This year's Minnesota State Fair Grandstand lineup has been severely lacking in men you want to see shirtless.
That all changed this morning, when we woke to learn that longtime R&B heartthrob Usher and beatwise Nashville hunk Sam Hunt will be elevating late summer temperatures at the Grandstand, on August 31 and September 4, respectively. Bring a great Minnesotan you want to get together with, if you know what I mean. (I mean sex.)
For more than two decades, Usher has been generating lust with well-crafted R&B hits, accumulating a body of work that's as impressive as his body itself. And that's saying something -- his abs even have their own (recently somewhat neglected) Twitter account. Usher's most recent Xcel show, in 2014, was disappointing and under-attended, but his long-delayed Hard II Love, which finally materialized in 2016, was a solid effort. He's now blonde apparently?
A former college quarterback from Georgia, Sam Hunt has been talked about as the first post-bro-country star and as Nashville's answer to Drake. (I'd really like to hear how that question was phrased.) He showed off his impressive trick of gliding mid-line from speaking to singing on his first hit “Take Your Time,” from his 2014 debut Montevallo. I think his new single, “Body Like a Back Road,” a slinky little number about slowly cruising along your curves, is pretty hot, but your mileage may vary.
Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday, May 5 -- Hunt at 10 a.m., Usher at noon -- at etix.com. Usher tickets range from $72 way up in the bleachers to a $97 general admission. (Jeez, that's a whole lotta cheese curds.) Sam Hunt tickets are $58/$68.
2017 Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Concert Series lineup (so far)
8/24 Nickelback, Daughtry
8/26 Jim Gaffigan
8/27 Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down
8/28 Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
8/29 John Mellencamp with special guest Carlene Carter
9/3 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Finals
9/4 Sam Hunt