rock band

When Bad Company is good

Paul Rodgers Click for more images

Paul Rodgers
Click for more images

LINCOLN, CA – English rock group Bad Company took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater, as a sold-out crowd was on their feet their entire performance.

Earlier this year Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd announced a joint 40th Anniversary Tour commemorating the 40th anniversary of Skynyrd’s first album release and Bad Company’s formation. While Lynyrd Skynyrd wasn’t on-hand, original members of Bad Company Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) were. The pair was joined by Todd Ronning (bass), from Rodgers’ solo band and Howard Leese (guitar and former member of Heart) who has been with the band for 8 years.

Bad Company performs at Thunder Valley Casino

Bad Company performs at Thunder Valley Casino

Bad Company has a long list of hits from the ‘70s with four platinum albums during that time. The band broke up in ’82 and reformed a few years later, churning out another platinum album and two additional gold records.

As the show got underway, a number of CO2 cannons shot smoke into the air, with Rodgers coming out in a lime green shirt and black vest, twirling the microphone stand in the air, singing “Rock and Roll Fantasy” followed by “Live For The Music.” The 63-year-old Rodgers continued to throw and twirl the microphone stand for most of the set.

For “Run with the Pack,” Rodgers took to a black piano with the crowd showing their approval.

Bad Company

Bad Company

“Burnin Sky” had the stage shrouded in smoke with the lights flickering to simulate lightning, complete with the sound of thunder.

The band left the stage early for their first encore and came back to play “Bad Company” and “Rock Steady,” after which they left the stage a second time, only to return to play “Seagull” ending their set. Fans were surprised by the short set and continued to wait for the band to come out and play more hits, but when the house lights came on people reluctantly headed for the gates.

Bad Company put on an excellent performance with Rodgers vocals sounding better than ever. The band was tight and sounded great, with the exception of a slight mix-up just before “Moving On,” when the band struck up two separate songs Rodgers said, “Well, can we all do the same song.” The length of the show was disappointing and could have continued for at least another 30 minutes.

Rocking with Heart at Thunder Valley

Nancy Wilson (R) and Ann Wilson Click for more images

Nancy Wilson (R) and Ann Wilson
Click for more images

LINCOLN, CA – The rock band Heart gave it their all Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, playing to a full house.

Venerable rockers Ann and Nancy Wilson have been the heart of the group from the beginning, and remain the key ingredient to the bands continued success. The sisters have been performing for over 40 years together and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with original band members Howard Leese, Michael DeRosier, Steve Fossen, and Roger Fisher.

Nancy Wilson Click for images

Nancy Wilson
Click for images

In 2010, Heart released a new studio album ‘Red Velvet Car,’ peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200. More recently they released “Strange Euphoria,” a career-spanning box set and their latest studio album “Fanatic,” which became the group’s 12th Top 25 album.

Ann Wilson Click for images

Ann Wilson
Click for images

The Wilson sisters also wrote their memoirs in “Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll.

Nancy joined up with red rocker Sammy Hagar on his latest album “Sammy Hagar and Friends,” due to be released on September 24. According to Hagar he, “thought of Nancy right away. She’s a sweetheart and a hell of a harmony singer.” The song “All We Need is an Island,” can be heard at USA Today.

Read: Sammy Hagar – Four Decades of Red

After a day of torrential downpours in the Sacramento area, fans were ready for what they hoped to be an electrifying performance. Thanks to the staff at Thunder Valley Casino, concert goers had dry seats and the venue was relatively dry considering the amount of rain that came down throughout the day.

(LR) Ann and Nancy Wilson with Trisha Pickerel

(LR) Ann and Nancy Wilson with Trisha Pickerel

Prior to the show, the Wilson sisters autographed a pink guitar provided by the non-profit organization The 2nd Basemen. The 2nd Baseman provides short term financial assistance to families affected by breast cancer. Their “Ambassador or Rock,” Trisha Pickeral was able to have the two sign the guitar, which will be given away in a drawing to support 2nd Baseman.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson

Heart kicked off their set with the driving guitar sound of ‘Barracuda,’ as 59-year-old Nancy attacked her guitar causing everyone to jump up and out of their seats. Sixty-three-year-old Ann showed fans why she’s considered one of rocks greatest and most enduring voices in the industry as she belted out the lyrics.

