An unfortunate incident that sometimes occurs in baseball has happened at Rent One Park, and it has nothing to do with the Southern Illinois Miners or America’s favorite past time.

When a star player goes down due to injury in baseball, the manager may tear up a little on the inside, but he knows the Tom Hanks rule: “There’s no crying in baseball.” His only option is to look down the bench for a replacement, plug the new player into the lineup and hope they provide a spark that leads to victory.

This game plan has been adopted by concert organizers at the Marion venue.

Last week, a show featuring Lady Antebellum slated for Sunday was unexpectedly and without reason canceled. An official reason for pulling the plug has not been released, but speculation runs from poor advance tickets sales to the possible offensive connotation of the word “antebellum.”

With their backs to the wall and the game clock ticking, organizers scrambled and put together a replacement concert for 7 p.m. Sunday featuring Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry fame, grown-up child prodigy Hunter Hayes, "American Idol" alum Elvie Shane and Walker Hayes.

Tickets are $15.

“We don’t take defeat easily in Southern Illinois. When Lady Antebellum canceled, we wanted to make sure the area gets a show on that day,” says Chris Parton, owner of Midwest Music Supply and a sponsor of the event. “It was a very last-minute thing, but we decided quickly to move on and make the best out of a bad situation.”

Black Diamond Harley-Davidson and Pepsi MidAmerica are also corporate sponsors of the event.

“We worked tirelessly pulling this thing together,” Parton said, as he drove to a meeting Wednesday morning to finalize plans for the two-day festival. “We are hoping for a big turnout to show support for our veterans.”

After expenses, all proceeds from the Sunday concert will be donated to The Honor Flight Network, The Wounded Warrior Project and Folds Of Honor.

The Veteran’s Benefit concert is now part of a massive weekend of entertainment, kicking off Saturday with superstar Brantley Gilbert.

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Gilbert’s show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday. His opening acts include Jenny Tolman, Murphy 500 and Matt Wynn.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. both days. Fast pass gates open at 5 p.m., but cost an additional fee.

Ticket prices for Gilbert range from $20 to $90.

Advance tickets for both shows are being sold at eventbrite.com.

Gilbert has cranked out hits like “Bottoms Up,” “Country Must be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” He also wrote “My Kind of Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” He is on the Billboard charts with “What Happens in a Small Town,” the debut single from his fifth studio album “Fire and Brimstone,” which will be released later this year.

Ticket-holders for the Gilbert performance are eligible to attend a tailgate party in the Rent One parking lot that starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. The loaded roster will include performances by Allie Colleen, Jordan Rainer, Austen Bishop, Shayne Porter, Sweet Leah and Jimmy Nash.

Montgomery is half of Montgomery Gentry, which was named Duo of the Year by both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. They dominated the charts with tunes like “Something to Be Proud Of,” “My Town” and “If You Ever Stop Loving Me.”

Tragedy ended the partnership in 2017 when Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash. The duo started the climb to fame in the late 1990s, after working as the opening act for Montgomery’s brother, country star John Michael Montgomery.

Hunter Hayes is the voice behind 2012 signature song “Wanted.” Other hits include “I Want Crazy” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak.” The 27-year-old Louisiana native is proficient on 30 musical instruments. He started showcasing his skills on national television when he was just 4 years old.

Walker Hayes released the addictive “You Broke Up with Me” in 2017. The 39-year-old Alabama native migrated to Nashville in 2005. His career has been a series of peaks and valleys, going from a major label to working at Cosco to support his wife and six children. He is currently signed to Monumental Records.

Kentucky native Shane was an "American Idol" contestant in 2016. A tune he wrote about his stepson, “My Boy,” turned heads in Nashville in 2018 and got him signed to the BBR Music Group.

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Vince Hoffard can be reached at vincehoffard@gmail.com or 618-658-9095.


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