“Big Block Party” with Morris Day & The Time (The Original 7ven), Sheila E., Guy, and Doug E. Fresh at Thunder Valley Casino Resort | Lincoln, California | 9/13/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

Big-Block-Party-2014-Concert-Review-Photos-Morris-Day-&-The-Time-Sheila-E-Doug-E-Fresh-Guy-Thunder-Valley-Casino-Resort-FI

“Sacramento… you may notice a bit of moisture forming on my forehead… falling down my face…  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, ‘Morris has lost it.’  You may even be thinking, ‘Morris is not cool anymore.’  But let me fix that shit for you, Sacramento.  Just like you take a cool bottle of champagne out of the refrigerator, and you set it on the counter… what does it begin to do?  See, it sounds like you all don’t know.  See, it begins to condensate, Sacramento.  Because that’s what you do when you’re cool from the inside out…   So please understand, Morris is not sweatin’.  I’m condensatin’.   And, hell yes, Morris Day is still cool!”  Words from the legendary Morris Day from Morris Day & The Time (now The Original 7ven), headlining the Big Block Party by WorldOne Presents at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday night.  Having come on stage after the sun dropped out of view, which hit a high of 100 degrees, it left me wondering if the sweat rolling off everyone in the sold out concert venue was from the heat of the day, or the heat coming off the stage from the outrageous funk band, who followed the incredible line-up of Sheila E., Guy, and Doug E. Fresh.

[Read more...]

80s Rewind Music Fest 2014 / Retro Futura Tour (Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, The English Beat, Katrina) at Thunder Valley Casino Resort | Lincoln, California | 8/31/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

80s-Rewind-Music-Fest-2014-Retro-Futura-Concert-Review-Photos-Thompson-Twins-Tom-Bailey-Howard-Jones-English-Beat-Thunder-Valley-FIa

The show at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Outdoor Amphitheater Sunday night was continuing on in WorldOne Presents’ tradition of their annual “80s Rewind Festival Music Fest”, and arrived in Lincoln, California with it’s own unique line-up and variation on the newly christened Retro Futura Tour 2014 (formerly Regeneration Tour).  With this event, the same co-headliners – Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey and Howard Jones – shared the bill, as did Katrina Leskanich (formerly of Katrina and The Waves.  But in place of Midge Ure and China Crisis was the incredible English Beat featuring Dave Wakeling.  As usual, the show took on a character all it’s own, playing out to a large and enthusiastic crowd.  I think the Katrina/English Beat/Howard Jones/Tom Bailey line-up featured artists that all have one thing in common: authentic optimism driving their music.  Of course, the modern day ’10s are not the classic ’80s, and though the music played came from the past, it could also serve as a beacon of hope for the future.  And, as with the show at Mountain Winery the night before, there seemed to be quite a reception for Tom Bailey, who stopped touring and performing live as Thompson Twins way back in 1987.  It was another exceptional performance by all of the artists, and both shows are certainly on the short list for top concerts of the year for me personally.

[Read more...]

Retro Futura Tour 2014 (Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, Midge Ure, Katrina) at Mountain Winery | Saratoga, California | 8/30/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

Retro-Futura-Tour-2014-Concert-Review-Photos-Thompson-Twins-Tom-Bailey-Howard-Jones-Mountain-Winery-Saratoga-August-30-FI

I usually open my reviews with a quote from the headlining artist at a show…  and I generally don’t care for audience sing-a-longs (I come to hear the artist, not drunk people that don’t know the lyrics).  But Saturday night was a different, special sort of show with the perfect fans in attendance.  Tom Bailey from the Thompson Twins hasn’t played live for over 25 years, and came out of retirement for the newly rebranded Retro Futura tour (which was previously operating as Regeneration Tour).  I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved the Thompson Twins and their music growing up, and that I never imaged I would have an opportunity to see them perform live.  So at Saturday night’s stop at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, following the awesome sets by Howard Jones, Midge Ure (of Ultravox) and Katrina Leskanich (Ex Katrina and the Waves), Tom Bailey and his fantastic new backing band absolutely blew away every expectation I had.  It was as if, as a performer, he was in hibernation for the past quarter of a century and came out the same as he was in his prime to play this show.  It was quite surreal.  So getting back to that sing-a-long…  the final song of the night was Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now” (which a friend of mine captured on video from the audience) and everyone in attendance was so elated to see that man performing in front of them.  As the song came to an end, the entire audience was on their feet, singing the chorus.  Tom looked moved by the whole thing, stopped singing in mic, pulled out his ear monitors, motioned for his band to join him at the end of the stage, and it all came to a close acapella.  A beautiful thing, and I think a way for us fans to let him know that we still love him, love his music, and want him to stay.  A perfect ending, and maybe new beginning.  “Hold me now, warm my heart…  stay with me, let loving start, let loving start…”

