Some of you may recall that last year I attended a Mixed Martial Arts event (review), followed by the Chippendales (review). As I stated in my MMA review I believe I had failed the “maleness test,” since I actually enjoyed the Chippendales show compared to the MMA fights. In fact, my MMA review received some pretty heated email exchanges between me and a few of the fighters who didn’t take too kindly to my comparison of a Chippendales show to an MMA fight.
So this year I set out to see if I could muster the courage to try and pass the maleness test. This year would be different! I had the perfect strategy going in – my wife!
Yes, I figured I could bring my wife along, and once she started drooling over all the eye candy my jealous side would kick in and, voila, we would get into a good ole fight, leave in a huff, and have great make up sex the next day.
Now if you’ve never been to a Chippendales show, there’s a whole different kind of energy from the all-female audience. Yes, there is a smattering of males, usually gay, or whipped (if you get my meaning), but for the most part it’s nothing but women, which is why I enjoy the show – no seriously!
As the show opened with Chippendale dancers Jace Crispin, Chaun Thomas, John Rivera, Kenny King, Nathan Minor, Sami Eskelin, all coming out on stage showing off their wares, I was keeping an eye on Ruth (that’s my wife), to make sure that she wasn’t feeling that different kind of energy. While she had a smirk, I didn’t detect any outright drooling, at least for the moment, nor was she diving at the stage like most of the women.
As the show continued with the men ripping off their orange speedos (Ruth’s favorite color) they would strategically cover themselves with hats, hands or whatever was handy. I think Thunder Valley should spend a little more money on their heating system, because it looked like it might have been a little chilly in Pano Hall – I’m just saying.
Making their way through the audience, the men would stop and perform a quick little grinding action with some of the women. As they did, all the other women would scream, cheer, grab, and just downright go nuts trying to get a piece of the guys – that’s part of that special kind of energy I was referring to earlier.
At one point several women were asked onstage to act out different scenarios. One did her best lap dance, another demonstrated her favorite “position”, while another showed off her ability to place a condom on . . . a banana. Each woman performed their tasks with one of the Chippendales.
Of course the show wouldn’t be complete without the men coming out dressed as firemen, and construction workers.
It did get a tad risqué as several of the men went through the motions of masturbating. One was on a bed with a pillow while the other two were in chairs. It was at this point I realized I had forgotten about Ruth. I turned around and saw that she was laughing at me!
After the show Ruth told me she couldn’t help but laugh, since as I was drooling for the better part of the show. Damn, I hate that different kind of energy!!!
This is the first year with an expanded venue at Sunrise MarketPlace, and my first time visiting. It was spacious with beer, wine, and Margaritas available along with various food choices such as hotdogs. Depending on where you were seated, you could be lazy and have a waiter/waitress get your drinks.
I found the sound lacking on the side bleachers, but still pretty loud. If you’re one of those purists who must have their sound just right, then you may want to get your tickets for the center area.
There really isn’t a bad seat in the house with a great view from pretty much any seat in the amphitheater. There are a few seats around the spotlights that may feel “cramped” if you are sitting right next to the platform, but that area is general admission and you can sit where you want – so don’t sit next to the lights, unless you think that’s Kool.
Many amphitheaters have monitors, or big projector screens for the cheap seats, but with such a small footprint fans didn’t have a problem seeing the action onstage.
Ok enough about the venue and on to the action, and there was plenty of action, with the exception of an overly long set-change.
Just prior to the concert someone came up to me and said he almost didn’t come out to the concert after he found out that Lionel Richie was no longer with The Commodores. Seriously!? Where have you been for the last 30 years!? Richie is gone people, get over it.
The Commodores stormed the stage playing “Too Hot Ta Trot,” followed by “Easy” with most fans on their feet and singing along. As for the great seating, that all goes down the proverbial crapper when everyone in front of you stands up to boogie down.
The three front men for The Commodores put on a high energy show and were in constant motion their entire set. They were founding members Walter Orange, William King, and longtime member J.D. Nicholas.
They headed into their encore with “Brick House,” but deviated in the middle with a bit of audience participation as they were simply jamming and yelling out to the audience with phrases such as “Say Yo Yo,” leading back into, and finishing off the set with, “Brick House.”
Walter Orange was kicking himself after their set. He told me he just wasn’t “feeling it” during his performance. Orange said it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it really bothers him because he believes he can bring it up to a whole other level.
