X Ambassadors / Rachel Platten Rock the Wash. State Fair Grandstand on Sept. 15th

Tickets go on sale on Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.

Puyallup, WA – May 31, 2016 – X Ambassadors released their debut full-length album, VHS in 2015 with hit songs, "Unconsolable," "Jungle" and "Renegades". Both Love Songs Drug Songs, and EP The Reason were preludes to this great success. International pop star Rachel Platten broke through in 2015 with her 3x platinum hit single "Fight Song." Her 2nd platinum selling single "Stand By You" reached #1 at Adult Pop Radio, and her current single "Better Place" is proving to be yet another hit single as it approaches Top 15 at Adult Pop radio.

Tickets for the Thurs., Sept. 15 X Ambassadors / Rachel Platten concert go on sale on Saturday, June 4 at 10 a.m. The show is part of the Washington State Fair’s 2016 Columbia Bank Concert Series. Tickets are $65 – Golden Circle, $50, $40 and include Fair gate admission. Tickets will be available on the Fair website, http://www.thefair.com/fun/details/x-ambassadors-rachel-platten or by phone (888) 559-FAIR (3247) daily, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. PST. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Washington State Fair’s Box Office at 9th Ave SW and Meridian Street on Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Online/phone purchases are subject to standard processing fees. Tickets purchased on site will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee.

X Ambassadors:

For X Ambassadors, an unshakable sense of brotherhood has long shaped the sound and spirit of the band. Growing up in small-town upstate New York, frontman Sam Harris, his brother Casey, and childhood friend Noah Feldshuh bonded over an obsessive love for punk, rock & roll, soul, and hip-hop that defied the conventions of their peer group. Forming their first band in middle school, the three channeled their infatuation with artists as eclectic as The Stooges and The Staple Singers into a string of musical projects that sharply clashed with their local scene’s favoring of folk and country. After graduating high school and decamping to New York City in search of a greater music community, the Harris brothers and Noah joined up with L.A.-raised drummer Adam Levin—a move that helped X Ambassadors solidify their sound into a groove-fueled take on alt-pop, and ultimately land a deal with KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records.

X Ambassadors toured in support of Love Songs Drug Songs with a string of dates opening for Imagine Dragons at arenas across the country as well as an opening slot on the Jimmy Eat World tour last summer and a fall tour with the Mowgli’s.  Life on the road proved productive for chief songwriter Sam Harris and the band released their second EP, The Reason, in January 2014, right before they embarked on a sold out tour with Panic! At The Disco and another run of dates with Imagine Dragons.

A recurring theme of the working class struggle that often inhibits the American dream makes up The Reason EP.  Most people will tell you that if you work hard enough at something, you can make any dream come true.  But what happens when putting in your hours just isn’t enough? On the opening track “Free & Lonely,” Harris sings against a stomping rhythm “Get a job, get married, have kids… I left my life behind, but I ain’t got time to look back on when I was free.”   “The Business,” is a rock anthem that has Harris singing “So long, so long, going back to nine to five…so much for keeping the dream alive...I’m going to give up the business.”  “The Reason is our attempt to tell the story of someone who gave up chasing a dream and who had the courage to start over,” says Harris.  “Sometimes things just don’t work out.  We’re all afraid of failure, but there’s bravery in knowing when it’s time to move on. You never know what’s next.”

For X Ambassadors, the passionately charged pop heard all over both Love Songs Drug Song and The Reason EP is the product of a lifetime of sonic exploration. Born into a highly musical family (Mom was a jazz and cabaret singer, Dad once aspired to be a country songwriter), Sam and Casey each began playing instruments before the age of ten. While Casey discovered his love for piano at seven, Sam (who “started singing as soon as I could speak”) moved from drums to guitar to piano to bass to saxophone throughout his childhood. In junior high, Sam prompted Noah (his best friend since the first day of kindergarten) to learn guitar so that the two could start a group. “Casey eventually started playing with us too, and ever since then I’ve only been in bands with the two of them,” Sam notes.

