Concert Reviews

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Stand Out Talent’s Copacabana the Musical

Cast of Copacabana

Cast of Copacabana
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ROSEVILLE, CA – On Sunday, Stand Out Talent brought their Community Production of extremely talented actors to Roseville’s historic Tower Theatre, to perform “Barry Manilow’s – Copacabana the Musical.”

Olivia Lawrence (L) and Amber Hollingsworth

Olivia Lawrence (L) and Amber Hollingsworth

A little over three years ago, husband and wife team, Jason and Jennifer Bortz attempted to bring Copacabana to Roseville, but Jennifer quickly realized the production was simply too big for their first year, so she patiently waited for just the right season.

Lucky for audience members, the wait paid off, as a stellar cast put on a fantastic show that had the audience laughing and booing at just the right moments.

Olivia Lawrence (L) and Tyler Leung

Olivia Lawrence (L) and Tyler Leung

Olivia Lawrence was spectacular as Lola La Mar, as she went from a country bumpkin trying to make it as a Capana Girl, to a full fledge star at the Copacabana, all due to the efforts of Tony Forte, played by Tyler Leung, marking his first major role.

Kevin Kirtlan played villain Rico Castelli, who steals Lola away from the Copacabana and whisks her to a seedy club in Cuba. Kirtlan did such a fantastic job, he had everyone in the audience yelling and booing at him through most of the show. This was Kevin’s first musical role.

Kelly Andrews (L) as Conchita Alvarez and Kevin Kirtlan as Rico Castelli

Kelly Andrews (L) as Conchita Alvarez and Kevin Kirtlan as Rico Castelli

The “standout” of the show was Jason Bortz, president of Stand Out Talent, who had to fill in at the last minute for an ailing Michael Coleman, who was scheduled to play Sam Silver, but was rushed to the hospital at the last minute. Not knowing the lines, or the songs, Jason had five minutes to get into costume and prepare for the part. The entire crew pitched in to make it happen. Jason tackled it like a pro, as he grabbed a clipboard with the script and used it as a prop. The audience loved him and gave him a standing ovation at the end.

Jason Bortz (L) as Sam Silver, Tyler Leung and Kelly Andrews

Jason Bortz (L) as Sam Silver, Tyler Leung and Kelly Andrews

Wife Jennifer said Jason couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of everyone, saying, “It’s truly a testament to the heart, level headed thinking and talent of our cast and crew.”

Stand Out Talent is a training facility and production company geared towards training young and old alike to meet the challenges in all aspects of performing and media arts.

In 2011, Stand Out Talent took over Tower Theatre in Roseville and since then Stand Out Talent has brought a wide variety of entertainment to Roseville including plays, independent film premieres, film festivals and concerts. They have also hosted a number of events like birthdays, proms and they’ve even hosted a wedding.

Ensemble Dance Sierra Scholesser (L) Click for more images

Ensemble Dancer Sierra Scholesser (L) and Branden Price
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Stand Out Talent produces three types of shows, children’s, community and professional productions. For the Copacabana production the majority of the performers were trained in their roles (singing, acting and dancing).

Their Professional shows utilize trained local non-union talent and past shows have been Next To Normal, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Unbeatable, Young Frankenstein and Agnes of God.

They will be holding auditions on June 10 and 11 for Footloose the musical.

Upcoming shows include Blacktop Comedy (May 2 – 4), The Little Mermaid (May 16 – 25) and in June they will be hosting a Musical Theater Boot Camp.  See their full schedule at http://standouttalent.org.


Thunder Valley’s 2014 Summer Concert Series

Eddie Money Photo: Randy Miramontez

Eddie Money
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LINCOLN, CA – As Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s 2014 Summer Concert Series nears, it’s obvious that once again they will be bringing another diverse lineup for the 2014 season.

Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele

This year’s lineup includes the likes of Rick Springfield, Loverboy and Eddie Money all on one stage.

Get your groove on with V101’s Summer Jam with Keith Sweat, Tony! Toni! Tone! and Salt-N-Pepa.

