Yes!! There is a king of the accordion and his name is Ramon Ayala.
Ayala, a four-time Grammy winner packed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer amphitheater for the second year in a row on Friday night.
The 66 year old Ayala is a legend of norteño music and is one of the most recognized and best-selling artists of the genre.
Ayala played to norteño and tejano fans from both sides of the border, with fans singing along to every song. While I have no idea what the hell he was singing, I found it thoroughly entertaining as he worked his magic on the mostly older crowd.
Ayala arrived on stage with his trademark green, white and red accordion. The crowd erupted in cheers and several individuals made their way up to the stage to pay tribute to the man.
Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a fan of the accordion, but I have to say when Ayala is playing its pretty spectacular to listen to.
Ayala was joined on stage by his band, known as Bravos del Norte. Band members were Mario Marichalar (bajo sexton and vocals), Fidencio Ayala (bass), Jose Luis Ayala (drums and vocals), David Laure (percussion) and Raul Rosales (emcee and percussion).
Ayala played a number of his hits including “Mi Piquito de Oro,” a Latin version of “Cotton Fields,” and “Un Puno de Tierra,” which had the entire audience on their feet.
Since I didn’t understand what was being said it was interesting watching the crowd’s reaction to, not only the music, but the dialog as emcee Rosales shouted out to the crowd. Apparently they were taking requests from audience members.
Midway through the performance Thunder Valley Casino gave away an autographed accordion signed the legendary performer. Audience member Lorenzo won the accordion and he was able to go onstage to collect his prize and meet the man himself.
Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.
Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.
Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.
Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.
As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.
Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”
Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).
There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.
Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”
This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again. Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
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.
That’s what fans did at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday evening, when it turned into one funkalicious night as old school favorites Morris Day and the Time, S.O.S., Kurtis Blow, and Midnight Star tore it up for over three hours playing to an overflowing and extremely energetic crowd.
As Midnight Star took the stage and started playing “Electricity,” the crowd jumped to their feet and started dancing. There were very few occasions during the three hour show when the audience wasn’t standing.
Last time I saw Midnight Star I felt they were a little flat, but not tonight. They definitely brought their A-game as they continued with “Wet My Whistle” and “Midas Touch.”
Band members consisted of Belinda Lipscomb (vocals), Melvin Gentry (guitar/vocals), Bo Watson (keyboard/vocals) and Bill Simmons (keyboards), Kenneth Gant (bass), and Bobby Lovelace (drums).
As they infuse pure energy into the crowd after ending their set with “No Parking (On the Dance Floor),” many in the crowd headed to the amphitheater bars, or remained standing and dancing to the music in between sets.
Kurtis Blow, The first rapper to ever be signed by a major label, came out blasting “If I Ruled the World” as he fully engaged the audience by saying ‘Say Yo!’ and then pointing the mic to the audience as they all screamed in unison ‘Yo’.
Blow (ha! I said blow.) just wouldn’t shut up as he kept shouting out to the audience as only a true rapper can. In between songs he would continue rapping about being in Sacramento and giving a shout out to the audience. Some of the audience members started mingling more than paying attention to Blow, as a number of people headed to the bar, or bathroom, probably both.
Sounds Of Success (better known as S.O.S.) got everyone’s attention as they started up “Just the Way You Like It” and continued with “The Finest,” as fans were back on their feet dancing and singing. The crowd was on their feet bouncing to the music for the remainder of their set.
Founding member and lead singer Mary Davis was on fire as she blasted through their hits and finished with a flourish with the song that catapulted SOS to stardom back in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” Fellow members included original member Abdul Ra’oof (vocals/trumpet), with Celia Georgie (background vocals), Sultan Muhammad (saxophone), Reginald Ward (guitar), Ben Smith (keyboards), Allen Smith (keyboards), and Crystal Martin (drums).
After a brief set change, Prince Classmate and protégé, Morris Day made his way on stage with his personal assistant in tow. As only Day can do, he was continually checking himself in the mirror as he strutted around the stage.
