SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento’s Radio 94.7 brought their first annual Electric Christmas event to Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, featuring alternative bands Cage the Elephant, Alt-J, GroupLove, Capital Cities, The Features, MS MR and special guest performance by the venerable rocker Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.
Not being familiar with most of the bands, I wasn’t expecting much from this musical cornucopia of alternative rockers. That all changed when I heard surprise guest Joan Jett and The Blackhearts would be performing.
In my best Blake Shelton voice all I could think of was ‘Gosh darn’ and ‘Holy Crap’, this was going to be a good night. For anyone hiding under a rock over the past few years, Blake Shelton is a country music singer and coach on the music competition ‘The Voice.”
Speaking of ‘The Voice,’ Sacramento’s own Lindsey Pavao, season 2 semi-finalist on ‘The Voice,’ joined Cooper from Radio 94.7 to emcee the event. Pavao joined the ranks of KKDO-FM 94.7 in June of this year, taking a leading role in discovering new music, as well as managing the station’s social media presence.
Kicking off the night in front of a sold-out crowd was New York based MS MR with their original and hauntingly beautiful song called “Bones,” followed by “Think of You” and “Hurricane.” MS MR is a very talented group with Lizzy Plapinger leading the charge with her high energy performance and outrageous vocals. Joining her was her partner in crime Max Hershenow on keys.
Nashville Tennessee based The Features were next, starting their set with “Kids” followed by “How it Starts.”
The Features, consisting of Matt Pelham (vocals), Roger Dabbs (guitar), Rollum Haas (drums) and Mark Bond (keys) completed their set with “This Disorder” and “The New Romantic.” At times I could hear a little bit of Adam Lavine mixed with some Phil Collins in Pelham’s vocals, giving him a nicely unique sound.
Capital Cities, a Los Angeles based indie band,kicked their set off with “Kangaroo Court,” with Spencer Ludwig winning the audience over with his solid trumpet playing. Sebu Simonian (lead vocals) and Ryan Merchant (guitar) are the dynamic duo that makes up Capital Cities. When touring the pair brings along Ludwig, Manuel Quintero (bass) and Nick Merwin (guitar).
Capital Cities continued with their 70’s infused sound with “Center Stage” followed by their version of the Bee Gees “Staying Alive.” As soon as they played the first note of their hit song “Safe and Sound,” the audience erupted into cheers with everyone on their feet.
Following Capital Cities was the one and only Joan Jett and The Blackhearts as Jett hit the stage belting out “Bad Reputation.” Kicking it up a notch with “Cherry Bomb,” Jett was in high gear throughout her performance.
It was obvious by the young fan’s reactions that Jett still has what it takes after 38 years of singing, as she continued with “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and her latest song “Any Weather.” She ended her set with “I Love Rock and Roll.”
GroupLove out of Los Angeles had the tough job of following Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Grouplove fell way short of my expectations and reminded me of some of the auditions on American Idol. I know it sounds harsh, but the vocals on “I’m With You” were atrocious and they didn’t fare so well on “Itchin on a Photograph” either.
As GroupLove, consisting of Hannah Hooper (vocals, keys), Christian Zucconi (vocals, guitar), Sean Gadd (bass, vocals), Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals), and Ryan Rabin (drums), continued with “Borderlines and Aliens,” it appeared they were working out the kinks, but their performance still fell short, especially considering where these guys were in the lineup. Regardless, it was an extremely high-energy performance and the audience didn’t seem to mind the faltering vocals.
England based Alt-J came out strong with band members Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums). Starting off with their mesmerizing “Fitzpleasure,” the band had fans hanging on every note as they continued with an equally compelling song “Bloodflood.”
Alt-J is what alternative music is all about.
Cage the Elephant closed the night in perfect form with band members Matthew Shultz (lead vocals), Lincoln Parish (lead guitar), Brad Shultz (guitar), Daniel Tichenor (bass) and Jared Champion (drums), storming the stage playing a number of their hits including “In One Ear,” “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Back Against the Wall.”
It was a great night beginning with the surprise appearance by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Her appearance provided many young fans a unique opportunity to hear one of the legendary women in Rock and Roll history.
