entertain

Medley’s get righteous at Thunder Valley Casino

Bill Medley

Bill Medley – Click for more images
Photo: Randy Miramontez

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and legendary Righteous Brother Bill Medley along with daughter McKenna Medley, performed at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday.

Bill was backed by the very talented 3 Bottle Band, who has been playing together with Medley for over 35 years. Band members were Gabe Rabben (drums), Jamie Browning (bass/vocals), Tim Lee (keyboards), and Larry Hanson (lead guitar).

This year marks the 51st anniversary of the Righteous Brothers. The second half of the duo, Bobby Hatfield, died of a heart attack back in 2003; Medley now tours with the 3 Bottle Band and his daughter Mckenna.

McKenna Medley

McKenna Medley – Click for more images
Photo: Randy Miramontez

Kicking off the show was a video showing Medley as he made appearances in various shows throughout his career, including the David Letterman Show and the hit TV series, Cheers. As the video ended, Medley started to sing “A Song for You” while he was still offstage. After about a minute he started to make his way to the stage, providing for a nice dramatic entrance.

The audience was mesmerized with Medley from the start as he continued with “Show Me” and “Soul and Inspiration.” In between songs he would talk about life and joke with the crowd.

Jamie Browning

Jamie Browning
Photo: Randy Miramontez

The 72 year old Medley’s voice was rough at times, but had a nice coarse sound to it. He even made fun of himself after singing “Unchained Melody,” saying he knew everyone was waiting to see if he could hit the high note, but didn’t. He did follow the joke with a quick high note, which sounded great.

For his hit song, “Time of My Life,” from the movie Dirty Dancing, Medley brought out Mckenna to perform Jennifer Warnes’ part. McKenna did an awesome job and has a very melodic voice with a bit of a country/blues flavor.

 

Tim Lee and Larry Hanson

Tim Lee (R) and Larry Hanson
Photo: Randy Miramontez

McKenna went on to perform solo, singing “Silk Flowers” and “Give Me One Reason.”

After McKenna completed her set, Medley sat down at the keyboards and called on band member Jamie Browning to sing a few songs with him and McKenna. This is where Medley shined, providing the audience a glimpse of what it’s like to jam with one of the best.

Gabe Rabben

Gabe Rabben
Photo: Randy Miramontez

Mckenna has just recently started a blog called “A Righteous Fit,” chronicling her daily struggles and successes to keep fit. McKenna says, “Staying in shape is a constant struggle for me. I’m not here because I have all the answers, even though I may have a few tricks- especially when it comes to traveling,” she goes on to say, “But I just want to inspire good health, and have a place to be accountable for my own health.” It was fun following her posts on her trip to Thunder Valley.

V101’s Big Valentines Jam

(LR) Samuelle Prater, Vallerie Watson and Jay King of Club NouveauPhoto by: Randy Miramontez

Club Nouveau
Photo by: Randy Miramontez

Thunder Valley Casino Resort did it again Friday night as they packed them in for V101’s Big Valentine’s Day Jam with a stellar lineup including Sacramento’s own Club Nouveau, Zapp, and The Bar-Kay’s.

Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall was at capacity as droves of fans crowded in to see their favorite bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Starting off the show was Club Nouveau performing a number of their hits including “Situation #9,” “Jealousy,” and their No. 1 hit “Lean on Me.” The crowd met them with wild applause as fans were jumping to their feet.

The Zapp Band Photo by: Randy Miramontez

The Zapp Band
Photo by: Randy Miramontez

A couple of their songs fell flat for me, but the audience didn’t seem to mind since the majority of the room remained on their feet for most of their performance. Closing with “Lean on Me,” the instrumentals were lacking with the piano getting lost in the mix of things. Founding members Jay King and Vallerie Watson were joined by original member Samuelle Prater.

The logistics for this show were difficult at best with Zapp and The Bar-Kay’s bringing in a large number of instruments with everything from drums and keyboards to Zapp’s  Peter Frampton style Talkbox. This may have contributed to the less than stellar performance by Club Nouveau.

