Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ransom E. Olds performs at Thunder Valley

REO Speedwagon

(LR) Dave Amato, Neal Doughty, Kevin Cronin, Bryan Hitt, and Bruce Hall


Everyone knows them as REO Speedwagon.

Playing to an almost full house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday, 66 year old founding member Neal Doughty was the first to make it onstage. Leaving their walkers behind the rest of the crew slowly made their way onstage – I know they didn’t have walkers, quite the contrary these guys were in great shape.

As for the name REO Speedwagon, Doughty named the band after a flatbed truck he studied in college called Ransom E. Olds Speed Wagon, commonly referred to as Reo Speed Wagon. Doughty decided to call the band R.E.O. rather than Reo.

REO Speedwagon

Neal Doughty

Joining Doughty onstage were Kevin Cronin (lead vocals, guitar), Bruce Hall (bass), Dave Amato (lead guitar), Bryan Hitt (drums). They warmed up the audience with “Don’t Let Him Go” and “Music Man,” then kicking it up a notch with “Take It on the Run,” as the audience provided supporting vocals.

At some point during the show the 58 year old Hitt decided to take his shirt off. Most of the audience cheered, but come on!! He’s 58 ““ dude give us a break! At least Steven Tyler stopped the practice some time ago (at least for the most part).

REO SPeedwagon

Kevin Cronin – Click for more images

Continuing on with “Keep Pushin’,” “Golden Country,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” the audience became somewhat subdued, but remained engaged throughout the concert, just not on their feet cheering on the band.

As the band left and came back for their encore, they lost quite a few fans as they headed for the exits. Their encore included “Keep on Lovin’ You,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and ended with “157 Riverside Avenue.” Even more fans started filing out after “Keep on Lovin’ You.”

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon

During their encore the audience was completely engaged with “Keep on Lovin’ You,” but once they started “157 Riverside Avenue,” most of the fans were back in their seats, or headed for the doors. They really should have ended the night with “Keep on Lovin’ You.”

Cronin did an excellent job with vocals and sounds much like he did all those years ago. While his voice is a bit more gravelly, I believe it’s enhanced his sound.

All in all it was a good concert. There were some rough spots in the middle and they could have ended on a better note, but Cronin and crew did a great job keeping the audiences attention with plenty of picks flying through the air. Protection Status

Papa Roach pulls out of UPROAR Festival


Jacoby Shaddix – Click for more images

Papa Roach pulls out of UPROAR Festival after only playing five of the scheduled 30 dates.

This after the 36 year old lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix, announced that he had to undergo vocal cord surgery in order to remove a nodule that has been causing him problems.

“It’s no secret that I’ve been having issues with my voice lately,” Shaddix said, “I was hoping to be able to go out there and kill it on this tour by resting and doing vocal exercises, but my voice has just gone out on me. I hate to let our fans down, but unfortunately surgery is the only way to fix it.”

The Rockstar Energy Drink sponsored tour also includes Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind and Adelitas Way. The tour continues through September 30th, when it wraps up in Albuquerque, NM

The Vacaville-based band is responsible for hits “Last Resort”, “Between Angels And Insects”, “She Loves Me Not”, “…To Be Loved”, “Scars”, “Forever”, and “Hollywood Whore”.

Papa Roach will be releasing a new album The Connection  in early October.


Frank Hannon’s Six String Soldiers

Frank Hannon

Frank Hannon – Click for more images

Tesla’s Frank Hannon has proven, once again, that he has complete command of all things guitar.

Hannon’s last album, Gypsy Highway, took the listener on an acoustical journey through the heart, as he stepped outside the world of rock and introduced us to his folksier side.

Hannon’s latest creation, Six String Soldiers, is nothing short of rock legend, as he builds on his foundation of hard driving rock, bringing a few of his friends along for the ride. His army of soldiers include 3 time Grammy winner Rick Derringer (Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo), Pat Travers (Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights), Dave Meniketti (founder of Y&T), and Dicky Betts (“‘Ramblin” Man).