We’re hoping Radio 94.7 can continue bringing high quality events to the Sacramento area. Based on the turnout at Wednesday night’s show, it obvious the area is hungry for some good solid entertainment.
While there were no wheel chairs or walkers to be seen, there were plenty of gray hairs milling about as hundreds gathered to pay homage to the British rockers from across the pond.
Foghat hit the music scene back in 1971 with their mix of blues and boogie rock, which was dominated by electric and electric-slide guitars.
Over the years Foghat has accumulated seven gold records, one platinum record for “Fool For The City” (1975), and one Double-Platinum record for “Foghat Live” (1977). “Foghat Live” included their trademark hit “Slow Ride.”
The band consisted of original drummer Roger Earl, longtime band member Craig Macgregor (bass), Bryan Bassett (guitar) and Charlie Huhn (vocals/guitar). Huhn replaced original member Lonesome Dave Peverett who died in 1999.
There may have been some fans concerned about Foghat’s ability to put on a good show, since their original lead singer had passed away and their only original member was Earl. Those concerns were quickly put to bed as soon as the band struck up “Road Fever” followed by “Home in My Hand.”
Huhn did an awesome job on vocals and owned each and every song as the band continued with “My Babe” and “Drivin Wheel,” with Macgregor delivering a blistering riff, which resulted in Huhn bringing out a towel to help dry off Macgregor.
Of course, for their encore Foghat performed their mega-hit “Slow Ride,” bringing everyone to their feet as they ended the night on a stellar note.
Afterwards the band came out to meet their fans and sign autographs.
LINCOLN, CA – The GMA Network’s hit television show stormed into Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Sunday, as the cast from Kapuso’s “My Husband’s Lover” brought their colorful, yet controversial show to life in Pano Hall.
“My Husband’s Lover” is a bold new drama about gay relationships, bringing viewers a drama depicting a husband who is conflicted about his sexuality. The show has been so successful producers decided to take the show on the road to the US in the form of a musical tour.
The show stars Carla Abellana who plays Lally, the wife of Vincent, played by Tom Rodriguez.
Vincent strives to be a good husband and sincerely loves his wife, but he remains conflicted about his sexuality. He never had a girlfriend before getting married, and apparently his closest intimacy had been with his high school best friend Eric, played by Dennis Trillo.
Other performers for the night included pop diva Kuh Ledesma, resident hunks Victor Basa and Pancho Magno, and special guest Jonalyn Viray.
LINCOLN, CA – The Tubes, one of the most theatrical new wave rock bands of the 80′s, brought their sometimes offensive and oftentimes outrageous show to Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday.
They are best known for their onstage presence and hits from the 80′s and 90′s including “She’s a Beauty,” “Talk to Ya Later,” and “The Monkey Time”.
An extravagant mix of theater, rock, and social criticism, The Tubes started out with an instrumental, “Get Overture.” Lead singer and front man, Fee Waybill jumped on stage and began singing, “This Town” followed by a rant about the sad state of the political landscape, throwing in the F-bomb on more than one occasion.
There were those that loved the show and others that seemed to want to bolt out of the room. However, the 63-year-old Waybill’s stage presence kept everyone clued to their seats for most of the concert.
As the concert rolled along, Waybill changed costumes faster than you can say Lady Gaga, as he strutted around in a jailhouse suit, straight jacket and at one point, almost nothing at all.
Known for his outrageous antics and outfits, Waybill did not disappoint, as he strutted out in what appeared to be an S and M’s dream come true. Waybill showed up onstage armed with a flashlight, wearing only a leather mask and thong. He would swing the flashlight around providing audience members the briefest of glimpses of his aging physique. We won’t get into what he ended up doing with the flashlight. If you really want to know, go check out his show the next time he’s in town.
It was apparent the audience was made up of mostly diehard fans, with barely anyone exiting Pano Hall before the end of the show.
One fan even had a license plate they were flashing at the band with the acronym WPOD for their hit song “White Punks On Dope.” Waybill acknowledged the license plate as he came out in his trademark outfit dressed as Quay Lewd, aptly named after the drug Quaalude.
