Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Concert Announcement: Iggy Azalea’s ‘The Great Escape’ tour comes to Save Mart Center


And, just like that, the Save Mart Center lands what may arguably be one of the most-anticipated tours of 2015.

Female rap/pop star Iggy Azalea will stop at the arena April 14 to kick off “The Great Escape” tour, a 24-date North American trek with recording artist/actor Nick Jonas and R&B/hip-hop favorites Tinashe and DJ Wizz Kidd.

Tickets for the Fresno date are $39.50-$69.50 and on sale 9 a.m. Dec. 19 at the arena box office and select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at or or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Platinum and VIP packages, which include premium tickets plus exclusive autographed items, will also be available.

Presale tickets are available for American Express card members 9 a.m. Dec. 15 (through 9 p.m. Dec. 18).

Azalea was easily one of the biggest pop stars of 2014. Her single “Fancy” broke all sorts of airplay records and was the longest-leading No. 1 by a female rapper. It was Billboard’s 2014 Song of the Summer, iTunes Best Song of 2014, the year’s most-streamed song on Spotify and the most-watched video on VEVO (and also a parody hit for Weird Al). Azalea was nominated for four Grammy Awards this year, including best new artist, best rap album, record of the year and best pop duo/group performance. Her latest, “Black Widow,” featuring Rita Ora, also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 40 chart.

You can watch the Tarantino-inspired video for “Black Widow” on the jump (it’s slightly NSFW).

Read more

CONCERT NEWS: Ice Cube & Cypress Hill at Selland Arena


Here’s a concert for hip-hop fans to end 2013 with: Fresno Winter Jam at Selland Arena on Saturday, Dec. 28.

Performers include Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, Tyga, Sage the Gemini, and Ty Dolla $ign.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 15, and cost $27, $37, $51, $76, $112. They are available at the convention center main box office at Selland Arena, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and weekends on show dates, or through the Ticketmaster website, by phone (800) 745-3000 and all Ticketmaster outlets, including select Vallarta and Save Mart Supermarkets.

(UPDATED) Concert announcements: Tesla, Andrew W.K.

Update III: The announcements keep coming. Included today are updates from the Fresno Fair and Strummer’s (formerly the Starline).

  • The Big Fresno Fair has added classic rock-band Tesla to it’s schedule at the Paul Paul Theatre. The band will the opening Friday, Oct. 4. Tickets are $20-$25 and go on sale Aug. 12. Pre-sale tickets will be available to Big Fair Fan Club members starting July 31.
  • While tickets to the recently announced Panic at the Disco! show have sold out, Numbskull Productions has announced another round of upcoming shows, including rapper IAMSU! (Sept. 18), metal band Otep (Sept. 20) and party-master Andrew WK (Oct. 16). All tickets on sale tomorrow.

Read more

Announced: Official lineup for Catacomb Party

UPDATE: If you weren’t excited before, The Catacomb Party has released an updated lineup and poster. The official schedule now stands at 40-plus band/musicians and DJs for the all-ages music festival. Those added include Strange Vine, Copper & Glass and the Visalia band Stable Hands, along with some acoustic acts (including Dim Peaks, the new project from Niilo Smeds) and a punk/hardcore contingent (It’ll Grow Back, Wallflower, Dependence). You can check out the updated flier on the jump.


Original post (June 10): The official lineup of this year’s Catacomb Party has just been released. It’s got some big names and a couple of surprises for hardcore fans of the scene.

Let’s get right in and discuss.

Headliners: Last year the festival was headlined by Fierce Creatures (it was the band’s party, after all). This year, Nigerian drummer Tony Allen will co-headline the show with Fresno’s own Fashawn. Allen has been making music since the 1960s and is an Afrobeat legend. Fashawn is home-town hero. This alone will secure a crowd.

Out-of-towners: While the lineup is heavy on the locals, there is a good draw of national, touring acts. Most have played the area before, including post-punk band Seahaven (who has established a following), San Francisco indie-band Animal Friend and hip-hop sample-master Diabase.

The locals: Putting Fashawn aside, the local lineup is solid and includes workhorse band like Sahab and Light Thieves, along with the much hyped Le Wolves and Sci-Fi Caper. The big surprise is the reunion of Sleepover Disaster. There is a generation who may have never seen this influential local band. This will be a welcomed introduction.

