George Strait touched his hand to his heart, pointed to his fans and tipped his hat in his Sacramento farewell concert. “I’ll always remember you,” promised Strait, who is on his final tour after more than 30 years on the road. The “King of Country” and his Ace in the Hole band performed to a full house on Jan. 31st at Sleep Train Arena. In neatly creased jeans with a big silver belt buckle, pinstriped pink shirt and black cowboy hat, Strait strapped on his black guitar and launched into “Here for a Good Time.” Fans enthusiastically responded to the opening song and every song thereafter. During the most popular numbers, such as “Ocean Front Property” and “Amarillo by Morning,” nearly th
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) is back in California for a few days, and they put on a banger of a show last night at Harlow's. I was hoping frontman Nic Offer would be wearing tiny little shorts and I was not disappointed. His pair on Thursday featured The Rolling Stones' “Some Girls” album artwork. Guitarist Mario Andreoni and the rest of the band sounded great. The skinny and lithe Offer thrust his pelvis all over the stage, and came down into the crowd a couple of times to get sweaty with the audience. He smelled awful, and freely admitted as much himself when he got back on stage. If you're wondering about the next !!! album, Offer said they were working on it and it'll be released next y
I can't remember the last time there was an all-day music festival in the city limits with some big-name acts, so I was excited to check out the Monster Energy Aftershock 2012 festival at Discovery Park on Sunday. The bill was a mix of "hard rock" bands on two stages. Performers included FallRise, Stepchild, Oleander, Beware of Darkness, Gemini Syndrome, Hell or Highwater, Escape the Fate, Hollywood Undead, Theory of a Deadman, Chevelle, Bush, Deftones, and Stone Temple Pilots. I was especially excited to see Deftones, Bush and STP, since they remind me of being in high school, and they play songs I recognize. Sacramento bands were well-represented (FallRise, Stepchild, Oleander, and De
Read Casey Kirk's take on Wanderlust 2012 here. Photos by Steven Chea.
Ace of Spades hosted the tour finale of the Glow Sticks for Breakfast Tour Sunday night, featuring performances by Hyper Crush, Benzi, Silver Medallion and Sacramento band Playboy School. Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz's DJ project with Spencer Peterson, Black Cards, was also scheduled to perform, but the duo had to pull out a few days before the show due to an ankle injury. Playboy School kicked things off in the early slot with a lukewarm set as people trickled in. Benzi livened the mood up with an electronic/Top 40 set that had a few guys raging, and a while later Silver Medallion came out and grabbed the mic, adding some organic energy to the stage as he ran around, whipping his lo
Critically acclaimed Nashville-based singer/songwriter Mat Kearney has added West Coast dates to his current tour and will make a stop in Sacramento on April 10 at the Colonial Theatre in Oak Park. Sounding at first like a solo effort from Coldplay's Chris Martin, Kearney's latest album "Young Love" is a punchy collection of playful, summer-ready tales of love, pain and redemption. Kearney's current tour has included several sold-out shows at places including the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, House of Blues in Boston and Ogden Theatre in Denver. The second single from the album, "Ships in the Night," was recently performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and is the featured music in
"We've got quite a set here," announced MUTEMATH vocalist and keyboardist Paul Meany. "We've been around for eight years. That's a lot of songs to choose from!" Quite a set it was. Making an unconventional entrance from the back of the venue with instruments and Christmas lights in tow, the New Orleans electro-alt rock band went on to do a little face-melting for the packed house at Ace of Spades Wednesday night. The Grammy-nominated four-piece put on a sonic and visual spectacle, covering a massive setlist over more than two hours and sampling a bit from all their studio albums and EPs, including all 13 songs from their latest release, 2011's "Odd Soul." Aided by tons of frantic, colo
107.9 The End's Jingle Ball 2011 went down at Power Balance Pavilion on Thursday night. The concert featured performances by JoJo, Breathe Carolina, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and Selena Gomez. Photos by Steven Chea
If you don't know Dirt Nasty (aka ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex), take a look at some of his song titles and you'll know what you're getting into: "Suck My D***," "Baby D***" and "F*** Me I'm Famous." It was all about the lowest common denominator at Ace of Spades on Saturday, as Nasty rapped for a crowd that was about half full. In addition to genitalia and sex, he also covered themes like cocaine use ("1980") and bestiality ("Animal Lover"). But that’s his shtick, so you were either there for the juvenile party raps or maybe to catch a glimpse of the actor who was in “Scary Movie 4” and an episode of “MTV Cribs.” "He's hot! I don't even know his music. I came for him!" said Melissa Renee, 19.
