Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Bandgeek!: Punknecks, Millionaires and Circle Takes the Square

4-25-14Everything is happening this weekend. While that might overwhelm some, the rest of us know it’s pretty par for the course, especially when it comes to the myriad live music options happening each week. We list them all right here in your weekly update BANDGEEEEEK!


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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

5things 4-18Take a Claritin and then …

1. Record Store Day
Because vinyl is a thing again.

2. Misc. Trading Co. A Vintage Pop-Up Sale
One man’s vintage junk could be your vintage treasure.
5thing 4-18-2
3. 59 Days of Code Kick Off Party
Fresno; It’s Silicon Valley without all the baggage. This the launch of the fifth year of the web and mobile apps competition.

4. Krush Groove
M-E-T-H-O-D Man!

5. Roller Derby Season Opener
For fans of ladies in spandex and/or fishnets with knee-pads and helmets. Hmmm. Written like that, it sounds weird.

BANDGEEK!: Nicki Bluhm, Labretta Suede and a country music fest

4-18-14-3It’s spring break and 420 weekend. Which means plenty of party fodder to go around. If you’re looking for live music, here it is, the most comprehensive list in town (I said it). Here’s your weekly BANDGEEK!!


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Tonight: Nashville duo You Knew Me When

For those who bemoan the lack of music happenings north of the Tower District, there’s Swiggs (the restaurant/nightclub on Shaw Avenue out by Fresno State). It’s not a dedicated music venue, but has been known to host live performances; such as Nashville duo You Knew Me When, who play 8 p.m. tonight. The husband-wife team are swinging through Fresno on a national tour. The show is free.

Check out a video of the husband/wife team on the jump.

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You review: P!NK


A huge crowd turned out for last night’s P!NK show at the Save Mart Center. It was a fun, energetic and creative show. One part concert, one part performance art and one part Broadway production, the show took fans on a journey through the many aspects of love. I really loved it. P!NK sounded great and looked amazing. She is fierce, sassy and strong. I’d see her again in heartbeat.

I’d love to hear from others at the show. Share your reviews in the comments.

I’ve included a few photos I shot on my phone (not the greatest, I admit, but the best I can do since we weren’t able to get permission to have a professional photographer at the show.)

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7 picks for 7 days

Here’s this week’s 7 picks for 7 days, a list of things to do Today (Jan. 17) through Thursday (Jan. 23). This week’s choices includes celebrated musical theater, high-flying actions sports, beer tasting and live music.

7 picks for 7 days: Jan. 10-16

I’m getting back on track with the 7 picks for 7 days feature, a list of fun things to do over the next week. This week’s version — picks for today through next Thursday — offer a variety of entertainment, from acclaimed movies to new TV shows, theater and music.

Coachella’s lineup announced + a wish list for Fresno

coachella2The official Coachella lineup was announced yesterday and like music fans everywhere, I’ll go ahead and chime in.

I won’t go through the entire list of bands, because, duh, you can look at the lineup yourself. And I won’t debate the merits of these kind of mega-festivals or whether or not the lineup warrants the tickets price (you can do all that on Facebook).

What I will do is put out a wish list for local promoters. The weeks before and after Coachella offer golden opportunity to pull in some of the mid- and low-level acts who often work their tour schedules around the festival. Those weeks have become known as Fauxchella in a lot of markets (San Francisco for example).

Take a careful look at the lineup because some of these band will be coming though, no doubt.

Here are five acts I would to see:

7 picks for 7 days

OK, so after taking off a couple weeks, I’m back with a new round of 7 picks for 7 days – a list of fun thing to do each day Friday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 21. This week’s picks include a hot country band live at the Save Mart Center, a touring Broadway musical at Saroyan Theatre and this month’s silent movie at the Warnors Theatre.

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.

Bandgeek: Fashawn, Fresno Grand Opry and the 3 Faces of the King

71-elgIt’s Halloween weekend, and few of you will no doubt be found raging around the neighborhood in a Ninja Turtle costume (or is that just me?). The rest of you, feel free to pick from one of the dozens of music events happening and have a good time. Everything you need is right here in another weekly installment of BANDGEEEEK!!


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7 picks for 7 days

October is full of things to do, including these 7 picks for Oct. 17-23. From a silent film at the historic downtown Warnors Theatre to Fresno State Football, a beer festival and a big-time rock concert, these are some of the best bets for your entertainment.

Fair ticket giveaway: Zendaya

Zendaya_Web_ApprovedUPDATE: Congratulations to Dolores Garcia.

Next up in our Big Fresno Fair ticket giveaway series: Two tickets to Zendaya, who performs at noon on Saturday.

One winner will receive two passes to the fair and two tickets to the concert. You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To win tickets to see Zendaya, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the show. One comment/entry per person, please. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. tonight. The winner will be notified after, so check your email.

Rules are on the jump.

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Concert news: Lady A coming back to Fresno

Lady Antebellum performs at the Save Mart Center in Fresno in March 28, 2012.

Lady Antebellum performs at the Save Mart Center in Fresno in March 28, 2012.

Award-winning country trio Lady Antebellum is heading back to Fresno for a March 16, 2014 show at the Save Mart Center.

