• Sun July 27 2008
  • Posted Jul 27, 2008
By SOPHIA AHMAD July 22, 2008 20,000 tune in for Lance, Styx, Nadas Live music was the main affair at tonight's CYcling Country Festival event. But beneath all the amplified sounds ran the undercurrent of recent flooding. The festival, a part of RAGBRAI, ran 5:30 p.m. to midnight at Iowa State University and included performances by Styx and The Nadas. First lady Mari Culver and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong also made appearances. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Embrace Iowa 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, which helps those affected by severe storms and flooding that displaced 40,000 Iowans. Twenty thousand tickets were sold, according to Allyson Walter, CYcling Country Festival media coordinator. Lance Armstrong took the stage at around 8 p.m., just before Styx performed and after dueling pianists Jared Hall and Tony Bohnenkamp whet the crowd’s appetite with popular tunes. Armstrong thanked the crowd for coming out, and compared RAGBRAI to Tour de France. About RAGBRAI, he said, “The crowds were a little friendlier, there was a little more beer. A little more pride, a little more pork chop.” Armstrong encouraged the crowd to buy RAGBRAI bandanas since the proceeds benefit the Embrace Iowa 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund. “I have embraced Iowa,” Armstrong confessed. This won’t be the last RAGBRAI for the seven-time Tour de France winner. “We will be back every year. Because this is cycling in America,” he said. Armstrong asked, “Anybody ready for some rock and roll?” and with that, Styx took the stage with the 1978 hit “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).” They put out enough hard rock and synthesized sounds to keep the crowd roaring for the next hour and a half. Tunes included “The Grand Illusion,” “Lady,” “Crystal Ball” and “Too Much Time on My Hands.” They joked about their classic status as well. “We made a lot of those records with you know, music on both sides,” guitarist and singer Tommy Shaw said. He also mentioned that all the proceeds from one of the band’s T-shirt sales will go to the 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund. After the fireworks show, The Nadas took the stage. This is the fourth benefit concert the band has played since the June floods. “None of us have been directly affected by the flooding other than our whole community being affected by it,” The Nadas frontman Jason Walsmith said prior to the band’s soundcheck. The total dollar amount raised won’t be tallied until later this week, but tonight, every person with a wristband at Iowa State became part of the community affected by the Iowa floods.

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