Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Review: Blake Shelton at the Save Mart Center

Blake SheltonI’m a rock girl, but I have to say there’s something about country music. Maybe it’s the story. Or the twang. Or even the good time sentiment found in many songs. In the case of Blake Shelton — arguably the hottest singer in country music right now with hit after hit (and a new album on the way) — it’s all three. And each was on full display Thursday night at the Save Mart Center where he headlined the Ten Times Crazier Tour.

For one hour fifty minutes, Blake Shelton wove his way through his extensive song list that included new single “Neon Lights” and favorites like “Kiss My Country Ass,” “Honey Bee” and “Boys Round Here.” And the fans — who filled nearly every seat all the way to the last row on the upper level — toe-tapped and sang along until the very last note.

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Concert announcement: Blake Shelton at the Save Mart Center Sept. 11

sheltonCountry superstar and TV singing-competition coach Blake Shelton announced round two of his “Ten Times Crazier” tour, which includes a Sept. 11 date at the Save Mart Center.

Shelton, who’s been CMA’s best male vocalist for four consecutive years, is touring in support of the platinum-selling “Based on a Truth Story…,” which was released last March. The Band Perry, Neal McCoy, and Dan + Shay will join Shelton for the 20-plus dates, which includes shows at Madison Square Garden, Wrigley Field and the Hollywood Bowl.

“I cannot wait to get back out on the road,” says Shelton, who has been a judge on NBC’s “The Voice,” since its inception and has produced three of the show’s five winners. “I had so much fun playing songs from ‘Based On A True Story…’ and getting to see the crowd’s reaction to those songs was unforgettable. It is one of the most validating things for an artist like me, to have people sing along to your songs. It means what I’m doing is right and no matter what I’m doing, whether it is ‘The Voice’ or a TV special, absolutely nothing compares to playing live for me,” he says.

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Visalia’s Rudy Parris KO’d on ‘The Voice’

Visalia singer Rudy Parris — who had made it through the first two rounds of popular NBC singing competition “The Voice” — couldn’t make it past Tuesday night’s knockout round. He was matched up against Terry McDermott, a Scottish singer with undeniable classic rock pipes. McDermott’s already a judge and fan favorite, making Parris an underdog from the get-go.

Parris also didn’t do himself any favors with his song choice. He sung Chris Brown’s “Forever.” In practice sessions, his coach (and country star) Blake Shelton was skeptical of Parris’ decision. Shelton’s fellow judges later agreed, forcing Parris’ dismissal.

After the show, Parris posted on Facebook, thanking the show, Shelton and adding “God has opened a door.” He shared this video, he said, as a thank you to his fans. Know this, local fans, we’ll certainly see more of Parris. He was a busy and popular local artist before “The Voice” and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be afterward.

PREVIOUSLY: Rudy Parris advances again on ‘The Voice’

Visalia’s Rudy Parris joins Blake Shelton’s team on ‘The Voice’

Visalia singer/guitarist Rudy Parris is in the national spotlight today after a successful stint on NBC’s “The Voice” on Monday night. Parris passed the show’s blind auditions and eventually picked country singer Blake Shelton as his coach. You can watch his performance and the judges’ reaction below.

Here’s the pre-song bio segment on Rudy, which gives you more his story.

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Concert News: Miranda Lambert to play Save Mart Center


Country star Miranda Lambert will headline Save Mart Center for the first time on April 26, the arena announced this morning.

Lambert is known for songs such as “The House That Built Me,” “Kerosene” and “Heart Like Mine” and is famously married to fellow country star Blake Shelton.

Tickets cost $37.75 and $52.75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan 27 via Ticketmaster and the Save Mart Center box office. Lambert was last at Save Mart Center in 2010, opening for Brad Paisley. Before that, she played Table Mountain Casino in 2008.

For her “On Fire” tour, she’s joined by Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann.


  • Earlier this week, the Save Mart Center promised concert announcements today and Monday. I suspect we’ll FINALLY get a Drake announcement on Monday.
  • Latin rock giants Mana have announced, on their website, a return to Save Mart Center on April 22. Save Mart Center hasn’t officially announced that one yet either. Stay tuned.

On TV tonight: ‘The Voice’

NUP_136398_0054_jpg.JPG “The Voice,” 9 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): The end is near as the final four contestants get one more chance to impress the judges and home voters in their bid to become The Voice.

The four finalists are Dia Frampton, Javier Colon, Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez. They will know during Wednesday’s show which has claimed the top prize.

Along with the final performances by the contestants, judges/mentors Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will perform the Rolling Stones’ song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” And, Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo will perform “Give Me Everything.”

On TV tonight: ‘The Voice’

aguilera_jpg.JPG “The Voice,” 9 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): Don’t look for this new singing competition show to attract more viewers than “American Idol.” But, those who do give it a shot will find a program that at its heart pays more respect to music.

There are no silly contestants jumping around in costumes or showing a complete lack of musical skills. All of the hopefuls have singing skills. Some are just better than the rest.

Tonight’s opener is entertaining because the four celebrity judges – Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton - have to pick a team of eight singers based only on hearing the voices of the contestants. There is some real negotiations going on when more than one judge wants a singer for his or her team.

Don’t miss the opening moments because there’s a performance by the judges that rocks.

To-Do Tonight: KRS-One and more

Hip-hop pioneer KRS-One visits Fresno today for a lecture and performance. He’s talking to Fresno State students in just a few minutes (at 2 p.m.), then is performing tonight at the Satellite Student Union with Planet Asia. It starts at 8 p.m. and is free for students. Nonstudents may have to pay a few bucks (no more than $5, probably). But be there early, because space is limited.


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