How about a little country? Country band Alabama is back on the road and will be stopping by Thunder Valley with Sacramento’s award winning Rachel Steele and Road 88.

Howard Jones wearing his Ray Bans Click for more images

Howard Jones wearing his Ray Bans
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Tired of music and just want a good laugh? There will be plenty of laughs with George Lopez on June 13 and Larry the Cable Guy on July 18.

Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight

Step back in time with Jack FM’s third annual Rewind Festival with the Thompson Twin’s Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, Katrina ex Katrina and the Waves and The English Beat.

Get your romance on with Charlie Wilson and Brian McKnight, for what is bound to be a soulful night of love.

 

 

 

Rick Springfield, Loverboy and Eddie Money Saturday, June 7 – 6:30 pm
George Lopez Friday, June 13 – 8:00 pm
V101’s Summer Jam w/ Keith Sweat, Tony! Toni! Tone! and Salt-N-Pepa Saturday June 14 – 6:30 pm
Gregg Allman, Leon Russell and Blackwater Saturday, June 28 – 6:30 pm
Larry the Cable Guy Friday, July 18 – 8:00 pm
New Edition Friday, August 1 – 7:30 pm
Credence Clearwater Revisited w/38 Special Saturday, August 9 – 7:00 pm
Charlie Wilson with Brian McKnight Friday, August 29, 7:00 pm
Alabama with Road 88 Saturday, July 12, 7:30 pm
Yes Saturday, August 23, 7:00 pm
Rewind Festival w/ Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, Katrina, The English Beat Sunday, August 31, 6:00 pm

 

Night Ranger can still Rock In America

(LR) Eric Levy, Brad Gillis, Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy and Joel Hoekstra

(LR) Eric Levy, Brad Gillis, Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy and Joel Hoekstra

LINCOLN, CA – Night Ranger brought their high-energy show to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday, as droves of fans piled into Pano Hall to see one of their favorite 80s band.

It was quite a night for fans as Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall filled to capacity and the anticipation of seeing a legendary band was finally over. Night Ranger came out onstage firing on all cylinders with “Touch of Madness” and “Sing Me Away,” with fans screaming, yelling, singing and dancing, as virtually everyone in Pano Hall was on their feet.

Jack Blade Click for more photos

Jack Blades
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Original band members, 59-year-old Jack Blades (lead vocals, bass), 56-year-old Brad Gillis (guitar) and 61-year-old Kelly Keagy (drums), were joined by their newest members Eric Levy (keys) and Joel Hoekstra (guitar).

Brad Gillis

Brad Gillis

As Night Ranger barreled through their set-list, Gillis and Hoekstra shot back and forth across the stage jamming with each other as is customary for Night Ranger, with Blades joining in on the fun from time to time.

READ: Brett Michaels Slaughtered by Night Ranger

Kelly Keagy

Kelly Keagy

As Blades talked about their next song, “Secrets to My Success,” the title track for Michael J. Fox’s 1987 movie of the same name, you could see someone flashing a light at Blades attempting to get his attention. After finishing up with “Secrets to My Success,” Blades admitted screwing up the set-list and went back and introduced Keagy, who took over lead vocals to perform “Sentimental Street.”

Joel Hoekstra (r) and Brad Gillis hamming it up

Joel Hoekstra (r) and Brad Gillis hamming it up

Up to this point the majority of fans had been on their feet, but as Keagy weaved his way through “Sentimental Street,” a number of audience members started to sit down, but that didn’t last long.

Joel Hoekstra (L), Brad Gillis and Jack Blade

Joel Hoekstra (L), Brad Gillis and Jack Blades

Of course Blades threw in a few songs from his past Damn Yankees days including “High Enough” and “Coming with Age.” The band also played a brief medley of songs from the likes of Ozzie Osborne and The Eagles.

For their encore they brought the house down with “Sister Christen” and “Rock in America.”

 

Sacramento Autorama 2014

Sacramento Autorama 2014 Credit: TouringSacramento

Sacramento Autorama 2014
Credit: TouringSacramento

SACRAMENTO, CA – Auto enthusiasts showed up in droves to the 64th annual Sacramento Autorama, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts, at Cal Expo over Valentine’s Day weekend.

