Sleep Train Arena

Radio 94-7 Electrifies Sacramento

Capital Cities ignites the crowd Click for more images

Capital Cities ignites the crowd
Click for more images

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento’s Radio 94.7 brought their first annual Electric Christmas event to Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, featuring alternative bands Cage the Elephant, Alt-J, GroupLove, Capital Cities, The Features, MS MR and special guest performance by the venerable rocker Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.

Not being familiar with most of the bands, I wasn’t expecting much from this musical cornucopia of alternative rockers. That all changed when I heard surprise guest Joan Jett and The Blackhearts would be performing.

Lindsey Pavao(R) poses with Joan Jett

Lindsey Pavao(L) poses with Joan Jett

In my best Blake Shelton voice all I could think of was ‘Gosh darn’ and ‘Holy Crap’, this was going to be a good night. For anyone hiding under a rock over the past few years, Blake Shelton is a country music singer and coach on the music competition ‘The Voice.”

Speaking of ‘The Voice,’ Sacramento’s own Lindsey Pavao, season 2 semi-finalist on ‘The Voice,’ joined Cooper from Radio 94.7 to emcee the event. Pavao joined the ranks of KKDO-FM 94.7   in June of this year, taking a leading role in discovering new music, as well as managing the station’s social media presence.

Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR Click for more images

Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR
Click for more images

 

Kicking off the night in front of a sold-out crowd was New York based MS MR with their original and hauntingly beautiful song called “Bones,” followed by “Think of You” and “Hurricane.” MS MR is a very talented group with Lizzy Plapinger leading the charge with her high energy performance and outrageous vocals. Joining her was her partner in crime Max Hershenow on keys.

The Features

The Features

Nashville Tennessee based The Features  were next, starting their set with “Kids” followed by “How it Starts.”

The Features, consisting of Matt Pelham (vocals), Roger Dabbs (guitar), Rollum Haas (drums) and Mark Bond (keys) completed their set with “This Disorder” and “The New Romantic.” At times I could hear a little bit of Adam Lavine mixed with some Phil Collins in Pelham’s vocals, giving him a nicely unique sound.

Spencer Ludwig bringing down the house

Spencer Ludwig bringing down the house

Capital Cities, a Los Angeles based indie band,kicked their set off with “Kangaroo Court,” with Spencer Ludwig winning the audience over with his solid trumpet playing. Sebu Simonian (lead vocals) and Ryan Merchant (guitar) are the dynamic duo that makes up Capital Cities. When touring the pair brings along Ludwig, Manuel Quintero (bass) and Nick Merwin (guitar).

Capital Cities continued with their 70’s infused sound with “Center Stage” followed by their version of the Bee Gees “Staying Alive.” As soon as they played the first note of their hit song “Safe and Sound,” the audience erupted into cheers with everyone on their feet.

Following Capital Cities was the one and only Joan Jett and The Blackhearts as Jett hit the stage belting out “Bad Reputation.” Kicking it up a notch with “Cherry Bomb,” Jett was in high gear throughout her performance.

Joan Jett

Joan Jett

It was obvious by the young fan’s reactions that Jett still has what it takes after 38 years of singing, as she continued with “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and her latest song “Any Weather.” She ended her set with “I Love Rock and Roll.”

GroupLove out of Los Angeles had the tough job of following Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Grouplove fell way short of my expectations and reminded me of some of the auditions on American Idol. I know it sounds harsh, but the vocals on “I’m With You” were atrocious and they didn’t fare so well on “Itchin on a Photograph” either.

GroupLove

GroupLove

As GroupLove, consisting of Hannah Hooper (vocals, keys), Christian Zucconi (vocals, guitar), Sean Gadd (bass, vocals), Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals), and Ryan Rabin (drums), continued with “Borderlines and Aliens,” it appeared they were working out the kinks, but their performance still fell short, especially considering where these guys were in the lineup. Regardless, it was an extremely high-energy performance and the audience didn’t seem to mind the faltering vocals.

Joe Newman of Alt-J

Joe Newman of Alt-J

England based Alt-J came out strong with band members Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums). Starting off with their mesmerizing “Fitzpleasure,” the band had fans hanging on every note as they continued with an equally compelling song “Bloodflood.”

Alt-J is what alternative music is all about.

Cage the Elephant closed the night in perfect form with band members Matthew Shultz (lead vocals), Lincoln Parish (lead guitar), Brad Shultz (guitar), Daniel Tichenor (bass) and Jared Champion (drums), storming the stage playing a number of their hits including “In One Ear,” “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “Back Against the Wall.”

It was a great night beginning with the surprise appearance by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Her appearance provided many young fans a unique opportunity to hear one of the legendary women in Rock and Roll history.

We’re hoping Radio 94.7 can continue bringing high quality events to the Sacramento area. Based on the turnout at Wednesday night’s show, it obvious the area is hungry for some good solid entertainment.