They continued with “Heartless,” “What About Love” and “Magic Man,” with the majority of fans on their feet the entire performance. Ann had no problems hitting the high notes and was flawless in her delivery throughout. Nancy did a fantastic job as well, providing fans with a high-energy performance on guitar as well as vocals.

For their encore Heart covered Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” and “Misty Mountain Top.”

Photos by Randy Miramontez


What About Love
Magic Man
Straight On
Kick it Out
Even It Up
Dog & Butterfly
Need You to Turn to
These Dreams
Crazy on You

The Battle of Evermore
Misty Mountain Top


Chicago takes on Thunder Valley Casino



LINCOLN, CA – The venerable rock group Chicago paid a visit to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday, playing to a packed house of die-hard fans.

Rock band Chicago

Ann Kubel

The nine member band stormed the stage and kicked off their show with “Questions 67 & 68” and “Dialogue.”

Chicago has been playing music for the masses for over 46 years with founding members Robert Lamm (keys), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), James Pankow (trombone), Walter Parazaider (sax). They were joined by Jason Scheff (bass/vocals) , Tris Imboden (drums), Keith Howland (guitar/vocals), Lou Pardini (keys), Walfredo Reyes Jr. (percussions).

James Pankow

James Pankow

Chicago has teamed up with the American Cancer Society, giving one lucky fan the opportunity to sing with the band onstage. The band auctions off the chance for a fan to perform onstage with Chicago and all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Lamm introduced the winner, Ann Kubel, who was met with wild applause from fans. Kubel did a downright decent job with “If You Leave Me Now.” This was the second time Kubel has won the opportunity to perform with Chicago.

Click for more photos

It was quite impressive to hear the horns from the likes of Pankow as he wore a sleeveless shirt taking command of the stage. He reminded me more of fitness guru Jack LaLanne than a legendary rock star.

Tris Imboden (R) and Walfredo Reyes Jr.

Tris Imboden (R) and Walfredo Reyes Jr.

Loughane also informed the audience that the band currently has a brand spanking new song out entitled “Somethin’ Comin’, I Know,” in fact it’s so new the band hasn’t been able to practice the song in order to play it live.

Keith Howland (R) and Robert Lamm

Keith Howland (R) and Robert Lamm

Scheff, who was brought in to replace Peter Cetera back in 1985, sounded eerily like Cetera at times. However, he had a habit of rocking back and forth bringing him closer to the microphone and then farther away, causing his vocals to sound off during certain songs.

Most of the band members were able to showcase their skills, including drummers Imboden and Reyes, who battled it out in the middle of “I’m A Man.”

For their encore they performed “Free” and “25 or 6 to 4,” ending a 2 hour set that left the audience wanting more.

The night before in Las Angeles, Chicago was playing at the Greek Theater, when halfway through their set cameras were rolled onto the stage to film part of Al Pacino’s new movie “Imagine,” in which he plays rock star Danny Collins.

Pacino also joined the band onstage for their encore “25 or 6 to 4.”

Based on the video I’d say Pacino may need to learn the words of the song.

Click to watch Al Pacino with Chicago.

US rock band pelted with eggs kicked out of Russia

Jared Hasselhoff  stuffs Russian flag down his pants. Youtube

Jared Hasselhoff stuffs Russian flag down his pants.

MOSCOW – An American rock group was kicked out of a Russian music festival and pelted with eggs after festival goers discovered the bass player shoved a Russian flag down his pants.

Bloodhound Gang was playing at a concert in the Ukraine city of Odessa when bass player Jared Hasselhoff shoved a Russian flag down the front of his pants, pulling the flag out the back of his pants.

A video surfaced of the incident outraging Russians causing festival officials to cancel their appearance.

The Russian government was outraged and Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky took to Twitter Friday night writing that, “Bloodhound Gang is packing its bags. These idiots will not perform in Kuban.”

Members of a pro-Kremlin youth group threw eggs and tomatoes at band members’ vehicle as they drove to the airport Saturday in the city of Anapa.

A spokesman for the festival in southern Russia said the band’s headlining performance on Friday was canceled due to the actions of Hasselhoff.

The American band is known for its sexually explicit songs, including “The Bad Touch.”

Huey Lewis bares his “Heart and Soul”

Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis

LINCOLN, CA – Huey Lewis and the News performed before a packed house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday.

