rock

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Aftershock continues to rock Sacramento

Monster Energy's Aftershock Fest

Monster Energy’s Aftershock Fest

SACRAMENTO, CA – Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival rocked Sacramento’s Discovery Park over the weekend with over 35 bands bringing fans a head banging good time.

Great time had by all!

Great time had by all!

Last year, Discovery Park came alive as the first annual Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival roared into town with 13 hard/alternative rock bands playing to 12,000 screaming fans.

Alien invasion!

Alien invasion!

The second annual Monster Energy’s Aftershock Festival didn’t disappoint, with over 32,000 fans, three stages and 35 plus bands. The festival was out of this world, with crowd surfing aliens, a banana float, and bare naked ladies (not the band!).  The only thing missing from this surfin safari was The Beach Boys.

There were so many highlights over the weekend that we’ve decided to write this up in three parts, with this being out first.

 

A few of the highlights were:

Bare naked ladies!

Bare naked ladies!
To the finger guy – well played

A Day To Remember’s lead singer Jeremy McKinnon went crowd/body surfing out into the sea of humanity known as metal heads – because that’s how he rolls.

Another memorable moment, again from A Day To Remember, was when they cast out a man in a banana suit to crowd surf. At least they gave him a boat!

Because that's how he rolls

Because that’s how he rolls

Two bands from last year’s Aftershock Festival graduated from the proverbial kids table to the adult table as they took the main stage this year as others performed on the smaller stage. Gemini Syndrome and Hell or Highwater both made it to the big stage this year.

Banana float anyone?

Banana float anyone?

Read last years review: Aftershock hits Sacramento

An up and coming band, that played on the Ernie Ball stage (the smaller stage), graduated to the main stage after Airbourne, who was scheduled to play the main stage, had to cancel. The band, Nothing More, had played on Saturday and won over many fans with their instrumental prowess, so they were asked to return on Sunday to play on the main stage.

Higher!

People were just dropping in!

 

 

 

The bands included (in no particular order):

Saturday, September 14:
Korn, Megadeth, Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, Buckcherry, Testament, In This Moment, Steel Panther, P.O.D., Otherwise, Love And Death, We As Human, Heaven’s Basement, Girl On Fire, Nothing More, Eye Empire, Butcher Babies.

Awesome views!

Awesome views!

 

Sunday, September 15:
Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria, Halestorm, HIM, Falling In Reverse, All That Remains, Miss May I, SOiL, Nothing More, Gemini Syndrome, Hell or Highwater, Pop Evil, Thousand Foot Krutch,

The festival was fueled by Monster Energy. Additional sponsors for the event included Coors Light, ZING Vodka, Ernie Ball Guitar Strings, Schecter Guitars, Hooters, Army, and The Crazy Dave’s Music Experience

Stay-tuned for review and more photos! We’ll have a gallery of crowd shots too!

 

 

Concert Review: Madison Hudson

Madison Hudson - Click for more images

Madison Hudson – Click for more images

Madison Hudson is quickly becoming a local favorite in the country music world, as she’s starting to play larger venues such as Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill in Folsom, Calif.

I was first introduced to Hudson’s singing abilities at, of all places, a Doobie Brothers concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Film star and singer, Branscombe Richmond brought Hudson up on stage to sing “Listen to the Music,” along with the Doobie Brothers.

The 15 year-old Hudson is country pop singer from the small town of Wheatland, located in rural Northern California. She’s been singing the national anthem at sporting events and from time to time has been making appearances with singer songwriter Rachel Steele and the band Road 88.

Rachel Steele - Click for more images

Rachel Steele – Click for more images

Opening at Toby Keith’s was a big move for the country singer as she was joined by Rachel Steele, and Road 88 band members Scott Prentice (guitar) and Billy Haggard (guitar). She also had a special guest singer Courtney Chapman, but more on that in a minute.

Kicking off their set, Hudson and Steele performed Pistol Annies’ “Hell on Heels” and Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue.” Hudson appeared nervous, but quickly overcame any nerves after “Stuck Like Glue.”

Hudson went on to perform solo, singing Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” and Hudson’s original song “Tommy.” She hit her stride as she began “Tommy,” and never looked back, as she performed a number of songs, both solo and with Steele, sounding more like a veteran performer than a 15 year-old up and coming star.