Lending his vocals to the album is Jeff Sandoval, who does a commendable job with his smooth vocals on songs such as “Cross Your Mind” and “Love, Life, and Beauty.” Drummer Cortney DeAgustine even jumps into the fray on “Redemption,” as she provides backing vocals for Sandoval.

Leading the charge is the bluesy  “I’M Alive,” featuring Pat Travers, followed by my favorite “Set Me Free.”

“Lipstick, Smoke -N- Gasoline” featuring Dave Meniketti deserves a mention for its over-the-top riffs and overall tune as it insinuates itself into every fiber of your being, driving you to nod your head to the beat – for the true rockers out there that would be banging your head to the beat.

Six String Soldiers is what rock is all about!

Track Listing:
1. I’m Alive (feat. Pat Travers)
2. Set Me Free
3. Six String Soldiers
4. Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline (feat. Dave Meniketti)
5. Invincible
6. Cross Your Mind
7. Touch the Ground (feat. Dickey Betts)
8. I’m Just Sayin’
9. Love, Life and Beauty
10. To the Light (feat. Rick Derringer)
11. Redemption
12. 12.21

WTF Department: Cher Lloyd booed offstage

Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd – Click for more images

X-factor alum Cher Lloyd was recently booed off stage in London, at the annual V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

Apparently the 19 year old Lloyd was only two songs into her set when the booing started. She left the stage in tears after someone threw a bottle that contained urine at the “‘Swagger Jagger’ singer.

You read that right ““ a bottle of friggin urine. WTF?

Come on people! Why the hell would someone throw a bottle of urine at somebody like Cher Lloyd, who is all of 5 foot nothing. Actually, what would make someone throw a bottle of urine at anyone?

The bigger question is why the hell was someone toting around a bottle of urine?

After a few minutes Lloyd came back out and told the crowd;

“It’s hard enough being up here, but it’s not nice having bottles of piss chucked at you.”

Taking to Twitter after the show Lloyd wrote, “Thank you so much for all the nice messages, shame that a couple of people had to ruin it. Unfortunately a glass bottle got thrown at me on stage. Tomorrow is another day, big love to my brats!!!”

Her fans are referred to as Brats.

Last year Lloyd admitted that she was afraid to leave her house due to the amount of negative criticism she was receiving. At the time she was quoted as saying, “I know people think I’m a bitch but they don’t realize I put on a massive front. When I go home and close the door I break down, phone my mum and dad and cry. It got to the point when I thought ‘Why am I doing this?'”

This year’s V Festival was headlined by The Stone Roses and The Killers, with other bands including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Enemy, Example, Miles Kane and Frank Turner.

To whoever threw the bottle of urine ““ Piss off you wanker!


Krall Enthralls

Diana Krall

Diana Krall – Click for more images

Grammy winning jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall transformed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater into a concert hall, as she brought her sultry and sexy smooth voice along with several, very talented, musicians.

It was amazing to watch the audience as Krall kicked off the show with Nat king Cole’s “I Just Found Out About Love” and her own “Lost My Mind.” After giving her a standing ovation to start, the audience was completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop, it was that quiet. If fact, the bars around the amphitheater were dishing out ice as quietly as possible, which isn’t easy.

There wasn’t a bad seat in the house as the hypnotic sounds traveled throughout the amphitheater reaching into the farthest corners, and sounding as if you were sitting center stage. The quiet calm of the crowd was interrupted a couple of times. The first interruption was by a passing train, and the second was caused by someone backstage, who accidentally hit the horn on a golf cart.

Anthony Wilson

Anthony Wilson – Click for more images

As the 47 year old Krall continued with “So Nice” and “You Call it Madness,” her trio of musicians poured their heart and soul into their instruments, taking the music on an emotional roller coaster. Included in the quartet was Karriem Riggins (drums), Robert Hurst (bass), and Anthony Wilson (guitar), and of course Krall on the piano.

The gracious Krall introduced the band members a couple of times during the performance, to ensure they received the credit they deserved.

In particular, Wilson’s guitar playing was nothing short of breathtaking as his fingers flew up and down the neck of the guitar, bringing the guitar to life and providing some very dramatic solos.

