UL football coach Mark Hudspeth constantly implores his team to “step up its game” when it’s on the big stage. Apparently, the folks at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl are following suit.

The bowl announced Thursday its plans for a second annual “Friday Night Concert” on Dec. 21, one night before the 11 a.m. bowl game, and the lineup for the free, open-to-the-public show includes an American institution and one of the classic rock era’s most acclaimed bands.

The 5:30 p.m. show at Champion’s Square adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will feature The Beach Boys and Bad Company featuring lead singer Brian Howe. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

“Between the football game and the Friday night concert, the 2012 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will encompass New Orleans’ love of music and sports,” said bowl Executive Director Billy Ferrante in a release. “The concert is the perfect way to kick off the bowl weekend.”
Last year’s first Friday concert featured the Rebirth Brass Band and the Lafayette-based Givers band … a good and well-received show. But neither has the national and international appeal of this year’s two iconic groups.

British band Bad Company’s straight-ahead, no-frills approach to rock ‘n’ roll led to some timeless anthems, including “Can’t Get Enough” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”

The California-based Beach Boys formed in 1961 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. “America’s Band” had 36 top-40 hits in the U.S., including four No. 1 singles — “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Good Vibrations” and “KoKoMo.”

The bowl also announced on Thursday that R+L Carriers has extended its sponsorship of the New Orleans Bowl for five more years.

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