Thunder Valley Summer Concert Series heats up

LINCOLN, CA – Thunder Valley Casino Resort just announced three more shows to their Summer Concert Series, adding to the already stellar line-up.

Just added:

Saturday, June 19 at 6 p.m. – The Go-Go’s with; Patty Smyth and Scandal; Martha Davis and the Motels; Cutting Crew and Naked Eyes with Pete Byrne.

Friday, August 8 at 7 p.m. – Deep Purple with Blue Oyster Cult.

Eddie Money Photo: Randy Miramontez

Eddie Money
Click for more photos

and in an odd pairing . . .

Friday, September 5 at 7 p.m. Foreigner with Grand Funk Railroad.

Previous shows already announced:

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
Alabama with Road 88 Saturday, July 12 – 7:30 pm
Larry the Cable Guy Friday, July 18 – 8:00 pm
The Go Go’s and more Saturday, July 19 – 6:00 pm
That Metal Show w/Anthrax, Living Colour, Corey Taylor and more Friday, July 25 – 6:30 pm
George Benson and Chris Botti Saturday, July 26 – 7 pm
New Edition Friday, August 1 – 7:30 pm
Deep Purple with Blue Oyster Cult Friday, August 8 – 7:00 pm
Credence Clearwater Revisited w/38 Special Saturday, August 9 – 7:00 pm
Lynyrd Skynyrd Friday, August 15 – 7 pm
Yes Saturday, August 23, 7:00 pm
Charlie Wilson with Brian McKnight Friday, August 29 – 7:00 pm
Rewind Festival w/ Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, Katrina, The English Beat Sunday, August 31 – 6:00 pm
Foreigner with Grand Funk Railroad Friday, September 5 – 7:00 pm
Bill Cosby Saturday, September 6 – 7:30 pm
Big Block Part featuring Morris Day, Guy, Sheila E and more Saturday, September 13 – 6 pm
Martina McBride Friday, September 19 – 7:30 pm
Diana Ross Saturday, September 27 – 8:00 pm Protection Status

Foreigners Flock to Thunder Valley Casino


Foreigner – Click for more images

Foreigner, everyone’s “Juke Box Hero,” performed to a sold-out crowd at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday night.

But was it really Foreigner, or just another cover band?

Foreigner was originally formed in 1976 by veteran English musicians Mick Jones and Ian McDonald, along with American vocalist Lou Gramm. In 1980 McDonald left the band, leaving Jones and Gramm as the only original members. 1990 saw the departure of Gramm, only to rejoin the group a couple of years later.

With Gramm’s on-again, off-again relationship, coupled with health issues, a joint decision was made and Gramm made his final departure. This paved the way for their current lead singer, Kelly Hansen, who joined the group in 2004.

With Gramm’s sound and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler looks, Hansen has breathed new life into Foreigner, especially with the likes of Jeff Pilson (bass), Mark Schulman (plays some killer drums), Bruce Watson (lead guitar), Ollie Marland (keyboards), and Tom Gimbel (keyboards, guitar, sax).

Jeff Pilson, Bruce Watson, and Tom Gimbel

Jeff Pilson, Bruce Watson, and Tom Gimbel

Hold up! What happened to the only founding member Mick Jones? Jones has been having health issues and rarely plays with the band, although he has been known to show up to a show or two. Watson was brought on board to fill in for Jones.

With no original band members, can this really be Foreigner, or is it simply a well put together cover band?

If you ask any of the 4,500 plus fans in attendance at Friday’s concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, you will get a resounding answer ““ “This is Foreigner!”

As soon as the band struck the first few notes of “Double Vision,” the crowd was on their feet, as Hansen ran onstage. Following up with “Head Games,” Hansen continued his high energy performance as Watson and Pilson joined in, jamming with one another as well as Hansen.

Roseville Area High School Choir

Roseville Area High School Choir – Click for more images

As they started “Cold as Ice,” the crowd brought it up a notch as did Hansen. The 51 year old Hansen, who has been known to climb stage scaffolding, rocketed off the stage, jumped the pit wall, and headed out into a sea of waiting foreigners. Most of the fans he passed had their hand up to give him a high-five, while others scrambled for their cameras.