 

2 people hit by car near Sleep Train Arena

Police-lightsSACRAMENTO, CA – Two pedestrians who were crossing Sports Parkway were hit by a car Tuesday night, following a Sacramento Kings game.

The pair were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. near the south entrance, just as the Kings game was letting out. The driver of the Ford Mustang that hit the pair pulled over and remained at the scene.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident. It was raining at the time and alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the accident.

Fleetwood Mac wraps up US tour in Sacramento

Fleetwood Mac In Concert - Sacramento, CA

Fleetwood Mac

SACRAMENTO, CA – Fleetwood Mac brought their A-game Saturday night as they played to a sold-out crowd at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, (Arco Arena, Power Balance Pavilion).

Bringing a roar from the crowd, 65-year-old Stevie Nicks and 63-year-old Lindsey Buckingham came out onstage hand-in-hand, as they kicked off their final performance of their US tour, in support of their first ever EP ‘Extended Play.

Joining the duo was, 66-year-old Mick Fleetwood and 67-year-old John McVie, as they started the show off with hits from their famous ‘Rumours’ album including “Second Hand News” and “The Chain.” The album was originally released in 1977. Christine McVie was not present, she retired from music after their album ‘The Dance.’

John McVie (L) and Stevie Nicks

John McVie (L) and Stevie Nicks

The group performed for close to three hours, including two encores, with the mostly standing crowd of hungry fans cheering them on.

Yes, this was a Fleetwood Mac concert, but at times it felt more like the Lindsey Buckingham show, with special guest Stevie Nicks. Buckingham remained onstage throughout the performance, giving other members a break. There were some songs where Buckingham was lacking vocally, but his guitar skills more than made up for it.

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham

Mick Fleetwood, drummer and founding member of the group, did a great job on drums, including a wonderful solo routine. Our seats were off to the right side of the stage and from our angle we could just glimpse another drummer that was hidden from view. It appeared the hidden drummer was mimicking the same sound as Mick on some songs, and adding to the mix on others. Towards the end of the show when backup singers and other band members were introduced, the lone drummer was left out. Could this be lip-syncing for drummers? Regardless, Mick was in top form with his mannerisms and facial expressions as he entertained the crowd.

Fleetwood Mac In Concert - Sacramento, CA

Mick Fleetwood

Buckingham stole the show with his blazing fingerstyle guitar as he plucked melody lines over bass notes with blinding speed. You would have thought there were three guitar players onstage with the two drummers.

Stevie Nicks dusted off an old song “Without You,” that she wrote years ago and recorded as a demo. According to Nicks, the demo was taken from her and returned years later. After getting it back she lost it, so between her and Buckingham they have pieced it back together and were able to stay true to the demo version.

Stevie Nicks (L) and Lindsey Buckingham

Stevie Nicks (L) and Lindsey Buckingham

For their final encore of the night Buckingham responded to Nicks’ “Without You” with one he wrote a decade ago about the couple, “Say Goodbye.”

For those of you who may not know the history of the band, Buckingham and Nicks were lovers back in the day and just as the band broke up, so did the they. Their relationship led to a number of songs, both as Fleetwood Mac and in their solo careers.

There were a lot of rumors that band mates were having affairs with other band mates. That was back in the mid-seventies when they were working on, what was to become, their most popular album. Because of all the rumors flying around they decided to call their album – “Rumours.” Go figure.

 

Summer concert fun starts next weekend

Blondie and Devoe

Sunrise Marketplace
Photo: Randy Miramontez

While it may not be officially summer yet, things start heating up next weekend as the Sacramento Music Festival kicks off in Old Town Sacramento.

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary it’s going to be one giant party with many styles of music. There will be dancing in the streets, with music blasting morning, noon, and night.

Read: Sacramento summer concerts – check for schedules

Some of the featured bands will be Los Lobos, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Ben Taylor, The Blasters, John Lee Hooker, Jr., The James Hunter Six, Wanda Jackson, Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, Jimmy Pailer, Johnny “Guitar” Knox and Beer Dawgs. Click here for a complete line-up.

Read: Ironstone Vineyards announces Summer Concert Series

On the heels of the Sacramento Music Festival, Thunder Valley Casino Resort kicks off their Summer Concert Series with Frankie Vallie on June 1. Vallie recently made an appearance on American Idol’s season finale.

Sleep Train Arena brings Pit Bull to Sacramento on June 15. Pit Bull also made an appearance on American Idol’s season finale.

Sacramento Summer Concerts 2013

With summer just around the corner, the Sacramento area has a lot to look forward to for Summer concerts. Here’s a brief rundown of what you can expect from a few of the larger venues.

