rock and roll

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

 

Beach Boys Reunion Tour Comes to a Close

(LR) David Marks, Mike Love, and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys

Last year The Beach Boys announced a reunion tour that included the original surviving  members Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine, plus longtime members Bruce Johnston and David Marks, along with Jeffrey Foskett.

When they kicked off their 50th anniversary tour in Tucson on April 24, they brought with them a set list of 42 songs. By the time they played at the Hollywood Bowl in June their set list grew to 46 songs.

Obviously they were saving their best for last because when they played their final concert at London’s Wembley Arena on September 27, the set list was a whopping 55 songs!

Prior to the final show Love announced that he planned on touring as The Beach Boys with Johnston, leaving out Wilson, Jardine, and Marks. While some have feigned shock over the announcement, it should come as no surprise, since Love had been touring with Johnston, and his son Christian under The Beach Boy name prior to their reunion tour.

Mike Love of The Beach Boys at Thunder Valley Casino in 2011

Brian Wilson, who stopped touring with the group in 1965, said at their September 18 Grammy appearance, “I wouldn’t mind getting together with Mike and the guys and recording an exciting rock ‘n’ roll album.” There’s no word on whether or not that will become a reality, but odds are that it won’t materialize.

Wilson told CNN in September, “I’m disappointed and can’t understand why he (Love) doesn’t want to tour with Al, David and me. We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys.”

For their reunion The Beach Boys released a new album which included “That’s Why God Made the Radio”, beating The Beatles’ record for duration on Billboard’s top 10 chart (the Fabs’ top 10 hits spanned 47 years, seven months and three weeks, versus the Beach Boys’ 49 years and one week).

So what did they play for their final set?

Set 1 Set 2
Do It Again
Little Honda
Catch a Wave
Hawaii
Don’t Back Down
Surfin’ Safari
Surfer Girl
Please Let Me Wonder
This Whole World
Wendy
Getcha Back
Then I Kissed Her
You’re So Good to Me
Kiss Me, Baby
Isn’t It Time
Come Go With Me
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
Dance, Dance, Dance
Darlin’
Disney Girls
It’s OK
Cotton Fields
Be True to Your School
Ballad of Ol’ Betsy
Don’t Worry Baby
Little Deuce Coupe
409
Shut Down
I Get Around
Pet Sounds
Add Some Music To Your Day
Sail On, Sailor
Heroes and Villains
I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times
California Dreamin’
California Saga: California
In My Room
All This is That
That’s Why God Made the Radio
Summer’s Gone
Forever
God Only Knows
Sloop John B
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Good Vibrations
California Girls
All Summer Long
Help Me, Rhonda
Rock and Roll Music
Do You Wanna Dance?
Surfin’ U.S.A.Encore
Kokomo
Barbara Ann
Fun, Fun, Fun

Thunder Valley Styx it!

Styx – Click for more images

As Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series heads into its final stretch, it’s only fitting to have one of the most popular traveling bands of the 80’s lead off the last month of the series.

Styx, like most of their fans, has gone through a number of changes throughout their existence. Most notably was the death of founding member John Panozzo in 1996, followed by the departure of founding member Dennis DeYoung in 1999.

Much like their fans, Styx consists of young and old including founding members Chuck Panozzo (bass) and James “J.Y.” Young (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar). Longtime member Tommy Shaw (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar), and the latest members Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass).

Due to health issues Chuck Panozzo only occasionally plays with the band. We were lucky enough to have him come out and play a few songs towards the end of the night.

Lawrence Gowan on his spinning music machine

While not quite a sellout crowd it was still pretty packed, especially for a Thursday night. Let’s face it, anyone who’s a fan of Styx from the 80’s is getting along in years, and may find it difficult to get out on a Thursday night, and then turnaround to schlep off to work the next day. The worst part is, at some point we became responsible, gone are the days of calling in sick the next day. What’s up with that?

As Styx kicked off the show with “Blue Collar Man” and Grand Illusion,” the mostly older crowd was on their feet and cheering.

Styx was firing on all cylinders as they continued with “Too Much Time” and “Lady” as most of the crowd started to settle down in their seats. The front rows remained on their feet the entire show. Not sure how the old geezers did it, must have been a miracle drug from the 70’s or 80’s – I’m just saying.

Tommy Shaw and Ricky Phillips

Everyone’s vocals were crystal as they went from one hit to another. In particular were Shaw and Gowan. Gowan really stole the show with his vocals and his antics on his famous spinning keyboard, as he twirled in circles jumping onto, and off of, his keyboard throughout the night’s performance.

It was a very high energy, and highly entertaining, show as the veterans weaved their way through their numerous hits from the 70’s and 80’s.

The highlight for me was when Gowan came out performing solo on his spinning keyboard. He played a melody of songs including Elton John’s “Pinball Wizard,” the Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams,” and then Gowan would shout a part of a song, point to the audience for them to finish the verse, and they did, on command. As he started to sing “Come Sail Away,” the audience sang their part and then he started playing the song on the keyboard with the band jumping in at the middle of the song. That’s about the time Panozzo joined the band onstage playing bass.