[Read more...]

WorldOne Presents “Big Block Party” with Morris Day & The Time, Sheila E., Doug E. Fresh, Guy at Thunder Valley on September 13th

WorldOne-Presents-Big-Block-Party-Morris-Day-and-the-Time-Guy-Sheila-E-Doug-E-Fresh-Thunder-Valley-Tickets-FI

WorldOne Presents is bringing another fantastic line-up of 80s R&B icons to the Greater Sacramento Region at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on September 13th.  The Big Block Party will feature Morris Day & The Time, Guy, Sheila E., and Doug E. Fresh. [Read more...]

Retro Futura Tour 2014 / 80’s Rewind Music Fest Bringing Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Howard Jones, and More to California

Retro-Futura-Tour-2014-80s-Rewind-Festival-Thompson-Twins-Tom-Bailey-Howard-Jones-Katrina-Ultravox-English-Beat-US-Dates-Details-Tickets-Concert-FI

The Retro Futura Tour 2014 (renamed from prior years, previously known as Regeneration Tour) kicked off in New York City last week, and is heading westward.  The tour this time around features Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey (his first time playing live in 27 years), Howard Jones (who co-headlines last year’s tour), Katrina Leskanich (Ex Katrina and the Waves), Midge Ure (from Ultravox), and China Crisis.  The group will be playing The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday, Mountain Winery in Saratoga on Saturday, and a different line-up with The English Beat featuring Dave Wakeling (in place of Ultravox and China Crisis) will be performing at the annual 80’s Rewind Music Fest by WorldOne Presents at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln on Sunday.  [Read more...]

Replay America (The Go-Go’s, Patty Smyth from Scandal, Martha Davis and The Motels, and Pete Byrne from Naked Eyes) at Thunder Valley Casino Resort | Lincoln, California | 7/19/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

Replay-America-Concert-Review-2014-Tour-Go-Gos-Motels-Scandal-Naked-Eyes-Thunder-Valley-Casino-Resort-Photos-Setlist-FI

“Are we not in the desert?  Where are we?” A  bit of comic relief part way through The Go-Go’s set by Gina Schock, who as per tradition emerges from her drum kit at some point in the show to give us a bit of fun.  And that is kind of at the heart of The Go-Go’s punky/poppy/surfy/beachy New Wave music, so what better a group to headline 2014’s newest 80s-centric tour, Replay America.  Also on the bill is Patty Smyth from Scandal, Martha Davis from The Motels, and Pete Byrne from Naked Eyes.  A real assortment of 80s hitmakers each took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday night to take the crowd back about three decades to a real innovative time in music.  Though there was a lot of music to be heard, things proceeded along quite quickly with the first three artists sharing a band (with some changes set to set), and a quick changeover for the aforementioned Go-Go’s, who closed out the night with a string of classic songs.  Definitely a unique opportunity to catch many favorites in one sitting, and I know I thoroughly enjoyed each artist, only half of whom I’d seen live before (though I was already a fan of all four).  Awesome show.

[Read more...]

V101’s Summer Jam Concert with Keith Sweat, Tony! Toni! Tone! and Salt-N-Pepa This Saturday Night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort

WorldOne-Presents-V101-Summer-Jam-2014-Concert-Keith-Sweat-Tony-Toni-Tone-Salt-N-Pepa-Thunder-Valley-Resort-Casino-FI

This Saturday, WorldOne Presents will be bringing V101’s Summer Jam to Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California.  The line-up features Keith Sweat, Tony! Toni! Tone! and Salt-N-Pepa, along with DJ Gino, as part of a rare concert appearance.  [Read more...]