The set-change went way too long. According to my calculations, it took over 45 minutes, which is not a good thing for the fans, as some headed towards the door.
Making a very Kool entrance Kool & the Gang, all dressed in white, came out singing “Fresh,” followed by “Tonight.” The crowd was pretty enthusiastic, but appeared to have more energy during The Commodores set. I attribute that to the lengthy intermission.
As they slowed it down with “Joanna” and “Too Hot,” most of the fans were singing the chorus along with the band. However, during the slower moments you could see a number of fans heading towards the door.
Kool & the Gang didn’t really hit their stride until late into their set. The vocals were lacking in the beginning songs, but seemed to smooth out as the night went on.
They really shined with “Get Down on It” leading into their finale with “Celebration,” which had the remaining crowd on their feet dancing and singing.
It was a great concert, but whenever you have 30 minutes, or longer, for a set-change you’re going to lose some people. In this case Kool & the Gang wasn’t able to reenergize a number of their fans. I believe that impacted their performance, since bands and fans alike feed off each other’s energy.
As for the Sunrise at Night Concert Series – What can I say? It’s a nice little venue with an intimate feel and free parking, but more importantly they serve food and have a limited selection of alcohol, just be careful driving home!
Don’t miss Blondie and Devo as they bring their Whip it to Shreds tour to the Sunrise MarketPlace on Friday September 14th.
That’s what fans did at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday evening, when it turned into one funkalicious night as old school favorites Morris Day and the Time, S.O.S., Kurtis Blow, and Midnight Star tore it up for over three hours playing to an overflowing and extremely energetic crowd.
As Midnight Star took the stage and started playing “Electricity,” the crowd jumped to their feet and started dancing. There were very few occasions during the three hour show when the audience wasn’t standing.
Last time I saw Midnight Star I felt they were a little flat, but not tonight. They definitely brought their A-game as they continued with “Wet My Whistle” and “Midas Touch.”
Band members consisted of Belinda Lipscomb (vocals), Melvin Gentry (guitar/vocals), Bo Watson (keyboard/vocals) and Bill Simmons (keyboards), Kenneth Gant (bass), and Bobby Lovelace (drums).
As they infuse pure energy into the crowd after ending their set with “No Parking (On the Dance Floor),” many in the crowd headed to the amphitheater bars, or remained standing and dancing to the music in between sets.
Kurtis Blow, The first rapper to ever be signed by a major label, came out blasting “If I Ruled the World” as he fully engaged the audience by saying ‘Say Yo!’ and then pointing the mic to the audience as they all screamed in unison ‘Yo’.
Blow (ha! I said blow.) just wouldn’t shut up as he kept shouting out to the audience as only a true rapper can. In between songs he would continue rapping about being in Sacramento and giving a shout out to the audience. Some of the audience members started mingling more than paying attention to Blow, as a number of people headed to the bar, or bathroom, probably both.
Sounds Of Success (better known as S.O.S.) got everyone’s attention as they started up “Just the Way You Like It” and continued with “The Finest,” as fans were back on their feet dancing and singing. The crowd was on their feet bouncing to the music for the remainder of their set.
Founding member and lead singer Mary Davis was on fire as she blasted through their hits and finished with a flourish with the song that catapulted SOS to stardom back in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” Fellow members included original member Abdul Ra’oof (vocals/trumpet), with Celia Georgie (background vocals), Sultan Muhammad (saxophone), Reginald Ward (guitar), Ben Smith (keyboards), Allen Smith (keyboards), and Crystal Martin (drums).
After a brief set change, Prince Classmate and protégé, Morris Day made his way on stage with his personal assistant in tow. As only Day can do, he was continually checking himself in the mirror as he strutted around the stage.
Starting off with “Get It Up” Day had the crowd singing through most of his songs as he worked the crowd with his signature moves, classic sound and his stylish attire.
Decked out in a yellow paisley patterned suit the 53 year old Day continued with “Cool” as his assistant followed him around mimicking his moves as he spelled out the chorus C.O.O.L.
For the fans that still had their butts glued to their seats, band members would shout out for everyone to get on their feet and wave their hands in the air. The band member names I did catch were Ricky “Freeze” Smith (bass), Torrell “Tori” Ruffin (lead guitar), and Jellybean Johnson (drums).
Part way through his set Day explained that he was still cool regardless of sweating. He said it was condensation which cooled him down, meaning that he was still cool. It was at this point he headed off stage to cool down. When Day came back out he flawlessly sang “Gigalos Get Lonely Too,” which had many in the crowd dancing with their significant other.
