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Friday, September 1 2017

8 PM
Friday, Sep 1, 2017 8 p.m.
Ticketed

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“Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball”
Maybe not your standard bluegrass lyric, but a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time, The Who’s Tommy.

Be amazed and hear banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar bring the same energy and vision to Tommy as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra. The second act will be a bluegrass set from The HillBenders.

45 years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators.

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend as a rock opera that tells the story about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tommy number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high wire bluegrass approach for several decades and chose The HillBenders. With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way.

The HillBenders are one of the few bluegrass groups that recognize their ability to bridge the gap between the common music consumer and the bluegrass genre, selecting material that defies any hillbilly stigmas. With their widely varied influences, they are trying to bring to bluegrass songs that unify. “We wanted to pair bluegrass with the other music we grew up with — rock and roll!” says HillBender Nolan Lawrence.

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This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 AM-1:00 PM. If tickets remain at 1:00 PM, the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets. As always, open seating on the hill. The shows goes on rain or shine.

Presented by Miller Outdoor Theatre

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When it comes to entertainment, this one's a real breath of fresh air.
And it's absolutely FREE.