Monthly Archives: September 2012

Aftershock Hits Sacramento

Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, came alive as the first annual Monster Energy Aftershock Music Festival roared into town on Sunday as 13 hard/alternative rock bands played to over 12,000 screaming fans.

Discovery Park gone wild! Click for more crowd shots

Sponsoring the event along with Monster Energy was Sacramento’s own 98 Rock, along with Schecter Guitar Research, Jagermeister, and Arms Division.

98 Rock’s Pat Martin – Click for more images

There was a large stage for the more mainstream acts and a smaller stage for the lessor known acts, leaving very little downtime between sets, with the exception of Stone Temple Pilots, who closed the show, but more on that later.

People didn’t have far to walk since the two stages were close together, but as the day heated up many fans camped out under some shade towards the center of the park, providing them with the ability to listen to either stage. There was the occasional fan passed out in the middle of the park, but I guess that’s to be expected.

There was plenty of food and drinks to be had, including several popular food trucks from the area. Beer and mixed drinks were also available. The lines for food and drinks were constant, but not too long. The merchant’s booth had constant lines as well with the wait being a little more than for food.

Sammy Karlin of Fallrise – Click for more images

The bands included FallRise, Stepchild, Beware of Darkness, Gemini Syndrome, Theory of a Deadman, Hell or Highwater, Chevelle,  Escape the Fate, Bush, Oleander, Deftones, Hollywood Undead, and Stone Temple Pilots.

Leading off the pack was Sacramento’s own Fallrise on the main stage followed by Stepchild on the second stage. Both bands were well received and did an awesome job. They were one of the few lucky bands since there was still some cloud cover keeping the area cooled off.

As the music started ramping up with Beware of Darkness and Gemini Syndrome, so did the crowd as a couple of thousand blossomed into at least four thousand in between bands. As the crowd grew, so did the plume of smoke as many concertgoers lit up their holiest of weed, with some heading into the mosh pit for a little head-banging.

Phil Braun of Stepchild – Click for more images

By the time Chevelle hit the main stage there were at least 10,000 energized fans that were ready to rock, as a number of them started crowd surfing. As one person rode the wave into the pit (only to be escorted out) another one would follow. The constant stream of surfers kept security personnel pretty busy for the better part of the day.

Sacramento was well represented with not only Fallrise and Stepchild opening the festival, but helping closeout the event was Oleander and the Deftones. The Deftones also have a new album that will be released in November Koi No Yokan.

Kyle Nicolaides of Beware of Darkness – Click for more images

The biggest standout of the festival was by far Beware of Darkness, with lead singer Kyle Nicolaides killing it with his raspy vocals, onstage antics, and overall stage presence. They could have easily have been deeper in the lineup as Nicolaides owned the stage. He has a Lady Gaga style about him that is bound to take him to new heights.

The biggest surprise of the festival goes to Bush who kicked some major arse as lead singer Gavin Rossdale put on a very high energy show in 90+ degree weather. The 46 year old, and quite fit, Rossdale ventured out into the crowd making his way to a platform off to the side reserved for the handicap. He was constantly fist-bumping and high-fiving fans as he waded through the ever increasing number of fans. Bush still has what it takes and clearly should have been the headliner of the festival.

Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome – Click for more images

The biggest disappointment goes to Stone Temple Pilots as their set was delayed with thousands of fans patiently waiting, but the real disappointed was once they got going. Lead singer Scott Weiland sounded a bit off at the start of their set, but was able to bring it home towards the end. However, due to the long wait and the sound being off, hundreds of fans started heading towards the exits before they even finished their first song “Sin.”

I should add that Theory of a Deadman deserved to be further in the lineup, especially after STP’s performance.

My 13 year old son Aidan said his favorite band (other than Hollywood Undead) was the one with Gandolf as the lead singer –  hmmm –  that must have been Gemini Syndrome with lead singer Aaron Nordstrom (as Gandolf).

Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman – Click for more images

Hat’s off to all the drunken fans that were totally wasted and were passed out on the grass, or on grass – as the case may be. Over fifty cabs awaited those more responsible and well behaved fans that were feeling no pain. I just hope the cabbies had barf bags for the short trip home.

