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Blues Traveler one of the headliners at Utah State Fair

Published September 11, 2012 2:28 pm

Music • Victoria Justice set to take to the stage along with Blues Traveler, Wilson Phillips and Lonestar.
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Lonestar will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, and Blues Traveler will whoop it up during its own 25th-anniversary tour.

Those two long-running acts — along with veterans Sheena Easton, Wilson Phillips and Frank Caliendo — are some of the headliners playing concerts at this year's Utah State Fair.

But perhaps the most anticipated show of the Grandstand Entertainment series will feature Victoria Justice, the 19-year-old star of the Nickelodeon TV series "Zoey 101" (which ended in 2008) and "Victorious" (which wraps at the end of the current season).

It will be Justice's first time in Utah to perform a concert, although she visited the Beehive state at age 14 when she guest-starred in the TV series "Everwood," which was shot locally.

Now that her TV series is ending, Justice is determined to jump-start her singing career. "I am ready to move on," she said. "We're going out on top."

The Hollywood starlet — who was born and raised in Hollywood, Fla. — caught the acting bug when she was 8. "I was watching TV one day and saw a kid in a chip commercial," Justice said. "I said, 'Mom, I can do it.' " Her mother put her off, but Justice kept pestering until she relented and got the child signed with an agent.

In her first audition for an Ovaltine commercial, she wowed the casting agents. Before she turned 11, she had shot more than 30 commercials in Florida. Then her family moved to California to see if she could benefit from more show-business opportunities.

In 2005, Justice was cast in a main role in "Zoey 101" as Lola Martinez, a student and aspiring actress. Once the show went off the air — in part because "Zoey 101" star Jamie Lynn Spears became pregnant — Nickelodeon decided it wanted a show built around Justice. In "Victorious," Justice portrayed aspiring singer Tori Vega, a student at Hollywood Arts High School.

"I think I had a lot of experience," Justice said about landing her own series. "I always felt natural. I was a hard worker, too."

The top-rated show was a perfect opportunity for Justice to show off her vocal chops, and she ended up writing three pop songs that appeared in the series.

At the Utah State Fair, Justice will perform songs taken from "Victorious," along with covers that include "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. In recent concerts, she's performed "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 as well as a Bruno Mars medley. The three songs she wrote for "Victorious" — "Faster Than Boys," "Make It in America" and "Best Friend's Brother" — also have shown up on her concert set lists.

"I've been writing since I was 16," Justice said. "I'm writing from my heart."

Justice's "Make It in America" tour will finish up soon, and she'll return to working on her debut album, due to be released next year. She's also scheduled to promote "Fun Size," a film directed by Josh Schwartz, creator of "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl," which is set to be released Oct. 26.

"It's a huge deal for me," Justice said of the film. "It's my first leading role in a big movie." She stars as Wren, a student who loses track of her younger brother at a Halloween party she attends with her crush. " 'Fun Time' is different than being in a family TV show," Justice said. "My character is much more subdued — more of a real girl."

dburger@sltrib.com —

Utah State Fair lineup

Friday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m. • Wilson Phillips, $25

Saturday, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. • Jars of Clay, free with gate admission; seating ticket required

Sunday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. • Sheena Easton, free with gate admission; seating ticket required

Monday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m. • Victoria Justice, $22 in advance, $27 day of

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. • Lonestar, free with gate admission; seating ticket required

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. • Blues Traveler, free with gate admission; seating ticket required

Thursday, Sept. 13, 8:30 p.m. • Frank Caliendo, $22 in advance, $27 day of

Friday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. • Texaco Country Showdown, featuring Eric Paslay, free with gate admission; seating ticket required

Saturday, Sept. 15, all day • Fiesta Mexicana, free with gate admission

Info • All shows are reserved seating; listed ticket prices don't include online service fees. Paid show tickets include fair gate admission on the day of the show; free show tickets require admission fee.

Available • Free show seating tickets will be available at the Utah State Fair Grandstand Ticket Office beginning at noon the day of the show (limit six per adult). Children 3 and younger, who are able to sit on a parent's lap and don't require their own seat, don't need a separate ticket.






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