Towards the end of the show and halfway through “I Want to Know What Love Is,” some members of the Roseville Area High School Choir came out on stage singing the chorus, as Hansen mingled with the choir and then headed back out into the crowd.

Ryan Spencer

Ryan Spencer – WINNER!!


During the show fans could purchase Foreigner’s new CD, or DVD, Rockin at the Ryman from the Roseville choir, in addition to their purchase each fan received a ticket for a chance to win an autographed guitar signed by all the band members. Ryan Spencer who is a huge Foreigner fan, as well as a 96.9 The Eagle fan, ended up with the guitar.

This has been a good year thus far for Foreigner, at least in the movies, with several of their hits appearing in “Rock of Ages,” as well as the recently released “Magic Mike.”

Coming to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater next week is Steve Miller on Friday and Earth Wind and Fire on Saturday.




Thunder Valley Casino Summer Concert Series UPDATED

Tesla receives the Key to the City in Sacramento CA – Click for more images

I just wanted to update everyone on Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer concert series which kicks off on May 18th with Sacramento’s own band Tesla.

Thunder Valley has brought a diverse lineup of acts to their summer stage in past seasons and 2012 is shaping up to be an awesome series, with everything from local favorites such as Tesla to cross border sensations including 3 time Grammy winner and Canadian, Diana Krall.


Mr. Fluffy himself – Gabriel Iglesias – Click for more images

Recently added to the summer lineup are two very funny people Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham, both funny in their own special way. You can read more about their last visit to the area at  Fluffy Puffs Up Thunder ValleyJeff  Dunham – A Heart of Wood

For you country fans out there, they’ve added none other than country sensation Tracy Darrell Adkins, better known as Trace Adkins.

Foreigner drummer Mark Schulman – Click for more images


Let’s not forget Foreigner with their relatively new lead singer, and Steven Tyler look alike, Kelly Hansen, who brings a whole lotta energy to their shows. You can read about Foreigners appearance last year at Sleep Train Amphitheater here.



Don’t be left out, get your tickets early!


Thunder Valley Casino Resort Summer Schedule

Tesla Friday, May 18 – 8:00 pm
La Original Banda El Limon Con Carmen Jara Saturday, May 19 – 8:00 pm
Creedence Clearwater Revisited Saturday, June 2 –  8:00 pm
Super 70’s Soul Jam Friday, June 8 – 7:00 pm
Filipino Entertainment Festival Saturday, June 9 – 5:00 pm
Brett Michaels w/Night Ranger and Slaughter Friday, June 15 – 7:00 pm
Trace Adkins Friday, June 29 – 7:30 pm
Gabriel Iglesias (aka Fluffy) Saturday, June 30 – 8:00 pm
Foreigner Friday, July 6 – 8:00 pm
Steve Miller Band Friday, July 13 – 8:00 pm
Earth Wind and Fire Saturday, July 14 – 8:00 pm
Creed Friday, August 3 – 7:30
Jeff Dunham (aka Jeff fa fa Dun Ham) Saturday, August 4 – 8:00 pm
Smokey Robinson Saturday, August 11 – 8:00 pm
ZZ Top Friday, August 17 – 8:00 pm
Diana Krall Saturday, Aug. 18 – 8:00 pm
REO Speedwagon  Saturday August 25 – 8:00 pm
 Styx  Thursday, September 6 – 8:00 pm
Morris Day and The Time Friday, September 7 – 7:00 pm
Terry Fator Saturday, September 15 – 8:00 pm
Ramon Ayala Friday, September 21 – 8:00 pm
Cirque Du Thunder Saturday, September 22 – 8:00

Jingle Bells Rock Thunder Valley

Eddie Money and Mickey Thomas

Sixty-two-year-old veteran rocker Eddie Money brought his Jingle Bell Rock tour to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Thursday. Scheduled to appear was former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm and former Jefferson Starship lead singer Mickey Thomas.

The day before their performance at Thunder Valley, it was announced that Gramm would not be performing for the remaining tour due to acute laryngitis, so Gramm was not in attendance.