The Aftershock Music Festival was a complete success with thousands of fans coming out to have a good time. This should send a message to organizers that the Sacramento region is hungry for similar events in the future. I’m looking forward to the 2ndannual Aftershock Music Festival in 2013.

Matt Pauling of Hell or Highwater



Here is a complete list of bands in order of appearance:

Fallrise (main stage)
Sammy Karlin (lead singer)
Matt Thomas (guitar)
Dave Gorman (guitar)
Anthony Grant (bass)
Isaiah Abdul-Rahman (drum)

Stepchild (2nd stage)
Jimmy Alexander – Lead Vocals
Matt Timbers – Lead Vocals
Garrett Voorhees – Guitar
Phil (Skip) Braun – Bass
Brian (Beatdown) Kelly – Drums

Pete Loeffler of Chevelle – Click for more images


Beware of Darkness (main stage)
Kyle Nicolaides (vocals, guitar)
Tony Cupito (drums)
Daniel Curcio (bass)

Gemini Syndrome (2nd stage)
Aaron Nordstrom (lead vocals)
Rich Juzwick (guitar)
Mike Salerno (guitar)
Alessandro Paveri (bass)
Brian Steele Medina (drums)

TJ Bell or Escape the Fate – Click for more images

Theory of a Deadman (main stage)
Tyler Connolly (lead singer)
Dave Brenner (guitar)
Dean Back (bass)
Joey Dandeneau (drums)

Hell or Highwater (2nd stage)
Brandon Saller (lead singer)
Matt Pauling (guitar)
Neal Tiemann (guitar)
Joey Bradford (bass)
Captain Carl (drums)

Gavin Rossdale of Bush – Click for mire images

Chevelle (main stage)
Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar)
Sam Loeffler (vocals/drums)
Dean Bernardini (bass)

Escape the Fate (2nd stage)
Craig Mabbitt (lead singer)
Monte Money (guitar)
Michael Money
Robert Ortiz (drummer)
TJ Bell (guitar)


Thomas Flowers of Oleander – Click for more images

Bush (main stage)
Gavin Rossdale – vocals/guitar
Chris Traynor – guitar
Corey Britz – bass
Robin Goodridge – drums

Oleander (2nd stage)
Thomas Flowers (lead singer)
Doug Eldridge (bass)
Ric Ivanisevich (
Steve Brown


Chine Moreno of the Deftones – Click for more images

Deftones (main stage)
Chino Moreno
Stephen Carpenter (guitar)
Abe Cunningham (drums)
Sergio Vega (bass, vocals)
Frank Delgado (keys, turntable)

Hollywood Undead (2nd stage)
George Ragan (Johnny 3 Tears)
Jorel Decker (J-Dog)
Jordon Terrell (Charlie Scene)
Dylan Alvarez (Funny Man)
Matthew St. Claire (Da Kurlzz)
Daniel Murillo  (Danny)

Stone Temple Pilots (main)
Scott Weiland (lead singer)
Dean DeLeo (guitar)
Robert DeLeo (bass, vocals)
Eric Kretz (drums)

Hollywood Undead – Click for more images

STP – Click for more images Protection Status

Andy Williams dead at 84

Andy Williams died Tuesday after battling bladder cancer for the past year.

The 84 year old singer passed away at his home in Branson Missouri, which is also the location of his Moon River Theater. The theater is named for one of his most famous songs “Moon River.”

Born Howard Andrew Williams, he soon became known as Andy Williams as he rose to stardom in 1954 when he became a regular on the original Tonight Show starring Steve Allen.

Williams is known for hits including “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” “Where Do I Begin” and “Happy Heart.”

The Andy Williams show ran from 1962 to 1971, he also starred in movies such as “Kansas City Kitty” and “Ladies’ Man.”

The family asks that donations be sent to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Group.

The King of the Accordion

The King of the Accordion – Click for more images

Yes!! There is a king of the accordion and his name is Ramon Ayala.

Ayala, a four-time Grammy winner packed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer amphitheater for the second year in a row on Friday night.

The 66 year old Ayala is a legend of norteño music and is one of the most recognized and best-selling artists of the genre.

Ayala played to norteño and tejano fans from both sides of the border, with fans singing along to every song. While I have no idea what the hell he was singing, I found it thoroughly entertaining as he worked his magic on the mostly older crowd.