Today, the band announced it is extending the Take Me Downtown Tour with 40 additional dates. Opening acts Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves will remain on the second leg of the tour.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 27 at, at 800-745-3000, at the Save Mart Center Box Office and Save Mart Supermarkets. Ticket prices won’t be released until the week tickets go on sale. Find updates at Lady A’s website, where you can also explore VIP info.

Lady Antebellum last played the Save Mart Center in March 2012. Check out The Beehive recap here, which includes great photos from the show by The Bee’s Craig Kohlruss along with fan reviews.

Bandgeek! Beards, Llama Boy and a Mercy Fist

942345_10151553167417736_700213046_n (1)It’s like a heatwave, to borrow from Martha and the Vandellas. Though it’s not burning in my heart, I suppose.

And it’s not like a heatwave, it is an actual heatwave … Well … Don’t let that stop you from getting out and seeing some live music, because the weekend is deep with options, which I give you now in another installment of BANDGEEEK!


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?

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Gig review: Suuns at Fulton 55

image (4)There are shows that remind you why you love seeing live music.
There are shows that make you appreciate your city’s live music scene.
Last night’s Suuns show at Fulton 55 fulfilled both.

Loverboy: This is not the “Working for the Weekend” Loverboy. This Loverboy is from Firebaugh and describes his music as Fischer-Price Acid Trip Hop. I’m pretty sure that’s a made-up genre, but it seems fitting. The guy sings hunched over a Casio keyboard and makes his music with pedals and knobs and keys. The stuff was mostly mid-tempo and very atmospheric on a “Twin Peaks” kinda level. The guy has a great voice, or at least writes some great melodies, but the vocals seemed intentionally fuzzed out. It didn’t kill the songs, but I noticed.

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You review: Carrie Underwood

Carrie 1nQwjS.St.8Underwood is a dazzler. She sells-out shows and wins Grammys and does it all while looking stunning. Seriously, that hair … In Fresno, she’s a staple. She’s played (and sold out) both the Saroyan Theatre and the Save Mart Center and was back last night with her Blown Away tour.

So, were you blown away? Did the elaborate light show and staging do it for you? How about her song choices? And what about the opener, the young up-and-comer Hunter Hayes? We’d love to hear your take.

Make sure to check out the photo gallery from Bee photographer Mark Crosse (that giant rose looks awesome).

You review: George Strait in concert

George Strait rolled into Fresno Friday night for his “Cowboy Rides Away” tour. And if the traffic backed up on Hwy 168 was any indication, it was a packed house at the Save Mart Center. We’d love to hear your take on his farewell concert, so post a review in the comments. And be sure to chime in on opening act Martina McBride, too. Be sure to check out our gallery of photos captured by Bee photographer Craig Kohlruss. Here’s a taste of how the night went.

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Tonight: 3 Doors Down, Daughtry and P.O.D., plus a new night for Jazz Hop

If you can’t find a live band in Fresno tonight, you’re looking in the wrong place.

Save Mart Center hosts a rock trifecta with 3 Doors Down, Daughtry and P.O.D. Be sure to check out my feature story on 3 Doors Down from last Friday’s Bee. I talk to guitarist Chris Henderson about the band’s “anonymous” fame. Tickets are still available. They cost $26.50-$46.50. Hit up Ticketmaster if you need some.

Fresno’s Jazz Hop — the monthly celebration of live jazz in dozens of venues — cuts itself from the ArtHop umbilical cord with a new second-Thursday-of-the-month calendar spot. Not much else has changed: still plenty of live music to see for free.

Says Jazz Hop coordinator Kate McKnight: “I’m seeking to highlight jazz music (and other genres) and the musicians by dedicating a night to hop just for music. ArtHop is so big now, and people couldn’t get around to see or experience all that they want to.” Tonight’s Jazz Hop is a bit smaller because of the holidays, she says. The schedule is below.

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Tonight: A ‘Voice,’ King Tuff, yummy grub and Christmas Tree Lane

On this foggy Tuesday here are a few ways to wind down tonight:

  • Vicci Martinez of “The Voice” plays a free concert at The Standard as part of Y101′s Unplugged concert series. Local singer (and loyal Beehive commenter) Danielle Rondero opens. It’s free, 21-and-up only. Doors open at 4 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m. You might wanna get there early to grab a spot. It’s first-come, first-serve.

Beehive guide to December entertainment

December is jam packed with local entertainment options you won’t want to miss. You can go to see lots of theater, check out Christmas concerts and live bands and even see a dragon, among other things. So check out our “Don’t Miss It” guide to December and start filling up your entertainment calendar. View the full PDF below.

PDF: The Bee’s “Don’t Miss It” entertainment guide for December.

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.

Caption This: Justin Bieber edition

Hate him or love him, you gotta admit that The Bee’s photo gallery from Friday night’s Justin Bieber concert is pretty interesting. Visually, it looked like quite the show. Good work, Craig Kohlruss.

One of my favorite pics is the one below, mainly because I can’t help but wonder what The Biebs is looking at. So let’s have some fun. Leave a comment below and tell us what Justin is thinking in this pic.