The band started around 10:30 p.m. and the crowd immediately responded by clapping and jumping to their feet, with a number of couples spilling into the aisles to dance.
The San Francisco Bay Area based band got their start in the late 60’s when founding members Emilio Castillo (tenor sax/vocals) and Stephen “Doc” Kupka got together. Joining the two founding members onstage were long standing members Francis “Rocco” Prestia (bass) and Dave Geribaldi (drums), along with Larry Braggs (lead vocals), Roger Smith (keyboards/vocals), Tom E. Politzer (lead tenor sax), Adolfo Acosta, (trumpet/flugelhorn), Jerry Cortez (guitar/vocals), and Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet).
Starting their set with “I Like Your Style” and “Ain’t Nothing Stopping Us Now,” the horn section is obviously the cornerstone of Tower of Power’s musical style, as Castillo, Doc, and Rocco started flexing their horns causing the audience to cheer even louder.
When TOP, as their fans refer to them, started playing their slower songs like “Just When We Start Making it” and “Me and Mrs. Jones,” droves of fans left their seats and headed to the aisles to slow dance.
As the New Year arrived, the band struck up “Auld Lang Syne,” as everyone donned their hats and noise makers (compliments of Thunder Valley), as hundreds of balloons started tumbling to the floor.
It was quite a sight to see, and hear, as some people popped balloons, while others were hitting them back up into the air.
Once things settled down, Tower of Power continued with “Young Man” and “Soul With a
Capital S,” leaving many of their fans wanting more.
Those with any energy left headed to the casino for their 1:30 a.m. drawing, where someone won a share of $25,000, including the grand prize of $10,000.
Tower of Power still has a lot of energy left after all these years. Couple the two founding members with the younger members of the band and they still have a recipe for success.
I Like Your Style
Ain’t Nothing Stopping Us Now
Oil in the Ground
Can’t You See
Come Back Baby
Just When We Start Making it
Maybe It’ll Rub Off
So I Got to Groove
Me and Mrs. Jones
Jame Brown Medley of songs
Hard to Go
Auld Lang Syne
What is Hip
Soul With a Capital S
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Pandora, PepsiCo Inc. and The Recording Academy announced an original content video series showcasing the 54th GRAMMY Best New Artist nominees.
The Best New Artist video series includes exclusive interviews with the Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, and Skrillex. During the interviews, the artists discuss the evolution of their careers, share their excitement surrounding their Best New Artist nomination and describe their anticipation for the awards show.
“To commemorate the excitement for Music’s Biggest Night with the launch of a dozen GRAMMY genre stations and the first-ever Best New Artist video series is exciting,” said Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, The Recording Academy. “We were pleased to extend this innovative program to Pandora users through our partnership with Pepsi.”
The partnership also offers music fans a GRAMMY mixtape, which can be found at www.pandora.com/pepsigrammymusicand includes songs from nominees and newcomers in various 54th GRAMMY Awards categories.
Pandora GRAMMY genre stations (see below) have been created in conjunction with the series, designed to help music fans celebrate and capture the excitement around the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
The GRAMMY genre stations are based on official GRAMMY categories, ranging from country to comedy, and spotlight current and past GRAMMY-nominated artists. The new GRAMMY genre stations include:
GRAMMY(®) Country: featuring artists such as Lady Antebellum, Toby
Keith, Blake Shelton, and Carrie Underwood.
GRAMMY(®) Pop and Dance: featuring artists such as Adele, Black Eyed
Peas, Coldplay, and Maroon 5.
GRAMMY(®) Rock and Alternative: featuring artists such as the Black
Keys, Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
GRAMMY(®) Rap: featuring artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Kanye
West, and 50 Cent.
GRAMMY(®) R&B: featuring artists such as Beyonce, Chris Brown, Jennifer
Hudson, and John Legend.
GRAMMY(®) Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music: featuring artists
such as Kirk Franklin, Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, and Matthew West.
GRAMMY(®) Latin: featuring artists such as Calle 13, Intocable, Los
Tigres Del Norte, and Wisin Y Yandel.
GRAMMY(®) Jazz: featuring artists such as Karrin Allyson, Herbie
Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Yellowjackets.
GRAMMY(®) World and Reggae: featuring artists such as Gilberto Gil,
Femi Kuti, Ziggy Marley, and Shaggy.
GRAMMY(®) American Roots Music: featuring artists such as the Civil
Wars, Emmylou Harris, Keb’ Mo’, and Ricky Skaggs.
GRAMMY(®) Classical: featuring artists such as those from the London
Philharmonic Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera, Paul Ruders, and Yo-Yo
GRAMMY(®) Comedy: featuring artists such as Lewis Black, Louis C.K.,
Flight Of The Conchords, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.