Ending with “She’s a Beauty” and “Talk to Ya Later,” Waybill showed up in a costume reminiscent of a carnival hawker.
The last two songs had the crowd gathered at the front of the stage dancing and shouting. At the end of the set, the entire band made their way to the front of the stage, where they shook people’s hands and thanked them for coming out to the show.
If you haven’t taken in a Tubes concert it might be worth a peek.
The Placer 10-35 Foundation is a non-profit organization that assists Placer County peace officers and their families in times of need.
Placer County Sheriff Detective Jim Hudson started off the event by thanking the sold-out crowd for coming out and supporting such a great cause. He also introduced a few officers from the Roseville Police Department, who recently were wounded in the line of duty.
As Hudson introduced the officers he explained, “Last Friday night, here in our community, we had a very tragic event,” continuing he said, “There were five officers injured, three wounded and two injured by shrapnel. We are very fortunate that those officers can join us tonight.” That’s about the time everyone was on their feet giving the officers a standing ovation.
Hudson was referring to an incident that occurred on Friday October 25, when Roseville officers approached an at-large parolee. The parolee fired on officers and then barricaded himself inside a home. A night long standoff ensued with several rounds of gunfire. One of the officers was shot in the jaw and remains hospitalized.
I had a chance to talk to the President of Placer 10-35, Sgt. Andrew Scott, about the incident and how Placer 10-35 was able to help the family of the wounded officer who remains hospitalized. According to Scott, the officer’s father, who resides out of town, has been provided housing during his stay in Roseville as well as gift cards for food. Scott said, “It’s those little things,” that make a big difference for a patient trying to recover and it’s one less thing they have to worry about.
Seattle based Aces Up dedicated one of their original songs, “Marine to the Core (Raleigh’s Song),” to the officers, making for a somber opening.
That quickly changed as front-man Tyler Adams kicked it up a notch with “Piece of Heaven” and “Burn the Map.” Tyler’s brother Jason Adams had guitar duty and the two were joined by Eric Banke (bass) and Barret Nelson (drums).
Tyler has a voice that is perfectly comfortable doing slow ballads and blistering rock songs as he proved to everyone when the band kicked it into high gear with AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” filling the dance floor.
Tyler thanked the officers who were present, including 10 officers who made up some of the first responders to the incident in Roseville.
“The reason that we do this is because of people like you,” Tyler told the audience, “And because of people like you, all of the police officers, firefighters and people in the military, it’s because you give us the right and the freedom to do what we do, so give everyone in uniform a round of applause.”
After Aces Up performed a full set, Craig Campbell came out on stage performing “Party For A Living” and “When I Get It.”
There were a couple of problems with the sound during “Party For A Living,” but the problems were quickly worked out as they headed into “Truck N’ Roll” and his big hit “Family Man.”
Fans couldn’t get enough of Campbell, and he couldn’t get enough of fans. He was shaking hands with all the fans brave enough to work their way to the front of the stage. For those fans not able to get up close and personal, Campbell stuck around after his performance signing autographs and taking pictures.
After Campbell worked the crowd into a frenzy, Sacramento’s own Sweet Revenge took the stage for the after-party. Joining lead singers Austin Reed and Sandy Nuyts were David Karacozoff (guitar/vocals), Zac Rome (bass/vocal) and Wylie Ross (drums).
While Sweet Revenge was performing, Campbell made himself available for autographs and photos. Rachel Cameron Photography did a great job taking all the fan photos and put together a nice video of the event. To view the video and fan photos from Rachel head over to Placer 10-35’s Facebook page.
About Placer 10-35 Foundation.
The Placer 10-35 Foundation is a non-profit fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy. We also are available to assist the families of slain peace officers throughout the region.
We are committed to celebrating the mission of the law enforcement officer and providing assistance when the inevitable tragedy occurs in this dangerous profession.
“10-35″ refers to the police radio code meaning, “Officer needs assistance”. The 8 stars in our logo represent our 8 Placer County deputies killed in the line of duty.
