rockstar

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!

 

 


It’s Miller Time!

Steve Miller

Steve Miller Band – Click for more images

As in Steve Miller.

The 68 year old rocker had the sold out crowd at Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater rocking the night away as Miller took them on a magical ride down memory lane.

The concert was like taking a ride on a Jet Airplane to Swingtown, with a Space Cowboy and The Joker on board. Then all of a sudden – Abracadabra – and everyone was Dance Dance Dance dancing the night away ““ ok, I think the medical stuff was working its magic on me at that point, but that’s what it felt like!

Miller and his band comprised of Jacob Petersen (guitar), Joseph Wooten (keys), Kenny Lee Lewis (bass), Sonny Charles (vocals), and Gordy Knudtson (drums), came out performing “Jungle Love,” which immediately brought the crowd to their feet.

Miller continued with his hits “Take the Money and Run,” “The Stake,” and “Abracadabra,” as I’m sure some people in the crowd were reminiscing about the time they were in the backseat of their 65 Chevy, doing god knows what.

As they started playing “Abracadabra,” Miller introduced Carlos Reyes from Oakland,  as Reyes proceeded to rip into his violin. Reyes also brought out a harp during an acoustic set of “Nature Boy,” “Dance Dance Dance,” and “The Window.”

Kenny Lee Lewis and Steve Miller

Kenny Lee Lewis and Steve Miller

Prior to the acoustic set, Miller played a number of songs from his Bingo album like “Further On Up the Road,” “Tramp,” and “All Your Love (I Miss Loving).”

That’s about the time when things slowed way down. As the crowd started mingling with each other, it felt more like an intermission. As Miller started the acoustic set, most audience members were reengaged when they hit “Dance Dance Dance,” but that quickly faded, until Miller kicked it back into gear with “Jet Airliner.”

Heading into the encore Miller was in top form with “Rockin Me,” “Swingtown,” “Space Cowboy,” and finishing the night with “The Joker.”

Even with the lull of newer songs this was a great night of entertainment, providing everyone in attendance with a stroll down memory lane.

Don’t forget to check out Thunder Valley Casino’s upcoming Summer Concerts.

Steve Miller

Steve Miller at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Randy’s Rant: Aging artists should stick to the hits that got them there. While I understand the need to sell their latest CD, they need to understand their audience. Many of their fans are in the older demographic, and might only go to one or two shows a year. When they do finally get out to a concert they want to be entertained by the rocker of yesteryear, not yesterday.

I truly believe that if they stuck to the older hits, this will in turn cause people to want to listen to their newer stuff. As fans are leaving, going to get a beer, or going to drain said beer, they would be more inclined to stop off at the merchant table and pick up the latest CD. If not, click the link below and buy the damn thing. 8-)

I could be completely off base, but since this is my blog I get to blather on about a whole lot of nothing.

 

Getting Righteous at Thunder Valley Casino

Bill Medley - Click for more images

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and legendary Righteous Brother Bill Medley brought a crew of extremely talented individuals to Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday, including daughter McKenna.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Righteous Brothers. The second half of the duo, Bobby Hatfield, died of a heart attack back in 2003; Medley now tours with 3 Bottle Band and McKenna.

Kicking off the show was a video showing Medley as he made appearances in various shows throughout his career, including the David Letterman Show and the hit TV series, Cheers. As the video ended, Medley started to sing “A Song for You” while he was still offstage. After about a minute he started to make his way to the stage, providing for a nice dramatic entrance.

The 71 year old Medley’s voice has taken a beating over the years. While sounding coarser and a bit rough at times, he was able to make it work. The audience was enthralled with Medley from the start as he continued with “Ready, Willing and Able” and “Soul and Inspiration.” In between songs he would talk about life and joke with the crowd.

For his hit song, “Time of My Life,” from the movie Dirty Dancing, Medley brought out Mckenna to perform Jennifer Warnes’ part. McKenna did an awesome job and has a very melodic voice with a bit of a country/blues flavor.

McKenna went on to perform solo, singing “Silk Flowers” and “Give Me One Reason.”

McKenna and Bill Medley – Click for more images

When McKenna completed her set, Medley sat down at the keyboards and called on band member Bob Gulley to sing some songs with him and McKenna. This is where Medley shined, providing the audience a glimpse of what it’s like to jam with the best.

3 Bottle Band has been playing together with Medley for over 35 years, and it shows. This is a very talented group of musicians including Gabe Rabben (drums), Bob Gulley (bass), Tim Lee (keyboards), and Larry Hanson (lead guitar). Also a member of the band is America’s Got Talent winner Michael Grimm. However, Grimm was not present at Fridays show.

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