This year’s Autorama featured some of the West Coast’s top automotive craftsman and their creations, including the original Batmobile.

Considered one of the longest running indoor car shows in the world, this year’s event spotlighted over 500 custom cars, hot rods, classics, motorcycles and specialty vehicles from across the nation.

A number of awards were handed out at the conclusion of the show including the 8-foot-high H.A. Bagdasarian World’s Most Beautiful Custom Award. Named after the man who started it all back in 1950, Sacramento businessman Harold Bagdasarian.sacramento-autorama-2014-2

Bagdasarian started the show to settle arguments between club members of the Capitol City Auto Club Thunderbolts. The initial show had 22 entries at a downtown Sacramento auto dealership.

During the years the show has exchanged hands multiple times and in 2005, Rancho Cucamonga businessman John Buck took the reins under the business name Rod Shows, and he remains at the helm today.

Original Batmobile Credit: TouringSacramento

Original Batmobile
Credit: TouringSacramento

One of the most talked about cars at the show this year was the original Batmobile that was owned and operated by DC Comic licensee, All Star Dairies. The car was built between 1961 and 1963 by a couple of New Hampshire men and then toured the New England area in support of All Star Dairies Batman dairy products.

The Batmobile was retired in 1966 and given back to its original owner. Over the years the car was neglected and in complete disrepair, until last year when Toy Car Exchange LLC purchased it from a Florida car historian for $19,000. With the help of Mario Borbon of Borbon Fabrications the vehicle was restored to its original look and after 51 years, the Batmobile made its first public appearance on Valentine’s Day at this year’s Sacramento Autorama.

The fiberglass body sits atop a 1956 Oldsmobile 88 chassis and is powered by a rebuilt 1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 motor.

If you didn’t make it out to the show, check out the virtual tour that was put together by Touring Sacramento in cooperation with Rod Shows,, just click on the image below.

See this years winners below.

 

Winners:

2014 Custom D’Elegance Award Winner
James Hetfield
1948 Jaguar Coachbuilt

2014 Sam Barris Memorial Award
James Hetfield
1948 Jaguar Coachbuilt

2014 Manuel Arteche Memorial Award
James Hetfield
1948 Jaguar Coachbuilt

2014 King of Kustoms
James Moore
1949 Ford Sedan

2014 H.A. Bagdasarian Award – World’s Most Beautiful Custom
Charles Spencer
1940 Ford Coupe

2014 Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award
John Thompson
1936 Ford Roadster

2014 Joe Bailon Award
Rick Novachick
1950 Chevy Coupe

2014 Nic’s Pick for Best Use and Display of Flames
Anthony Gelardi
1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe

2014 Lee’s Vintage Car Shop Restoration Award
Scott Hawley
1932 Ford 4-Door Sedan

2014 West Coast Kustoms Outstanding Nostalgia Award
Gordon White
1929 Ford Pickup

2014 Butch Gardner Memorial Award
Ronald Schnabel
1935 Ford 2-Door

2014 Best Bike
Curtis Cox
2007 Custom Chopper

2014 Best Restored
Gary Day
1956 Plymouth Fury

2014 Best Truck
Dennis Shanahan
1955 Chevy Pickup

2014 Best Rod
Charlie Matus
1927 Ford Roadster

2014 Best Custom
Glen Jahnke
1955 Chevy Nomad

The Commodores bring some love to Thunder Valley

(LR) William King, Walter Orange and J.D. Nicholas

(LR) William King, Walter Orange and J.D. Nicholas

The Commodores

Walter Orange

LINCOLN, CA – The Commodores brought their love song infused hits  and driving dance beats to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall Friday night – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

As Pano Hall’s light went down and the stage went dark, lights flashed to the pounding of a heartbeat as founding members Walter Orange, William King, and longtime member J.D. Nicholas stormed the stage.

William King

William King

The trio, dressed in black sequenced pants and jackets, kicked off their show with “Shake It Lady” and transitioned into a medley of songs.

The crowd of mostly older fans was on their feet for the first song, but quickly settled into their chairs and remained there for most of the show.