There were several shouts of “I Love You Diana,” with her responding in kind, causing the audience to erupt in applause.

Diana Krall

Diana Krall

The atmosphere was better suited for an intimate evening complete with a candle lit dinner rather than at an outdoor amphitheater, but Krall pulled it off as she continued with more of Nat King Cole’s works “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and  “The Frim Fram Sauce,” captivating the audience as they hung on every note.

Next month Krall will be releasing her newest album Glad Rag Doll. According to Krall, “It’s not coy. It’s not ‘peel me a grape,’ little girl stuff. I feel this album’s very womanly – like you’re lying next to your lover in bed whispering this in their ear.”

Krall, with the help of some really talented musicians, put on a tremendous show. I have never seen an audience so quiet and completely immersed in the music and the moment.

A little wine, a little music, add some major league talent, and you have one hell of a magical evening.


Getting Some ZZ’s at Thunder Valley Casino

ZZ Top

Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons – Click for more images

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s ZZ Top brought their legendary beards and rockin blues attitude to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday.

Frank Beard

Sweet drum set!

ZZ Top, consisting of Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums, kicked of their show with “I Thank You” and “Waiting for the Bus,” as avid ZZ Top fans filled the outdoor amphitheater to capacity – some diehard fans were sporting their own long beards.

A number of fans were getting their ganja on as a brief video came on introducing band members Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums. You could see Beard (yes, the only one not sporting a beard) climbing into his nest of drums. Once the crowd spotted him they all began cheering.

Billy Gibbons

Billy Gibbons – Click for more images

Friday night was a special day for Beard as his brand new drum set, complete with pistons, gas tanks, and whole lotta skeletons, arrived at Thunder Valley for the drums inaugural performance. In between songs Beard could be seen admiring his sparkly new set.

As the band continued to play “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Pincushion,” and “Heard It on The X,” the crowd remained standing, with some fans dancing in the aisles.

ZZ Top played their latest single “I Gotsta Get Paid,” off their new album La Futura, due out in September. The song was recently in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed, and appears on the soundtrack for the film Battleship. It’s a catchy tune!

This is the band’s first album in 9 years and includes “Flyin’ High,” which actually debuted in outer space. It wasn’t quite completed yet, but NASA astronaut Mike Fossum asked to hear it while en route to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spaceship ““ kinda cool.

Dusty Hill

Dusty Hill – Click for more images

They played “Sharped Dressed Man” followed by “Legs,” as they pulled out their white furry guitars, causing the crowd to cheer even louder. After “Legs” the band exited the stage, only to come back and play “Tube Snake Boogie,” “LaGrange,” and “Tush.”

While I think this was a great concert, due to the fact it was ZZ Top, I believe they missed the mark musically. At times it was difficult to make out what they were playing, which could have been attributed to the sound system. However, other concerts at this venue have sounded superb, so that would be doubtful. I may have been in the minority, as most fans were singing along to quite a few songs.

Frank Beard

Frank Beard – Click for more images


A critical error was ending the show with “Tush,” as it left the crowd, not wanting more, but expecting more, with a number of boos coming from the audience as they made their way to the exits. In fact, most of the audience remained until the house lights were brought up and Brancombe Richmond came out to thank everyone for being there and announcing the upcoming lineup for Thunder Valley’s Summer Concert Series.


I Thank You
Waiting for The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Heard It on The X
I Gotsta Get Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin
Vincent Price Blues
My Heads in Mississippi
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Sharped Dressed Man

Tube Snake Boogie

Cher Lloyd’s Debut Album Drops in October

Cher Lloyd – Click for more images

Brit teen pop sensation Cher Lloyd is putting the finishing flourishes on her highly anticipated U.S. debut, Sticks + Stones, which now has a new confirmed release date of October 2nd, push back from a September release date. The perky perfectionist wanted to ensure that no details were missed on Sticks + Stones for her fanatical U.S. fans. The American version of Sticks + Stones, released via Epic Records/Syco, will vary slightly from the 2011 U.K. version, which debuted at #4 in the U.K. The US album includes never-before-heard songs, as well as a few surprise guests. Cher explains that Sticks + Stones is “like a jukebox! Lots of different sounds and no two songs sound the same. I’ve put a lot into the album.”

