Looking back: The 99.7 Blitz Great Summer Smokeout 2017 with Loper and Randi

 99.7 The Blitz Great Summer Smoke Out

Entering its fourth year, 99.7 The Blitz Great Summer Smoke Out with Loper and Randi, has become much more than a radio station sponsored concert. It has truly become a must attend summer event in Columbus for the hard rock crowd. In coming years, it looks to evolve into a small-scale festival with much more to offer to the ticket holder than great Rock N Roll, which it has mastered in its four years of existence.

99.7 The Blitz in the house!

The great Rock N Roll was provided Nine Shrines, Adelitas Way, Sick Puppies and Halestorm.  Then came the food trucks! Typically, one has to attend a multi-day music festival to enjoy the delights and smell of a food truck park.

The Smoke Out came through in a big way attracting “The Cluck Wagon”, “Island Noodles”, “Sweet Tooth Ice Cream”, “Cazuelas” and “Enas”. With the gates opening at 3pm for the 99.7 Blitz Pre-Party, and live music starting at 5pm with Nine Shrines, the food truck court provided the “Smokeouter” a source of yummy and delicious nourishment. The smells from the court surely wafted over to baseball fans at the Columbus Clippers game next door making them jealous as they looked sadly down at their stadium hot dogs and pizza.

Oh and if jamming to the great music didn’t spark your hunger, did I mention the physical contests for prizes by Hell City Tattoo Festival who powered the Smoke Out? With the pre-party at the A&R Music Bar, the Food Trucks and Hell City, the “Smokeouter” had much to keep them busy, and as the Smoke Out matures, we expect more attractions and activities to be added, making the Smoke Out a must attend event in Columbus after Rock on the Range in the Spring.

Kicking off the Great Summer Smokeout was the 99.7 Blitz pre-party at the A&R bar next to the Express Live! venue. Hosted by Blitz jocks, Nuber and Central Ohio Radio Icon, Ronnie Hunter, the pre-party featured appearances by the Blitz Morning show crew and Smokeout hosts, Loper and Randi, along with Producer Thick Rick and morning newscaster Kelly Quinn. The party gave the listeners of the “Blitz Nation” the opportunity to mingle, meet and get selfies with the various personalities from the Blitz on air staff.

The Blitz staff, Fans and Food Trucks.

Randi Rasar of The Blitz.

The pre-party also provided fans to experience live interviews with a couple of the bands playing the show. Evening Blitz host, Hales (Hales on Air) kicked off the interview with Nine Shrines. (Click here to listen to the interview.) Next up was Ronnie Hunter and Nuber sitting down with Sick Puppies. (Click here to listen to the interview.) 

These live interviews not only gave the fans the opportunity to see and hear the bands up close, but also gave them the opportunity to meet and greet informally after each interview as both bands graciously took a few minutes to pose for pics and sign autographs.

Meanwhile back stage, Loper and Randi took to the waves to interview Lzzy Hale and Arejay Hale of Halestorm. That interview can be heard here: (Click here to listen to the interview.) 


Loper of The Blitz introducing his new swag.

After the pre-party, the Blitz staff did not slow down. They appeared on stage to pump up the crowd and introduce the bands. At one-point Loper was forced to wear Randi’s high school letter jacket as payment for a bet he lost earlier in the week to Randi on their morning show. During the show, the radio personalities could be seen all over the venue mingling with the Blitz nation. The Blitz staff genuinely loves and appreciates their listeners and the listeners return that love tenfold.

Nine Shrines.

Launching the music for the Smokeout was Heavy Metal steamroller Nine Shrines out of Cleveland. Hard, aggressive, thundering and powerful are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind describing Nine Shrines set. Clearly, they have developed quite the following in Central Ohio, and being veterans of the Smokeout surely helped. The crowd was thick in the pit area for the opening act and they were not disappointed with the show they were given. Nine Shrines is an Ohio secret that the rest of the Hard Rock Nation is about to discover.

Nine Shrines Photo Gallery.

The group recently signed a deal with the Mascot Label Group and recently released its debut EP, Misery, and is currently on a national tour. From the menacing attack of their song “Parasite” to title track “Misery”, to “King of Mercy”, Nine Shrines rocked the Smokeout audience with powerful vocals and heavy riffs mixed with some moody and melodic interludes. We look for Nine Shrines to return to the Smokeout as the headliner in the coming years. Their star is rising rapidly.

Adelitas Way.

Next up was Virgin Records recording artist, Adelitas Way out of Las Vegas.  AW took the stage at 6:15pm Opening with “The Collapse” from their 2011 release Home School Valedictorian, AW then went to its new release Notorious playing “Bad Reputation” and  “Ready for War(Pray for Peace)”. Rounding our their set AW played “Hurt”, “Dirty Little Thing”, “Alive”, “Notorious” and lit up the crowd with favorite “Criticize”. The powerful set finished with “Sick” and “Invincible”.

Adelitas Way Photo Gallery.

Adelitas Way came to rock the house. The band was in top form, locked in, hard hitting and the near sold out crowd was taking it all in. Singer Rick DeJesus demanded attention from the crowd with his dominant stage presence. The AW recipe also includes heavy bass lines by Andrew Cushing,  the thundering back beats from drummer Tre Stafford and the crushing guitar solos of Ryan Guanzon. Once baked at a high volume, the result is some of the finest and tastiest rock music around.  AW is a strong band musically and on stage. Not only is it evident they are friends with each other, but they made friends with the entire crowd.

Sick Puppies.

