Sept. 5 ‘We are the Range’ concert at Olcott Park

Popular 1980s Minnesota band "Cats Under the Stars," which started on the Iron Range, is set to reunite 40 years after its founding for a show at the Lyric Center for the Arts in Virginia, Minnesota on Thursday, June 18.

Popular 1980s Minnesota band “Cats Under the Stars,” which started on the Iron Range with founder Paul Metsa, is continuing its 40th anniversary tour for “We Are the Range” benefit concert on Saturday, Sept. 5 in Virginia, Minnesota.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, Iron Range musicians will unite for “We Are the Range,” a benefit concert for area food shelves, at Olcott Park in Virginia from 1-9 p.m. Admission is free, but everyone is asked to bring non-perishable food or financial donations.

It’s a good lineup, with a quintessential Range sound. Headlining will be the band Cats Under the Stars,” a prominent Minnesota band in the 1970s. Led by singer/songwriter Paul Metsa, Cats Under the Stars was founded on the Iron Range 40 years ago. Also on the docket is the Divas, Paul and Greg Mayasich, the Christopher David Hanson Band, Zim’s own Casey Aro, Doug Ellis and, as the poster says, “MORE!!!”

Doug Ellis is probably best known today as the guy in the wacky ads for his Virginia Surplus store, but when he was younger he wrote and performed a great song called “Taconite Town.” I suspect that song will be heard.

I’ve noticed an uptick in original music performances on the Range this year. It means people are supporting original musicians, and that’s an important part of what comes next for the Mesabi Iron Range.

The poster follows:

Iron Range all star benefit

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