The Zapp Band Photo by: Randy Miramontez

The Zapp Band
Photo by: Randy Miramontez

Zapp followed Club Nouveau with many of their hits which included “More Bounce to the Ounce,” “Dance Floor” and “Computer Love,” just to name a few. Founding members and brothers Lester Troutman, Terry “Zapp” Troutman and Vontel Troutman were joined by Gregory Jackson and Thomas Troutman.

What can I say about the Zapp band other than they simply killed it. Great colorful props, bright clothes, bright lights, and wonderful sounds, this group of guys had the crowd on their feet during their entire set.

As Zapp finished their set a large number of people headed for the doors. While some came back in for headliner The Bar-Kay’s many didn’t. Apparently a small portion of the fans were there to see Zapp.

The Bar-Kays Photo: Randy Miramontez

The Bar-Kays
Photo: Randy Miramontez

As The Bar-Kay’s took the stage the crowd was re-energized and back on their feet. The crowd seemed more subdued for The Bar-Kay’s than for Zapp, but that evaporated mid-way through their set.

Onstage was Larry Dodson (lead singer), James Alexander (bass), Tony Gentry (guitar), Ezra Williams (keyboards), Carlos Sargent (drums), Mark Bynum (keyboards), Darrel Stanley (background vocals), Archie Love (background vocals) and Mike Anderson (guitar).

The Bar-Kays

The Bar-Kays

Bringing on the funk, The Bark-Kay’s performed many of their hits including “Soul Finger,” “Let’s Have Some Fun” and “Hit and Run.”

While The Bar-Kay’s had a stellar performance, at the end of the day Zapp stole the show and clearly should have had top billing.

For a complete listing of upcoming shows visit Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

 

Air Supply in demand at Thunder Valley

Graham Russell (L) and Russell Hitchcock

Graham Russell (L) and Russell Hitchcock

Crap it happened again.

Last year Air Supply stormed into Thunder Valley Casino Resort playing all their hits from the ‘70s and 80’s, pretty much nothing but love songs, and I liked it. It was after that show, back in December of last year, that I started questioning my maleness. Was it time to turn in my man-card?

 
To prove to myself that I wasn’t playing for the other team, I decided to take in a Chippendales show (review) followed by a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight (review).  That didn’t go so well. You can read those reviews and decide for yourself, but in my mind, I think I failed – not that that’s a bad thing, at least that’s what my wife keeps telling me.

Air Supply

Russell Hitchcock and Jonni Lightfoot – Click for more images


Well I got a do over as Air Supply came back to Thunder Valley Casino on Sunday night playing to another sold out crowd.

It all started out quietly enough as founding members Russell Hitchcock (lead vocals) and Graham Russell (guitar/vocals) took the stage with fellow band members Jonni Lightfoot (bass/vocals), Aaron McLain (guitar/vocals), Aviv Cohen (drums), and filling in for Amir Efrat on keyboards Davy Nathan.

Hitchcock wading through the crowd

Hitchcock wading through the crowd – Click for more images

 

They kicked of the night with “Even the Nights are Better” and “Just as I Am,” as their fans greeted them with deafening applause, mixed with the occasional scream.

Midway through the show, Russell went unplugged with “Me and The River,” as Nathan accompanied him on keys. All the other band members, including Hitchcock left the stage.

As Russell finished “Me and The River” he was handed another guitar for his next song, only it wasn’t working. As Nathan, the guitar guy, not to be confused with Nathan the keyboard guy, worked on the problem, Hitchcock came back out on stage and told a joke about an elephant and something about a stocking over his head. It was quite funny, but you had to be there.

Taking a bow

Taking a bow

Once Russell had his guitar functioning again, Hitchcock appeared stage left, walking straight into a sea of fans. He was handing out hugs and kisses to a number of fans, as he sang “The One That You Love,” with Russell wading into the crowd as well.

That’s when everything changed.

As the crowd was worked into a frenzy Hitchcock and Russell made their way back onstage to play “Lost in Love” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” with the crowd still going wild.

Pandemonium broke out as the band left the stage, with the crowd on their feet clapping and screaming for more. After the requisite wait, the crew jumped back onstage to finish with “Goodbye” and “All Out of Love.”

By the time Air Supply finished their 90 minute set I was passing out hugs and telling everyone I loved them, like there was no tomorrow – Obviously the Mayans were wrong. It was then I realized I’d failed again.

