Good food and free music. That's the winning combination that makes Reston's annual Taste of the Town such a popular event. Foodies can have their fill of sidewalk offerings from more than 30 of the area's popular restaurant chains as well as family-run outfits. The music, too, covers a variety of flavors and, since the performances are cost- and calorie-free, you can indulge all you want.
Area teenagers may be happy to hear that the main event Saturday on the music stage is the hard-rock quartet Default, which appears at 2:30 p.m. courtesy of radio station Z104 FM. Default, from Canada, is a bona fide rock radio band that debuted with the release of 2001's "The Fallout." One track from that CD, "Wasting My Time," became a Top 40 hit in the United States, and the singles "Deny," "Live a Lie" and "Sick & Tired" were so popular in Canada that the band won the 2002 Juno Award (Canada's music award) for best new rock group.
The recording of Default's latest CD, "Elocation," was aided by three producers with fine track records -- Rick Parashar, who has worked with Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains; Butch Walker, a songwriter-solo artist and former member of the Marvelous 3; and Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback. Besides the band's tough original tunes, there's a blazing cover of Jeff Buckley's "Cruel" and some atmospheric ballads that show the diversity of the group's members: Dave Benedict (bass), Danny Craig (drums), Jeremy Hora (guitar) and Dallas Smith (vocals).
As for the rest of the day's lineup, much of the entertainment comes from cover bands, the staple of bars and bistros. Their material spans the recent history of pop music, with something for almost everyone.
At 1 p.m., the Corvairs create a retro rock-and-roll show with a definite '50s flavor, complete with ducktails, black leather and cuffed jeans. Quiet Fire, scheduled to appear at 3:30 p.m., is billed as "not just a band, but a professional Soul show with audience participation." If you're a fan of Earth Wind & Fire, Cameo, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye or Al Green, you may want to practice your vocals and dance steps in case you're asked to join in.
Whether you look back on the 1980s as a boom time or a cultural nadir, the music is not to be forgotten, no matter how much you try. So, you can credit or blame the Reflex, a D.C.-based '80s tribute band, for bringing the sounds of that time back at 5 p.m. The band, founded in 2001, offers authentic dance and rock songs from artists whose names you may well remember (Duran Duran, George Michael, INXS, Culture Club) and others that came and went with the longevity of a cicada (A-Ha, A Flock of Seagulls, Soft Cell). Sounds like good fun for those of us who were part of the era of leg warmers and jelly bracelets as well as for those younger folks who are laughing with or at us, thanks to shows such as VH1's "I Love the 80s."
At 7:30 p.m., the stage will be invaded by Right Foot Red, who may upstage even the Reflex with an extravaganza of '70s disco and funk, some retro '80s highlights and, for the instantly nostalgic, '90s and new millennium rock -- all in full costume.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
Reston Town Center is at Reston Parkway and New Dominion Parkway, reached via Exit 12 off the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267). Admission to the Taste of the Town is free, and food tickets can be purchased at various locations on the site.
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