J.D. Nicholas

J.D. Nicholas

I found the sound lacking, whether it was the aging rockers vocals, or the sound system, it was difficult to tell since the instruments tended to drown out the groups vocals.

A number of fans wandered to the back of Pano Hall, with some spilling into the aisles to slow dance to “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady.”

The Commodores perform at Thunder Valley Casino

The Commodores perform at Thunder Valley Casino

The Commodores continually were engaging fans in the front section of the audience as they would wink and wave to fans.

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.”

Coachella 2014 lineup announced

Coachella-Lineup

Coachella-Lineup

COACHELLA, CA – Headlining this year’s Coachella Music & Art’s Festival will be Outkast, Arcade Fire and Muse.

The lineup was announced on Wednesday and the festival is to take place the second and third weekend in April. This marks the second year the festival will span two weekends.

Outkast, the popular rap duo consisting of Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, have not recorded or toured together in recent years. Both have been working on solo projects and Benjamin has been pursuing an acting career.

Arcade Fire will perform just a few months after releasing their latest album “Reflektor.”

Grammy -nominated Muse is currently touring in support of their latest album ‘The 2nd Law.’

Other acts scheduled to perform are Beck, new and emerging artists Lorde and Haim, and a number of rap and electronic acts including Nas, Kid Cudi, Alesso and Duck Sauce.

The lineup has more rock and alternative acts than past years and fewer high-profile DJ’s.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 10. See the full lineup here.

Mark Chesnutt does his country thing

Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt

LINCOLN, CA – Mark Chesnutt headlined a night of country music in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Holiday Pavilion on Sunday, with openers Rachel Steele and Confederate Railroad.

As fans started filing into the Holiday Pavilion, Rachel Steele and Road 88 kicked off the evening with Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and The Band Perry’s “Done.”

Steele and Road 88 just recently won the coveted Sammie Award for Sacramento’s best Americana/Alternative Country band, as voted by fans.

Rachel Steele and Bob Kinney

Rachel Steele and Bob Kinney

Steele and the Road 88 crew, consisting of Scott Prentice (vocal/guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Vinnie Panteleoni (bass), Bob Kinney (guitar) and Tony Windle (keys), played several original works including “Nashville” and “Mama’s Still Waiting.”

Steele belted out “The Shot Song,” as a number of audience members stood up and started dancing to this original tune. According to Steele, she and Prentice got their inspiration for the song after watching comedian Gabriel Iglesias shooting shots of Tequila after a performance. Steele ended the set with Miranda Lamberts “Fastest Girl in Town.”

Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad

Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad

The audience was charged up and obviously looking forward to seeing Confederate Railroad after Steele’s high energy performance, but fans were disappointed as Confederate Railroad put on a lackluster performance and would have been better suited starting the show with Steele leading the way to Mark Chesnutt.

Confederate Railroad’s lead singer, Danny Shirley, was difficult to understand during his monologues and was spotty on his vocals. Joining Shirley onstage was Bobby Randall (guitar, minus his steel string), Rusty Hendrix (guitar), Mark Dufresne (drums) and Wayne Secrest (bass).

Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt

Towards the end of Confederate Railroad’s set, fans did react to their closing song “Trashy Women.”

Considered one of the most reliable country artists in the industry, Mark Chesnutt didn’t disappoint as he came out with “Bubba Shot the Jukebox,” followed by “Old Flames Have New Names.”

It was refreshing to hear Chesnutt’s clean vocals, and experience firsthand his ability to weave a story into a musical melody for all to enjoy. The audience was into his set from the start. Continuing he sang “Brother Jukebox” and “I Just Wanted You to Know.”

For his encore Chesnutt performed “Goin Through the Big D” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” leaving fans on their feet cheering for more.

Thunder Valley Casino Holiday Jam Rocks Steady

Thunder Valley Casino's Holiday Pavilion

Thunder Valley Casino’s Holiday Pavilion

LINCOLN, CA – It was standing room only as fans filed into Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Holiday Pavilion to see The Whispers and the S.O.S. band Saturday night.