Again, the whole event takes place July 20 on the Fulton Mall. It will be free and all ages.

In case you’ve forgotten, last year’s Catacomb Party (essentially the Fierce Creatures’ album release show), was a free mini- music festival on the Fulton Mall. It was such a success, organizers decided to run with the idea for another year.

Take a look at the full lineup and tell us what you think?

Read more

Concert News: Vicente Fernandez’s Fresno farewell — now rescheduled

You might recall a few months back when Latin music icon Vicente Fernandez canceled the sold-out Fresno stop on his farewell tour because of health problems. Fans were sad, left to get refunds on thousands of tickets.

Well, now it’s time to start buying again.

Fernandez, seemingly in better health, will now perform at Selland Arena on April 12. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $48, $70, $95, $150 and $175. In case you’re wondering: these are the same prices as the previous show. So just consider that a warm-up run. Tickets will go fast the second time around. Maybe even faster.

You can buy them at, Ticketmaster outlets or the Fresno Convention Center box office.

Concert News: A Day to Remember returns to Fresno

Rock band A Day to Remember — popular with the teenage/Warped Tour crowd — will roll back into Fresno on April 19, as part of a just-announced spring tour.

The all-ages show is at Rainbow Ballroom and also features Of Mice & Men and Issues. Tickets are on sale Friday and cost $28.50. Here’s a Facebook event link and the ticket page via Vallitix.

We’ve seen ADTR in Fresno numerous times over the years, the most recently at the New Rock 104.1 Nightmare Before Christmas concert at Selland Arena in December 2011. Before that, it was at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park in April 2011 and at Rainbow Ballroom in May 2010.

Like that previous Rainbow show, this one is being promoted by Numbskull Productions. Below is a video from the band’s Woodward Park appearance.

Read more

Concert News: Kenny Chesney back in Fresno this summer

UPDATE: Save Mart Center just confirmed this. Tickets go on sale Feb. 8. Ticket prices still to come.

ORIGINAL POST: For all the star country singers who come to Fresno, one we don’t see too often is Kenny Chesney. He was last here in 2005.

Well, that’s changing. Today, Chesney announced a batch of new tour dates for 2013 and Fresno was on the list. He’ll be at Save Mart Center on July 24, according to his announcement.

The date hasn’t yet been confirmed by Save Mart Center. There are no ticketing details either. But we’ll update when all that stuff rolls in. Chesney’s announcement did say that Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves would open.

Concert News: Rock and Worship Roadshow will return to Fresno in 2013

The Rock and Worship Roadshow, the highest drawing concert in Fresno two years running, will see if it can earn the trifecta when it returns in March.

The return-to-Fresno for this popular Christian rock tour — known for its $10 tickets — was announced today. It’s at Save Mart Center on March 10, fittingly, a Sunday. This year’s Rock and Worship lineup includes Mercy Me (the tour’s founder), Jeremy Camp, Tedashii, Kutless, Family Force 5, Luminate, Adam Cappa, Rhett Walker Band and Tim Timmons.

Powerhouse lineup aside, the ticketing model is what makes Rock and Worship so alluring to concertgoers. Tickets cost $10, but are only available the day of the concert, at the door, on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Last year’s Rock and Worship Roadshow brought out 12,594 fans to Save Mart Center. In 2011, attendance was 14,462. In previous years, the tour sold more tickets in Fresno than Dave Matthews, AC/DC and No Doubt.

Hardcore Rock and Worship Roadshow fans can purchase VIP advance tickets. Those cost $50 and include early entrance and seat selection, a tour T-shirt and VIP lanyard. They’re available for purchase at the tour website.

RELATED: Music in Fresno that rocked, popped in 2013.

Concert News: ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ is gonna get your kid’s sillies out

The news that my son* has been waiting for: “Yo Gabba Gabba” is coming back to Fresno. The trippy toddler show — often referred to as hipster “Sesame Street” — is doing a live show at Saroyan Theatre on March 7. It’s previously played Save Mart Center twice. The live show features the main “Yo Gabba Gabba” characters, plus hip-hop legend Biz Markie, who does a beat-boxing segment with the Gabba gang. Tickets go on sale Dec. 7, but prices haven’t been announced yet.