Goodbye man-card.

These guys are pure entertainers and make for a great night out.

Set-list:
Even the Nights are Better
Just as I Am
Every Woman in the World
Sweet Dreams
Here I Am
Chances
Dance with Me
Power of Love
Me and the River
The One That You Love
Lost in Love
Making Love Out of Nothing at All
Goodbye
All Out of Love

 

Blame Sally DVD Release at Harlows

Blame Sally at KVIE Studios – Click for more images

Award winning Blame Sally will be performing at Harlow’s in Sacramento on Sunday September 9th at 7:00 p.m.

Blame Sally brings you everything from stompboxes to fiddles, as they weave their magic in a tapestry of musical delight. And don’t for a minute think of them as a folk band as they add a little bit of rock, and a whole lotta heart into each and every performance, blending the different genres into a melodic work of art.

Their live performances are more than just a musical journey, as they banter back and forth with each other in between songs as only true friends can do, making for a very entertaining evening.

Their most recent Sacramento appearance brought droves of fans from the San Francisco Bay Area to the KVIE studios in Sacramento to record an intimate concert that would later be used to raise money for public television. You can get more information regarding the CD/DVD at KVIE.com, as well as donate and receive free tickets to their upcoming show at Harlow’s where they will be releasing the KVIE CD/DVD to the public.

Monica Pasqual

Winning top honors for “Big Big Red,” “Wide Open Spaces,” and “Bird in Hand,” as voted by fans in the Independent Music Awards, their popularity continues to soar as Blame Sally is quickly becoming a worldwide sensation. They are currently touring across the country and across the pond with upcoming stops in the UK and Ireland.

I’d be remorse if I didn’t mention that band member Monica Pasqual also won an Independent Music Award for Best Concept Album on This Cold Desire.

So who is Blame Sally?

Blame Sally is made up of four women, who decided to get together to play a little music in their spare time with no dreams of grandeur and no expectations, simply enjoying each other’s company while playing a little music.

Jeri Jones and Renee Harcourt

Band members include Pam Delgado (percussions), Renee Harcourt (guitar/bass), Jeri Jones (guitar/bass) and Monica Pasqual (piano/accordion) – I know, not a Sally in the lot!

I had a chance to ask Monica some questions:

SacAndBeyond – You originally got together as a group to hang out and have some fun. At what point did you realize there was something special happening?

Monica – Monica – We realized we had something special the first time we got together.  It was so fun and sounded so good – and that was the reason we really wanted to protect it and make sure that we were doing it for the right reason.  We had all pursued “careers” in music and had gotten tired of trying so hard to make it.  We loved playing together and we wanted to keep it that way, so we sort of dedicated ourselves to the idea of making great music and having fun together.

Sac- Do you have any regrets not pursuing your musical talents earlier in your careers?

Pam Delgado

Monica – We actually had all pursued music to varying degrees when we were younger.  I started playing piano very young and thought I would have a career in classical piano.  I was a professional dance accompanist and also composed for choreographers and then started writing songs and singing in my late 20s. I put out three solo albums before starting to play in Blame Sally.  I was definitely pursuing music, so it’s been sweet to finally feel the payoff of lots of years of work!

Sac – Do you have any advice for the many musicians with day jobs?

Monica – I’m not sure I feel qualified to give advice – but I can say this much:  There are no guarantees, no matter what you do.  I got a lot of advice from family and friends to focus on a more stable career and in some ways I’m sure they were right.  Making money as a musician is not easy – and honestly, if the aim is to make money and get famous, it’s probably not the right career for you.  But If you are truly passionate about music, it doesn’t really matter what advice you get from other people – you find a way to do it, whether you have to keep a day job or not.  Most musicians and artists I know have hobbled together a life and career that includes “straight jobs” and their art – sometimes leaning towards one or the other full time.

Sac – Now that you are on the road so much, are you still able to take the time to just hang out and have a good time?

Monica – The truth is that sometimes when I get home from being on the road I just really need to be by myself for a while.  But there is a point where that retreat becomes habitual and needs to be broken, connections with friends and loved ones have to happen again.  It is incredibly important to check out completely from the band and the business of the band in order to be able to reconnect to it with energy and passion.  At least that’s the way it works for me!