Scott Prentice - Click for more images

Scott Prentice – Click for more images

Courtney Chapman - Click for more images

Courtney Chapman – Click for more images

Halfway through her performance Hudson brought her special guest, and close friend, Courtney Chapman onstage to provide vocals. The duo brought the house down with a wonderful rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mean.” Chapman did a sterling job on vocals and I was looking forward to hearing more from her, but that was not meant to be, as Chapman exited the stage after performing “Mean.”

Hudson has been hinting on her Facebook page that bigger things were coming this summer as she is scheduling more appearance and bringing Chapman along.

Billy Haggard - Click for more images

Billy Haggard – Click for more images

“Well I said 2013 would be crazy!” she wrote, “I will be working on stage with several artists working up to this summer. But I would like to introduce you all to Courtney! Courtney will be joining me starting this summer. We will be a new team and I am so lucky!! You will see us out and about together soon getting ready to rock it country style!!”

Looking forward to it!

Madison Hudson is someone to keep an eye on. You can find more information about her and Rachel Steele at the below links.

Visit Madison Hudson on:

Facebook
Official Website
See Hudson perform “Tommy

 

Rachel Steele with Road 88 can be found at:

Official Website
Facebook

Rock concert breaks out at country bar

Rachel Steele and Jeff Keith – Click for more images

It was a magical night at Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill in Folsom, California as singer, songwriter Rachel Steele and country band Road 88 were joined by the venerable rocker Jeff Keith, lead singer for the rock band Tesla.

Keith joined forces with Steele and her band to celebrate the release of his new CD “Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends.” The Album is the result of a side project Keith’s been working on with friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.

Frank Hannon – Click for more images

When Steele was halfway through her set Keith, donning a cowboy hat and blue jacket, jumped up onstage  singing several songs from his new album. As if that wasn’t enough to get everyone on their feet, Tesla’s Troy Luckketta (drums) and Frank Hannon (guitar), who were there in support of Keith, joined him to perform Tesla’s hit “Signs,” followed by a fantastic rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”  Only Brian Wheat (bass) and Dave Rude (guitar) were missing from Tesla.

Frank Hannon and Billy Haggard

Road 88’s guitarist Billy Haggard and Hannon brought the house down with a killer battle of guitars, with Hannon finishing off the battle playing the guitar using a beer bottle up and down the neck of the guitar.

It gave more than a few people the goosies!

Road 88’s members include Scott Prentice (guitar, vocals), Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).

So how did Keith get mixed up in all things country?

Jeff Keith (center) and Road 88

Apparently Goodson and Boone met Keith after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs – go figure.

The album is solidly in the country genre with song titles like “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” Oklahoma Bound,” and my favorite “Oh Hell.” You can read the complete review here.

Keith also wants to assure all of his Tesla fans that he’s not quitting his day job –  or would that be his night job? He remains with Tesla and they are currently planning out their 2013 schedule, including the Monster of Rock Cruise in March.

 

Wheezing with Wiz

Wiz Khalifa – Click for more images

Sleep Train Arena turned into a haven for pot smokers as Wiz Khalifa and his band of recording artists, under the record label Taylor Gang, brought throngs of fans to the arena formerly known as Power Balance Pavilion Sunday night.

Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang 2050 World Tour is in support of Khalifa’s latest album O.N.I.F.C.

Car alarms could be heard going off on a regular basis, as a large number of “pre-drinkers” and pot smokers were hanging out in the parking lot prior to the show.

While fans were filing into the arena, a thick cloud of smoke could be seen rising above the sold-out crowd. Wheezing was the watch word because as the crowd grew, so did the cloud.

Tuki Carter – Click for more images

As Fans pushed and shoved their way to the front,  security was having to extract people who had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. There were a couple of instances where people were being pulled out of the crowd after they had lost consciousness. In fact, one fan had to have only been 10 or 11 years old.

Berner – Click for more images

These concerts are not for the faint of heart, and not the type of event parents should be dropping off their kids so they can have a nice quiet dinner alone. I was shocked to see so many young kids.

Taylor Gang is a recording label established by Wiz Khalifa. The “gang” on Sunday night consisted of Tuki Carter, Berner, Lola Monroe, Chevy Woods, Juicy J and of course Khalifa.

Lola Monroe – Click for more images

 

The audience was into the show from the start as Tuki Carter took the stage followed by Berner and Lola Monroe, each playing about 10 or 15 minutes. The short sets didn’t hamper their efforts to get the crowd excited as each came out and gave it their all.

Chevy Woods and Juicy J both performed for about 30 minutes each, followed by Khalifa who performed for over an hour.

