The South Carolina State Fair opens Wednesday, but the music doesn't crank up until Friday.
The fair's grandstand lineup this year provides the usual: something for everyone.
Here are this year's performers.
tobyMac, 7:30 p.m. Friday: If you're a fan of Christian-contemporary rapper tobyMac, you know where he was last year on Oct. 17: He performed at the fair. At Mac's high-energy hip-hop shows, when people wave their arms in the air, they're waving them because they care. $15
David Cook, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Is being an "American Idol" winner still a good look for a music-industry resume? Cook, who shifts between pop and modern rock, is trying to find the right hook to match his (waning?) popularity. Check the Weekend section Friday for an interview with Cook. $25
The Charlie Daniels Band, 4 p.m. Oct. 18: In 2006, Gretchen Wilson told me that when she was growing up, Charlie Daniels was one of the biggest stars in her eyes. Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is one of the biggest hits in country history, so naturally he's inspired country music's younger generation. And he's still touring. Where has Wilson been? $1
Nat & Alex Wolff, 6 p.m. Oct. 19: The brothers make up the Naked Brothers Band, a band that is the real version of the fictitious band from Nickelodeon's TV show "The Naked Brothers Band." Hard to follow? Just know this: The tweens love them more than they do Lady Gaga. Sorry, the latter gets no explanation here. $15
Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21: Contemporary Christian star wattage doesn't get any brighter than this. It's better than any restaurant 2-for-1 deal. This show is food for the soul. $20
Montgomery Gentry, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23: The top country duo position is open since Brooks & Dunn called it quits. Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry could make a claim for the spot, though country sweethearts Sugarland are sweeter than a candy apple. Unlike Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry was (finally) inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in June. The duo was invited by Daniels who was (finally!) inducted in 2008. $20
Eric Benet, 7 p.m. Oct. 24: As far as fusing new tech R&B with the elegance of decades-old soul, Eric Benet does it as well as anyone. He might be the only performer who can compete with Maxwell in a make-these-women-swoon contest. USC student MaryLiz opens. $15
The Fantastic Shakers, 4 p.m. Oct. 25: What's a fair with a show labeled "Shag-a-Fair"? Fortunately for us, we don't have to find out. Free
All grandstand concerts seats are reserved and require a ticket in addition to gate admission.