Prior to taking the stage King’s band played a couple of instrumentals, “Summer Shuffle” and “Don’t Mess Wit Me.” It was a very relaxing 15 minutes, but the crowd was getting restless by the end of the second song as they waited patiently for King.
The 74-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alumnus took the stage as the band started playing “How Sweet It is,” followed by “Up on the Roof.” King’s vocals were spotty at times, but for the most part he sounded great, especially after 50-something years of singing.
The mostly older crowd remained seated, with some fans clapping to the beat. There were a few fans who headed to the closest aisle or to the back of Pano Hall where they could dance.
Continuing, King talked to the crowd just before heading into “This Magic Moment” and “There Goes My Baby.” In between songs a few fans would shout out a song for the singer to perform, with many shouting “Spanish Harlem,” which is one of King’s favorites.
When King finally got to “Spanish Harlem” the crowd gave him his largest round of applause, with some giving him a standing ovation.
King’s first solo hit after leaving the Drifters in 1960 was “Spanish Harlem” following up with “Stand by Me,” written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. “Stand by Me” went on to be voted as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. “Stand by Me,” “There Goes My Baby,” and “Spanish Harlem” were named as three of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
King finished the evening off with “Midnight Hour,” with the crowd wanting more.
Bobby “Blue” Bland and his band performed to a stellar crowd Sunday in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall.
The Blues Hall of Famer was greeted with a standing ovation as he was escorted center stage. Bland remained seated throughout his performance, but was quite interactive with band members as each would come up and play next to the legendary singer – with the exception of the drummer – duh!
The 82 year old Bland struggled on a few songs such as “Members Only,” as his vocals are not what they used to be. However, that did not take away from the audience’s undying love for the singer as after each song fans were on their feet cheering.
Bland’s unique ability to provide a sense of despair, along with his occasional phlegm clearing grunts were quite evident as he continued playing his multitude of songs.
The 7-piece band did a fantastic job with the horn section stealing the show (list of band members to follow).
While Bland struggled through some songs, the old Bland shined through on a number of songs, reminding everyone why Bland was and continues to be such a great blues performer.
Grammy winning jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall transformed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater into a concert hall, as she brought her sultry and sexy smooth voice along with several, very talented, musicians.
It was amazing to watch the audience as Krall kicked off the show with Nat king Cole’s “I Just Found Out About Love” and her own “Lost My Mind.” After giving her a standing ovation to start, the audience was completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop, it was that quiet. If fact, the bars around the amphitheater were dishing out ice as quietly as possible, which isn’t easy.
There wasn’t a bad seat in the house as the hypnotic sounds traveled throughout the amphitheater reaching into the farthest corners, and sounding as if you were sitting center stage. The quiet calm of the crowd was interrupted a couple of times. The first interruption was by a passing train, and the second was caused by someone backstage, who accidentally hit the horn on a golf cart.
As the 47 year old Krall continued with “So Nice” and “You Call it Madness,” her trio of musicians poured their heart and soul into their instruments, taking the music on an emotional roller coaster. Included in the quartet was Karriem Riggins (drums), Robert Hurst (bass), and Anthony Wilson (guitar), and of course Krall on the piano.
The gracious Krall introduced the band members a couple of times during the performance, to ensure they received the credit they deserved.
In particular, Wilson’s guitar playing was nothing short of breathtaking as his fingers flew up and down the neck of the guitar, bringing the guitar to life and providing some very dramatic solos.
There were several shouts of “I Love You Diana,” with her responding in kind, causing the audience to erupt in applause.
The atmosphere was better suited for an intimate evening complete with a candle lit dinner rather than at an outdoor amphitheater, but Krall pulled it off as she continued with more of Nat King Cole’s works “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and ”The Frim Fram Sauce,” captivating the audience as they hung on every note.
