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In A Word, Sioux City’s Rockestra, ROCKS

(Photo Courtesy of Sarah Larson)

We had the chance to run down to Sioux City, Iowa Friday night for the season premiere of Sioux City’s Rockestra and once again, I’m constantly amazed by the talented people that call this area of the country, home.

Sioux City’s Rockestra was inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Labor Day weekend this year, but they aren’t resting on their laurels. Opening night was ‘Where In The World Is Rockestra” which lends itself to some easy choices like songs from Kansas, Boston and Asia, to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, James Taylor’s Mexico and Van Halen’s Panama.

Rockestra is made up of 40+ musicians, mainly from the Sioux City area with a full string section, horn section, a handful of percussionists, two guitar players: one a ‘seasoned’ pro from Sioux Falls, Jason Ellsworth, the other, Sam Irish Jr. who, I’m pretty sure is still in high school!

The show also featured multiple vocalists, three of which really take a ‘leading’ role and are standouts: Amy Ellsworth, Doug Davis and Kevin Keane. Powerful vocalists all.

We got a chance to go to the season finale last Spring, so when we got the chance to see this season’s opener, we jumped at the chance and had a great time again.

Rockestra overcame some pretty big obstacles opening night as conductor and musical director John Luebke came down with a stomach virus the day of the show, leaving the Rockestra in the capable hands of assistant director Stephanie Irish. Then vocalist Amy Linder lost her voice the day of the show, sending the rest of the vocalists into short-notice mode, literally learning the words to some of the songs minutes before hitting the stage in front of 2000 fans…and nailing it.

Rockestra’s next show is December 1 for their holiday spectacular. Ticket information can be found here.

Until a venue in Sioux Falls brings them to us here in town, we’ll continue to make the short drive down to Sioux City’s Orpheum Theatre to see great shows put on by Sioux City’s Rockestra.

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