Pablo Cruise formed in San Francisco back in 1973 with original band members David Jenkins (guitar and vocals), Cory Lerios (keyboards and vocals), Steve Price (drums) and Larry Antonino (bass and vocals).
The band went on to produce eight studio albums before splitting up in 1986. In 2004 all four original band members reunited and in 2011 released their latest album, “It’s Good to Be Live,” but more on that in a minute.
Kicking off their set with “Worlds Away” and “A Place in the Sun,” all four members appeared to be having a good time as fans were singing along. After their second song, Lerios started joking about having to take a nap after two songs since they were getting older.
The audience continued to sing along throughout their set, as they went on to perform “El Verano” and “Raging Fire.”
Guitar tech Thomas Garske had a proud moment when Jenkins swapped his electric guitar for a brand-spanking new hand-made custom acoustic guitar. Earlier this year Garske attended the Phoenix based Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and produced two custom guitars. He included an inlay of Pablo Cruise’s classic palm tree on the neck of each guitar. It was obviously a proud moment for both guitar maker and guitar player.
They ended the night with “Whatcha Gonna Do” and “Ocean Breeze.”
On July 9 and 10 of 2010, Pablo Cruise descended on drummer Steve Price’s hometown of Loomis as they performed at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed, recording both a DVD and CD for their latest album “It’s Good to Be Live.”
According to Price, he credits his wife Nancy for getting the band back together. Price said Nancy used to be a big fan of Pablo Cruise, so when the two married back in 2004 Price brought the band together to perform at his wedding. The couple moved to Loomis shortly after, with Price telling the Loomis News, “The community and the people — we really like it.”
LINCOLN, CA – English rock group Bad Company took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater, as a sold-out crowd was on their feet their entire performance.
Earlier this year Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd announced a joint 40th Anniversary Tour commemorating the 40th anniversary of Skynyrd’s first album release and Bad Company’s formation. While Lynyrd Skynyrd wasn’t on-hand, original members of Bad Company Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) were. The pair was joined by Todd Ronning (bass), from Rodgers’ solo band and Howard Leese (guitar and former member of Heart) who has been with the band for 8 years.
Bad Company has a long list of hits from the ‘70s with four platinum albums during that time. The band broke up in ’82 and reformed a few years later, churning out another platinum album and two additional gold records.
As the show got underway, a number of CO2 cannons shot smoke into the air, with Rodgers coming out in a lime green shirt and black vest, twirling the microphone stand in the air, singing “Rock and Roll Fantasy” followed by “Live For The Music.” The 63-year-old Rodgers continued to throw and twirl the microphone stand for most of the set.
For “Run with the Pack,” Rodgers took to a black piano with the crowd showing their approval.
“Burnin Sky” had the stage shrouded in smoke with the lights flickering to simulate lightning, complete with the sound of thunder.
The band left the stage early for their first encore and came back to play “Bad Company” and “Rock Steady,” after which they left the stage a second time, only to return to play “Seagull” ending their set. Fans were surprised by the short set and continued to wait for the band to come out and play more hits, but when the house lights came on people reluctantly headed for the gates.
Bad Company put on an excellent performance with Rodgers vocals sounding better than ever. The band was tight and sounded great, with the exception of a slight mix-up just before “Moving On,” when the band struck up two separate songs Rodgers said, “Well, can we all do the same song.” The length of the show was disappointing and could have continued for at least another 30 minutes.
LINCOLN, CA – The rock band Heart gave it their all Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, playing to a full house.
Venerable rockers Ann and Nancy Wilson have been the heart of the group from the beginning, and remain the key ingredient to the bands continued success. The sisters have been performing for over 40 years together and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with original band members Howard Leese, Michael DeRosier, Steve Fossen, and Roger Fisher.
In 2010, Heart released a new studio album ‘Red Velvet Car,’ peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200. More recently they released “Strange Euphoria,” a career-spanning box set and their latest studio album “Fanatic,” which became the group’s 12th Top 25 album.
The Wilson sisters also wrote their memoirs in “Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll.”
