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Columbus native Tayler Bock knew he was rolling the dice when he decided to book only rock musicians for the Platte County Fair in 2018 and broke away from the traditional country music format.

But, it paid off.

“It went fantastic,” said Bock, of Lone Alpha Entertainment. “I think that last year was the best talent we had on stage. We got a lot of compliments – I loved hearing all of that.”

The 2018 show was headlined by supergroup and hair metal band Scrap Metal, but this summer promises just as much, if not more, rock.

Headlining the July 13 concert will be 38 Special, an American rock band formed in the 1970s by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant. Special guests Brian Howe, former Bad Company lead singer, and Fran Cosmo, former lead singer of Boston, will also perform.

“I think it will be just as good if not better because it will be three hours of hit after hit,” Bock said. “We found that the rock thing works. So if something works, keep doing it.”

38 Special has had a variety of popular tunes over the years, having sold more than 20 million records. Some of its biggest songs include “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Chain Lightnin’” and “Second Chance.”

“We’ve had our eye on them,” Bock said. “They have the name, they have the songs.”

Bock also expressed his excitement over Howe and Cosmo. People can also expect Howe to bring some of the songs made famous by Bad Company, such as “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” And Cosmo, known as the former lead singer of the famed group Boston, will bring a good mix of songs people will know from his career, including those with Boston.

“With Brian, you’re getting that more straight rock metal,” he said. “Fran, I’ve seen him live and he’s great and Boston, too. Boston has some of the most iconic songs in rock music, in my opinion. You’ll be able to hear those songs sung just like they are. It’s literally like seeing Boston.”

Advanced tickets are available for $20 apiece at pcftickets.com. Tickets will be $25 each the day of the show. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. at Platte County Ag Park, 822 15th St., with the concert set to commence at 6:30 p.m.

Bock stressed he expects this to top last year’s show, adding it will be different from other state fairs that typically feature a country-centric lineup.

“After last year, seeing the show, it was hit after hit after hit -- that’s what you’re going after,” Bock said. “We want to give the community as many hits as you can for $20. They’re going to get their full night of it – it’s three-plus hours of music.”

Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at matt.lindberg@lee.net.

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