Starting off with “Get It Up” Day had the crowd singing through most of his songs as he worked the crowd with his signature moves, classic sound and his stylish attire.
Decked out in a yellow paisley patterned suit the 53 year old Day continued with “Cool” as his assistant followed him around mimicking his moves as he spelled out the chorus C.O.O.L.
For the fans that still had their butts glued to their seats, band members would shout out for everyone to get on their feet and wave their hands in the air. The band member names I did catch were Ricky “Freeze” Smith (bass), Torrell “Tori” Ruffin (lead guitar), and Jellybean Johnson (drums).
Part way through his set Day explained that he was still cool regardless of sweating. He said it was condensation which cooled him down, meaning that he was still cool. It was at this point he headed off stage to cool down. When Day came back out he flawlessly sang “Gigalos Get Lonely Too,” which had many in the crowd dancing with their significant other.
Towards the end of his performance Day had a large number of fans up onstage to strut their stuff. You could see the excitement in many of their faces as they attempted to groove with the likes of Day.
While a few people left the show early, the amphitheater was still packed as Day completed the night with “Jungle Love,” leaving people dancing in the aisles and wanting more.
This was one of the more high-energy shows at Thunder Valley Casino Resorts Summer Concert Series.
Grammy winning jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall transformed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s outdoor amphitheater into a concert hall, as she brought her sultry and sexy smooth voice along with several, very talented, musicians.
It was amazing to watch the audience as Krall kicked off the show with Nat king Cole’s “I Just Found Out About Love” and her own “Lost My Mind.” After giving her a standing ovation to start, the audience was completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop, it was that quiet. If fact, the bars around the amphitheater were dishing out ice as quietly as possible, which isn’t easy.
There wasn’t a bad seat in the house as the hypnotic sounds traveled throughout the amphitheater reaching into the farthest corners, and sounding as if you were sitting center stage. The quiet calm of the crowd was interrupted a couple of times. The first interruption was by a passing train, and the second was caused by someone backstage, who accidentally hit the horn on a golf cart.
As the 47 year old Krall continued with “So Nice” and “You Call it Madness,” her trio of musicians poured their heart and soul into their instruments, taking the music on an emotional roller coaster. Included in the quartet was Karriem Riggins (drums), Robert Hurst (bass), and Anthony Wilson (guitar), and of course Krall on the piano.
The gracious Krall introduced the band members a couple of times during the performance, to ensure they received the credit they deserved.
In particular, Wilson’s guitar playing was nothing short of breathtaking as his fingers flew up and down the neck of the guitar, bringing the guitar to life and providing some very dramatic solos.
There were several shouts of “I Love You Diana,” with her responding in kind, causing the audience to erupt in applause.
The atmosphere was better suited for an intimate evening complete with a candle lit dinner rather than at an outdoor amphitheater, but Krall pulled it off as she continued with more of Nat King Cole’s works “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and ”The Frim Fram Sauce,” captivating the audience as they hung on every note.
Next month Krall will be releasing her newest album Glad Rag Doll. According to Krall, “It’s not coy. It’s not ‘peel me a grape,’ little girl stuff. I feel this album’s very womanly – like you’re lying next to your lover in bed whispering this in their ear.”
Krall, with the help of some really talented musicians, put on a tremendous show. I have never seen an audience so quiet and completely immersed in the music and the moment.
A little wine, a little music, add some major league talent, and you have one hell of a magical evening.
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.
Over 4,500 fans braved the 100 plus temperatures to see the legendary Smokey Robinson at Thunder Valley Casino Resort‘s outdoor amphitheater Saturday night ““ you could say it was a smoking show due to the heat, but that would be a lame joke.
Despite the heat, the 72 year old Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee arrived on stage decked out in a white suit and tie, as the audience jumped to their feet welcoming Robinson to Thunder Valley Casino.
Robinson, known for his high tenor voice, has accumulated more than 4,000 songs to his credit, so his set-list for the evening was anyone’s guess.