Lewis is currently touring the country in celebration of the 30 year anniversary of their iconic ‘Sports’ album which included mega-hits such as “I Want New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock and Roll” and “Heart and Soul.”

Selling over 10 million records, ‘Sports’ went on to place second only to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ in 1984.

In their usual style, the band stormed the stage while a booming heartbeat played in the background. As the crowd cheered, Lewis arrived onstage singing “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” followed by “Heart and Soul.”

Johnny Colla

Johnny Colla

The 64-year-old Lewis weaved his way through the entire ‘Sports’ album as the older audience members sang along.

As he finished side one of the album, he explained to the younger members of the audience, that you had to actually flip the vinyl record over, referring to the original format of the album. However, fans can now get their hands on the ‘Sports 30th Anniversary Edition.‘ The anniversary edition includes re-mastered versions and a second disc with unreleased live versions of the songs.

Read: Huey Lewis has car stolen

Huey Lewis and the horn section

Huey Lewis and the horn section

“We aimed every song on ‘Sports’ to be a hit, so in that sense it’s really a collection of singles,” Lewis told USA Today in an interview, “They were for commercial radio, because that was the only way to success in those days, just before the real boom of MTV. We made no apologies about that mission, and we’re very proud of it in retrospect.”

Original band members on the album were Sean Hopper (keyboards), Bill Gibson (drums), Johnny Colla (sax), Mario Cipollina (bass) and Chris Hayes (guitar).

Performing at Thunder Valley were original members Lewis, Colla, Gibson and Hopper along with John Pierce (bass), Stef Burns (guitar), Marvin McFadden (trumpet) and Rob Sudduth (tenor sax).

Cocktail waitress helps out Lewis

Cocktail waitress helps out Lewis

There were a few songs that were not familiar to some audience members, so when Lewis completed the album and started playing some of their more recent songs (26-year-old songs and newer), the crowd came to life.

Traditionally Lewis and The News perform a few songs a cappella, but they disappointed on this night as the ‘Sports’ album dominated the performance.

Lewis’ gravelly voice has gotten better with age. There were a couple of songs where he struggled to hit the higher registers, but it didn’t matter – it was Huey Lewis.

Photos: Randy Miramontez

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My Chemical Romance calls it quits


Photo: Warner Brothers

Alternative rock group My Chemical Romance is calling it quits after 12 years together.

Friday the band posted the announcement on their website saying the 12 years together, “has been a true blessing,” continuing they wrote, “And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end.”

The New Jersey band was formed by front-man Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier soon after the tragic events of September 11. Way penned the song “Skylines and Turnstiles,” expressing his feelings of that tragic day. At the time, Way had a difficult time playing guitar and singing, so Ray Toro was brought on to take over guitar duties.

The band released four studio albums during their time together:

‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ (2002)

‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ (2004)

‘The Black Parade’ (2006)

‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’ (2010)

The band recently consisted of Gerard Way (vocals, guitar), Ray Toro (guitar), Frank Iero (guitar) and Mikey Way (bass).

There statement in full:

“Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We’ve gotten to go places we never knew we would. We’ve been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We’ve shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.”

Gemini Syndrome’s got a new video!

Aaron Nordstrom – Click for more images

The sometimes serious, sometimes mysterious, and always mystical Gemini Syndrome has just released a new video of their new track “Pleasure and Pain.”  This should placate their fans who are waiting patiently for the release of their new record due out in 2013 – not too much longer!

Alessandro Paveri – Click for more images

This band of lyrical geniuses comprised of Aaron Nordstrom (lead vocals), Rich Juzwick (guitar), Mike Salerno (guitar), Alessandro Paveri (bass), Brian Steele Medina (drums) have totally killed it with this video.

“Pleasure and Pain” is a great song with some heavy lyrics and some heavy guitar playing, as Nordstrom pounds out some awe inspiring guttural verses with just the right amount of his softer side, if there is one.

“Pleasure and Pain” is a testament to the talent of Nordstrom’s vocals, and the great guitar work that can be heard throughout the piece by Juzwick and Salerno.

The video really brings “Pleasure and Pain” to life with some fantastic graphics and some nice close-up and gritty footage of band members playing their instruments – not those instruments!!

Have a listen and enjoy the video!



Outlaws Take Over Thunder Valley

The Outlaws

Southern rock band The Outlaws performed in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’sPano Hall on Friday.