S.O.S. Band

S.O.S. Band

The Holiday Pavilion was almost to capacity when the legendary Sounds Of Success, better known as the S.O.S. band, jumped on stage to kick off the funk filled night. Starting off with “Just The Way You Like It” and “The Finest,” the band was in great form as the crowd came to their feet singing and dancing.

Mary Davis of S.O.S.

Mary Davis of S.O.S.

Founding member and lead singer Mary Davis was dressed to impress as she blasted through their hits including “Just Be Good to Me” and “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

Walter Scott of The Whispers

Walter Scott of The Whispers

Joining Davis was original member Abdul Ra’oof (vocals/trumpet). I was not able to confirm the other members, but believe they were Celia Georgie  (background vocals), Sultan Muhammad (saxophone), Reginald Ward (guitar), Ben Smith (keyboards), Allen Smith (keyboards), and Crystal Martin (drums).

Nicholas Caldwell of The Whispers

Nicholas Caldwell of The Whispers

Davis and crew finished with a flourish cranked out the song that catapulted S.O.S. to stardom back in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).”

The Whispers kicked off their set with “Tonight,”  “And the Beat Goes On” and “Is It Good to You.”

Founding members and twins Wallace “Scotty” Scott and Walter Scott were joined by fellow founding member Nicholas Caldwell and longtime member Leaveil Degree.

Wallace "Scotty" Wallace of The Whispers

Wallace “Scotty” Wallace of The Whispers

The Whispers began their career in 1963. Twin brothers Walter and Wallace were joined with friends Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson, and Gordy Harmon to form a local singing group. The group would play on the street corners in the Watts section of Los Angeles and in nightclubs in the San Francisco and Oakland area. In 1971 Degree joined the group to replace Gordy Harmon.

Leaveil Degree of The Whispers

Leaveil Degree of The Whispers

In 2006 The Whispers released their latest album under their own label Satin Tie Productions. Walter said of the new album entitled “For Your Ears Only” that this was their “way of saying to our fans that we appreciate everybody’s support that has been with us for many, many years.”

Once they started up “Rock Steady,” the crowd was on their feet as they continued with their more popular hits and finished with “Just Gets Better With Time” and “It’s a Love Thing.”

 

Jingle Ball rocks Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

Fans enjoy Panic! at The Disco

Fans enjoy Panic! at The Disco
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SACRAMENTO, CA – It was quite a night Saturday as The End (Radio 107.9) brought their annual Jingle Ball to the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.

The lineup for the night was headed up by Fall Out Boy, Panic! at The Disco, Emblem3, American Authors, Kalin and Myles and Sacramento’s own Cimorelli.

Sac's own Cimorelli

Sac’s own Cimorelli
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Sacramento Memorial Auditorium was at capacity as the show kicked off with Cimorelli, a group of six sisters who hail from Sacramento. They started their set with “Renegade” as fans cheered, with many girls in the audience screaming out the name of their favorite sister.

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Cimorelli

Cimorelli
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The Cimorelli’s formed as a group in 2007 with five of the oldest sisters, Christina, Katherine, Lisa, Amy and Lauren. In the beginning the girls would record cover songs and load them to YouTube. In 2010 younger sister Dani joined the team.

Jingle Ball 2013

Jingle Ball 2013
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In 2012 the Cimorelli’s won “The Bieber-Off”, a contest by Ryan Seacrest where contestants covered Justin Bieber songs. That same year the group was nominated for “Choice Web Star” at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards.

Kalin (R) helps Myles to get airborne

Kalin (R) helps Myles to get airborne

Kalin and Myles followed Cimorelli and would have been better suited starting the show. They kicked off their set with “Keep Up,” followed by a medley of songs. The San Francisco Bay Area duo consists of Kalin White & Myles Parrish.

At one point in their performance, Myles shot into the air and did a flip in mid-air as Kalin helped propel him across the stage. The two should take note of Jason Derulo’s misfortune last year when he was rehearsing for an upcoming tour. When Derulo attempted an acrobatic move he landed on his head and ended up with a broken neck.