The Rewind Festival Featuring Regeneration Tour 2013 (Howard Jones, Erasure’s Andy Bell, Berlin with Terri Nunn, Men Without Hats) at Thunder Valley Casino Resort | Lincoln, California | 8/24/2013 (Concert Review)

Regeneration-Tour-2013-Concert-Review-Rewind-Festival-Howard-Jones-Andy-Bell-Erasure-Berlin-Men-Without-Hats-Thunder-Valley-Lincoln-FI

Readers of The Rock Subculture Journal know that my favorite decade of music is the 80s, so a multi-headliner concert like The Rewind Festival Featuring Regeneration Tour 2013 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Outdoor Amphitheater is an event I’ve been anticipating for months.  With a stellar line-up of some of my favorite artists, it was certainly a night to remember.  The Regeneration Tour is in the midst of a 9-date tour across the U.S. with a final show in Mexico City, with a varying line-up as it goes along.  Music fans lucky enough to attend the show in Lincoln, California last night got to see a show which included Men Without Hats, Berlin with Terri Nunn, Erasure’s Andy Bell, and Howard Jones, as well as local talent Larisa Bryski kicking things off as part of the World One Presents and 93.7 Jack FM promotion.  All of the artists were in top form, the sound system was excellent, and things moved along briskly, offering a non-stop show of hits from the 80s and beyond.  It was a stellar show, and definitely one to catch if you are able to with the remaining dates on the tour.

[Read more...]

Crystal Gayle at Thunder Valley Resort & Casino | Lincoln, California | 2/22/2013 (Concert Review)

Crystal-Gayle-Live-Concert-Review-2013-Thunder-Valley-Lincoln-California-Tour-FI

Last night Thunder Valley Resort & Casino played host to one of a short run of shows by music legend Crystal Gayle.  The award-winning singer, best known for her 1977 hit, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”., put on an amazing show of her own songs as well as tributes to the works of others, with her own signature style.  It was incredible to have an opportunity to enjoy the show put on by her along with her sister Peggy Sue and the five-piece band led by Jay Patten.

[Read more...]

Styx at Thunder Valley Resort and Casino | Lincoln, California | 9/6/2012 (Concert Review)

Last night I had an opportunity to see Styx perform at Thunder Valley Resort and Casino in Lincoln, California.  Really quite the performance… it’s rare these days when a band comes onto the stage, sans opening act, and just let’s it rip, and has the audience from the first riff.  Given that the band, born in Chicago, has been around since the 70s, they obviously have a stellar catalog of work to choose from, and the set tonight spanned everything from their more anthemic rock to popular hits on the ballad side, showing a real versatility in their musical style as well as an unusually democratic (small “d”) sharing of their various talents, and (quite literally) the spotlight.  It is obvious that these guys love to perform, feed off their audience, and seem to play together well, and really appear to enjoy their music and playing it live – together – to an enthusiastic crowd.  And given some back and forth, and my interview with Lawrence Gowan leading up to the show, and, well, just looking around within the amphitheater (which at least appeared to be completely sold out), their audience today very much spans many, many generations, with old and new fans alike just soaking in some genuine rock and roll.  Styx really delivered, and it was an awesome performance, from beginning to end. [Read more...]

Berlin featuring Terri Nunn at Thunder Valley | Lincoln, California | 4/13/12 (Concert Review)

Tonight was the first Berlin concert of the year, in Lincoln, CA in the foothills of the greater Sacramento area.  The legendary band that was prominent on the radio and MTV in the 80s played through many hits, one less played song (as voted on by Facebook users) and two new songs never played before a live audience prior to tonight.  It was a fantastic show with a lot of energy, and Terri Nunn put on an amazing performance, both vocally and in terms of sheer audience interaction.  The band killed it.

[Read more...]

Daryl Hall and John Oates at Thunder Valley | Lincon, California | 9/11/11 (Concert Review)

On September 11th, I went to one of Hall and Oates shows, which was incredible, as I’ve come to expect from seeing them many times over the years (including at Mountain Winery last year).  With such a deep catalog of hits, any fan of 80s pop music would not come away disappointed.

[Read more...]