He kicked it off with “Going to a Go Go” and “Second that Emotion,” both hits made famous by the Miracles in the mid-sixties, with Robinson as lead singer.
The audience was in full participation mode as fans sang along with songs like “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “Tears of a Clown,” and “Tracks of My Tears.”
After hearing the audiences response as he finished singing “Ooh Baby Baby,” he said he probably should have started the show with that one.
Throwing a bit of local humor into the show Robinson said he really appreciated everyone taking the time to come out and see him, especially in a town like Lincoln, where there’s so much to do on a Saturday.
Robinson talked about a show called the Motown Review, where you could see the likes of The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others, all for a $1.60. This lead into a medley of Temptation hits.
At one point he brought audience members Lisa and Porsche onto the stage and assigned sections of the audience to each one. The goal ““ Cheer their section on to be the loudest. I believe Porsche’s group was the clear winner, but I’m sure Lisa would have something to say about that.
Robinson is a true entertainer and after over 50 years of performing he still knows how to put on a great show and keep the audience entertained. It was a smoking good show ““ I just had to.
Checkout the remaining outdoor concerts at Thunder Valley Casino. Next weekend is ZZ Top and Diana Krall.
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.
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.
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.“
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.
As I jumped into my old rusty and dilapidated truck and headed over to Wheatland’s Sleep Train Amphitheater to watch country music superstar Brad Paisley, I was reminded of the time my wife thought I was cheating. She got country ugly and decided to cowboy up, taking it out on my pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive, carved her name into my leather seat, took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, and slashed a hole in all 4 tires.
After I crawled out from under the bed and realized what she had done to poor old Ethel (my truck), I thought to myself, there must be a country song in there somewhere. It kinda reminded me of an old Carrie Underwood song. Not exactly sure what made me think of the good times with my wife, but country music has a way of doing that to you.
As droves of country fans filed into the amphitheater Easton Corbin kicked off the evening. Corbin is no stranger to touring with his pal Paisley. In 2010 Corbin tagged along in Paisley’s H2O tour.
Opening with “This Feels a Lot Like Love” and “A Little Bit More Country Than That,” Corbin seemed a little stiff and didn’t move around much. It took the crowd a song or two, but they finally started getting into his set. He ended with his #1 hit “Roll With It,” leaving the crowd energized.
The Band Perry came, they sang, they conquered ““ period.
The 2012 Grammy nominated trio consisting of Kimberley Perry, and her two Brothers Neil and Reid, started their set off with “Sugar Sugar” and “Hip to My Heart,” with fans standing throughout their set.
The interaction between the siblings was highly energetic, with the crowd feeding off of their energy. Even on their slower songs, such as their cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallen,” the crowd stayed on their feet and swayed to the music.
I thought The Band Perry was going to steal the show, but Paisley came out to see just how much energy the crowd still had left. As the behemoth monitors started to warm up, lasers started firing, and lights flashing, pandemonium broke out in anticipation of Paisley’s appearance.
As Paisley made his way onto the stage singing “Camouflage,” the crowd showed him that they had plenty of energy left, and beer too, as fans raised their glasses to the country star.
There were several touching moments during the show. One fan, Theresa Manzinali, said her favorite part of the show was when Paisley gave a guitar to a young boy, but more importantly was being able to see what a real human being Paisley is. When he brought a number of military personnel up onstage, it brought tears to her eyes.
Manzinali summed up the show best, “He puts on a fantastic show!”
The highlight of the evening was when Carrie Underwood arrived on stage to sing “Remind Me,” bringing cheers from the audience, but wait! It wasn’t really Underwood. As the scene played out the audience soon realized that it was a hologram, much like what Snoop Dogg did with Tupac at Coachella.
I heard a number of people at the end of the show arguing that it was really her, others saying it was someone who looked like her, when in fact, it was a projected image on a fine black mesh screen, or scrim. Very realistic affect and very cool!