Ayala arrived on stage with his trademark green, white and red accordion. The crowd erupted in cheers and several individuals made their way up to the stage to pay tribute to the man.

Ramon Ayala – Click for more images

Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a fan of the accordion, but I have to say when Ayala is playing its pretty spectacular to listen to.

Ayala was joined on stage by his band, known as Bravos del Norte. Band members were Mario Marichalar (bajo sexton and vocals), Fidencio Ayala (bass), Jose Luis Ayala (drums and vocals), David Laure (percussion) and Raul Rosales (emcee and percussion).

Lorenzo and Ayala

Ayala played a number of his hits including “Mi Piquito de Oro,” a Latin version of “Cotton Fields,” and “Un Puno de Tierra,” which had the entire audience on their feet.

Since I didn’t understand what was being said it was interesting watching the crowd’s reaction to, not only the music, but the dialog as emcee Rosales shouted out to the crowd. Apparently they were taking requests from audience members.

Midway through the performance Thunder Valley Casino gave away an autographed accordion signed the legendary performer. Audience member Lorenzo won the accordion and he was able to go onstage to collect his prize and meet the man himself.

Everyday I’m Shuttling

Space Shuttle Endeavour over State Capital – Click for more images

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is headed for mothballs as it makes its way to its final destination in Los Angeles, where it will be on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

As Endeavour has traveled across country it has been flown at lower altitudes over various cities, including Sacramento, as it headed to the San Francisco Bay Area and then on to Los Angeles.

Click for more images

The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off for the last time at 8:17 a.m. PT on Friday, leaving Edwards Air Force Base, California, atop a modified jumbo jet for a farewell tour through the state of California. It made two passes over the state capital at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet at around 220 miles per hour. While 220 m.p.h. is relatively slow for a 747, on the ground each pass lasted only 10 to 20 seconds.



Singing with Dummies

Terry Fator – Click for more images

America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator and his cast of wooden characters took the stage Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, complete with backing band and one mighty fine assistant.

Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.

Winston as the Phantom – Click for more images

Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.

Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.

Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.

Christine (the mighty fine nurse), Walter and Fator

As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.

Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”

Audience member Rob with Fator

Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).

Wrex – Click for more images

There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.

Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”

This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again.  Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I  have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know,  but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.


Whipping It at Sunrise MarketPlace

Deborah Harry – Click for more images

What do you get when you mix a bombastic blonde with a quirky group of men? Some might say an odd mix of new and old as Blondie and Devo rollout their Whip It to Shreds Tour, bringing with them some newer material.

With only 13 dates scheduled in the Whip It to Shreds Tour, Sunrise Marketplace was lucky to land the unlikely duo for the last night of the Sunrise at Night Concert Series on Friday.

Over thirty years ago both Blondie and Devo were household names in the music world, as MTV was ramping up to play a steady stream of music videos, California had an actor as Governor, and Madonna was a piece of art, not a piece of work.

Ahh, so much has changed since then, just ask a teenager who Blondie or Devo is. You’ll get one of those looks that make you feel older than dirt – trust me I’ve seen that look.

Devo – Click for more images

Neither group is standing on their laurels either as both are out promoting their new work. Blondie with her latest album Panic of Girls and Devo with their album Something for Everybody. Both albums have respectable reviews, but could they possibly invoke trips down memory lane as some of their hits do? Songs like Blondie’s disco-infused “Heart of Glass,” and Devo’s wildly popular “Whip It?” I think not.

Devo started out as a twenty something group of nerdy guys and have “devolved” into a sixty something group of nerdy guys. The weirdest part for me was these guys were awesome! Their sound, their message, their style, played well in the 70’s and 80’s, and it plays well in the 10’s (I guess that’s what you call the 2010’s).

With brothers Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, and Gerald and Bob Casale, all original band members, Devo kicked off their set with “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)” and “Peek-A-Boo!”, wearing plastic masks in what looked like some type of uniform.

Mark Mothersbaugh – Click for more images

During their set they played three songs off their latest album “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man),” “What We Do,” and “Fresh.” The rest of their songs were their oldies, but goodies.

As is normal for this quirky group of guys, there were numerous wardrobe changes, plenty of videos playing in the background and even popcorn flying through the air. “Whip It” found the group wearing their signature hats as fans went crazy.