Christopher K talks to the lucky winners who were allowed onstage

Christopher K talks to the lucky winners who were allowed onstage

Read: Jason Derulo takes a header

In between sets the audience was treated to some video clips of the morning crew from The End including Katie, Jason and Gavin. Ashley Nickels, Christopher K and Orphan Andrew were onstage bantering back and forth and giving away a chance to be onstage as bands performed.

Andrew and Christopher calling Katie

Andrew and Christopher calling Katie

During one of the set changes, which seemed to be taking quite a while, Christopher K and Orphan Andrew called Katie from the morning crew. They had her on speaker phone as the crowd listened in, with fans cheering excitedly as soon as they heard her voice.

American Authors

American Authors
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American Authors, with their drum infused sound, jumped up onstage playing “Believer,” with lead singer Zac Barnett pounding out some tunes along with drummer Matt Sanchez. Rounding out the group was James Adam Shelley (guitar) and Dave Rublin (bass).

Zak Barnett with American Authors

Zak Barnett with American Authors

Barnett owned the stage and provided a great performance, especially when he attacked the snare drum. When the group struck up “Best Day of My Life,” fans sang along through the entire song with screams inserted for good measure.

Emblem3

Emblem3
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Sadly American Authors were held to only three songs and Emblem3 who followed American Authors didn’t fare any better as their set was cut short due to time. By the time Emblem3 took the stage the crowd was chanting ‘Emblem3.’

Keaton Stromberg with Emblem3

Keaton Stromberg with Emblem3

Emblem3 started with “Spaghetti,” followed by a couple of acoustic songs including “Just For One Day.” The band was cutoff at four songs. According to their set-list they were scheduled to perform seven songs. Band member included Wesley Stromberg (vocals/guitar), Keaton Stromberg (bass) and Drew Chadwick (lead vocals/guitar).

Panic! at The Disco

Panic! at The Disco

The crowd was re-energized as soon as Panic! At the Disco stormed the stage with “Time to Dance” and “Mona Lisa” as front man Brendon Urie pulled all the stops fully engaging fans with his vocals as well as his facial expressions. Joining Urie onstage was Dan Pawlovich (drums),  Kenneth Harris (guitar) and Dallon Weekes (bass).

Fall Out Boy

(LR) Joe Trohman, Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy

Urie really got the crowd going when the group set off on a medley of songs from the ‘80s including Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” and AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” They ended their set with “Vegas Lights” and “I Write Sins not Tragedies.”

Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy

Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy
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Just when I thought the crowd couldn’t get any louder, they did. As soon as Fall Out Boy showed up onstage all hell broke loose as fans screamed in preparation of the first note.

Kicking off their set with “The Phoenix” and “I Slept With Someone,” was band member Patrick Stump (lead vocals), Pete Wentz (bass), Joe Trohman (guitar) and Andy Hurley (drums).

While their stage presence wasn’t as strong as Panic! at The Disco, they made up for it with the strong vocals of Stump. Wentz and Trohman did bounce around the stage quite a bit and took full advantage of a couple of platforms on the stage as they jumped from one to the other.

Fans enjoy Fall Out Boy

Fans enjoy Fall Out Boy

Stump announced that the band was going to forego the encore (leaving the stage and coming back out) due to time constraints, so they continue on with the two final songs, which were to be their encore, “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and “Saturday.”

Each and every band was stellar in their performance. It appeared there were some issues with sound early on, which may have attributed to the longer than desired set changes. In The End, I believe Panic! At the Disco came close to stealing the show, but Fall Out Boy came through with an outstanding performance, making a perfect ending to a great night.

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Radio 94-7 Electrifies Sacramento

Capital Cities ignites the crowd Click for more images

Capital Cities ignites the crowd
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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.

Lindsey Pavao(R) poses with Joan Jett

Lindsey Pavao(L) poses with Joan Jett

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.

Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR Click for more images

Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR
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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.

The Features

The Features

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.

Spencer Ludwig bringing down the house

Spencer Ludwig bringing down the house

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.

Joan Jett

Joan Jett

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.

GroupLove

GroupLove

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.

Joe Newman of Alt-J

Joe Newman of Alt-J

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.

 

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