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Check out these events before the big game (Feb. 1, 2018)

The Ron McCurdy Quartet performs in The Langston Hughes project tonight at Concordia College. Special to The Forum1 / 4
John Saponaro performs his stand-up routine tonight at Fargo Brewing Company. Special to The Forum2 / 4
El Toro Loco is featured at Monster Jam this weekend at the Fargodome. Special to The Forum3 / 4
Local artists pay tribute to Tom Petty Friday night at Sanctuary Events Center. Special to The Forum4 / 4

The Super Bowl is on Sunday, in case you hadn’t heard. But without the Minnesota Vikings in it, who's really that excited for it? Here are a handful of other events before kick-off that will give you something else to think about.

1. Langston Hughes Project

Tonight

The written word comes to life tonight with the Langston Hughes Project. The Ron McCurdy Quartet supplies the jazz backbeat to the late, great writer's epic poem, "Ask Your Mama," on what would be the author's 116th birthday. Written in the 1960s, the 12-part work is Hughes' ode to civil rights and the arts and follows African music from tribal drumming to gospel, blues and, of course, jazz, showing the arc of Black culture in America. Show time is 7:30 p.m., Centrum, Knutson Campus Center, Concordia College. Tickets for the performance range from $10 to $20. https://www.concordiacollege.edu, or (218) 299-4366.

2. John Saponaro

Tonight

When Monster Jam pulls into town, so does John Saponaro, the man calling the action at the trucktacular events. You can hear the New Yorker elicit another kind of roar—laughter—when he performs his stand-up comedy set at Fargo Brewing Company, 610 University Dr., N., Fargo. Known for his parody news stories, the comic should have no shortage of material. Show starts at 8 p.m. with John Reierson opening. Tickets are $19. https://www.eventbrite.com.

3. Monster Jam

Friday & Saturday

Monster Jam rolls into the Fargodome, 1800 University Dr., N., this weekend for more crushing, jumping and engine revving. This year's redlining lineup includes Alien Invasion, EarthShaker, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Pirate's Curse and Zombie. Shows are at 7 p.m., Friday and 2 p.m., Saturday, with doors opening an hour before. Saturday's Pit Party from noon to 2 p.m., allows fans a closer look at the vehicles and drivers. Pit Party tickets are $10. Tickets for the shows range from $15 to $65. fargodome.com, (701) 241-9100.

4. Tom Petty Tribute

Friday

Tom Petty's death last year shocked fans around the world. Fargo-Moorhead artists come together this Friday to honor the late rocker with "I Won't Back Down". Bands like the Pat Lenertz Band, The Wicked Bees, The Human Element, Big & Hungry, Stovepipes and more will put their stamp on their favorite Petty tunes. Music starts at 8 p.m. at Sanctuary Events Center, 670 4th Ave. N., Fargo. Tickets for this ID-only show are $15 in advance, $20 the day of the show. https://jadepresents.com, (866) 300-8300.

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