Nancy joined up with red rocker Sammy Hagar on his latest album “Sammy Hagar and Friends,” due to be released on September 24. According to Hagar he, “thought of Nancy right away. She’s a sweetheart and a hell of a harmony singer.” The song “All We Need is an Island,” can be heard at USA Today.
After a day of torrential downpours in the Sacramento area, fans were ready for what they hoped to be an electrifying performance. Thanks to the staff at Thunder Valley Casino, concert goers had dry seats and the venue was relatively dry considering the amount of rain that came down throughout the day.
Prior to the show, the Wilson sisters autographed a pink guitar provided by the non-profit organization The 2nd Basemen. The 2nd Baseman provides short term financial assistance to families affected by breast cancer. Their “Ambassador or Rock,” Trisha Pickeral was able to have the two sign the guitar, which will be given away in a drawing to support 2nd Baseman.
Heart kicked off their set with the driving guitar sound of ‘Barracuda,’ as 59-year-old Nancy attacked her guitar causing everyone to jump up and out of their seats. Sixty-three-year-old Ann showed fans why she’s considered one of rocks greatest and most enduring voices in the industry as she belted out the lyrics.
They continued with “Heartless,” “What About Love” and “Magic Man,” with the majority of fans on their feet the entire performance. Ann had no problems hitting the high notes and was flawless in her delivery throughout. Nancy did a fantastic job as well, providing fans with a high-energy performance on guitar as well as vocals.
For their encore Heart covered Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” and “Misty Mountain Top.”
Photos by Randy Miramontez
What About Love
Kick it Out
Even It Up
Dog & Butterfly
Need You to Turn to
Crazy on You
The Battle of Evermore
Misty Mountain Top
LINCOLN, CA – Comedian Kathy Griffin brought nothing but attitude to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday. Discussing everything from Justin Bieber to, of all things, local news in the Sacramento area.
The 52-year-old Griffin is known for skewering celebrities on the A-list and anyone else who gets in her way. She’s alienated large swaths of the population with her foul-mouthed epithets and well-timed vulgarity. Regardless, she brings fans in droves to her shows and has had great success on and off the big screen. She has starred in countless movies and TV shows, including her own recent talk show “Kathy.”
Griffin’s live shows are not for the faint of heart.
Right out of the gate she informed the audience they were in for a good night, “Holy sh#t balls you f##kers came on a good night,” Griffin exclaimed.
After attacking Oprah and Oprah’s longtime friend Gayle, Griffin educated all the straight men in the audience saying, “To the straight men in the audience, let me school you. If you don’t know who Gayle is, who I’m referring to,” continuing she explained, “Gayle is Oprah Winfry’s longtime husband.” She later went on to say how glad she was that the “fat” Oprah was back.
Griffin, who is a strong supporter of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, had a large LGBT following in the audience.
The highlight of the evening was when Griffin wanted to talk about the local news.
Griffin complained that the lead story on the news was, “Sever wind in Manteca, not the Syrian uprising. Sever wind in Manteca, warning it could get extra dusty, which I have said about my own pussy several times.” This was met with a mix of laughter and oohs.
In her typical controversial style Griffin attacked the Kardashian’s, telling the audience, “If I were f##king Khloe I’d be doing crack too.” Referring to Khloe’s husband and basketball star Lamar Odom, who has been through rehab for using crack cocaine. Afterwards she said, “See that’s the sh#t that will be in the Sac Bee tomorrow.”
Griffin would jump from one subject to another, even in the middle of a story, making it difficult to follow her line of thinking during some of her monolog.
Griffin put on an entertaining and humorous performance, but I believe there were some audience members shocked at the vulgarity of Griffin’s diatribes.
Thunder Valley has had a number of comedians who had the audience laughing harder, to the point of tears. All without having to resort to such language and mean-spirited jokes, but that’s how she rolls.
SACRAMENTO, CA –Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival rocked Sacramento’s Discovery Park over the weekend with over 35 bands entertaining north of 32,000 screaming fans.
This year, organizers reserved Discovery Park for two days, bringing in fans from all over Northern California and beyond.