As the concert kicked off with Money and Thomas taking the stage, the audience immediately started chanting, “Lou! Lou! Lou!” Money responded by explaining the situation and said they had added a couple of songs to their setlist to make up for the missing Gramm. This was followed by more than a few polite boos ““ is there really such a thing as a polite boo?

Money exited stage left while Thomas started singing “Jane.” Thomas wore a striped shirt with a loosely worn red Christmas tie, while he banged out “Sara,” “We Built This City,” “Nothings Going to Stop Us Now.” Thomas ended his set with “It’s Christmas Time Pretty Baby,” singing in the style of Elvis Presley.

The 62-year-old Thomas’ vocals really stood out throughout his set, sounding just as good as he did all those years ago, in particular when he sang Annie Lennox’s “Winter Wonderland.”

Mickey Thomas - Click for more images

Backing Thomas was Money’s regular crew consisting of longtime band members Tommy Girvin (lead guitar) and Glenn Symmonds (drummer), with more recent additions Lee Beverly (bass) and Chris Groves (keyboards).

Following Thomas, Money came out singing “Baby Hold On” and “I Wanna Go Back.”  As Money sang, he shuffled back and forth across the stage and even pulled out the saxophone to show everyone he can still play.

Rounding out the show, Money and Thomas took the stage together singing “Jingle Bell Rock” and a rocking version of “Jingle Bells.” For their encore they performed John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

While Money’s vocals were not as pristine as Thomas’, he made up for it with his overall stage presence, sense of humor and kindness toward the audience, reaching out to shake hands with a few people in the front row.

Offstage, Money is extremely generous and cordial to all those around him, introducing himself to anyone standing near. His generosity doesn’t stop there.

Eddie Money - Click for more images

Money is a strong supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps support families of military personnel lost in service to our nation and for severely wounded service members and veterans.

Money is hoping fans will help bring some holiday cheer to heroic members of the armed forces by going to and purchasing his single “One More Soldier Coming Home.” All the proceeds will go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

The Jingle Bell Rock tour was originally started by Money. This past summer, Money performed at a benefit in a Los Angeles club where Gramm and Thomas also appeared. After some discussion they decided to work with Money and tour with him in the Jingle Bell Rock tour.

While this was Money’s show and he was the headliner, Gramm’s absence was a big disappointment for many of the fans in the audience. Especially after Foreigner just came through the area a couple of months ago with their new frontman Kelly Hansen leading the charge. Hansen did an awesome job and put on a high energy show ““ check out my review. I for one, was hoping to see the real deal – maybe next year.

Yes, the audience booed after they realized Lou wasn’t going to be there, but these diehard fans enjoyed the show nonetheless. It’s these types of fans that keep the old-school bands going. And it’s these types of bands that keep the old people going ““ and a little help from Geritol.


Journey Brings Eclipse Tour to Sleep Train Amphitheater

Journey's Lead Singer Arnel Pineda - Click for more images


It was quite the Journey down memory lane last night at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Wheatland, CA. It was surreal at times, leaving me feeling like a Foreigner in a strange land. I felt safe the entire Journey since there was always a Night Ranger close at hand.

That was one rockin’ show out Marysville way Friday night. Journey brought their Eclipse tour along with fellow rockers Foreigner and Night Ranger. Talk about an epic four hour journey.




Leading off the night was Night Ranger with original members Kelly Keagy (drums/ vocals), Brad Gillis (lead guitar/vocals), and Jack Blades

Night Ranger - Click for more images

(bass/vocals). Newest additions to the band were Joel Hoekstra (guitar/backing vocals) and Eric Levy (keyboards/backing vocals).

Playing to a less than half full crowd – or is that half empty? – Night Ranger opened with “Lay it On Me.”  The fans that showed up early

thoroughly enjoyed the set. The band also performed “High Enough” a Damn Yankees song. As some of you may recall, Jack Blades formed the Damn Yankees back in 1989 with Ted Nugent and Sammy Hagar, breaking up in 1994.

In between sets I wandered to the front gates to find 100’s of fans buying last minute tickets. By the time Foreigner took the stage the amphitheater was almost filled to capacity.