In 2006, the three moved from Ithaca to New York City so that Sam and Noah could attend the New School while Casey worked as a piano tuner. Within the first month of college Sam and Noah met Adam in the freshman dorms, learned he was a drummer, and slipped a demo under his door in a successful attempt to lure him into the band. With the lineup complete (Sam on vocals and guitar, Noah on lead guitar, Casey on keyboards, Adam on drums), X Ambassadors began playing local gigs and writing material for their debut album. Then, just before the band was scheduled to begin recording, a lifelong medical condition left Casey in urgent need of a kidney transplant. With both his brother and mother (who volunteered one of her kidneys) recuperating from the transplant, Sam began working on a new batch of songs, including a fierce yet tender ballad that would emerge as the title track on X Ambassadors’ debut.

Released in early 2012, Litost soon caught the ear of the program director for Norfolk, Virginia-based radio station 96x. After hearing “Litost” on a friend’s Spotify playlist, the PD threw the song into heavy rotation and quickly drew a rabid response from listeners. Beating out heavy-hitters like Fun. and Of Monsters and Men, “Litost” ended up emerging as 96x’s number-one song of 2012. In the meantime, X Ambassadors began opening for the likes of the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons, as well as scoring slots on the lineups of such festivals as Lollapalooza. Visit:  www.xambassadors.com.

Rachel Platten:

International pop star Rachel Platten broke through in 2015 with her 3x platinum hit single "Fight Song." Her 2nd platinum selling single "Stand By You" reached #1 at Adult Pop Radio, and her current single "Better Place" is proving to be yet another hit single as it approaches Top 15 at Adult Pop radio. Rachel recently won a Daytime Emmy for her performance of "Fight Song" on ABC's Good Morning America, she took home the award for "Best Lyrics" at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, and just landed her first Billboard Music Awards nomination in the "Top Selling Song" category.

Growing up in Boston, Rachel Platten recalls harmonizing with her family to finely crafted pop songs - from Sam Cooke to The Beatles - that dominated her parents’ vinyl collection. As a teenager, Rachel gravitated towards, and began to become affected by, hip-hop and female singer-songwriters. “My CD collection was Tori Amos and Patti Griffin but then A Tribe Called Quest and Nas.” The commonality between the two seemingly different genres: confessional and vulnerable songwriting. 

As a kid, Rachel dreamt about music as a career but never really thought it could happen in real life. “I grew up playing classical piano and I knew I could sing but I had no model to follow creatively.  The idea of growing up to be an artist seemed impossible.” However, the electricity she felt on stage while studying abroad in college, performing in front of 80,000 at the International Soca Monarch Finals in Trinidad, inspired Rachel to start chasing what she once thought was an impossible dream.

After finishing college, Rachel immediately set out for New York City where she took up residence in the very apartment building on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village where Bob Dylan once lived. Naturally, she found a band on Craigslist and started performing in clubs around the city. Those years consisted of paying dues through a mix of temping during the day and getting fired a lot, gigging until 4 am, and lugging an 80-pound keyboard to her fifth floor walk-up night after night. Despite the struggle and the setbacks, Rachel loved being on stage, even if at times nobody was listening.

“I felt crazy sometimes that I still believed in myself when there were no signs that I should.” During this time, a conversation with her soon to be manager, Ben Singer, helped reignite her passion.  “Ben helped me realize that I had to start my own fire and my songs would be the sparks.”

Rachel would find her first big spark with “Fight Song,” which took two years for the singer/songwriter to complete. She turned inward by telling her own story through the song. Turns out it was just the message people needed. “The reactions were honest, and intense.  People have been sending me the most beautiful stories of how they refuse to give up,” she recalls. “Fight Song” is without a doubt the life-changing inspirational song of 2015, topping iTunes and radio charts, and selling more than 2 million downloads in the U.S. alone.

The fire that “Fight Song” ignited has connected not only with music fans but also Columbia Records. Rachel’s major label debut, “Wildfire,” and was released January 1st, 2016. The singer is touring the world, performing on countless television shows and being played on radio stations coast to coast. Rachel recently premiered the beautifully uplifting music video for her current single “Stand By You,” another emotionally empowering anthem from the songstress. But ask Rachel what she wants people to take away from her music and she says, “I’m in love with the idea of connecting people. Bringing people together is to me, the most important thing we can do in this life. I feel like that’s my mission with my music. I think that’s why I’m getting this chance right now.” Visit:  www.RachelPlatten.com.