There were two main stages with a smaller stage for competing bands thrashing it out for their chance to rock on the main stage on Sunday.
Saturday’s performances went off without a hitch as one band finished, another would start up within minutes. The only issue was the area for fans between stages. It was set up where fans had to trek around the soundboard to get to the other stage. Fans were not able to cross over in the middle since there was an alley for cable runs essentially blocking all foot traffic.
The buzzword for the day was mosh-pit, with at least four going at once during several performances. The catch of the day for security personnel were crowd surfing aficionados who were tumbling into the arms of security personnel eagerly waiting in the pit. Security personnel deserve major kudos for not losing their temper as the never-ending stream of surfers inundated the pit. Fans were asked if they were okay and then escorted from the area.
While there was plenty of people-watching to be had, there was an epic concert about to start, with every band bringing their A-game. There wasn’t a band that didn’t energize the crowd into a crowd-surfing frenzy.
Unbeknownst to me the big event was happening at the start of this exciting weekend as Nothing More was playing on the Ernie Ball stage and bringing the house down. Nothing more went on to win the weekend competition and their chance to play on the big stage on Sunday.
Kicking off the big stage performances was We As Human followed by Otherwise, both putting on great performances and immediately kick-starting the fans into high gear. While there weren’t too many fans for the beginning of We As Human’s performance, that quickly changed as people were rushing to get into the venue once they heard the music start up.
In This Moment put on the first theatrical event of the weekend as lead singer, Maria Brink, slinked out in a band leader’s uniform with two scantily clad women wearing masks and splattered with what appeared to be blood. Their elaborate stage setup included a number of liquid nitrogen canons firing off into the crowd.
Steel Panthers brought their Southern California act to the masses as lead singer Ralph Saenz (“Michael Starr”), drummer Darren Leader (“Stix Zadinia”), bassist Travis Haley (“Lexxi Foxxx”) and guitarist Russ Parrish (“Satchel”) proceeded to play some great heavy metal tunes and at the same time poke fun at the ‘80s hair bands.
These rockers know how to entertain a crowd, with their long hair, girly makeup and overall stage presence. These guys were definitely a hit with the crowd.
P.O.D and Testament continued to pound out the head-banging tunes. P.O.D.’s lead singer, Sonny Sandoval, made his traditional journey out to the masses. Jumping off stage, up and over the pit and into the open arms of adoring fans.Sandoval fired-up the already excited crowd into a frenzy of crowd-surfing, with more mosh-pits breaking out throughout the crowd.
Skillet brought their A-game as their violin and cello player put on a resounding performance. Armed with masks, the two brought their own little theatrical show, where at one point they were carried above the stage and out of site on their own pedestals.
Buckcherry turned in a killer performance of “Sexy Bitch,” with guitarist Stevie D. stealing the show with his fan interaction. Stevie continued engaging fans, throwing picks and pointing to fans throughout their performance.
Hometown favorite, Papa Roach really cranked things up when lead singer Jacoby Shaddix hit the stage and immediately went out into the crowd to share his music. Maybe it was because Shaddix’s wife was due to have a baby at any minute, but Shaddix turned in an even higher energy show than normal. On a side note, shortly after his performance Shaddix wife went into labor and he is now the proud father of a baby boy named Brixton.
The deeper into the lineup we got the more lavish the stages. Megadeth jumped out onstage with their three large screens providing fans with a cornucopia of images as David Mustaine and team started out with “Hangar 18,” and went on to deliver an epic encore of “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.”
Shinedown knocked it out of the park with their stage setup and performance. As the curtain dropped, the stage appeared to be completely on fire as flames shot up into the air and fire dancers and jugglers were dancing around the stage. Front man Brent Smith gave a breathtaking performance with the crowd responding to his every word.
Following Shinedown and finishing off the first day was Korn, with their over-the-top drum kit and fist pumping tunes. The Bakersfield band was able to keep the energy going until the curfew halted the show at 10 p.m.
At the end of the day, Shinedown won the day with their explosive set and charismatic leader.
Sunday promises to be even more exciting with an even bigger lineup with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch and much more.