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Friday, August 18, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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It's a Big Freakin' Deal ; All-day concert provides a little variety with six acts at Cheney Stadium

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Concert preview

Big Freakin' Deal 2000: Smash Mouth, Sister Hazel, Stroke 9, BBMak, Train, Shaggy, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma ($30; 206-628-0888 or www.ticketmaster.com).

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Smash Mouth will be there.

Maybe that's all you really wanted to know about Big Freakin' Deal, the second annual KISS-FM-sponsored variety concert coming to Tacoma's Cheney Stadium tomorrow.

The novelty rock band, which has been compared to Seattle band the Presidents, hit it big with its 1997 single, "Walkin' on the Sun." The San Jose-based quartet's latest album, 1999's "Astro Lounge," has produced the hits "All Star" and "When the Morning Comes."

But wait, there's more. Five more, in fact. And if their names don't ring a bell, their songs probably will - if you ever listen to the radio.

There's Stroke 9, also known as The Guys Who Sing "Little Black Back Pack." The Bay Area-based alterna-pop group made its major record label debut in 1999 with "Nasty Little Thoughts."

There's Train, known for "Meet Virginia," the first single from its 1998 self-titled debut album. The band's five members hail from as far as Erie, Pa., but settled in San Francisco to make music together. Since then, Train has toured with Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies and Counting Crows.

Then there are MTV darlings BBMak, a Backstreet-Boys-meets-Hanson trio of British pop singers whose first single, "Back Here," is getting young girls into a frenzy all over America. In a distinctly un-boy band move, however, BBMak reportedly writes and produces most of its songs, and doesn't do any synchronized dancing.

Acoustic jangle-pop band Sister Hazel achieved commercial success with its 1997 hit, "All For You." The Florida-based group's latest album, "Fortress," features the single "Change Your Mind."

Rounding out the roster is a little Rasta. Grammy-winning Jamaican reggae star Shaggy exploded onto the music scene with the international 1993 hit "Oh Carolina." Since then, he has recorded the 1995 hit single, "Boombastic," along with "Love Me, Love Me," with Janet Jackson. His latest single, "Dance and Shout," was released in March.

In short, Big Freakin' Deal aims to provide a little something for everyone.

"What we've got here is six bands for 30 bucks, and it's an all-day thing," said KISS-FM music director Marcus D. "Smash Mouth is like a big frat party on stage. BBMak gets all the little girls in a frenzy. Shaggy's on the Rasta tip. . . . We're trying to encompass all forms of music."

If you play it, says Marcus D., they will come.

"The thing about Seattle is, people will come and see whoever if it's a really good vibe. People are all about vibing in the sunshine."

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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