For their encore they blew the crowd away with “Rockin the Paradise” and “Renegade.”

These guys are pure entertainers and a great bunch of guys as some of them stayed behind to sign album covers that fans had brought to the show.

For all of those that haven’t gotten off of their sorry old ass to see Styx, I would highly suggest you do it before you get any friggin older. The last thing you want to do is make your way to your seat – in a walker!

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.

 

Ransom E. Olds performs at Thunder Valley

REO Speedwagon

(LR) Dave Amato, Neal Doughty, Kevin Cronin, Bryan Hitt, and Bruce Hall

Who?

Everyone knows them as REO Speedwagon.

Playing to an almost full house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday, 66 year old founding member Neal Doughty was the first to make it onstage. Leaving their walkers behind the rest of the crew slowly made their way onstage – I know they didn’t have walkers, quite the contrary these guys were in great shape.

As for the name REO Speedwagon, Doughty named the band after a flatbed truck he studied in college called Ransom E. Olds Speed Wagon, commonly referred to as Reo Speed Wagon. Doughty decided to call the band R.E.O. rather than Reo.

REO Speedwagon

Neal Doughty

Joining Doughty onstage were Kevin Cronin (lead vocals, guitar), Bruce Hall (bass), Dave Amato (lead guitar), Bryan Hitt (drums). They warmed up the audience with “Don’t Let Him Go” and “Music Man,” then kicking it up a notch with “Take It on the Run,” as the audience provided supporting vocals.

At some point during the show the 58 year old Hitt decided to take his shirt off. Most of the audience cheered, but come on!! He’s 58 ““ dude give us a break! At least Steven Tyler stopped the practice some time ago (at least for the most part).

REO SPeedwagon

Kevin Cronin – Click for more images

Continuing on with “Keep Pushin’,” “Golden Country,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” the audience became somewhat subdued, but remained engaged throughout the concert, just not on their feet cheering on the band.

As the band left and came back for their encore, they lost quite a few fans as they headed for the exits. Their encore included “Keep on Lovin’ You,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and ended with “157 Riverside Avenue.” Even more fans started filing out after “Keep on Lovin’ You.”

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon

During their encore the audience was completely engaged with “Keep on Lovin’ You,” but once they started “157 Riverside Avenue,” most of the fans were back in their seats, or headed for the doors. They really should have ended the night with “Keep on Lovin’ You.”

Cronin did an excellent job with vocals and sounds much like he did all those years ago. While his voice is a bit more gravelly, I believe it’s enhanced his sound.

All in all it was a good concert. There were some rough spots in the middle and they could have ended on a better note, but Cronin and crew did a great job keeping the audiences attention with plenty of picks flying through the air.

 

Frank Hannon’s Six String Soldiers

Frank Hannon

Frank Hannon – Click for more images

Tesla’s Frank Hannon has proven, once again, that he has complete command of all things guitar.

Hannon’s last album, Gypsy Highway, took the listener on an acoustical journey through the heart, as he stepped outside the world of rock and introduced us to his folksier side.

Hannon’s latest creation, Six String Soldiers, is nothing short of rock legend, as he builds on his foundation of hard driving rock, bringing a few of his friends along for the ride. His army of soldiers include 3 time Grammy winner Rick Derringer (Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo), Pat Travers (Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights), Dave Meniketti (founder of Y&T), and Dicky Betts (“‘Ramblin” Man).

Lending his vocals to the album is Jeff Sandoval, who does a commendable job with his smooth vocals on songs such as “Cross Your Mind” and “Love, Life, and Beauty.” Drummer Cortney DeAgustine even jumps into the fray on “Redemption,” as she provides backing vocals for Sandoval.

Leading the charge is the bluesy  “I’M Alive,” featuring Pat Travers, followed by my favorite “Set Me Free.”

“Lipstick, Smoke -N- Gasoline” featuring Dave Meniketti deserves a mention for its over-the-top riffs and overall tune as it insinuates itself into every fiber of your being, driving you to nod your head to the beat – for the true rockers out there that would be banging your head to the beat.

Six String Soldiers is what rock is all about!

Track Listing:
1. I’m Alive (feat. Pat Travers)
2. Set Me Free
3. Six String Soldiers
4. Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline (feat. Dave Meniketti)
5. Invincible
6. Cross Your Mind
7. Touch the Ground (feat. Dickey Betts)
8. I’m Just Sayin’
9. Love, Life and Beauty
10. To the Light (feat. Rick Derringer)
11. Redemption
12. 12.21

Getting Some ZZ’s at Thunder Valley Casino

ZZ Top

Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons – Click for more images

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s ZZ Top brought their legendary beards and rockin blues attitude to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday.

Frank Beard

Sweet drum set!

ZZ Top, consisting of Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums, kicked of their show with “I Thank You” and “Waiting for the Bus,” as avid ZZ Top fans filled the outdoor amphitheater to capacity – some diehard fans were sporting their own long beards.