Chevy Woods – click for more images

It was quite a night with almost the entire audience smoking freely while girls were being invited up onstage to “party.”  At times it was hard to tell where the smoke was coming from, smoke machines or the hundreds of joints being lit up throughout the arena.

Juicy J – Click for more images

Just prior to Khalifa coming out onstage, it was obvious a few fans saved the best for last, as they were holding on to finger sized joints with lighters at the ready.

It was a smoking good concert!

Jeff Keith’s Country side project

It’s like he’s gone to the dark side – at least for this project.

You rockers out there know what I’m talking about. You listen to hardcore rock while those “other people” listen to that country music stuff, and now it’s invading the pop-music scene thanks to the likes of American Idol.

You make sure everyone around you knows how much you hate it too! When Carrie Underwood comes on the radio and starts tearing up that pretty little souped up four wheel drive, you dive (rocker style) for the radio to change the station. But secretly, when no one is around, you start tapping your toe and daydreaming of riding that bucking bronco down at your local country bar – not that you know where the country bar is, let alone if it has a bucking bronco.

But wait!! Don’t touch that dial. The next song you hear could be one of your bestest most favoritest rockers of all time. No not Steven Tyler, that other rocker guy Jeff Keith, lead singer extraordinaire from one of the great rock bands of all time – Tesla.

Yes! Jeff Keith has come out of the country closet, as he’s set to release a brand spanking new album of nothing but country songs due out this Friday November 9th. This isn’t country rock either, this is the bonafide real McCoy, so hold off from changing that dial and have a listen to what he has to offer.

The Album, Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is the result of a side project of Keith’s and his country music friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. I should put a disclaimer here that Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.

Jeff Keith goes country – click for more images

Apparently they met after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs.

So how’s it sound?

The album starts off with a nice ballad, “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” complete with violins and steel strings. As most of the songs on the album, this song is old style country music complete with violin, steel string guitars, and a whole lotta twang.

“Life’s Just a Roller Coaster Ride” has a good strong country beat with Keith hitting his country stride as he dials in the twang and cranks up the beat.

Restraining himself from belting it out like a rock-star, Keith shows off his vocal prowess with “Can’t Let Go,” as he slows it down country style. This one is another winner.

“Life on the Road” reminds me of the Waylon and Willie days with a more upbeat tempo and a great storyline.

Cowboy up!

“Oklahoma Bound” is another ballad, and wrapping up the album with my favorite “Oh Hell,” which is an awesome little diddy.

When you purchase the CD you get a bonus track of interviews with the boys.

Bottom-line: This is definitely worth a listen. I really enjoyed all the songs as Keith and company take it old school country. For those of you faint of heart, start with “Can’t Let Go,” and work your way through the list, ending with “Oh Hell.”

For all you Tesla fans out there – no worries. Jeff isn’t quitting his day job.

I’m off to shine my boots and take in a couple of re-runs of Hee Haw.

Jeff Keith Country

Song Samples

Jeff Keith Country on Facebook

 

 

 

Officer Needs Assistance at Thunder Valley Casino

 

Chris Gardner Band – Click for more images

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.

Jim Hudson with Placer County 10-35 Foundation

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.

10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.

Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”

Road 88 – Click for more images

Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).

Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.

Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.

 

What!?

Jeff Keith goes to the dark side

Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.

After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.

With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.

As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!

Scott Prentice and Jeff Keith – Click for more images

Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.

In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.

The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.

Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).

While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing  “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”

This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!

For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at http://www.placer1035foundation.org

Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!

 

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!

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

Encore
Ghost Riders

 

Whipping It at Sunrise MarketPlace

Deborah Harry – Click for more images

What do you get when you mix a bombastic blonde with a quirky group of men? Some might say an odd mix of new and old as Blondie and Devo rollout their Whip It to Shreds Tour, bringing with them some newer material.

With only 13 dates scheduled in the Whip It to Shreds Tour, Sunrise Marketplace was lucky to land the unlikely duo for the last night of the Sunrise at Night Concert Series on Friday.

Over thirty years ago both Blondie and Devo were household names in the music world, as MTV was ramping up to play a steady stream of music videos, California had an actor as Governor, and Madonna was a piece of art, not a piece of work.

Ahh, so much has changed since then, just ask a teenager who Blondie or Devo is. You’ll get one of those looks that make you feel older than dirt – trust me I’ve seen that look.

Devo – Click for more images

Neither group is standing on their laurels either as both are out promoting their new work. Blondie with her latest album Panic of Girls and Devo with their album Something for Everybody. Both albums have respectable reviews, but could they possibly invoke trips down memory lane as some of their hits do? Songs like Blondie’s disco-infused “Heart of Glass,” and Devo’s wildly popular “Whip It?” I think not.