Thunder Valley Casino ResortDirections

Peter Frampton Photo: Randy Miramontez

Peter Frampton
Photo: Randy Miramontez

About: Every summer Thunder Valley erects an outdoor amphitheater and this year they will be adding additional seating bringing the total capacity to 4,800 seats. They have numerous bars throughout the amphitheater for ease of access. After the show enjoy your choice of 14 restaurants and bars, including High Steaks Steakhouse, Red Lantern and a 500-seat Buffet as well as Mingle Bar, Falls Bar, Thunder Bar and High Steaks Bar. Thunder Valley Casino Resort is also home to a luxury, 17-story hotel with 297 rooms, including 40 suites and an expansive outdoor pool complete with private cabanas and Coconut, a poolside bar.

What to expect this summer: Thunder Valley brings your favorite bands from the ’50s, ’60’s, ’70s, ’80’s and today with the likes of Frankie Vallie, The Beach Boys, Heart, Chris Isaak and more. Need some laughs? Jeff Dunham and his suitcase possy will be entertaining the masses and American Comedy Award winner Bill Engvall will have you ROTFL.

Frankie Vallie and The Four Season Saturday, June 1
Pat Benatar w/Neil Geraldo and Cheap Trick Friday, June 7
Super Summer Soul Jam click for full line up Saturday, June 8
Doobie Brothers Friday, June 14
Jeff Dunham Friday, June 21
Lynyrd Skynrd Saturday, June 22
Under the Sun w/Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and more Friday, July 12
Huey Lewis & the News Saturday, July 13
Larry Hernandez Saturday, July 20
ESPN Friday Night Fights Friday, July 26
Chicago Saturday, Aug 3
Gladys Knight and The O’Jays Friday, Aug 9
Bill Engvall Saturday, Aug 10
Chris Isaak Friday, Aug 16
Frankie Vallie Saturday, Aug 17
Andy Bell, Howard Jones, Terri Nunn, Men Without Hats Saturday, Aug 24
Frampton’s Guitar Circus w/ B.B. King Friday, Aug 30
Sammy Hagar Thursday, Sept 5
Beach Boys Friday, Sept 6
Funk Fest, featuring Sinbad Saturday, Sept 7
Kathy Griffin Friday, Sept 20
Heart Saturday, Sept 21
Bad Company Friday, Sept 27
Tesla Saturday, Sept 28

 

Sleep Train Arena – SacramentoDirections

Phil Phillips

American Idol Live 2012
Photo: Randy Miramontez

About: If you’re from the Sacramento area then there’s no need to tell you about Sleep Train Arena, also known as Arco Arena and more recently Power Balance Pavilion. One word of caution – Wheatland is home to Sleep Train Amphitheater, don’t get them confused when purchasing tickets or planning your summer concert fun.

What to expect this summer: Sleep Train Arena has a few big shows coming this summer starting with Pitbull in June, followed by Fleetwood Mac, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift’s ‘The Red Tour.’

Pitbull Thursday, June 15
Sesame Street Live Saturday/Sunday, June 22/23
Fleetwood Mac Saturday, July 6
American Idol Live Monday, June 22
Bruno Mars Wednesday, July 24
Taylor Swift Tuesday, August 27
 Josh Grobin  Sunday, October 6

 

Sleep Train Amphitheater – WheatlandDirections

Train

Train
Photo: Randy Miramontez

About: Not to be confused with Sleep Train Arena, Sleep Train Amphitheater is an outdoor venue with plenty of lawn seating. Located in Wheatland near Marysville it attracts fans from the more remote areas of Northern California and Sacramento.

What to expect this summer: Country. Live Nation is offering up a whole lotta country this season with their Country Megaticket. Essentially you are purchasing a season pass to some of the greatest country artists of today, including Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Jason Aldean. Kid Rock is also scheduled to appear this summer.

Miranda Lambert Friday, May 10
John Mayer Wednesday, July 24
Kid Rock Wednesday, July 31
Train Saturday, August 10
Keith Urban Sunday, September 22
Maroon 5 Tuesday, October 1

 

Blondie and Devo

Sunrise at Night Amphitheater
Photo: Randy Miramontez

Sunrise at Night Concert Series – Sunrise Marketplace, Citrus Heights - Directions

About: What do you do with a competition tennis court built each summer for the Sacramento Capitals? You have some fun! Sunrise Marketplace is the host to the Sacramento Capitals and when the Capitals aren’t playing tennis Sunrise Marketplace brings you their Sunrise at Night Concert Series – and some great shopping.

What to expect this summer: Officials for Sunrise Marketplace are still putting together their lineup for the season. Check back often as we will keep all venues updated.