Although the band lost its original guitar and bass player in 2009, it doesn't appear that Las Vegas' Panic! at the Disco has lost any fans. Performing for a sold out crowd at Ace of Spades Monday night, handsome lead singer Brendon Urie and company had fans in a tizzy from the get-go as a steady stream of clothing landed on stage after the first song. "Wow. Thank you!" said a surprised Urie. Panic!'s set focused mainly on their debut album, "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" and 2011's, "Vices & Virtues." They played only two songs from 2008's well-received album, "Pretty. Odd." They included "That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)" and "Nine in the Afternoon." The Panic! pop was a bi
If you're looking for an example of a band in the middle of making it big, look no further than The Joy Formidable. Formed in North Wales, the now London-based power trio has been riding a monster wave of success this year, touring and playing major U.K. and U.S. festivals – Reading, Coachella, Lollapalooza – and garnering praise from critics and their musical peers alike. They made such an impression on Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters earlier this year that he took to Twitter to sing their praises: "I would like to personally thank The Joy Formidable for writing the song of the year "Whirring". xxx Dave". The band will open several dates with Foo Fighters in November. The band has a massiv
Hair Wars is an annual touring event, created in 1991 as a showcase for stylists and salons to create unconventional and elaborate hair styles and fashion, often based around a central theme. The event has grown steadily through the years, turning into a huge production in multiple cities and making winners of the competition very well-known in the industry. In Sacramento, there is a local version of the Hair Wars competition that takes place annually at The Park Ultra Lounge. The competition is held over a three-month period, with some of Sacramento's top salons competing on the runway. In previous years, each night featured two salons going head to head with an overall winner selecte
Hollywood sleaze-rapper Mickey Avalon performed for a huge crowd of die-hard fans at Ace of Spades Friday night, whipping the young crowd into a lustful frenzy with his provocative sing-along raps. Folsom rap duo Ill Effect kicked the show off with some tight rhymes and beats, sounding the best as they flowed over B.o.B's well-known hit "Airplanes," featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore. After a 30-minute delay that had everyone wondering what exactly was going on, rapper Ty$ (Ty Dolla Sign) took the stage. Unfortunately there was nothing spectacular in his short set that made up for the long wait. Highlights included some call-and-response about which side of the crowd was louder and b
You know that song with the can't-get-it-out-of-your-head whistling called "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John that people seem to either love or hate? Los Angeles band Foster the People has a comparable track called "Pumped Up Kicks" – a sing-along with a cheery melody and dark lyrics about youth gun violence – that has the same effect. Polarizing song? For sure. One-hit wonder band? It doesn't look like it. Without seeming like they had anything to prove, the young group with more buzz than a beehive let its music speak for itself for a sold-out crowd at Harlow's Thursday night. Support act The Chain Gang of 1974 (aka Kamtin Mohager) from Denver came ready to warm up the crowd wit
Hawaii/SoCal-based bands Iration and Pepper made a stop in Sacramento on May 12, 2011, with each group performing their fusion of reggae, dub and rock for a very receptive audience at music venue Ace of Spades. The well-attended show was another in a streak of many at AOS, which is quickly becoming the go-to venue for mid-sized artists. Take a look at their site for some upcoming shows, which include performances by Fitz and The Tantrums, Deftones, and Mickey Avalon. Here are some shots from the Pepper show:
The Sacramento River Cats improved to 18-11 with their 6-2 victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (13-16) on Friday night. The Cats remain in first place in the PCL South Division with a four-game lead. Visit the River Cats' official site for the full recap. Your red-hot River Cats take on the Sky Sox again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for the second of the four-game series.
If you didn't get your ticket early, you missed out. Raley Field was the setting for Infuze Marketing's Wine in the Park wine tasting, featuring a selection of wines from surrounding area wineries, appetizers and a seat to watch the ballgame. The sold-out event took place in the VIP tented section off the third base line before the Sacramento River Cats and the Tucson Padres started the first of a four-game series at home. Participating wineries included Sierra Knolls Vineyard & Winery, Abundance Vineyards, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Watts Winery and Mount Aukum Winery. The event was sponsored by Top Speed Data Communications, Porter | Scott Attorneys and the UC Davis Health
You know that comedian, Anthony Jeselnik? Yeah, me neither. At least, I didn't until I saw him steal the show during the recent broadcast of the “Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump,” where he created some buzz for himself by deftly skewering the guest of honor and the other roasters on the dais, like Larry King, Snoop Dogg and Jersey Shore's "The Situation.” I had a chance to see him in action myself Thursday night at the Punch Line. Fremont's Sammy Obeid was the emcee and first act, mining his Lebanese ethnicity for some killer jokes about being mistaken as Mexican and Indian, as well as plenty of great sex-related material, which appeals to everyone and is always a crowd-pleaser.
ABBA they are not. Stop by Harlow’s this Friday to see Swedish psych-rockers The Soundtrack of Our Lives as they make a quick run up the West Coast before heading back to tour Europe. Influenced by ’70s psychedelia, prog and classic rock, the six-piece from the land of IKEA and Absolut found critical success in the United States with their 2002 release “Behind the Music,” which was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards. At the time of its release Noel Gallagher of Oasis proclaimed “Behind the Music” to be “the best album to come out in the last six years.” TSOOL followed up that success with 2004’s “Origin Vol. 1,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Swedish ch
Music venue Ace of Spades hosted another sold-out show on Friday, the "Welcome to Hell Tour" featuring performances by metal/hardcore bands Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin, I Declare War, The Acacia Strain and Veil of Maya. I Declare War and Chelsea Grin started things off with lots of growling, screaming and calls for the crowd to get violent. The circle pits were large and constant the entire night, with sweaty, aggressive men running around in the open space formed in the middle of the crowd, using their flailing body parts to punch and kick whatever happened to be in front of them as hard as they could. It's the norm at these types of shows, but if you're there to enjoy the music it's an