*Can’t lie, dad is pretty stoked too.

Comedy news: Lewis Black, Jeff Dunham add Fresno dates

Two new comedy announcements of note:

  • Lewis Black plays Saroyan Theatre on Feb. 7 as part of his “The Rant is Due” tour. Black is a Grammy winner, who used to be a regular on “The Daily Show” and now performs more than 200 dates a year, selling-out shows in places such as Las Vegas, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and Broadway. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $39.50 and $49.50. Get ‘em at the Fresno Convention Center box office or through Ticketmaster. If you’re wondering: Black last appeared in the area in 2009, for a Table Mountain Casino show.
  • Jeff Dunham, a popular ventriloquist and stand-up comedian, is back at Save Mart Center, which is a regular stop for him. He’s starting his new “Disorderly Conduct” tour this month and it stops in Fresno on March 24. Tickets cost $46.50. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They’ll be available at the Save Mart Center box office or through Ticketmaster. Dunham played Table Mountain in May and was at Save Mart Center last in January of 2011.

ALSO COMING UP: This weekend brings a few comedy options you might care about: Katt Williams is at Save Mart Center on Saturday night. The Tower Theatre hosts the Bob & Tom Comedy Show for two gigs Friday night. After that: Adam Carolla is back at the Tower on Dec. 8. On a local level: Fulton 55 hosts the Bo DeLapp comedy showcase on Nov. 20 and Blimprov plays there Nov. 29.

Concert News: Vicente Fernandez canceled


Vicente Fernandez’s sold-out Nov. 16 concert at Selland Arena has been canceled.

The Latin music legend — age 72 and on his farewell tour — had a lump detected in his liver and canceled his remaining 2012 shows.

Per his announcement:

Several studies have been carried out on the singer and in the next days Don Vicente will undergo surgery to remove the lump on his liver. Due to the nature of the surgery and the recovery, the concerts programmed for the rest of 2012 will be canceled.
After the operation it is necessary to carry out the pertinent pathology. These results will be communicated to the mass media. Likewise, we will continue to inform the media regarding the state of health of Vicente Fernández as he advances in the procedures.

Ticket refunds will be available starting on Monday at original point of purchase.

Concert News: Carrie Underwood coming back

Country superstar and “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood will return to Fresno’s Save Mart Center on March 5, the arena announced this morning.

That, however, is about all we know. Neither the Save Mart Center nor Underwood’s camp has released ticketing info for the Fresno show. We’ll update when we hear more. We do know the show is one of 40 new shows that Underwood announced today, a few days before she hosts the 46th Annual CMA Awards with Brad Paisley on Thursday. The March 5 date will be her first Fresno show since May 2010, when she played a 7,126 sell-out at Save Mart Center.

Since Taylor Swift announced concert dates on Friday that didn’t include us in Fresno, does this Underwood news soften the disappointment?

Comedy news: Katt Williams schedules Save Mart Center show


Stand-up star Katt Williams is Fresno-bound, performing at Save Mart Center on Nov. 17. Williams is known for his role in “Friday After Next,” his perm and some odd arrests, but he’s also quite a hilarious comic.

Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $35, $45, $55 and $75. Get ‘em at Ticketmaster or at the Save Mart Center box office.

Concert News: Of Monsters and Men in Visalia


Of Monsters and Men — the Icelandic indie/folk group who’ve found a nice bit of pop success with their single “Little Talks” — are Visalia bound.

The group is playing Dec. 8 at the Visalia Fox Theatre, its only California date in a new batch of tour dates announced by the band.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, costing $20-$30. Get them at or by calling (559) 625-1369.

Listen to “Little Talks” below:

Read more

Concert News: Tyga’s coming to Fresno after all


Rapper Tyga — the dude behind “Rack City” and “Faded” — will indeed perform Oct. 13 at the Big Fresno Fair this year. It’s sort of a weird story, but here it goes: Tyga was announced as part of the fair lineup back in May. Then he pulled out of the show to go on tour with labelmate Nicki Minaj. Now comes word that Minaj’s Euro dates got shuffled around, freeing up Tyga to come to Fresno.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday, costing $15 and $20. You can also — as the graphic above says — get 50% off a fair ticket when you buy a concert ticket on Friday. The Tyga announcement also closes the book on this year’s fair concert lineup, except for the Latin concerts, which are usually announced later in the year. You can view the entire fair lineup and buy tickets here.