The Outlaws formed in 1967 and have been playing off and on since that time.

Founding members Henry Paul (lead singer/guitar) and Monte Yoho (drums), were joined by Chris Anderson (guitar), Randy Threet (bass), Dave Robbins (keyboards), and Bill Crain (guitar).

Kicking off their set with “Tomorrow’s Another Night” and “Love Song” it was evident that most of the audience was made up of diehard fans as they started singing along with the band.

They played quite a few new songs from their latest album It’s About Pride.From my past experience when older bands start playing their newer “stuff”, they tend to lose the audience, but that was not the case. Their fans remained engaged throughout their set with most of them on their feet.

The Outlaws

There was a problem with Crain’s amp when halfway through “Love Song” his guitar shutdown. After several frantic minutes of changing out the amp, he was able to resume once they started “Hurry Sundown”, one of their newer songs.

Checkout Thunder Valley Casino’s upcoming winter concert schedule!

Tomorrow’s Another Night
Love Song
Hurry Sundown
Hidin’ Out in Tennessee (new)
Freeborn Man
Born to Be Bad (new)
Grey Ghost
Main Street
Last Ghost Town (new)
Right Where I Belong (new)
Knoxville Girl
It’s bout Pride (new)
Trail of Tears (new)
Green Grass

Ghost Riders


Aftershock Hits Sacramento

Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, came alive as the first annual Monster Energy Aftershock Music Festival roared into town on Sunday as 13 hard/alternative rock bands played to over 12,000 screaming fans.

Discovery Park gone wild! Click for more crowd shots

Sponsoring the event along with Monster Energy was Sacramento’s own 98 Rock, along with Schecter Guitar Research, Jagermeister, and Arms Division.

98 Rock’s Pat Martin – Click for more images

There was a large stage for the more mainstream acts and a smaller stage for the lessor known acts, leaving very little downtime between sets, with the exception of Stone Temple Pilots, who closed the show, but more on that later.

People didn’t have far to walk since the two stages were close together, but as the day heated up many fans camped out under some shade towards the center of the park, providing them with the ability to listen to either stage. There was the occasional fan passed out in the middle of the park, but I guess that’s to be expected.

There was plenty of food and drinks to be had, including several popular food trucks from the area. Beer and mixed drinks were also available. The lines for food and drinks were constant, but not too long. The merchant’s booth had constant lines as well with the wait being a little more than for food.

Sammy Karlin of Fallrise – Click for more images

The bands included FallRise, Stepchild, Beware of Darkness, Gemini Syndrome, Theory of a Deadman, Hell or Highwater, Chevelle,  Escape the Fate, Bush, Oleander, Deftones, Hollywood Undead, and Stone Temple Pilots.

Leading off the pack was Sacramento’s own Fallrise on the main stage followed by Stepchild on the second stage. Both bands were well received and did an awesome job. They were one of the few lucky bands since there was still some cloud cover keeping the area cooled off.

As the music started ramping up with Beware of Darkness and Gemini Syndrome, so did the crowd as a couple of thousand blossomed into at least four thousand in between bands. As the crowd grew, so did the plume of smoke as many concertgoers lit up their holiest of weed, with some heading into the mosh pit for a little head-banging.

Phil Braun of Stepchild – Click for more images

By the time Chevelle hit the main stage there were at least 10,000 energized fans that were ready to rock, as a number of them started crowd surfing. As one person rode the wave into the pit (only to be escorted out) another one would follow. The constant stream of surfers kept security personnel pretty busy for the better part of the day.

Sacramento was well represented with not only Fallrise and Stepchild opening the festival, but helping closeout the event was Oleander and the Deftones. The Deftones also have a new album that will be released in November Koi No Yokan.

Kyle Nicolaides of Beware of Darkness – Click for more images

The biggest standout of the festival was by far Beware of Darkness, with lead singer Kyle Nicolaides killing it with his raspy vocals, onstage antics, and overall stage presence. They could have easily have been deeper in the lineup as Nicolaides owned the stage. He has a Lady Gaga style about him that is bound to take him to new heights.

The biggest surprise of the festival goes to Bush who kicked some major arse as lead singer Gavin Rossdale put on a very high energy show in 90+ degree weather. The 46 year old, and quite fit, Rossdale ventured out into the crowd making his way to a platform off to the side reserved for the handicap. He was constantly fist-bumping and high-fiving fans as he waded through the ever increasing number of fans. Bush still has what it takes and clearly should have been the headliner of the festival.

Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome – Click for more images

The biggest disappointment goes to Stone Temple Pilots as their set was delayed with thousands of fans patiently waiting, but the real disappointed was once they got going. Lead singer Scott Weiland sounded a bit off at the start of their set, but was able to bring it home towards the end. However, due to the long wait and the sound being off, hundreds of fans started heading towards the exits before they even finished their first song “Sin.”

I should add that Theory of a Deadman deserved to be further in the lineup, especially after STP’s performance.

My 13 year old son Aidan said his favorite band (other than Hollywood Undead) was the one with Gandolf as the lead singer –  hmmm –  that must have been Gemini Syndrome with lead singer Aaron Nordstrom (as Gandolf).

Tyler Connolly of Theory of a Deadman – Click for more images

Hat’s off to all the drunken fans that were totally wasted and were passed out on the grass, or on grass – as the case may be. Over fifty cabs awaited those more responsible and well behaved fans that were feeling no pain. I just hope the cabbies had barf bags for the short trip home.

The Aftershock Music Festival was a complete success with thousands of fans coming out to have a good time. This should send a message to organizers that the Sacramento region is hungry for similar events in the future. I’m looking forward to the 2ndannual Aftershock Music Festival in 2013.

Matt Pauling of Hell or Highwater



Here is a complete list of bands in order of appearance:

Fallrise (main stage)
Sammy Karlin (lead singer)
Matt Thomas (guitar)
Dave Gorman (guitar)
Anthony Grant (bass)
Isaiah Abdul-Rahman (drum)

Stepchild (2nd stage)
Jimmy Alexander – Lead Vocals
Matt Timbers – Lead Vocals
Garrett Voorhees – Guitar
Phil (Skip) Braun – Bass
Brian (Beatdown) Kelly – Drums

Pete Loeffler of Chevelle – Click for more images


Beware of Darkness (main stage)
Kyle Nicolaides (vocals, guitar)
Tony Cupito (drums)
Daniel Curcio (bass)

Gemini Syndrome (2nd stage)
Aaron Nordstrom (lead vocals)
Rich Juzwick (guitar)
Mike Salerno (guitar)
Alessandro Paveri (bass)
Brian Steele Medina (drums)

TJ Bell or Escape the Fate – Click for more images

Theory of a Deadman (main stage)
Tyler Connolly (lead singer)
Dave Brenner (guitar)
Dean Back (bass)
Joey Dandeneau (drums)

Hell or Highwater (2nd stage)
Brandon Saller (lead singer)
Matt Pauling (guitar)
Neal Tiemann (guitar)
Joey Bradford (bass)
Captain Carl (drums)

Gavin Rossdale of Bush – Click for mire images

Chevelle (main stage)
Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar)
Sam Loeffler (vocals/drums)
Dean Bernardini (bass)

Escape the Fate (2nd stage)
Craig Mabbitt (lead singer)
Monte Money (guitar)
Michael Money
Robert Ortiz (drummer)
TJ Bell (guitar)


Thomas Flowers of Oleander – Click for more images

Bush (main stage)
Gavin Rossdale – vocals/guitar
Chris Traynor – guitar
Corey Britz – bass
Robin Goodridge – drums

Oleander (2nd stage)
Thomas Flowers (lead singer)
Doug Eldridge (bass)
Ric Ivanisevich (
Steve Brown


Chine Moreno of the Deftones – Click for more images

Deftones (main stage)
Chino Moreno
Stephen Carpenter (guitar)
Abe Cunningham (drums)
Sergio Vega (bass, vocals)
Frank Delgado (keys, turntable)

Hollywood Undead (2nd stage)
George Ragan (Johnny 3 Tears)
Jorel Decker (J-Dog)
Jordon Terrell (Charlie Scene)
Dylan Alvarez (Funny Man)
Matthew St. Claire (Da Kurlzz)
Daniel Murillo  (Danny)

Stone Temple Pilots (main)
Scott Weiland (lead singer)
Dean DeLeo (guitar)
Robert DeLeo (bass, vocals)
Eric Kretz (drums)

Hollywood Undead – Click for more images

STP – Click for more images



Ransom E. Olds performs at Thunder Valley

REO Speedwagon

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


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.


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