Foreigner - Click for more images

As Foreigner began their set with “Double Vision” it was quite obvious that the boomers in the crowd had become quite inebriated and weren’t feeling any pain. It was kind of comical seeing people staggering about due to their double vision while listening to “Double Vision.”

Obviously absent was original band member Mick Jones. Not to worry since lead Singer and Steven Tyler look alike, Kelly Hansen commandeered the stage with a take no prisoner’s attitude. Hansen was in complete control of the audience the entire set, jumping from one side of the stage to the other.

Hansen really got the crowding going as the band plowed through their hits including, “Head Games,” “Cold as Ice,” and ending with their smash hit “Hot Blooded.”

Much to the delight of cheering fans, Hansen really kicked it into gear when he jumped out into the crowd several times during his performance. Although there were a few fans that weren’t too happy to have the spotlight shining on them while taking a hit from their medical stash.

By the time Journey jumped up on stage the amphitheater was packed. The lawn seats were full and remained so to the end of the concert, which is unusual for a four hour concert.

I couldn’t believe the balls Journey had taking the stage. It was quite a sight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen balls that big. Seriously, these beach balls were huge. The audience really loved it as they kept hitting them to each other, back on stage, up in the air – quite fun!

Journey hit the stage in a sea of laser lights and of course those huge beach balls, performing “Separate Ways.” As many true Journey fans will tell you, there is no replacing Steve Perry as lead singer. However, I think the band has found a remarkable replacement with Arnel Pineda. He’s bundle of energy, sporting colorful tattoos and man can he sing. I’d swear it was Steve Perry on stage. In fact, I would argue he sounds like the young Steve Perry, which is even better sounding than the old Steve Perry.

Original band members included Neal Schon (guitar/vocals) and Ross Valory (bass/vocals). Another new member was Deen Castronova (drums/vocals).

Pineda has lots of energy onstage and while he tried to command the crowd I don’t think he quite had the entire audience eating out of his hand. I found him paying way too much attention to the fans in the first few rows ultimately spoiling it for people farther back in the audience. Many times he would almost lay down on stage to shake hands and sing to the few people who scored good seats, only to leave out the rest of the crowd.

Even though Journey is promoting their latest album Eclipse, they only played one song from it entitled “City of Hope.” Journey played many of their hits including “Wheel in the Sky,” “Open Arms,” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.”

For their encore they brought the house down with “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Any Way You Want It.” While they played many hits they still had plenty more to play, leaving me to think they should drop one of the acts and think about touring with one band, rather than three.

I’ve had a number of people ask me who was the better band ““ Foreigner or Journey? I have to say I thought Foreigner ruled the night, but Journey really stood out due to the newest lead singer, Arnel Pineda. I have to call it a tie. If it wasn’t for Arnel and his ability to sound like the young Steve Perry, I would have given the night to Foreigner. It really was a contest between front men Kelly Hansen and Arnel Pineda.

One thing I have to respect is a band that gives a shout out to the city they are in, not one that’s miles away. Every band gave a shout out to Sacramento! Guys it’s Wheatland. Ok, I’d give you Marysville, but Sacramento? It’s not like we were in downtown Sacramento. You don’t hear bands giving a shout out to Sacramento at any Bay Area concerts! Maybe they should.

Regardless, it was a memorable night with some great music and a whole bunch of inebriated people to watch and laugh with ““ never at.

Night Ranger set-list:
Lay it On Me
Sing Me Away
High Enough/Coming of Age (Damn Yankees cover)
When You Close Your Eyes
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me/Hotel California (the Eagles cover ““ Snippet)
Sister Christian
(You Can Still) Rock in America

Foreigner set-list:
Double Vision
Head Games
Cold as Ice
Dirty White Boy
Feel Like the First Time
I Want to Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded

Juke Box Hero

Journey set-list:
Separate Ways
Ask the Lonely
Send Her My Love
City of Hope (Eclipse)
Only the Young
Stone in Love
Wheel in the Sky
Open Arms
La Do Da
Be Good to Yourself
Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

Any Way You Want it
Don’t Stop Believin’

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