Concert News: Tiësto returns to Fresno


News of superstar DJ Tiësto’s imminent return to Fresno hit Facebook last week and was in The Bee over the weekend.

We didn’t have all the details about the Oct. 17 event until today, though. Save Mart Center announced all the ticket info, which is really what everybody needs to know.

Note: some of this has changed since what was initially put out last week:

  • Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, costing $38 and $43.
  • The $43 tickets are general admission on the floor. The $38 seats are general admission on lower level.
  • Fresno State students get discounted tickets, $30.50, if they’re purchased at the Save Mart Center box office with valid student I.D. Limit four tickets per purchase.
  • If you don’t want to wait, you can also buy advance tickets from the Tiesto University site.

You may recall that Tiësto visited Fresno last year and performed at Selland Arena. This time — with the same promoter behind the show, Collective Effort Events — Tiesto has moved up to Save Mart Center. He has Tommy Trash touring with him.

Concert News: 93.7 Kiss Country’s $5 series lands an ‘Idol’


UPDATE: As of 5:14 p.m., the show is sold out, according to station management. Dang, those tickets didn’t last long.

ORIGINAL POST: After Thursday night’s super sold-out June installment of its $5 summer concert series, 93.7 Kiss Country has announced tickets for the July show — and you can expect it to sell quick too.

The July 19 show stars “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery, country vet Joe Nichols and up-and-comers The Lost Trailers and Jaida Dreyer. It’s at Rotary Amphitheatre at Woodward Park.

Tickets are on sale now for $5 and are available at the Kiss Country studios, 1071 W. Shaw Ave., Boot Barn stores in Clovis and Tulare, Valley First Credit Union in Fresno and Madera and online at

Don’t wait around though. I saw one of the Kiss Country DJs telling people on Facebook to buy tickets today because they’re going fast.

Concert News: Big Fresno Fair 2012


Two up-and-coming headliners and two comedy vets are the latest additions to The Big Fresno Fair’s concert lineup. And there are two ticket price changes you should know about too.

The fair added teen pop singer Ariana Grande (from the Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”) as the afternoon act on Oct. 13. She’ll play at 1 p.m. and be joined by local pop singer Ryan Beatty, a rising star in his own right. Tickets cost $12.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar, current protege of Dr. Dre., has been added for Oct. 6. Tickets cost $10-$15. We last saw him opening for Drake at Save Mart Center.

Comics Cheech & Chong will now join funk band War on Oct. 3, the fair’s opening night. Tickets have been bumped up to $20-$25. In another ticket price change: the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on Oct. 4 has dropped to $40-$45 from $42-$49.

All these are in addition to Weezer, which was announced a couple weeks ago.

Read more

Justin Bieber will play at the Save Mart


So it turns out there WAS a big concert announcement coming from the Save Mart Center — it just wasn’t Van Halen. reports:

Justin Bieber will play at Fresno’s Save Mart Center on Oct. 5. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 2 and can be purchased at select Save Mart Supermarkets, online at, charged by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at the Save Mart Center Box Office. Ticket prices are $39.50, $55, $65, $79.50.

Fresno will be the fifth stop on Bieber’s “Believe” tour, which opens Sept. 29 in Glendale, Ariz. The tour continues in Las Vegas before two shows in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

Though there’s a June 2 date for general ticket sales, big concerts these days usually come with an array of pre-sale options. After the jump, you can see the official tour release detailing your chance for early tickets to see the Biebs (as soon as today!) if you join a fan club, are an American Express ticket holder, are willing to sacrifice your first-born child, etc.

In the meantime, it’s kind of fun to watch the early-morning cranks on react with predictable generational prickliness to the concert announcement. One writes:

you gotta feel bad for this generation of kids growing up with the worst period of music ever. embarassing.

I bet many, many decades ago that commenter’s parents said exactly the same thing.

Read more

Van Halen at Save Mart Center: Postponed


After all that build-up, the press conference, the reveal that Van Halen was coming back to Fresno and even a street name-change comes this news: The Van Halen concert, scheduled for Aug. 28 at Save Mart Center, is now being postponed.