The concert is part of the Washington State Fair’s 2016 Columbia Bank Concert Series. Tickets will also go on sale for other artists in the coming months. Visit www.thefair.com to see the updated lineup, or sign up online to receive announcements of pre-sale opportunities BEFORE concert tickets go on sale to the public. The concerts to date are:

DATE PERFORMANCE TIME

PRICES
(incl. Fair gate)

Standard processing fees apply

Sept. 3 (Sa) Kid Rock with special guest Uncle Kracker
(Rock)
7:30 p.m. $120-Golden Circle, $105, $95
Pre-show Party: $38
Sept. 4 (Su) Tim McGraw
(Music Superstar)
7:30 p.m. $350 VIP package, $250 VIP package, $95, $85
Sept. 5 (M)

End of Summer Bash featuring A1A - The Official and Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show
(Classic Rock)

5:00 p.m. Free with Fair gate admission
Sept. 7 (W) Creedance Clearwater Revisited 
(Classic Rock)
7:30 p.m. $30 General Admission
Sept. 8 (Th) Smash Mouth
(Pop)
7:30 p.m. $30 General Admission
Sept. 9 (F) Rodeo Playoffs - Friday Matinee 1:00 p.m. $18 / $5*
Sept. 9 (F)

Rodeo Playoffs with Thompson Square concert - Friday Evening
(Country)

6:30 p.m.

$40-Golden Saddle, $30
$35-Standing in Dirt Concert

Sept. 10 (Sa) Rodeo Playoffs - Saturday Matinee 1:00 p.m. $30 - Golden Saddle, $25
Sept. 10 (Sa)

Rodeo Playoffs with Chris Janson concert - Saturday Evening
(Country)

6:30 p.m.

$40-Golden Saddle, $30
$35-Standing in Dirt Concert

Sept. 11 (Su) Rodeo - Puyallup Finals 1:00 p.m. $35-Golden Circle, $36, $26
Sept. 12 (M) for King & Country and Matt Maher
(Christian)
7:30 p.m. $46-Golden Circle, $36, $26
Sept. 14 (W) DNCE with special guest LunchMoney Lewis
(Pop)
7:30 p.m. $55-Golden Circle, $40, $28
Sept. 15 (Th) X Ambassadors / Rachel Platten
(Pop)
7:30 p.m. $65-Golden Circle, $50. $40
Sept. 16 (F) Charlie Wilson with special guest Joe
(R&B)
7:30 p.m. 65-Golden Circle, $55, $45
Sept. 17 (Sa) Alan Jackson's KEEPIN' IT COUNTRY Tour
(Country)
7:30 p.m. $85-Golden Circle, $65, $50
Sept. 18 (Su) Fiestas Patrias featuring Voz de Mando Proyecto X and Mariachi Divas
(Latino)
5:00 p.m. Advance General Admission: Adults $20
Kids 12 years & under $10
Sept. 19 (M)

Chris Young with special guest Cassadee Pope
(Country)

7:30 p.m. $60-Golden Circle, $50, $40
Sept. 20 (Tu) Gavin DeGraw / Andy Grammer
(Pop)
7:30 p.m. $65-Golden Circle, $55, $43
Sept. 22 (Th) Dierks Bentley
(Country)
7:30 p.m.

$100-Golden Circle, $80, $65
Pre-Show Dinner-$38

Sept. 23 (F) Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy
(Comedy)
7:30 p.m. $80-Golden Circle, $70, $55
Sept. 24 (Sa) Flo Rida with special guest Natalie La Rose
(Hip Hop)
7:30 p.m. $68-Golden Circle, $52, $40
Sept. 25 (Su) Train, with special guests MAGIC!
(Pop)
7:30 p.m.

$75-Golden Circle, $65, $50

* Friday 1 p.m. rodeo does not include Fair gate admission. Gates are open free from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Washington State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the world, and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It started in 1900 in Puyallup, and welcomes over one million guests to the single largest attended event in the state. Star-studded entertainment, the PRCA Rodeo, rides, exhibits, food, flowers and animals are mainstays of the 21-day event that kicks off the Friday of Labor Day weekend. For more info about the Sept. 2-25, 2016 Washington State Fair (closed Tuesdays), visit www.thefair.com.

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