Sac – In an effort to show women across the country that they can make a difference, you recorded a DVD to help out public television and spread the word. What did that mean to you and do you believe it has helped get the message out.

Monica – For some reason it seems like almost everything we do as a band has ended up being a message – and we’re okay with that.  I think that we represent the exception to a lot of rules that people accept but don’t really believe in.  We are 4 women who have chosen to work together for a common goal, we nurture each other and we manage to work together really collaboratively.  The fact that we are having our first real public success at our age is unusual – but it shouldn’t be.  For some reason people think that performers (particularly female performers) are more relevant when they are extremely young – but like people in any other career, there are incredible gifts that come from experience and time.  We tell a different story then a 20 year old would tell, and I think that we tell it in a fresh way that has nothing to do with “nostalgia”.

Regarding PBS – we believe that it will be a great opportunity to connect with more people who will resonate with that message.  The program is just starting to be aired now, so it remains to be seen.  We hope that it will be another mutually supportive relationship.

Sac – What is your most memorable moment on the road?

Monica – I’m having a hard time finding one – but I think we’ve all found it pretty incredible to be touring in Europe lately.  We have had the chance to travel in a way that is totally unique – instead of seeing the world from a tourist’s perspective we have been totally welcomed inside the living rooms of new friends who are eager to share their lives and perspectives, and are super interested in us, too.  It’s almost like being an ambassador – it’s one thing I never expected to experience.

Sac – As the recently announced winners of the Independent Music Awards for three separate categories, how does that feel and what does it mean to you as a band?

Monica – It’s great to be acknowledged for this.  It’s interesting that we were chosen in three different categories that really represent some of the variety that we encompass.  With three lead singers and writers in the band – we sometimes find it difficult to concisely categorize what we do.   It’s particularly sweet that we won all categories we were finalists in (including two more for my solo work) in the popular voting part of this.  It’s good to know we resonate with the people who actually go out and listen to music.

 

The End for Power Balance Pavilion

(LR) Jason, Gavin, and Katie from The End’s morning show

For all you Sacramentans out there ““ Made you look!

107.9 The End held their annual EndFest at Power Balance Pavilion Friday night with Headliner and Disney alum Demi Lovato, American Idol runner up Adam Lambert, Owl City, and singing duo Karmin.

Karmin with Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan were slightly delayed due to an interview on the east coast for ABC’s Good Morning America. Flying from New York to San Francisco, then driving to Sacramento on a Friday afternoon wasn’t the best of ideas, but luckily, for everyone involved, it all worked out.

True to form the kind folks from The End were selecting a number of lucky fans to come up and sit onstage during the performers set. In attendance from 107.9 The End were the Wake Up Call’s own Katie, Jason, and Gavin, along with Dan Mason, Ashley Nickels, and the very entertaining, very talented, and all around nice guy Chris K. (we’re Facebook friends so were like really close, right Chris? ““ Chris? He must not have time to read this, after all he is a very busy man).

Karmin

Karmin – Click for more images

As Karmin kicked off their set with “Crash Your Party,” the audience erupted into screams as the mostly young female audience let loose some blood-curdling screams.

Karmin is a site to see as lead singer Heidemann came out with her pin-up girl looks, and pop-star attitude, sporting one hell of a hairdo. As she started belting out her Katy Perry sound, coupled with her blazing Nicki Manaj-like rapping, I could have sworn there were two people wrapped into this amazingly dynamic package.

Karmin went on to play “Hello,” from their new album of the same title. Of course their set wouldn’t be complete without the song that got them here, Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” They wrapped it up with their hit single “Broken Hearted.”

Up next was Owl City, best known for their hit song “Fireflies,” they came out singing “Cave In.” I say “their” hit song, but Owl City is a one-man-band who goes by the name of Adam Young (lead vocals, programming, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitars, bass guitar, drums, percussion, vibraphone) – I know quite the list.

Adam Young

Adam Young – click for more images

Young does bring along a few friends to help him out while touring. Among them are Breanne Düren (keyboards, backing vocals), Daniel Jorgensen (guitar, vibraphone), Jasper Nephew (guitar), and Steve Goold (drums).