Per concert promoter Live Nation:

The Van Halen show at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California will be temporarily postponed. Future dates to be announced. The on sale, originally scheduled for Monday, May 21 at 10 AM, is postponed.

Refunds are available at point of purchase.

The postponement signals something fishy in Van Halen land. The band ditched a number of dates, not just Fresno. No statement from Van Halen yet, though.

UPDATE: More info, including comments from Save Mart Center management, at

Concert News: Van Halen returns

That major announcement from the Save Mart Center? It’s Van Halen, as announced this morning at a press conference outside the arena.

Because you’re wondering: Van Halen (with Roth singing) was last in Fresno in November 2007, playing to a crowd of 8,035. Before that, Van Halen (or Van Hagar) played Save Mart Center in August 2004. It also played Selland Arena in 1982, back-to-back days in 1992 and 1995.

If you missed it: The first concert announcement of the day was The Black Keys, who will play Save Mart Center on Oct. 1.

Check out the Van Halen show poster on jump.

Read more

Concert News: Black Keys at Save Mart Center


Rock duo The Black Keys will paint “Gold on the Ceiling” of Save Mart Center, it was announced this morning. The rising classic rock-inspired band will visit Fresno on Oct. 1.

Tickets cost $49.50. Floor seats are general admission. The rest of the seating is reserved. Ticket sales start for the general public at noon on May 18. But, like the Drake concert, there will be a pre-sale exclusive to Fresno State students.

Students with a valid I.D. can buy tickets 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday (May 15) and Wednesday (May 16). These pre-sale tickets are available only at the Save Mart Center box office.

The Black Keys have risen from longtime indie-rock faves to arena-level rock stars in recent years, behind their successful albums “Brothers” and “El Camino,” which include songs such as “Tighten Up” and “Lonely Boy.” This will be the band’s first time in Fresno. But it did play in Sacramento last weekend.

This is the first of two promised concert announcements today from Save Mart Center. The second announcement — the “major” one teased since Tuesday — will be announced at a 10 a.m. press conference. We’ll have an update posted soon.

Could this be the answer to our concert mystery?

The Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita held a press conference on Monday to announce a concert. Does that scenario sound familiar? This is what happened in Kansas.

Seems to fit our situation, right? Keep in mind that Van Halen recently added dates in Sacramento and Reno to its tour schedule. If this is the case — and I’m not saying it is, it could just be a coincidence — would such news make you happy?

PREVIOUSLY: Mystery concert announcement(s): the plot thickens

Concert Mystery: What’s the Save Mart Center about to announce?


The Save Mart Center announced today that it would be making a “major concert announcement” on Friday. When you announce you plan to make an announcement, that’s big, right? Needless to say, this has sent the people who eye the concert scene here into game-show-contestant mode, throwing out guess after guess.

As far as I can remember, Save Mart Center has only once held a press conference to announce a concert. That was the Rolling Stones. That doesn’t, of course, mean that it has to be an act of the Stones’ caliber. Times, and marketing tactics, change. But it’s gotta be somebody who will make a splash, right?

Justin Bieber? He’s going on tour soon. Aerosmith? Van Halen? Those are two big rock tours happening soon that could land here based on their current routing. But they’ve both been here before. Do they warrant a press conference? I’ve heard from a couple of people who think it’s Bruce Springsteen. My dark horse? Garth Brooks! Probably not, but that sure would warrant a press conference.

Kathy and I have spent the last few hours trading ideas and theories. Here’s how they break down. Any good guesses? Or just a wish list? Sound off in the comments?

COULD BE: Justin Bieber, Madonna, J-Lo and Enrique Iglesias, Aerosmith, Van Halen, One Direction, Rush.

WOULD BE COOL IF IT WERE: Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, Foo Fighters, Adele, Hologram Tupac.

PROBABLY NOT: Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, The Jacksons.

Comedy news: Kevin Hart coming back


Hot-right-now comedian Kevin Hart will return to Saroyan Theatre on Aug. 17. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale June 1, costing $49.50.

Hart’s star is shining bright these days after he recently starred in the movie “Think Like a Man” and his 2011 Comedy Central special “Laugh at My Pain” was released in theaters. You also might recognize him from occasional appearances on “Modern Family.”