Sugar Free Allstars
4 P.M. Sunday, Little Rockers Kid Stage, City of Norman parking lot
North of 200 W. Main
Within the amount of talented local bands playing at NMF, there’s bound to be a group who can tackle one of the most difficult crowds: children. The Sugar Free Allstars are ready with vibrant and funky music.
One part Stevie Wonder R&B, one part Blues Brothers soul and a heap of Ray Charles organ-enriched groove, the Allstars mix genres to show variety. Performing at NMF for the second year, they will perform familiar favorites and new tunes. Lead singer Chris Wiser said the show compares to big-venue rock concerts, but on a smaller scale for the little ones.
“We put on a rock show for kids,” he said. “That’s basically what we do. We like to say we’re Oklahoma’s only arena-rock band for kids.”
It’s surprising to realize such a large sound comes from just two guys. Wiser and Rob Martin provide all of the sounds to this musical carnival, except for an occasional chorus of kid backup singers.
In 2007, the Allstars released their fourth album, “Dos Niños.” The family-friendly critics poll Fids and Kamily selected the album as one the best of the year. One of its songs, “Bathtub Boy,” was featured in heavy rotation on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, topping its charts at No. 1 for two of 13 weeks.
The Allstars release their newest album on Tuesday, “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free,” featuring 10 new tracks. “Rock Awesome” and “6th Grade Band” give kids the inspiration to create their own tunes, while songs like “Little Red Wagon” pay homage to a staple of childhood: the Radio Flyer.
But the Allstars aren’t just for children; they also know how to entertain adults, too.
“People ask what the difference is when performing to adults,” Wiser said. “I say it’s just the average height. The behavior at the kids’ show is about the same as it would be at a club. We just want to put on a high-energy, entertaining show.” “Luke Atkinson