Hairborn in Fairborn features That Arena Rock Show



If you attend Hairborn in Fairborn on Friday, Sept. 15, be prepared to feel like you’ve been blasted through a time portal back to the sweaty nights of rock’s past. The glammed out, hairspray plastered, spandex clad That Arena Rock Show will pay tribute to the golden days of heavy metal while opener the Bronson Arroyo Band revisits the flannel clad days of grunge rock.

Arroyo, the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, will open the festivities.



Cincinnati-based musician Nikki Starr (guitar) is the founder and leader of That Arena Rock Show. The band formed in 2017 with a theatrical but rocking approach to heavy metal anthems and power ballads of the ‘70s and ‘80s by acts such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen and Mötley Crüe.

Starr recently answered some questions about his high energy rock group, which also features TBone (vocals), Tracii Page (guitar), Brady Savage (bass) and Ryan Rocket (drums).

Q: When I last interviewed you in 2019 the band had a couple of years together and was building a touring circuit. Then the pandemic hit. What has it been like rebounding from that?

A: We did (roughly) 20 shows in 2021. We did over 60 shows in 2022 and we have 80 on the books this year. It’s been continuously growing, and we’ve been able to get into new markets. We’re constantly trying to get into places we haven’t been.

Watch That Arena Rock Show perform Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” live:

Q: How has the live show changed since the early days?

A: We’re constantly trying to revamp the production. Every year we try to make the show have something a little different, so it doesn’t get stale and people don’t get bored with it. We spent a lot of money at the beginning of the year trying to up the production. We have a new stage set and a new LED wall and lighting show. We constantly keep growing the production as much as we can. We’ve never just wanted to play music. That’s why it’s named That Arena Rock Show. We wanted something theatrical that would eventually have video content going through the whole show, which it does now. We wanted to give people a show, and it’s been fun coming up with ideas to continuously watch that grow.



Q: TBone had some theater experience but had never been in a band before this. As someone who has been in numerous bands over the years, what has it been like sharing this experience with him?

A: He wouldn’t move around during the first couple of shows we did and now that dude is the most entertaining person on stage. It’s really cool to watch somebody grow as a musician and entertainer and he’s still just a humble guy, a great kid. I was in bands and not making any money for I don’t know how many years. This is his first opportunity out there and he’s making good money, playing cool places, and he just walked right into it. It took me 10 or 15 years to figure it out.

Q: There’s a tradition of theatricality in heavy metal. Which artists inspired your approach with this project?

A: Alice Cooper had a big influence on the way we run our entire show. It’s (roughly) an hour-and-a-half concert and it doesn’t really stop. There are theatrical moments here and there and a guitar solo here and there. I’m a big KISS fan so that’s a big inspiration too. We have a smoking guitar solo in our show, and I break a guitar at the end like Paul Stanley. It’s a fun, non-stop show.”

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What: The city of Fairborn and WTUE-FM (104.7) present Hairborn featuring That Arena Rock Show and the Bronson Arroyo Band

Where: 103 W. Main St. in Fairborn

When: Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m.

More info:

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