A number of fans were getting their ganja on as a brief video came on introducing band members Billy Gibson, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard on drums. You could see Beard (yes, the only one not sporting a beard) climbing into his nest of drums. Once the crowd spotted him they all began cheering.

Billy Gibbons

Billy Gibbons – Click for more images

Friday night was a special day for Beard as his brand new drum set, complete with pistons, gas tanks, and whole lotta skeletons, arrived at Thunder Valley for the drums inaugural performance. In between songs Beard could be seen admiring his sparkly new set.

As the band continued to play “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” “Pincushion,” and “Heard It on The X,” the crowd remained standing, with some fans dancing in the aisles.

ZZ Top played their latest single “I Gotsta Get Paid,” off their new album La Futura, due out in September. The song was recently in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed, and appears on the soundtrack for the film Battleship. It’s a catchy tune!

This is the band’s first album in 9 years and includes “Flyin’ High,” which actually debuted in outer space. It wasn’t quite completed yet, but NASA astronaut Mike Fossum asked to hear it while en route to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spaceship ““ kinda cool.

Dusty Hill

Dusty Hill – Click for more images

They played “Sharped Dressed Man” followed by “Legs,” as they pulled out their white furry guitars, causing the crowd to cheer even louder. After “Legs” the band exited the stage, only to come back and play “Tube Snake Boogie,” “LaGrange,” and “Tush.”

While I think this was a great concert, due to the fact it was ZZ Top, I believe they missed the mark musically. At times it was difficult to make out what they were playing, which could have been attributed to the sound system. However, other concerts at this venue have sounded superb, so that would be doubtful. I may have been in the minority, as most fans were singing along to quite a few songs.

Frank Beard

Frank Beard – Click for more images

 

A critical error was ending the show with “Tush,” as it left the crowd, not wanting more, but expecting more, with a number of boos coming from the audience as they made their way to the exits. In fact, most of the audience remained until the house lights were brought up and Brancombe Richmond came out to thank everyone for being there and announcing the upcoming lineup for Thunder Valley’s Summer Concert Series.

Set-list:

I Thank You
Waiting for The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Pincushion
Heard It on The X
I Gotsta Get Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin
Vincent Price Blues
My Heads in Mississippi
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Stages
Sharped Dressed Man
Legs

ENCORE
Tube Snake Boogie
LaGrange
Tush

Scott Stapp to Release Tell All Book

Creed

Scott Stapp of Creed

Scott Stapp, Grammy Award winning voice of the multi-platinum selling band, Creed, announces his first tell-all memoir slated for an October 2, 2012 release. Recognized as one of the most accomplished artists of the modern rock era, Stapp’s memoir, Sinner’s Creed, unleashes behind the scene realities about his suicide attempts, alcohol-induced rampages and intimate details about his abusive childhood.

Stapp is no stranger to controversy in the media, yet through the rise and fall of fame, has managed to maintain his status as a multi-platinum artist selling more than 50 million albums worldwide. Die-hard Creed fans continue to line up for Creed tickets to watch Stapp deliver an unforgettable rock experience.

Scott Stapp collaborated with David Ritz of Rolling Stone Magazine to write a compelling story of his life. Ritz, a notable writer of biographies, has written memoirs for Janet Jackson and the best seller, “Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye.”

“The book describes my childhood, my internal battle with drugs and depression and how I lost control of my life,” says Scott Stapp. “My memoir reveals never before released details about my life and the challenges I’ve faced before coming to grips and finding sobriety.”

Sinner’s Creed is a riveting, untold story of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Finally, Stapp reveals what it is like to be at the height of controversy due to his fame, faith and addictions and why he has tried to avoid one-on-one interviews until now. The book discloses the true story of a man living on the edge at full tilt.  Sinner’s Creed is chock-full of page-turning experiences of a rock and roll visionary who was brought down to his knees by the pressures of fame, alcohol and an uncontrollable depression disorder. Through self-discovery and conviction, Scott Stapp was able to rise up again and walk a clean and sober path. In the midst of reconnecting with his fans while on tour, Scott has finally come full circle — a turnaround he credits to his renewed faith in God. Once a sinner, always a sinner, but what was once broken, has the power to heal.

Sinner’s Creed will go on sale October 2, 2012, available in hard copy and e-book versions through Tyndale Publishing. Visit www.sinnerscreed.com, www.scottstappofficial.com or www.Tyndale.com

 

Fans Welcome Creed With Arms Wide Open

Creed

Creed – Click for more images

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.

Like a Storm

Like a Storm – Click for more images

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.

Eve to Adam

Eve to Adam – Click for more images

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.“

Creed

Creed – Click for more images

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.

 

 

Earth+Wind+Fire = Wow!

Earth Wind and Fire

Earth Wind and Fire – Click for more images

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).

Verdine White

Verdine White – Click for more images

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.

Ralph Johnson and Phillip Baily

Ralph Johnson and Phillip Baily

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!

 

 

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