Devo started out as a twenty something group of nerdy guys and have “devolved” into a sixty something group of nerdy guys. The weirdest part for me was these guys were awesome! Their sound, their message, their style, played well in the 70’s and 80’s, and it plays well in the 10’s (I guess that’s what you call the 2010’s).

With brothers Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, and Gerald and Bob Casale, all original band members, Devo kicked off their set with “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man)” and “Peek-A-Boo!”, wearing plastic masks in what looked like some type of uniform.

Mark Mothersbaugh – Click for more images

During their set they played three songs off their latest album “Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man),” “What We Do,” and “Fresh.” The rest of their songs were their oldies, but goodies.

As is normal for this quirky group of guys, there were numerous wardrobe changes, plenty of videos playing in the background and even popcorn flying through the air. “Whip It” found the group wearing their signature hats as fans went crazy.

After a brief set-change Blondie made their way on stage as original lead singer Deborah Harry came out singing “Dreaming” and “Hanging on the Telephone.” Deborah sounded good and the audience gave her a warm welcome, but I believe they made a fatal mistake, as do most aging bands. They played too many newer songs, losing the audience.

Deborah Harry

As Blondie continued with “Love Doesn’t Frighten Me” and “D-Day,” both songs from their latest album, the crowd settled down. However, whenever they started in with an old hit like “Call Me,” the crowd would go wild, only to settle back down while the continued on to a new song. They played a total of six new songs, one from 2003, and five from 2011, all unfamiliar to the crowd.

Her encore won the audience back as she closed with “Relax” and “Heart of Glass.”

In my opinion Devo was the better performance with their quirky style. I’m surprised that I’m saying this, but I think Devo should have been the headliner, or close the show, as their tour is being billed as “co-headlining.” In the end Blondie played too many newer songs, while Devo, for the most part, stuck to the sounds that got them where they are today.

This show concludes the Sunrise at Night Concert Series at Sunrise MarketPlace. It all started when Sunrise started to host the Sacramento Capitals and erected a small arena, so the powers to be decided to, dare I say capitalize, on having arena by turning it into an outdoor concert venue.

Sunrise at Night Concert Series – during the day!!

 

The Series brought over 10,000 people to Sunrise Marketplace, with 7,000 concert goers coming from outside the area. These were people who normally would not have made the effort to visit the area.

Devo at the Sunrise at Night Concert Series

Many of the visitors who had not been to Sunrise Marketplace in quite some time were surprised and impressed with the number of changes to the area. Merchants also saw in increase in sales with close to 50% of attendees visiting and patronizing their favorite stores.

While the concert series got off to a slow start it gained momentum as the season unfolded, ending with full house for their final concert.

Look for an even more exciting concert series next season!

 

 

 

Forrest Day to open for Flobots at Ace of Spades

Forrest Day – Gotta love the album cover!

Flobots, Forrest Day, and Astronautalis will make their way to Ace of Spades in Sacramento on September 18th at 7:00 pm.

The Flobots will be touring to promote their new album The Circle in the Square, starting September 14th! However, the big news is San Francisco Bay Area sensation Forrest Day will be opening for the Flobots on the western leg of their tour, along with Astronautalis.

Forrest Day has been accused of sounding a lot like rock, jazz, reggae, and even rap, as he passionately sings about everyday issues. His meticulously crafted tunes will have your toe tapping, your head bobbing, and your mind reeling as he lays out life’s struggles in a high energy show.

Forrest Day is coming off of a highly successful release of their self-titled debut album, Forrest Day. With a second album in the works, fans may get a sneak peak of what to expect when they play Ace of Spades.

You won’t want to miss this exciting night, and trust me when I say that you’ll walk away from the show talking about Forrest Day and the meaning of life, or you’ll just be scratching your head asking yourself, ‘What just happened in there?’ Either way it’s bound to be one hell of an experience.

Kooling Down at Sunrise MarketPlace

Kool and the Gang – Click for more images

Kool & the Gang, along with fellow R&B legends The Commodores, played to a very enthusiastic crowd of close to 2,000 fans Saturday night at Sunrise MarketPlace’s Sunrise at Night Concert Series.

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.

Sunrise at Night Concert Series

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 Commodores – Click for more images

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.

Walter Orange – Off night? No way!

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.

Kool & the Gangs Lavell Evans

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.

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