Dave Koz and Friends Sat. August 10
Boyz to Men with Bell Biv Devoe Thur., August 15
Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright and more  Sat., August 24
Trace Adkins Thurs., August 29
Amy Grant & Lincoln Brewster Thurs. Sept 5
 Bachman Turner Overdrive and Blue Oyster Cult  Sat., September 7
Friday Night Fever w/Sister Sledge, Tavares, The Tramps and Taste of Honey Fri., September 13
 Diamond Rio w/John Michael Montgomery  Sat., September 14

Ironstone Vineyards Summer Concert Series – Murphys - Directions

About: Nestled against the Sierra Foothills, in the heart of California’s scenic Gold Rush Country, Ironstone Vineyards provides an intimate setting in a beautifully done outdoor amphitheater with plenty of lawn seating. The best part – they have wine!

What to expect this summer: A little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Saturday, July 20
Mellissa Etheridge Live  Friday, August 2
 Big & Rich Party Like Cowboyz featuring Cowboy Troy/Whiskey Dawn  Saturday, August 10

boxofficetickets

Rick Ross – Death Threats Cancel Tour?

Rick Ross – Click for more images

Several reasons have been cited over the last few days, including lack of organization on the part of the promoter, as well as rumors of death threats from Gangster Disciples, a street gang that originated from the Chicago area.

The MMG tour included Meek Mills, Wale, and more recently Machine Gun Kelly. The tour was originally scheduled for 23 days, but was extended to Dec. 16.

Representatives for the promoter, Live Nation, have not commented.

The cancelations started with two shows in North Carolina, where the death threats were rumored. Soon after that, the remainder of the shows were canceled.

The Gangster Disciples posted their threats on YouTube about a month ago, warning Ross and everyone who was signed with Mayback Music Group that they were coming after them. Since then a number of videos have surfaced on YouTube threatening the singer.

Their beef started back when Ross was better known as Teflon Don, when he released the single “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast), where he mentioned the gang’s imprisoned leader Larry Hoover.

Machine Gun Kelly – Click for more images

It doesn’t stop there! Gangster Disciples are also upset, or should I say pissed off, that Ross is using a design similar to their gang symbol on his Black Bar Mitzvah mix-tape.

Oh . . . one more thing. There’s also something about the pressure being on until the gang receives “the check”. Apparently the check is for providing protection for Ross in the way of security/body guards.

Do any of these people have anything better to do?

What’s the worst part about the cancelations?

Machine Gun Kelly is not going to be able to build up his fan base! As the opening act for the MMG Tour, he has stolen the show. Look for him headlining his own show next year, minus all the death threats and other crap that seems to follow Ross around wherever he goes.

Before the tour was canceled, Ross brought the MMG tour to the Sacramento area. You can read the review here.

 

Rick Ross brings his posse to Sleep Train Arena

Rick Ross (Rozay) – Click for more images

Rick Ross brought his MMG Tour to Sleep Train Arena on Saturday.

This is Rozay’s (Ross’s nickname) first headlining tour as he brought a supporting cast of characters including, Meek Mill (Robert Williams), Wale (Oluboware Victor Akintimehen), Omarion (Omari Ishmael Grandberry), and Machine Gun Kelly (Richard Colson Baker).

Opening the show was MGK storming the stage and daring the fans to have fun as he dove into the crowd on several occasions. Pro-skateboarder Ryan Sheckler was in attendance for MGK’s show and was invited backstage after his performance.

Machine Gun Kelly – Click for more images

While Rozay and crew put on a great show, MGK is the real story. Bringing his high energy and lightning fast rap, which earned him the nick name Machine Gun Kelly, this kid stole the show. If anyone in attendance didn’t know him before the show, they certainly knew who he was after the show.

Following MGK was Omarion. He was met with a lukewarm reception, which may have been because he was following a blistering performance by MGK. I don’t believe Omarion brought his A-game and luckily only played a brief set.

Omarion – Click for more images

 

 

I thought it was strange as each performer was represented by a cardboard cutout with their name displayed on it, which was being held by a couple of stage-hands. As if the audience needed to be reminded who was onstage. Not sure what that was about.

Wale followed Omarion and was met with cheers and screams. Wale won the crowd over and had fans on their feet. Wale also performed a pretty brief set, saving some time for the big man Rozay.

Meek Mill – Click for more images

Meek Mill followed Wale with “Racked Up Shawty” and “Young & Gettin’ It”  as the crowd started getting more intense and loud. Was it Wale’s performance, or the wildly good California weed?

When Rozay took the stage it could have been independence day as fireworks were going off all around. The ruler and king of MMG ripped through his hit’s including “Hustlin’ ” and “I’m Not A Star.”

Wale – Click for more images

Following Rozay’s lengthy solo set, Wale and Mill joined Rozay onstage to perform a number of songs including “Bag Of Money” and “Tats On My Arm.”

Rozay has put together quite a line-up for his first headlining tour and made a brilliant decision to include Machine Gun Kelly. I’m looking forward to seeing bigger and better things from MGK, including his own headlining act. The kids got talent!

 

 

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!

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