After a brief set-change Blondie made their way on stage as original lead singer Deborah Harry came out singing “Dreaming” and “Hanging on the Telephone.” Deborah sounded good and the audience gave her a warm welcome, but I believe they made a fatal mistake, as do most aging bands. They played too many newer songs, losing the audience.

Deborah Harry

As Blondie continued with “Love Doesn’t Frighten Me” and “D-Day,” both songs from their latest album, the crowd settled down. However, whenever they started in with an old hit like “Call Me,” the crowd would go wild, only to settle back down while the continued on to a new song. They played a total of six new songs, one from 2003, and five from 2011, all unfamiliar to the crowd.

Her encore won the audience back as she closed with “Relax” and “Heart of Glass.”

In my opinion Devo was the better performance with their quirky style. I’m surprised that I’m saying this, but I think Devo should have been the headliner, or close the show, as their tour is being billed as “co-headlining.” In the end Blondie played too many newer songs, while Devo, for the most part, stuck to the sounds that got them where they are today.

This show concludes the Sunrise at Night Concert Series at Sunrise MarketPlace. It all started when Sunrise started to host the Sacramento Capitals and erected a small arena, so the powers to be decided to, dare I say capitalize, on having arena by turning it into an outdoor concert venue.

Sunrise at Night Concert Series – during the day!!


The Series brought over 10,000 people to Sunrise Marketplace, with 7,000 concert goers coming from outside the area. These were people who normally would not have made the effort to visit the area.

Devo at the Sunrise at Night Concert Series

Many of the visitors who had not been to Sunrise Marketplace in quite some time were surprised and impressed with the number of changes to the area. Merchants also saw in increase in sales with close to 50% of attendees visiting and patronizing their favorite stores.

While the concert series got off to a slow start it gained momentum as the season unfolded, ending with full house for their final concert.

Look for an even more exciting concert series next season!




Forrest Day to open for Flobots at Ace of Spades

Forrest Day – Gotta love the album cover!

Flobots, Forrest Day, and Astronautalis will make their way to Ace of Spades in Sacramento on September 18th at 7:00 pm.

The Flobots will be touring to promote their new album The Circle in the Square, starting September 14th! However, the big news is San Francisco Bay Area sensation Forrest Day will be opening for the Flobots on the western leg of their tour, along with Astronautalis.

Forrest Day has been accused of sounding a lot like rock, jazz, reggae, and even rap, as he passionately sings about everyday issues. His meticulously crafted tunes will have your toe tapping, your head bobbing, and your mind reeling as he lays out life’s struggles in a high energy show.

Forrest Day is coming off of a highly successful release of their self-titled debut album, Forrest Day. With a second album in the works, fans may get a sneak peak of what to expect when they play Ace of Spades.

You won’t want to miss this exciting night, and trust me when I say that you’ll walk away from the show talking about Forrest Day and the meaning of life, or you’ll just be scratching your head asking yourself, ‘What just happened in there?’ Either way it’s bound to be one hell of an experience.

Jasmine’s in the air at the Fountains

Jasmine V – Click for more images

Jasmine Villegas, better known as Jasmine V. was at the Fountains at Rosevilleon Sunday in support of AT&T’s No Text On Board tour, as throngs of Jasminators (as her fans are known) turned out in support of their favorite pop singer.

The 18 year old Villegas is an up and coming R&B, pop singer and has made appearances in Justin Bieber’s music video for his hit single “Baby,” as well as the Kid’s Choice Awards. She’s also made a few appearances in Bieber’s most recent tour.

AT&T is using the No Text On Board Tour to get the word out about texting and driving. Their tagline is #itcanwait and you can take the pledge at

They can’t get the word out quick enough! I had several near misses on the way over to the fountains as people continue to text, use their phones, and do other idiotic things while driving. People, I’d like to get to where I’m going without having to perform numerous defensive maneuvers.

Jasmine’s brothers Jream Andrew and Justin

Since Villegas’ performance was scheduled at the last minute, the Fountains at Roseville, as well as local radio station 107.9 The End had very little time to get the word out. Not a lot of fans showed up, but the diehard fans who follow Villegas through social media were able to get the inside scoop as she tweeted;

“#SacramentoAreaJasminators my No Text On Board Tour sponsored by @ATT is coming to Fountains at Roseville Center 9/9 @2pm RT if u’re coming!?”