Next month Krall will be releasing her newest album Glad Rag Doll. According to Krall, “It’s not coy. It’s not ‘peel me a grape,’ little girl stuff. I feel this album’s very womanly – like you’re lying next to your lover in bed whispering this in their ear.”
Krall, with the help of some really talented musicians, put on a tremendous show. I have never seen an audience so quiet and completely immersed in the music and the moment.
A little wine, a little music, add some major league talent, and you have one hell of a magical evening.
ZZ Top, consisting of Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums, kicked of their show with “I Thank You” and “Waiting for the Bus,” as avid ZZ Top fans filled the outdoor amphitheater to capacity – some diehard fans were sporting their own long beards.
A number of fans were getting their ganja on as a brief video came on introducing band members Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums. You could see Beard (yes, the only one not sporting a beard) climbing into his nest of drums. Once the crowd spotted him they all began cheering.
Friday night was a special day for Beard as his brand new drum set, complete with pistons, gas tanks, and whole lotta skeletons, arrived at Thunder Valley for the drums inaugural performance. In between songs Beard could be seen admiring his sparkly new set.
As the band continued to play “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Pincushion,” and “Heard It on The X,” the crowd remained standing, with some fans dancing in the aisles.
ZZ Top played their latest single “I Gotsta Get Paid,” off their new album La Futura, due out in September. The song was recently in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed, and appears on the soundtrack for the film Battleship. It’s a catchy tune!
This is the band’s first album in 9 years and includes “Flyin’ High,” which actually debuted in outer space. It wasn’t quite completed yet, but NASA astronaut Mike Fossum asked to hear it while en route to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spaceship ““ kinda cool.
They played “Sharped Dressed Man” followed by “Legs,” as they pulled out their white furry guitars, causing the crowd to cheer even louder. After “Legs” the band exited the stage, only to come back and play “Tube Snake Boogie,” “LaGrange,” and “Tush.”
While I think this was a great concert, due to the fact it was ZZ Top, I believe they missed the mark musically. At times it was difficult to make out what they were playing, which could have been attributed to the sound system. However, other concerts at this venue have sounded superb, so that would be doubtful. I may have been in the minority, as most fans were singing along to quite a few songs.
A critical error was ending the show with “Tush,” as it left the crowd, not wanting more, but expecting more, with a number of boos coming from the audience as they made their way to the exits. In fact, most of the audience remained until the house lights were brought up and Brancombe Richmond came out to thank everyone for being there and announcing the upcoming lineup for Thunder Valley’s Summer Concert Series.
I Thank You
Waiting for The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Heard It on The X
I Gotsta Get Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin
Vincent Price Blues
My Heads in Mississippi
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Sharped Dressed Man
Tube Snake Boogie
Six-time Grammy winner Earth Wind and Fire (aka EWF) took over Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater Saturday, transforming it into one big funkalicious delight of disco, R&B, soul, and a whole lotta lights!
As original members Philip Bailey, Verdine White, and Ralph Johnson, made their way on stage it was obvious the standing room only crowd was in for a treat, as lights started gearing up for an evening of dazzling displays, blazing colors, and an overpowering sense of deja vu.
Joining them onstage was an array of talent, as some members were jumping from one instrument to another. They were Myron McKinley (keyboards), Philip Bailey Jr. (background vocals), B. David Whitworth (vocals, percussion), Greg Moore (guitar, vocals), Morris O’Conner (guitar), John Paris (drums, vocals), Gary Bias (saxophone), Bobby Burns Jr. (trumpet), and Reggie Young (trombone).
Kicking off the show with “Boogie Wonderland,” EWF had 4,500 plus fans on their feet from the first beat to the last, as the crowd waved their hands in the air and grooved with the music.
As EWF danced their way through “Sing A Song” and “Shining Star,” the crowd remained on their feet, singing and dancing.