Owl City played a number of their newer songs including “Dementia” and “Meteor Showers.” Of course they also threw in their old standby “Fireflies.”

Adam Lambert sashayed out on stage wearing what appeared to be a lighted pair of pants, but my eyes were deceiving me. Turns out they were a very reflective and very shiny pair of pants with a tiger pattern in black and silver. I say sashayed, but he really strutted more than sashayed, but out of respect for his gayness, I thought I would say sashayed.

What? Where are you going? It was just a joke ““ Wonderful, I just lost half my readers.

Lambert kicked some major butt during the very short time he was onstage as he flawlessly performed songs from his new album including “Trespassing,” “Kickin “‘In,” and “Naked Love.”

I was quite surprised when Lambert didn’t end his set with “Whataya Want From Me,” which is clearly his biggest hit to date.

Lambert could easily have headlined this show, which may be why “they” kept him to only and handful of songs, leaving the audience wanting more. Many of the fans waited in anticipation for him to come back out and perform an encore.

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert – Click for more images

After a brief set change, Demi Lovato arrived on stage as screaming fans greeted her. Many people around me had to plug their ears for fear of blowing out an ear drum or two. In fact, after a couple of songs into Lovato’s set you could see a number of audience members leaving the pavilion. Was it Lovato not being able to hold their attention, or simply the discomfort of all the screaming?

Lovato played several covers including Lil Waynes “How to Love” and Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey.” She also played her smash hit “Give Your Heart a Break.”

If you measured this concert purely on decibels, I would say the show belonged to Lovato as every girl under the roof screamed throughout her set, but I would have preferred to see more of Lamberts work, let’s face it those pants were hot!

While you’ll see a number of photos from the show, you will notice I’m lacking Lovato’s. It appears that Lovato has been so successful and in the media so much, that her management team didn’t think SacAndBeyond was worthy to shoot her portion of the show. I know ““ my therapists didn’t understand it either.

If you haven’t been to a concert put on by The End, it’s well worth it, and you never know, you could End up with some really great onstage seating!

That was One Sorry Concert at PBP!

LMFAO - Click for more images

Matthew Koma - Click for more images

LMFAO brought their Sorry for Party Rocking Tour to Power Balance Pavilion on Wednesday, playing to 7,000 adoring fans, most dressed in neon green and yellow, with some donning an afro wig (shoot – can I say afro?).

Before LMFAO came out to party rock, there were several starters on tap. Leading off the charge was Matthew Koma, who didn’t do it for me. Let’s just say by the time he was done, I was in a coma (that’s a joke. I really wasn’t in a coma). Apparently he’s an American Idol fan, as he add some Phil Phillip type mannerisms during parts of  his performance.

Eva Simons - Click for more images

Up to bat next was the very sexy Eva Simons who kicked some major butt. The Rhianna look-alike was energetic, sounded great, and looked even better! She sang several songs including her hit “Take Over Control” and her latest release “I Don’t Like You.” Expect to see bigger and better thing for Simons.

DJ Sidney Sampson brought his mixing skills as he weaved some great dance beats together, bringing much of the audience to their feet.

FM - Click for more images

If anyone’s seen Far East Movement (aka FM) before, you’ll understand what I mean when I say, they jumped up on stage. This crew has some wicked high energy and some real catchy tunes such as “Like a G6″ and “Round Round.”

With DJ Virman providing much of the tunes and Kev Nish providing lead vocals, FM energized the crowd in preparation for LMFAO as they bounce, hopped, skipped, and jumped on every inch of the stage. This included J-Splif and Prohgress who provided backup vocals and some entertaining moves.

In preparation for LMFAO’s appearance, several young ladies came out and threw flashing styrofoam glow-sticks to the audience. As I sat back and watched the audience you could see a sea of lime green as fans prepared themselves to party rock.

RedFoo - Click for more images

 

Prior to LMFAO making their appearance, a man dressed in the wildest glowing outfit sang  “Rocking the Beat” as the Quest dance crew did their thing. Berry Gordy’s son RedFoo and grandson SkyBlu (RedFoo is SkyBlu’s uncle) arrived on stage during “Rock the Beat” at the top of a two tiered stage, making for quite an entrance.