Jasminators greet their hero – Click for more images

As around 600 fans gathered around the stage Villegas’ older brother Jream Andrew was entertaining the crowd along with younger brother Justin, by asking the crowd questions about Jasmine such as;

“What was the title of Jasmine’s first music video?” – answer: “I Own This”

The first person to answer the questions correctly won a ticket to Paranorman, or a T-shirt compliments of The End.

Right away Villega’s invited a number of young ladies up onstage to dance to her hit “Werk.” She followed up with “Jealous,” as fans kept shouting out that they loved her.

Front row for these ladies – compliments of The End.

Villegas sang a song with her brother Jream and then Jream went solo with “Grillin.” There were a number of Jream fans with signs, as well as plenty of signs for Villega’s.

Villegas ended the set with “Just a Friend.” Afterward the fans were treated to a meet and greet.

It’s great that AT&T is sponsoring these types of events. Texting while driving is extremely irresponsible, selfish, and just downright stupid – so please don’t!




Kooling Down at Sunrise MarketPlace

Kool and the Gang – Click for more images

Kool & the Gang, along with fellow R&B legends The Commodores, played to a very enthusiastic crowd of close to 2,000 fans Saturday night at Sunrise MarketPlace’s Sunrise at Night Concert Series.

This is the first year with an expanded venue at Sunrise MarketPlace, and my first time visiting. It was spacious with beer, wine, and Margaritas available along with various food choices such as hotdogs. Depending on where you were seated, you could be lazy and have a waiter/waitress get your drinks.

I found the sound lacking on the side bleachers, but still pretty loud. If you’re one of those purists who must have their sound just right, then you may want to get your tickets for the center area.

There really isn’t a bad seat in the house with a great view from pretty much any seat in the amphitheater. There are a few seats around the spotlights that may feel “cramped” if you are sitting right next to the platform, but that area is general admission and you can sit where you want – so don’t sit next to the lights, unless you think that’s Kool.

Sunrise at Night Concert Series

Many amphitheaters have monitors, or big projector screens for the cheap seats, but with such a small footprint fans didn’t have a problem seeing the action onstage.

Ok enough about the venue and on to the action, and there was plenty of action, with the exception of an overly long set-change.

Just prior to the concert someone came up to me and said he almost didn’t come out to the concert after he found out that Lionel Richie was no longer with The Commodores. Seriously!? Where have you been for the last 30 years!? Richie is gone people, get over it.

The Commodores stormed the stage playing “Too Hot Ta Trot,” followed by “Easy” with most fans on their feet and singing along. As for the great seating, that all goes down the proverbial crapper when everyone in front of you stands up to boogie down.

The Commodores – Click for more images

The three front men for The Commodores put on a high energy show and were in constant motion their entire set. They were founding members Walter Orange, William King, and longtime member J.D. Nicholas.

They headed into their encore with “Brick House,” but deviated in the middle with a bit of audience participation as they were simply jamming and yelling out to the audience with phrases such as “Say Yo Yo,” leading back into, and finishing off the set with, “Brick House.”

Walter Orange was kicking himself after their set. He told me he just wasn’t “feeling it” during his performance. Orange said it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it really bothers him because he believes he can bring it up to a whole other level.

The set-change went way too long. According to my calculations, it took over 45 minutes, which is not a good thing for the fans, as some headed towards the door.

Walter Orange – Off night? No way!

Making a very Kool entrance Kool & the Gang, all dressed in white, came out singing “Fresh,” followed by “Tonight.” The crowd was pretty enthusiastic, but appeared to have more energy during The Commodores set. I attribute that to the lengthy intermission.

As they slowed it down with “Joanna” and “Too Hot,” most of the fans were singing the chorus along with the band. However, during the slower moments you could see a number of fans heading towards the door.

Kool & the Gang didn’t really hit their stride until late into their set. The vocals were lacking in the beginning songs, but seemed to smooth out as the night went on.

They really shined with “Get Down on It” leading into their finale with “Celebration,” which had the remaining crowd on their feet dancing and singing.