Cher will make her second major U.S. TV appearance on the Today Show August 30th.

Clearly, the pint-sized pop-star is winning over U.S. fans by the masses, as further proven by her afternoon of fan-packed mayhem during a recent visit to West Hollywood’s Millions of Milkshakes. Police had to intervene as several thousand of Cher’s beloved “Brats” mobbed the streets for a glimpse of the saucy teen singer.  (Take a look at the Brat Attack madness here: Cher’s mouth-watering milkshake is made from Oreos, marshmallows, banana, and caramel sauce–topped with whipped cream and a cherry–and, in homage to her beloved fans, the sweet treat is called the Brat Attack.

For those who can’t get enough from their new fave, Cher entertains more than two million Twitter followers who hang on her every word. And as Cher takes care to make sure every detail is perfect for the American release of Sticks + Stones in preparation for its October 2nd release, she gushes, “I can’t wait for everyone to hear the songs in full.”  Fortunately for her Brats, the wait is almost over!


Scott Stapp to Release Tell All Book


Scott Stapp of Creed

Scott Stapp, Grammy Award winning voice of the multi-platinum selling band, Creed, announces his first tell-all memoir slated for an October 2, 2012 release. Recognized as one of the most accomplished artists of the modern rock era, Stapp’s memoir, Sinner’s Creed, unleashes behind the scene realities about his suicide attempts, alcohol-induced rampages and intimate details about his abusive childhood.

Stapp is no stranger to controversy in the media, yet through the rise and fall of fame, has managed to maintain his status as a multi-platinum artist selling more than 50 million albums worldwide. Die-hard Creed fans continue to line up for Creed tickets to watch Stapp deliver an unforgettable rock experience.

Scott Stapp collaborated with David Ritz of Rolling Stone Magazine to write a compelling story of his life. Ritz, a notable writer of biographies, has written memoirs for Janet Jackson and the best seller, “Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye.”

“The book describes my childhood, my internal battle with drugs and depression and how I lost control of my life,” says Scott Stapp. “My memoir reveals never before released details about my life and the challenges I’ve faced before coming to grips and finding sobriety.”

Sinner’s Creed is a riveting, untold story of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Finally, Stapp reveals what it is like to be at the height of controversy due to his fame, faith and addictions and why he has tried to avoid one-on-one interviews until now. The book discloses the true story of a man living on the edge at full tilt.  Sinner’s Creed is chock-full of page-turning experiences of a rock and roll visionary who was brought down to his knees by the pressures of fame, alcohol and an uncontrollable depression disorder. Through self-discovery and conviction, Scott Stapp was able to rise up again and walk a clean and sober path. In the midst of reconnecting with his fans while on tour, Scott has finally come full circle — a turnaround he credits to his renewed faith in God. Once a sinner, always a sinner, but what was once broken, has the power to heal.

Sinner’s Creed will go on sale October 2, 2012, available in hard copy and e-book versions through Tyndale Publishing. Visit, or


Smokey Robinson

Concert Photography

Smokey Robinson – Click for more images

Over 4,500 fans braved the 100 plus temperatures to see the legendary Smokey Robinson at Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater Saturday night ““ you could say it was a smoking show due to the heat, but that would be a lame joke.

Despite the heat, the 72 year old Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee arrived on stage decked out in a white suit and tie, as the audience jumped to their feet welcoming Robinson to Thunder Valley Casino.

Robinson, known for his high tenor voice, has accumulated more than 4,000 songs to his credit, so his set-list for the evening was anyone’s guess.

Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson

He kicked it off with “Going to a Go Go” and “Second that Emotion,” both hits made famous by the Miracles in the mid-sixties, with Robinson as lead singer.

The audience was in full participation mode as fans sang along with songs like “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “Tears of a Clown,” and “Tracks of My Tears.”

After hearing the audiences response as he finished singing “Ooh Baby Baby,” he said he probably should have started the show with that one.

