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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Save Mart Center ranks among the world’s best. Again.

It should come as no shock to hear that Fresno’s Save Mart Center was once again name among the top 100 arenas in the world.

The 12,000-plus seat venue has been a fixture on the list since 2004 (its first full year in operation).

The arena ended 2014 as the No. 2 collegiate venue, based on worldwide tickets sales, as reported by as reported by Pollstar magazine. It was No. 49 in the total U.S. rankings and No. 95 in the world.

In December, it was also listed as a Top Stop by the publication Venues Today, which ranked SMC as the No. 1 collegiate venue (No. 4 in the U.S and No. 2 in the world) based on arenas of similar size.

All this to say the Save Mart Center had a good year.

As did fans.

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BANDGEEK!: Prince, Presley and Roy Orbison

While I am trying figure out whether to care about this whole deflate-gate thing (I also heard it referred to as the much funnier ball-gate), you’ll all be checking out one of the awesome concerts happening in town this week. Right? We’ve collated them again in out weekly BANDGEEEEEEK! roundup.

TONIGHT

  • Fulton 55 4th Anniv. Party.
    W/The Purple Ones. At Fulton 55. 8:30 p.m. $13-$16. (Flier link)

  • Agent Orange.
    W/The Infirmities and Plot. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $10-$12. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Jordon Page.
    At Peeve’s. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Tumbao.
    W/Menneo, Erika Nicole and Torres Castro. At Cellar Door Visalia. 9 p.m. $10. (Flier link)

  • Gristle.
    W/Wally Don’t Bite, Descend Factor and The Tripatronix. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $6.

  • Slow Season.
    W/Bitter Buffalo and Werebear. At Kelly’s Beach, Reedley. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Smoked Fish.
    Music at Gazebo Garden. 6 p.m. Free. All ages.

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    Bandgeek: Queen Nation, motown and John McCutcheon


    You may want to spend the weekend getting caught up on the Oscar-nominated films showing. Be sure to set aside some time for music. Here’s a list of this week’s local concerts, collated in our BANDGEEEEK! roundup.

    TONIGHT

  • Skunkdub.
    W/ONE oz and MKC. At Fulton 55. 8 p.m. $5-$8.

  • American Guitar Masters.
    A touring concert series w/Peter Janson and Steve Davison. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $21.

  • Fresno’s Monthly Motown Night.
    W/The Experience. Plus DJ Mr. Leonard, Conor Miles and Josh Barrera. At Audie’s Olympic Tavern. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • VVomen.
    Brave Season, Midwest Moms, Effort/Recover and Sleeve. At The Escape from Milf Mountain. 8 p.m. $2. (Flier link)

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    Win tickets to: R5 at the Big Fresno Fair

    nights

    When the Lynch siblings — Rydel, Riker, Ross and Rocky — moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, they were looking to start their careers as actors and dancers. Maybe they would sing some, maybe land in a commercial or two.

    Instead, the group — with the help of family friend Ellington Lee Ratliff — started its own pop-rock band, R5 (though Riker landed a spot on “Glee” and Ross has his own series on the Disney Channel).

    The band — which plays 1 p.m. Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair — released its Hollywood Records debut last year.

    We have tickets to Saturday’s show we’ll give to away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Would you ever play music with your siblings? Why or why not? This contest is another quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

    Check out a video from R5 (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    Win ticket to: Justin Moore

    nights

    Justin Moore’s life is a country song. The 30-year-old country star singer grew up in (and moved back to) Poyen, Ark., a town of 300 people. He dreamed of playing baseball or basketball until he realized he was 5-feet-6 and 140 pounds. He went to college for all of three weeks before he finally moved to Nashville to try his hand at music.

    It proved to a good move. Moore was named New Artist of the Year at the American County Music Awards in April. That’s a year after the release of “Off the Beaten Path, ” and five years after his self-titled debut hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Country charts. The singer headlined Visalia’s JugFest 2014 in May and plays 7 p.m. Thursday as part of the Big Fresno Fair’s concert series.