Dressed in their signature attire they started with “Sorry For Party Rocking” right out of the chute, causing the crowd to go absolutely crazy. As they were flying around the stage several members of their crew started throwing out beach balls, inflatable zebra’s, and palm trees.

There were several costume changes throughout the show, most notable was during “Put That A$$ to Work,” when several members of the crew came out in the most outrageous workout clothes imaginable. And yes, they were neon, bright, and way too revealing.

If you don’t like their music, don’t let that stop you from going to see a live performance. These two know how-to keep an audience totally engaged and completely entertained. It’s nothing but pure fun with a whole lotta neon – let’s not forget about the inflatable toys.

 

 

 

 

A Little Bit of Jazz and a Whole Lotta Funk

Maceo Parker - Click for more images

Maceo Parker and the tightest little funk orchestra on earth performed to a not so stellar crowd at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday.

Parker, best known for his work with James Brown in the 60′s, as well as with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic in the 70′s, has since come into his own and  has been touring under his own name since the 90′s.

Prior to Parker slapping down some funk, Fresno native Jeanette Harris took the audience on a magical ride of silky smooth jazz, with a bit of attitude. Starting off with her single “You Can Dance,” from her ingeniously titled album Saxified, Harris sounded more like a headliner than an opener.

Not disappointing, Harris continued the journey with a little bit of jazz and a dash of funk with “Down Wit’ It.” As she weaved her way through “All I Do” and “Take Me There,” I was beginning to wonder if Parker should have had someone else open for him. The band was flawless, including her brother Michael who was on the drums, Robin Bramlett (bass) and Aaron Thompson (keyboards).

Prior to Parker making it onto the stage, his manager introduced each of the members of the band while they played “Funky Fiesta!” Members included Will Boulware (keyboards), Rodney “Skeet” Curtis (bass), Bruno Speight (guitar), and Marcus Parker (drums).

Once Parker hit the stage it was obvious why he was headlining. This guy was bursting at the seams with funk, as his whole body was shaking to the beat, or maybe he just had to go. You know it happens to the best of us. (Ok already! It was a joke ““ back-off.)

Jeanette Harris - Click for more images

Parker kicked the set off with a very funkalicious version of “Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag,” providing the band a chance to show off their seamless and funky tones.

As Parker transitioned from one song to the next, the band kept up their funky beat. Most noteable was bass player Speight pounding out one bass note after another, adding to the musical tension between songs.

At one point Parker explained how a lot of people refer to his band as a jazz band. He led the audience through a brief jazz session with keyboardist Boulware as Parker played sax (It would have been a great opportunity to bring out Harris). Once he was satisfied everyone understood what jazz sounded like, he kicked it into funk mode with “Make it Funky,” complete with horns ““ gotta love them horns!

It was disappointing to see such a sparse crowd at Pano Hall while two very talented musicians kicked some serious butt. However, the crowd made up for it in energy and enthusiasm as they clapped and hooted throughout the evening.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer concert season kicks off Friday May 18th at 8:00 p.m. with Tesla. Check out there complete schedule at http://thundervalleycasino.com/entertainment

 

 

K-Pop Makes Thunder Valley Blush

DJ Wednesday

No K-Pop isn’t a band, it’s a music genre consisting of pop, dance, electropop, hip hop and electronic music originating from South Korea.

A group of up and coming K-Pop superstars made an appearance at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday. Appearing in Pano Hall were Iammedic, Russel W, Blush, and headliner Aziatix. DJ’ing the event was Taylor Chung, better known as DJ Wednesday, which struck me kind of odd ““ it was a Friday.

 

 

Enik Lin with Iammedic

Leading off the pack was the high energy group Iammedic.  The trio comprised of Danny Park, Andre Harris, and Enik Lin started the concert by telling everyone in attendance to come up to the front row, and get off their butts and dance, which they kindly did.

Leading off with their hit “Shake It” Iammedic had the mostly young female crowd spilling into the aisles and front row dancing and screaming.  Following their next song “Let’s Go,” they had the crowd chanting “Iammedic,” while recording the audience on their smartphone so they could load it up on YouTube.