Kool & the Gangs Lavell Evans

It was a great concert, but whenever you have 30 minutes, or longer, for a set-change you’re going to lose some people. In this case Kool & the Gang wasn’t able to reenergize a number of their fans. I believe that impacted their performance, since bands and fans alike feed off each other’s energy.

As for the Sunrise at Night Concert Series – What can I say? It’s a nice little venue with an intimate feel and free parking, but more importantly they serve food and have a limited selection of alcohol, just be careful driving home!

Don’t miss Blondie and Devo as they bring their Whip it to Shreds tour to the Sunrise MarketPlace on Friday September 14th.

Embrace Your Funkiness

Morris Day – Click for more images

That’s what fans did at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday evening, when it turned into one funkalicious night as old school favorites Morris Day and the Time, S.O.S., Kurtis Blow, and Midnight Star tore it up for over three hours playing to an overflowing and extremely energetic crowd.

As Midnight Star took the stage and started playing “Electricity,” the crowd jumped to their feet and started dancing. There were very few occasions during the three hour show when the audience wasn’t standing.

Last time I saw Midnight Star I felt they were a little flat, but not tonight. They definitely brought their A-game as they continued with “Wet My Whistle” and “Midas Touch.”

Midnight Star – Click for more images

Band members consisted of Belinda Lipscomb (vocals), Melvin Gentry (guitar/vocals), Bo Watson (keyboard/vocals) and Bill Simmons (keyboards), Kenneth Gant (bass), and Bobby Lovelace (drums).

As they infuse pure energy into the crowd after ending their set with “No Parking (On the Dance Floor),” many in the crowd headed to the amphitheater bars, or remained standing and dancing to the music in between sets.

Kurtis Blow, The first rapper to ever be signed by a major label, came out blasting “If I Ruled the World” as he fully engaged the audience by saying ‘Say Yo!’ and then pointing the mic to the audience as they all screamed in unison ‘Yo’.

Kurtis Blow – Click for more images

Blow (ha! I said blow.) just wouldn’t shut up as he kept shouting out to the audience as only a true rapper can. In between songs he would continue rapping about being in Sacramento and giving a shout out to the audience. Some of the audience members started mingling more than paying attention to Blow, as a number of people headed to the bar, or bathroom, probably both.

Sounds Of Success (better known as S.O.S.) got everyone’s attention as they started up “Just the Way You Like It” and continued with “The Finest,” as fans were back on their feet dancing and singing. The crowd was on their feet bouncing to the music for the remainder of their set.

Founding member and lead singer Mary Davis was on fire as she blasted through their hits and finished with a flourish with the song that catapulted SOS to stardom back in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” Fellow members included original member Abdul Ra’oof (vocals/trumpet), with Celia Georgie  (background vocals), Sultan Muhammad (saxophone), Reginald Ward (guitar), Ben Smith (keyboards), Allen Smith (keyboards), and Crystal Martin (drums).

Mary Davis with SOS – Click for more images

After a brief set change, Prince Classmate and protégé, Morris Day made his way on stage with his personal assistant in tow. As only Day can do, he was continually checking himself in the mirror as he strutted around the stage.

Starting off with “Get It Up” Day had the crowd singing through most of his songs as he worked the crowd with his signature moves, classic sound and his stylish attire.

Decked out in a yellow paisley patterned suit the 53 year old Day continued with “Cool” as his assistant followed him around mimicking his moves as he spelled out the chorus C.O.O.L.

For the fans that still had their butts glued to their seats, band members would shout out for everyone to get on their feet and wave their hands in the air. The band member names I did catch were Ricky “Freeze” Smith (bass), Torrell “Tori” Ruffin (lead guitar), and Jellybean Johnson (drums).

Morris Day and The Time

Part way through his set Day explained that he was still cool regardless of sweating. He said it was condensation which cooled him down, meaning that he was still cool. It was at this point he headed off stage to cool down. When Day came back out he flawlessly sang “Gigalos Get Lonely Too,” which had many in the crowd dancing with their significant other.

Towards the end of his performance Day had a large number of fans up onstage to strut their stuff. You could see the excitement in many of their faces as they attempted to groove with the likes of Day.

While a few people left the show early, the amphitheater was still packed as Day completed the night with “Jungle Love,” leaving people dancing in the aisles and wanting more.

This was one of the more high-energy shows at Thunder Valley Casino Resorts Summer Concert Series.



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