarnation of Night Ranger, also had a 10-year stint with Ozzy. He was featured on Crazy Train. Vocalist Jack Blades has also performed with Damn Yankees featuring Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw and sang the song he co-wrote with band members, Can You Take Me Higher.
That’s when issues with the sound set in and knocked out music and vocals several times during Don’t Tell Me You Love Me and the band’s biggest hit, Sister Christian. Fans were not deterred and sang along when the sound went down.
Prior to coming out on stage, an announcement was made that Three Dog Night would play until it was determined to be unsafe. With a few drops of rain falling, the group took the stage about 10 minutes early and was able to get to their seventh song before the show was shut down by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office due to lightning and storms being within eight miles of the fairgrounds. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning had been issued.
However, the group was able to share several of their hits, including Black and White, Never Been to Spain, Road to Shambala and Out Here in the Country. In the middle of their seventh song, the music was shut down and an announcement was made that the concert was over and concert-goers should leave the Grandstand and seek cover.
Fans were disappointed, but many of them made the best of it singing Three Dog Night’s biggest hit from the balcony as they were filing down the stairs – Joy to the World.
Darke County Agricultural Society President Dean Neff said he was glad they got as much of the concert in as they could. Neff said, “This is the second time since I’ve been on the board in 18 years because of storms. The last time they postponed for about an hour,” he said.
Approximately 4,000 people were in attendance.