Iammedic finished their set with “Losing Sleep” and “Spaceship”

Blush - Click for more images

Following Iammedic was the all-girl band Blush, another high energy group reminiscence of the Pussy Cat Dolls. Blush has skyrocketed up the Dance charts in recent weeks with their hit single “Dance On,” beating out Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and David Guetta for the number one spot last week, only to fall to number nine this week.

Adding to their success is ex-Disney executive Jon Niermann and record producer Steve Schnurr. With those two powerhouses, Blush has been able to work with the likes of Snoop Dogg, who is featured on their single “Undivided.” They have also appeared on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” and the Disney show “Shake It Up” featured one of their songs.

It doesn’t hurt that they are incredibly hot ““ is it getting warm in here, or am I having hot flashes again?

Putting on a sizzling performance the five girls from five different continents, Angeli Flores (Phillipines), Alisha Budhrani (India), Ji Hae Lee (South Korea), Danjo Natsuko (Japan), and Victoria Chan (China), had the audience on their feet their entire performance. I even saw some guys up dancing, or maybe they were just gawking at the ladies.

Starting off with their hit “Undivided,” followed by “Make You Blush,” the ladies put on a well-choreographed show.

Russell W - Click for more images

Blush sang “Electric,” which will be featured on their upcoming album due to be released next month. From the sound of it, I would expect to see “Electric” climbing the dance charts soon.

After “Sweet Believe Me” the audience was treated to the debut of “All Star,” which Blush planned on performing in Orlando on Saturday at the NBA AllStars.

Pretty boy Russel W followed Blush. I’m still trying to figure out where he fit into this. While the audience appeared to enjoy his performance I think he missed the mark, playing more rap music than dance/pop. Due to the mostly female audience Russell did add a bit of eye candy for the ladies.

Aziatix - Click for more images

Aziatix, Headliner and new artist of the year in 2011 for both the Asian Music Awards and Blastro Video Awards, brought the house down when they hit the stage with “Lights” and “Superstar.”

The trio made up of Flowsik, Eddie Shin, Nicky Lee, had a large contingent of Aziatix fans in the house. Known as Aziaddicts, they were on-hand to cheer on their favorite band as they kicked off their US tour at Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

A handful of Aziaddics had the opportunity to meet the group prior to the show. I spoke to Patty Diaz who, along with a number of Aziaddicts, presented the Aziatix’s with a banner that will be signed by fans at each of their stops on the US tour.

Aziaddicts Patty Diaz and Tammy with the Aziatix

Diaz is an “administrator” and will be passing the banner off to another administrator for future concerts. She’s scheduled to go to a total of ten concerts and will be off to Seattle and San Francisco this week. She will be traveling as far away as New York and Texas. She wanted to stress that this is a group project by the Aziaddicts and she is but a small cog in a large wheel that supports the Aziatix.

That’s a true addict. You can catch up with all the various Aziaddicts on Facebook

The Aziatix went on to play “Cold” and “Slippin’ Away,” as they worked the audience into frenzy. Ending their set with “Nothing compares to You,” and “Go.” Afterward the group met with fans to sign autographs.

 

The Rhythm Riders bring Cash to Thunder Valley

Johnny Price as Johnny Cash - click for more images

Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline came to life at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday as husband and wife duo Johnny and Dee Price performed to a sold out crowd.

Prior to the show, Glenda Gonzales and Bart Ruud, co-chairs for the charity organization Arts and Kids, thanked everyone in attendance for their support. They also presented a plaque to the United Auburn Indian Community for their efforts in bringing this, the second annual, charity event to Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

Arts and Kids comprises three charitable organizations; Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, Boys & Girls Club of Auburn, and Friends of Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage.

Ok, enough. Back to the show!

Johnny and Dee, along with the band known as The Rhythm Riders, were flawless in their delivery of hits. The band included David Johnston (guitar), Larry Tracy (guitar, dobro), Brett Boyle (bass), and Charlie (drummer).

Starting off the show was Dee with the mostly older crowd erupting into cheers as she started singing Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight,” followed by “That’s How a Heartache Begins.”

Dee belted out hit after hit with her smooth, crystal clear vocals. She sounded wickedly similar to Patsy

Dee Price as Patsy Cline - Click for more images

Cline and the audience simply ate it up.