Towards the middle of the show, as EWF played a handful of love songs like “Love’s Holiday,” “Can’t Hide Love,” and “After the Love,” some audience members took a breather and sat down, while the majority of the crowd remained standing. Some made their way to the nearest aisle to slow dance, only to find the aisle already jammed with people swaying to the music.
As night began to take hold, the stage became a steady stream of eye-candy, as psychedelic patterns were displayed on three different backdrops, along with flashing lights and neon painted instruments.
EWF finished strong with “Let’s Groove,” “Mighty Mighty,” and “In the Stone.” As they finished their last song, fans reluctantly made their way to the exits. Some fans kept looking back at the stage hoping EWF would pop back up and give up one last song.
This was an awesome show, with great music, talent and lights!
Randy’s Rant (continued from last review): Now this is how an aging band puts on a performance. All their songs were hits from their heyday. While they have a few newer songs out, they stuck to the originals that made them popular back in the day, and they didn’t bother trying to introduce newer material. Every time I walked by the merchant booth, there was a line of people.
Next Friday Power Balance Pavilion and 107.9 The End brings you EndFest with Demi Lovato, Adam Lambert, and more. On Saturday, again at Power Balance, watch your favorite American Idol from last season’s show as they bring you some new and not-so-new material.
Don’t forget to check out the remaining shows out at Thunder Valley Casino Resorts Summer Concert Series, as they bring you the likes of Creed, Jeff Dunham, ZZ Top and more!
As in Steve Miller.
The 68 year old rocker had the sold out crowd at Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater rocking the night away as Miller took them on a magical ride down memory lane.
The concert was like taking a ride on a Jet Airplane to Swingtown, with a Space Cowboy and The Joker on board. Then all of a sudden – Abracadabra – and everyone was Dance Dance Dance dancing the night away ““ ok, I think the medical stuff was working its magic on me at that point, but that’s what it felt like!
Miller and his band comprised of Jacob Petersen (guitar), Joseph Wooten (keys), Kenny Lee Lewis (bass), Sonny Charles (vocals), and Gordy Knudtson (drums), came out performing “Jungle Love,” which immediately brought the crowd to their feet.
Miller continued with his hits “Take the Money and Run,” “The Stake,” and “Abracadabra,” as I’m sure some people in the crowd were reminiscing about the time they were in the backseat of their 65 Chevy, doing god knows what.
As they started playing “Abracadabra,” Miller introduced Carlos Reyes from Oakland, as Reyes proceeded to rip into his violin. Reyes also brought out a harp during an acoustic set of “Nature Boy,” “Dance Dance Dance,” and “The Window.”
Prior to the acoustic set, Miller played a number of songs from his Bingo album like “Further On Up the Road,” “Tramp,” and “All Your Love (I Miss Loving).”
That’s about the time when things slowed way down. As the crowd started mingling with each other, it felt more like an intermission. As Miller started the acoustic set, most audience members were reengaged when they hit “Dance Dance Dance,” but that quickly faded, until Miller kicked it back into gear with “Jet Airliner.”
Heading into the encore Miller was in top form with “Rockin Me,” “Swingtown,” “Space Cowboy,” and finishing the night with “The Joker.”
Even with the lull of newer songs this was a great night of entertainment, providing everyone in attendance with a stroll down memory lane.
Don’t forget to check out Thunder Valley Casino’s upcoming Summer Concerts.
Randy’s Rant: Aging artists should stick to the hits that got them there. While I understand the need to sell their latest CD, they need to understand their audience. Many of their fans are in the older demographic, and might only go to one or two shows a year. When they do finally get out to a concert they want to be entertained by the rocker of yesteryear, not yesterday.
I truly believe that if they stuck to the older hits, this will in turn cause people to want to listen to their newer stuff. As fans are leaving, going to get a beer, or going to drain said beer, they would be more inclined to stop off at the merchant table and pick up the latest CD. If not, click the link below and buy the damn thing.
I could be completely off base, but since this is my blog I get to blather on about a whole lot of nothing.