The crowd definitely got their money’s worth with the combination of The Band Perry and Paisley. It was a great evening. It was for my wife too . . . I didn’t cheat, so please don’t hurt my Ethel.
For all you Sacramentans out there ““ Made you look!
Karmin with Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan were slightly delayed due to an interview on the east coast for ABC’s Good Morning America. Flying from New York to San Francisco, then driving to Sacramento on a Friday afternoon wasn’t the best of ideas, but luckily, for everyone involved, it all worked out.
True to form the kind folks from The End were selecting a number of lucky fans to come up and sit onstage during the performers set. In attendance from 107.9 The End were the Wake Up Call’s own Katie, Jason, and Gavin, along with Dan Mason, Ashley Nickels, and the very entertaining, very talented, and all around nice guy Chris K. (we’re Facebook friends so were like really close, right Chris? ““ Chris? He must not have time to read this, after all he is a very busy man).
As Karmin kicked off their set with “Crash Your Party,” the audience erupted into screams as the mostly young female audience let loose some blood-curdling screams.
Karmin is a site to see as lead singer Heidemann came out with her pin-up girl looks, and pop-star attitude, sporting one hell of a hairdo. As she started belting out her Katy Perry sound, coupled with her blazing Nicki Manaj-like rapping, I could have sworn there were two people wrapped into this amazingly dynamic package.
Karmin went on to play “Hello,” from their new album of the same title. Of course their set wouldn’t be complete without the song that got them here, Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” They wrapped it up with their hit single “Broken Hearted.”
Up next was Owl City, best known for their hit song “Fireflies,” they came out singing “Cave In.” I say “their” hit song, but Owl City is a one-man-band who goes by the name of Adam Young (lead vocals, programming, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitars, bass guitar, drums, percussion, vibraphone) – I know quite the list.
Young does bring along a few friends to help him out while touring. Among them are Breanne DÃ¼ren (keyboards, backing vocals), Daniel Jorgensen (guitar, vibraphone), Jasper Nephew (guitar), and Steve Goold (drums).
Owl City played a number of their newer songs including “Dementia” and “Meteor Showers.” Of course they also threw in their old standby “Fireflies.”
Adam Lambert sashayed out on stage wearing what appeared to be a lighted pair of pants, but my eyes were deceiving me. Turns out they were a very reflective and very shiny pair of pants with a tiger pattern in black and silver. I say sashayed, but he really strutted more than sashayed, but out of respect for his gayness, I thought I would say sashayed.
What? Where are you going? It was just a joke ““ Wonderful, I just lost half my readers.
Lambert kicked some major butt during the very short time he was onstage as he flawlessly performed songs from his new album including “Trespassing,” “Kickin “‘In,” and “Naked Love.”
I was quite surprised when Lambert didn’t end his set with “Whataya Want From Me,” which is clearly his biggest hit to date.
Lambert could easily have headlined this show, which may be why “they” kept him to only and handful of songs, leaving the audience wanting more. Many of the fans waited in anticipation for him to come back out and perform an encore.
After a brief set change, Demi Lovato arrived on stage as screaming fans greeted her. Many people around me had to plug their ears for fear of blowing out an ear drum or two. In fact, after a couple of songs into Lovato’s set you could see a number of audience members leaving the pavilion. Was it Lovato not being able to hold their attention, or simply the discomfort of all the screaming?
Lovato played several covers including Lil Waynes “How to Love” and Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey.” She also played her smash hit “Give Your Heart a Break.”
If you measured this concert purely on decibels, I would say the show belonged to Lovato as every girl under the roof screamed throughout her set, but I would have preferred to see more of Lamberts work, let’s face it those pants were hot!
While you’ll see a number of photos from the show, you will notice I’m lacking Lovato’s. It appears that Lovato has been so successful and in the media so much, that her management team didn’t think SacAndBeyond was worthy to shoot her portion of the show. I know ““ my therapists didn’t understand it either.
If you haven’t been to a concert put on by The End, it’s well worth it, and you never know, you could End up with some really great onstage seating!