Gratuitous dancing hotty

Throwing a bit of local humor into the show Robinson said he really appreciated everyone taking the time to come out and see him, especially in a town like Lincoln, where there’s so much to do on a Saturday.

Robinson talked about a show called the Motown Review, where you could see the likes of The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others, all for a $1.60. This lead into a medley of Temptation hits.

At one point he brought audience members Lisa and Porsche onto the stage and assigned sections of the audience to each one. The goal ““ Cheer their section on to be the loudest. I believe Porsche’s group was the clear winner, but I’m sure Lisa would have something to say about that.

Robinson is a true entertainer and after over 50 years of performing he still knows how to put on a great show and keep the audience entertained. It was a smoking good show ““ I just had to.

Checkout the remaining outdoor concerts at Thunder Valley Casino. Next weekend is ZZ Top and Diana Krall.

ABBAsolutely Good Time at Thunder Valley Casino


(LR) Jenny Gustafsson and Vicky Zetterberg

When I think of a rock concert I think of head banging, guitar shredding, and a pot induced road trip and last night I was missing the shredding and banging, but damn the trip was right-on, as Arrival from Sweden, The Music of ABBA kicked some major tribute band butt ““ Mamma Mia, they were good!

It was as if I was lost in the 70’s as Arrival kicked their show off with “That’s Me,” playing to an overflowing crowd in Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s Pano Hall on Friday night.

I was a bit confused as Pano Hall started filling up with mostly gray hairs. It’s not like ABBA’s been around for almost 40 years ““ Oh crap!! They have! That makes me a friggin gray hair, damned if my therapist wasn’t right.

Joining founding member Vicky Zetterberg (playing Anni-Frid) onstage was Jenny Gustafsson (playing Agnetha), six musicians, and three female back-up singers.

After “That’s Me” Gustafsson explained to the crowd that ABBA was an acronym for the original members of the band ABBA, consisting of Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.


ABBA – Arrival from Sweden – Click for more images

It was interesting as Gustafsson and Zetterberg told stories of the original ABBA bringing out the true meaning to some of their songs. For example, when telling the audience about the long term engagement of Andersson and Lyngstad, they segued into “I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do.”

The funny thing about Andersson and Lyngstad’s longterm engagement, or maybe not so funny, is after a twelve year engagement, Lyngstad finally said yes ““ They were divorced a year and a half later – You know there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

That was the beginning of the end for ABBA as they disbanded in 1982.

The evening continued with Gustafsson and Zetterberg telling stories and singing like the real deal. I was amazed when someone was leaving the concert because they were upset that this wasn’t the real ABBA. I’m just thankful that the real ABBA wasn’t onstage wearing those skimpy outfits, plus, would the original band sound this good? I doubt it.


Arrival – Click for more images

As for the six musicians, they were extremely tight and sounded magnificent, couple that with the pitch perfect performance of Gustafsson and Zetterberg, and you had the perfect ABBA tribute band.

The show was broken up into two halves with a brief intermission. Each half included a medley of hits, so they could fit more of their hits into the show. They played hits such as “SOS,” “Waterloo,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Thank You.”

Due to the age range of the audience, it was pretty subdued, with a handful of fans dancing in the aisles, but that all change with their closing song . . . “Dancing Queen,” as everyone jumped up to dance and clap their hands.

ABBA has sold close to 400 million records and they’ve been compared to Elvis and the The Beatles in terms of sales. The musical “Mamma Mia,” was based on the hits of ABBA and was a worldwide sensation.

All I can say is it was an ABBAsolutely fabulous show!



Backup Singers – Click for more images

That’s Me
I Do I Do I Do
Knowing Me Knowing You
When I Kissed
Medley: I’ve Been, Honey, He’s Your Fernando
Money Money Money
Mamma Mia


Voulez Vous
Does Your Mother Know
Medley: Kisses, Angel Eyes, Lay All Your Love on Me, Gimme Gimme, Super Trouper, Name of the Game, Eagle
The Winner
Take a Chance
Hole in Your Soul
Thank You
Dancing Queen


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