When I think of a rock concert I think of head banging, guitar shredding, and a pot induced road trip and last night I was missing the shredding and banging, but damn the trip was right-on, as Arrival from Sweden, The Music of ABBA kicked some major tribute band butt ““ Mamma Mia, they were good!
It was as if I was lost in the 70′s as Arrival kicked their show off with “That’s Me,” playing to an overflowing crowd in Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s Pano Hall on Friday night.
I was a bit confused as Pano Hall started filling up with mostly gray hairs. It’s not like ABBA’s been around for almost 40 years ““ Oh crap!! They have! That makes me a friggin gray hair, damned if my therapist wasn’t right.
Joining founding member Vicky Zetterberg (playing Anni-Frid) onstage was Jenny Gustafsson (playing Agnetha), six musicians, and three female back-up singers.
After “That’s Me” Gustafsson explained to the crowd that ABBA was an acronym for the original members of the band ABBA, consisting of Agnetha FÃ¤ltskog, Benny Andersson, BjÃ¶rn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
It was interesting as Gustafsson and Zetterberg told stories of the original ABBA bringing out the true meaning to some of their songs. For example, when telling the audience about the long term engagement of Andersson and Lyngstad, they segued into “I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do.”
The funny thing about Andersson and Lyngstad’s longterm engagement, or maybe not so funny, is after a twelve year engagement, Lyngstad finally said yes ““ They were divorced a year and a half later – You know there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
That was the beginning of the end for ABBA as they disbanded in 1982.
The evening continued with Gustafsson and Zetterberg telling stories and singing like the real deal. I was amazed when someone was leaving the concert because they were upset that this wasn’t the real ABBA. I’m just thankful that the real ABBA wasn’t onstage wearing those skimpy outfits, plus, would the original band sound this good? I doubt it.
As for the six musicians, they were extremely tight and sounded magnificent, couple that with the pitch perfect performance of Gustafsson and Zetterberg, and you had the perfect ABBA tribute band.
The show was broken up into two halves with a brief intermission. Each half included a medley of hits, so they could fit more of their hits into the show. They played hits such as “SOS,” “Waterloo,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Thank You.”
Due to the age range of the audience, it was pretty subdued, with a handful of fans dancing in the aisles, but that all change with their closing song . . . “Dancing Queen,” as everyone jumped up to dance and clap their hands.
ABBA has sold close to 400 million records and they’ve been compared to Elvis and the The Beatles in terms of sales. The musical “Mamma Mia,” was based on the hits of ABBA and was a worldwide sensation.
All I can say is it was an ABBAsolutely fabulous show!
I Do I Do I Do
Knowing Me Knowing You
When I Kissed
Medley: I’ve Been, Honey, He’s Your Fernando
Money Money Money
Does Your Mother Know
Medley: Kisses, Angel Eyes, Lay All Your Love on Me, Gimme Gimme, Super Trouper, Name of the Game, Eagle
Take a Chance
Hole in Your Soul
Friday night was a spiritual awakening of sorts as Creed brought their 2012 tour to Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater, with lead singer Scott Stapp providing an emotional, chest thumping performance befitting a true rock-star.
Opening band Like a Storm started the show off as temperatures hovered just over 100 degrees, with Chris Brooks (lead singer/guitar), and his two brothers, Matt (lead guitar), and Kent (bass), along with drummer Roye Robley.
The New Zealand band is no stranger to Creed, this will be their fourth tour with the band and after listening to them perform, it was obvious why Creed has them open the show.
The show was to begin at 7:30, so when Like a Storm took the stage at 6:50, the crowd was pretty sparse. Kicking off with “Chemical Infatuation” and “Never Surrender,” they did a good job of getting the crowd up on their feet.
As Eve to Adam took the stage the seats were quickly filling in anticipation of Creed. With band members Taki Sassaris (lead vocals/guitar), Alex Sassaris (drums/backing vocals) and Gaurav Bali (guitar/backing vocals) they kicked off their set with”151″ and “No Regret.”
I would have preferred to see Like a Storm in the second slot. I thought they were far superior than Eve to Adam, and it would have been great to hear more songs from them.
The stage was dark as Creed band members Scott Stapp (lead vocals), Mark Tremonti (guitar), Scott Phillips (drums), and Brian Marshall (bass) quietly took the stage.
As the band started “Are You Ready,” the lights blasted on, bathing the audience in their brilliance, making it next to impossible to see what was happening onstage.
While the lighting on band members, including Stapp, was somewhat dark, the rest of the stage was lit up in various colors, with the audience getting the occasional dose of lights.
As the band went on to play “Torn” and “Wrong Way,” Stapp, who was already sweating profusely, continued pouring his heart and soul into each and every song. Stapp had total control over the audience as he would reach for the heavens with pained expressions and the occasional guttural scream.
Creed stuck to the music that got them where they’re at and only played one song, “A Thousand Faces,” from their latest album Full Circle.
Many fans believe Creed is a Christian band, but Creed has never seen themselves as a Christian band. In an interview Stapp was asked if he was a Christian artist, to which he responded, “I’m an artist who’s a Christian, because I don’t write music to be evangelical. Now, if that happens, it happens. My dad’s a dentist, and he’s a Christian. Now, does he put in Christian fillings? No, that’s just part of his three-dimensional life. Now, there are people that are Christian artists, because they have a purpose to be evangelical for Christ. I don’t feel I’ve been called to that yet. Now, that could change. There’s no telling what kind of call God will put on my life.“
I had the opportunity to ask Creed fan Angela Williams what she thought about the Concert. While she didn’t get a chance to see Like a Storm, she did see Eve to Adam and thought they rocked. As for Creed . . . “Amazing, and they left us wanting more!”
Many fans after all these years were still comparing Creed to Pearl Jam and how much Stapp sounds like Eddie Vedder. Get over it people!! Creed has their own sound, their own personality, and their own legendary status ““ stop with the comparisons.
There’s still some great summer concerts left for Thunder Valley Casino’s Summer Concert Series.
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.