Ever get to see a band that just down right seems like they are enjoying what they are doing? And having fun while they are doing it? That band would be Sick Puppies! Opening for the headliner, Sick Puppies popped out on the stage with an incredible energy. If a few stray “Smokeouters” were not paying attention to the powerful sets of the previous two acts, they had no choice now. Opening up with “War” from their 2009 release “Tri-Polar”, they quickly ROCKED the bouncing crowd with “Stick to your Guns” off their latest offering “Fury”. With the mosh pit in full motion, Sick Puppies kicked it into high gear, ripping off familiar tracks “Riptide”, “Odd One”, “All the Same” and “Black and Blue”. Much to the delight of those in the pit, Sick Puppies ripped into a searing cover of “Guerrilla Radio” by Rap/Funk/Nu Metal legends Rage Against the Machine. They then brought the house down with crowd favorite “You’re Going Down” another sizzling track from 2009’s “Tri-Polar”.

Bryan Scott

Fronting Sick Puppies is Bryan Scott. Scott wasted no time connecting with the crowd and proving why he belongs in this band as its newest member. From the very first note, he interacted with the crowd, encouraging them to sing along, get up, jump up, crowd surf and mosh. Beyond all that, add an incredible and powerful vocal performance that had to grab the attention of the baseball fans in the stadium next door.

Emma Anzai

Bass player Emma Anzai roamed the stage adding her groovin and funky bass lines to the set and Sick Puppies thunderous rhythm section, along with drummer Mark Goodwin, could easily sit in with any band on tour today. Sick Puppies is not only a great and entertaining band, they are also top-notch musicians.

Sick Puppies Photo Gallery.

Sick Puppies came to spend the evening making new friends and they succeeded. Every song had the attention of the crowd and there was never a single lull in their set. The heat they left on stage surely had to burn the stage crew as they prepared the venue for the coming headliner.

Lzzy HaleHalestorm.

Halestorm: Ok, let’s just get this out of the way at get. Lzzy Hale is probably one of the most amazing singers I have had the privilege of seeing perform over the years. The range of her voice is simply stunning. While most singers bring a voice and lyrics to the set, Lzzy’s voice is more like a fine instrument played beautifully and classically on stage. At times I could not tell if she was channeling Janis Joplin, Pat Benatar or Alanis Morrisette. As soon as she hits the mic, music fans of all stripes know that something special is coming.

The band took to the stage launching straight into the “Apocalyptic” from their latest album “Into the Wild Life”. Not letting up, they took control of the evening with “Mz. Hyde” and “It’s Not You”, which led us in to “Freak Like Me” which simply brought the crowd of five thousand plus to a frenzy and in the palm of Lzzy Hales hand.

Halestorm is one of the hardest touring today, playing more than a 100 shows most years. The frequent practice shows through as the band, especially Lzzy know how to work a crowd and they don’t miss a note while doing it.

Lzzy Hale

The set churned on with “I get Off” and “Love Bites (so do I)”, which brought us to the cover of White Snakes, “Still of the Night”. This cover has been in heavy rotation on Hard Rock stations and the studio version damn near rivals or surpasses the original. I was waiting for the explosive vocals meets lead guitar riff that pops of the studio version, but it never came. None the less, the band masterfully performed the song rocking the crowd and introducing the younger folks in the crowd to popular song from the 80’s.

Lzzy Hale

Halestorm are much more exciting in my opinion when they play aggressive hard rock rather than softer alternative rock tunes. This night, they did not let up and the mostly hard rock crowd was treated to a searing set that only slowed down when Lzzy had her piano brought on stage and she performed Bette Midlers “The Rose”. Stereotypical the lighters and cell phone lights came on, bodies swayed, but the performance of the song by Lzzy was magic and the vocals perfect. I long for the days of live albums. Halestorm should do one.

Lzzy’s little brother Ajay showed off his skills with a drum solo, eventually inviting Sick Puppies drummer Mark Goodwin to the stage where they paid tribute to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Then Ajay brought out the big sticks and showed his skills and dexterity with drum sticks almost as tall as he is, and as thick as his forearms.

Josh Hottinger

Josh Hottinger on lead guitar and Josh Smith on bass round out this rock powerhouse providing excellent support and musicianship to the Hale brother and sister duo as they headed to the end of the show with “I am the Fire”, “Here’s to Us” and “Mayhem” . Lzzy Hale ended the show with “Miss the Misery”.

Josh Smith

Long time Halestorm fans were not disappointed, while new fans witnessed a really top notch rock show with perhaps the greatest vocalist in rock today.

Halestorm Photo Gallery.


The 99.7 Blitz Great Summer Smokeout with Loper and Randi is more than just a rock show. Its more than great food and ice cream. It’s about friends. Friends that are made through the magic of Rock and Roll and the love of music. The Smokeout has developed a very loyal following and this year’s show took it to a whole new level. The weather was perfect, the food was beyond imagination, the music was fantastic and the hosts of the show, Loper and Randi are on top of their game. It’s hard to see how the fun can get better, but knowing those two, the Blitz and Promo West, I am totally expecting them to one up the show next year. Without a doubt, the Smokeout will reach new levels that are unknown to us now, but one thing is certain. Friends will gather, new friends will be made, good food will be served, great music will be hard, and the most fun you can have at a rock show will be had!

Check out Loper and Randi’s VLog of the Smokeout!!









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Mac About Mac

Today Mac lives in Dublin, OH. The father of a 19-year-old son, he works as a Home Improvement contractor, but his first love remains music. Mac can be found at many Rock Shows in the Central Ohio area and always looks for forward to the annual Rock on the Range music festival each May at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus.

On his play list today you find a very diverse lineup on Mac’s playlist. From the Jazz Fusion of Al Di Meola, the Ambient sound of Michael Conn, the beauty of Miranda Lambert to KORN, RATM, The Beastie Boys, Shinedown, Red Sun Rising, Stone Sour, Amon Amarth to Lady GaGa, Mac loves a wide range of music and continues to listen to the classics while leaving a wide-open mind to recent music

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