Towards the end of his performance Day had a large number of fans up onstage to strut their stuff. You could see the excitement in many of their faces as they attempted to groove with the likes of Day.
While a few people left the show early, the amphitheater was still packed as Day completed the night with “Jungle Love,” leaving people dancing in the aisles and wanting more.
This was one of the more high-energy shows at Thunder Valley Casino Resorts Summer Concert Series.
OMG! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to write this after the Chippendale’s performance at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Wednesday night.
It was only after taking a cold shower and having a glass ““ scratch that ““ a bottle of wine that I was able to start thinking clearly.
What? No! The water heater went out and a “glass” of wine is how I like to end my day.
My intent on writing this is to warn any unsuspecting women who may decide to take in a show like the Chippendales’. Don’t. Seriously, nobody liked the show!
It was quite obvious that every woman in the place, which was around 99.9 percent of the people, couldn’t stand the show. I couldn’t believe it! I was completely dumbfounded. They were screaming “Get off!” almost the entire show. The Chippendales never got the message. They stayed onstage the whole time!
The strange thing is when they finally ended the show and did get off the stage, all the women started screaming “More, more, more.” I know, I find women confusing, too. They say one thing and mean another. (Come to think of it, they may have been screaming “Take it off!”)
As for the men onstage, I felt bad for these guys. It appeared to be a little chilly in the room, but that didn’t seem to dampen their enthusiasm. All I can say is I was feeling a tad inadequate at this point.
The biggest criticism I have of the show? It was the most disgusting display of pure
animalistic behavior I have ever witnessed. It was really quite a sight to see. None of the women could keep it together. They were falling over in the aisles, standing on chairs, trying to get back stage, onstage, or anywhere close to those big hunks. Now hold on a minute! I’m only referring to them as big hunks because I know that’s how women refer to those large glistening bodies of pure muscle and all their gyrating ways.
I will say there was definitely an excitement in the air as the show progressed, but it’s difficult for me to explain the atmosphere. I liken it to when I receive a package from FedEx that I have to sign for because I know it’s got to be something really cool, otherwise I wouldn’t have to sign for it. Well, that’s the way all the ladies were acting, but I guess they weren’t interested in a FedEx package.
Speaking of packages ““ the Chippendales were the complete package, with eight of the most physically perfect male dancers all competing for the audience’s attention, all dressed in their trademark bow ties and shirt cuffs with bare torso, at least some of the time.
The opening was quite dramatic with the stage dark and ominous and smoke filling the air. One by one they took center stage with a lone spotlight lighting their muscular curves and superior physique. Is it getting hot in here?
The first few routines found these delectable morsels stripping down to pretty much nothing ““ why do I keep writing like this? Delectable morsels? Now I’m starting to worry.
As each layer came off, the decibel levels in Pano Hall rose exponentially. People were gathering outside trying to get a glimpse of the show. Quite the curious crowd.
A couple of times during the show, they danced around the audience, going down aisles and over chairs. One of the Chippendales was looking for someone to give an autographed poster to. He found her when he exclaimed she deserved it for grabbing his penis. Yes ““ there you have it. I said it, now it’s out there for all to see.
Several people had the opportunity to jump onstage. In one case three ladies were in a game show where they were told to complete a task. The first one had to perform her best lap dance on one of the Chippendales. The second had to demonstrate her favorite position when making love, and the third had to demonstrate her favorite way of putting on a condom. The third won due to her technique and the timely fashion of completing her task. Oh ““ I should clarify. She put it on a banana.
This was definitely ladies’ night out. There were a few men in attendance, and you could tell which ones were straight. They were carrying a ball and chain and didn’t look all too happy. I believe my count was two husbands/significant others in attendance.
The show was so successful that Thunder Valley had to provide additional seats to accommodate the larger-than-expected crowd.
After the show, the Chippendales remained onstage so audience members could have their photos taken with their favorites. I declined. They also announced they would be going to Thunder Valley’s Falls Bar for an after-party. [Insert loud cheers here.]
So at the end of the day I feel like I was able to embrace my inner gayness and survive. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m convinced that I have no lingering side effects from the show.
Well I have to go. I just started to redecorate the house and have to put up these curtains that are simply to die for. And if you think that’s something, wait until you see my new landscape design. We can talk about it over the nice gourmet meal that I’m preparing.
To all my gay friends, including my kids god parents – no offense! Next time Dean, your coming with.