Dee performed a complete set of fifteen songs ending with “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

After a brief intermission Johnny opened up his set with “Folsom Prison Blues.” He thanked the audience for being there for charity, pointing out the importance of organizations such as the Cinh Son Montagnard Orphanage that helps under privileged children in Vietnam.

In between songs Johnny would talk about The Man in Black and provide a bit of historical content around some of the songs. After “Folsom Prison Blues,” he explained how Cash had to introduce himself when he performed at Folsom Prison, leading Cash to introduce himself at all his performances.

As for Johnny’s vocals? In a word – perfection. If you closed your eyes you would have thought Cash himself was up there singing.

Johnny even worked in many of the mannerisms of Cash, like the way he handled the guitar and sang into the mic.

Johnny performed over twenty songs, Dee came back onstage to help out towards the end. Specifically for the song “Jackson,” which Cash originally performed with his wife June Carter Cash.

The Rhythm Riders Back in Black show is the real deal with a Vegas feel. Johnny Cash’s only drummer for 37 years, W.S. “Fluke” Holland, flew in from Jackson, Tennessee last year to join them onstage at their Thunder Valley debut.

You can catch the The Rhythm Riders starting in March, and running for 16 weeks, at Harrah’s Reno.

About Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center:
The Objective of APPAC is to raise the funds necessary for the acquisition, design and reconstruction of the State Theatre and to maintain funding for the continuing operation of a state-of-the-art regional performing arts center within the 1930-vintage State Theatre located in Historic Downtown Auburn.

About Boys & Girls Club of Auburn:
Boys & Girls Club of Auburn provides hope and opportunity to many Auburn area youth. The Club offers our members what they need and want most: adults who respect and listen to them; a safe environment where they can have fun and be themselves; and interesting, constructive activities that channel their energy into challenging pursuits.

Our Club members benefit from a broad range of programs offered daily with our trained, caring, professional staff and volunteers who help them take control of their lives, envision productive futures and achieve their goals.

About Friends of Vinh Son Montagnard Orphanage:
Raise resources (cash and in-kind gifts) to directly benefit the children. The orphanage is administered by The Sisters of the Miraculous Medal who, with our help, provide:

  • Primary and secondary education
  • Life skills to ensure the children become self sufficient
  • A safe environment
  • Food, clothing, shelter and medical care

 

Getting Righteous at Thunder Valley Casino

Bill Medley - Click for more images

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and legendary Righteous Brother Bill Medley brought a crew of extremely talented individuals to Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday, including daughter McKenna.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Righteous Brothers. The second half of the duo, Bobby Hatfield, died of a heart attack back in 2003; Medley now tours with 3 Bottle Band and McKenna.

Kicking off the show was a video showing Medley as he made appearances in various shows throughout his career, including the David Letterman Show and the hit TV series, Cheers. As the video ended, Medley started to sing “A Song for You” while he was still offstage. After about a minute he started to make his way to the stage, providing for a nice dramatic entrance.

The 71 year old Medley’s voice has taken a beating over the years. While sounding coarser and a bit rough at times, he was able to make it work. The audience was enthralled with Medley from the start as he continued with “Ready, Willing and Able” and “Soul and Inspiration.” In between songs he would talk about life and joke with the crowd.

For his hit song, “Time of My Life,” from the movie Dirty Dancing, Medley brought out Mckenna to perform Jennifer Warnes’ part. McKenna did an awesome job and has a very melodic voice with a bit of a country/blues flavor.

McKenna went on to perform solo, singing “Silk Flowers” and “Give Me One Reason.”

McKenna and Bill Medley – Click for more images

When McKenna completed her set, Medley sat down at the keyboards and called on band member Bob Gulley to sing some songs with him and McKenna. This is where Medley shined, providing the audience a glimpse of what it’s like to jam with the best.

3 Bottle Band has been playing together with Medley for over 35 years, and it shows. This is a very talented group of musicians including Gabe Rabben (drums), Bob Gulley (bass), Tim Lee (keyboards), and Larry Hanson (lead guitar). Also a member of the band is America’s Got Talent winner Michael Grimm. However, Grimm was not present at Fridays show.

cfvi812mf

Free counters!