Head East

The band Head East celebrates its 50th anniversary with a tour stop at Ohnward Fine Arts Center Saturday, April 27.


Special to the Sentinel-Press

Legendary rockers Head East will perform at Ohnward Fine Arts Center with opening act the Joie Wails Band Saturday, April 27. 

The Joie Wails Band, based in Dubuque, will kick off the show at 7 p.m. by delivering what members call “high-energy, high-heeled rock and roll.” Lead singer Joie Booth covers a wide range of songs from a number of genres, from Halestorm to Nina Simone, The Cult to Ariana Grande. 

At 8 p.m. Head East will begin the first of two 45-minute sets, with a 20-minute intermission between sets. After the show, band members will be available for a free meet-and-greet with audience members. 

Beer and wine will be sold at the concessions. 

Since its formation in 1969, Head East has become one of the hardest-working bands touring the Midwest. The band will bring its classic brand of rock ’n’ roll to Maquoketa April 27 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. 

Head East recorded its debut album “Flat as a Pancake” in 1975 for Pyramid Records. Later re-released by A&M Records, the album features the band’s signature song, “There’s Never Been Any Reason (Save My Life),” which has been called “the Rock & Roll National Anthem.” “Flat as a Pancake” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1978. 

Head East recorded numerous albums and the band’s music has appeared in the TV shows “Friday Night Lights” and “That 70’s Show,” as well as the 1993 film “Dazed and Confused” and its platinum-certified soundtrack. 

The band’s most recent album “Raise a Little Hell” was released in 2013. 

After decades of recording and touring, the southern Illinois band is not calling it quits any time soon. 

Founding member and keyboardist Roger Boyd has said, “As long as I can lift my synthesizer over my head and the audience goes wild, we’ll keep rockin’ on!”

This will be the first time Head East will take the Ohnward stage, but the venue is no stranger to hosting the rock ’n’ roll. Back in 2016, Ohnward hosted the 1980s hard rock and heavy metal tribute band Hairball. 

“Over 500 patrons attended that show and rocked for over 3 hours,” Ohnward executive director Richard Hall said.

“Tickets are going fast. This is not your typical sit in your seat and enjoy the show type of event. The audience is welcome to stand down front by the stage and rock along with Head East,” Hall said.

Tickets are $30 ($35 at the door) and can be purchased at Ohnward Fine Arts Center on its website or by phone (563-652-9815 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday). Tickets can also be purchased at Osterhaus Pharmacy, the Maquoketa State Bank main office, Anderson Pharmacy in Preston, and Bellevue Pharmacy in Bellevue.