    We have tickets to give away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us why you love country music (doesn’t need to be specific to Moore). The contest is a quick one. You have until 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

    Check out a video from Moore (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    BANDGEEK!: Guttermouth, Growlers and Let’s Go Bowling

    nights

    No doubt you’ll spend at least part of the weekend wondering how the heck it can be close to 100 degrees in October.

    There will still be plenty of time to catch one of the many live music performances happening through next week. We have once again listed them here in our weekly BANDGEEEK! roundup.

    Tonight:

  • J Dubb.
    W/Tone + 1AD7. Remedy, Arcane 9, Chuck Sin, Urbane and J:Pre$ko. At Strummer’s. 7:30 p.m. $10-$12. (Flier link)

  • Waterbox Inc.
    W/Philophobia. At Peeve’s Public House. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Bryan Vickers Band.
    At ApCal. 7 p.m. Free.

  • Dierks Bentley.
    At the Big Fresno Fair. 7 p.m. $43-$48.

  • Style Like Revelators.
    W/Banshee Bones and Beastmaker. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5. (Flier link)

  • Days Under Authority.
    Saving Temperance, Rise the Ruler and Tomi Jean. At Kuppajoe. 7:30 p.m. $6-$8. All ages. (Flier link)

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    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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    BANDGEEK: Possessed Tranquility, Rosie Flores and Rexx

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    The “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer was released this morning. So other than that quick 2 1/2 minutes, you’ll be free to enjoy the dozens of live music events through next week. I give them to you here in list form as a weekly roundup known as BANDGEEEEK!

    TONIGHT:

  • Dorotheo.
    W/Francisco Y Madero and Aire Espacial. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $5-$8. (Flier link)

  • Brian Kenney Fresno.
    Birthday Defense tour. W/Jules Winnfield and Style Like Revelators. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5. (Flier link)

  • Apparitions.
    W/Make Way and Nothing Sacred. At CYC. 7 p.m. $3 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Live Nation kicks off its Yahoo Screen concert series

    File this under: It was just a matter of time.

    Today, Live Nation kicks off a year-long concert series with live, streaming performances (one each day for the next 365 days) via Yahoo’s video service (Yahoo Screen). How much you’ll enjoy the series depends on how whether you like the types of acts that Live Nation promotes (and let’s face it you do, because Live Nation works with big-name popular bands).

    The first concert, which streams 7:20 p.m. tonight (eastern time), is Dave Matthews Band at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The group will do two sets, performing together in numerous electric and acoustic configurations in a reinvention of the band’s traditional summer concert set.

    Other confirmed artists include KISS (from their 40th Anniversary Tour); John Legend, who will perform Marvin Gaye’s classic album, “What’s Going On” in its entirety and Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids performing their first ever concert in Reykjavik, Iceland.

    The full list of acts (so far) can be seen on the jump. Of special note (to local music fans) is The Airborne Toxic Event, which features Ex-Fresnan Daren Taylor on drums.

    I like the idea of this kind of concert series, with acts doing a special one-off performance that will never be replicated (not that any live show can truly be replicated).

    I like the idea of actually being at the venue more.

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    Built to Spill will sell out (and soon)

    built_to_spillFans of indie-rock godfathers Built to Spill should take note: Tickets to the band’s Aug. 21 show at Visalia’s Cellar Door are going fast.

    If you don’t have tickets (and want them) you’d better act now.

    Sound N Vision Foundation hosted the band in 2012 at Visalia’s Fox Theatre and sold 800 tickets. Cellar Door is a much smaller (and more intimate) venue, so this show will sell out. Tickets are $20 and on sale now online and at Velouria Records and Cellar Door.

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    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!

    TONIGHT:

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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!!

    TONIGHT:

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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

    Pink5

    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

    fresnowinterjam

    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!!

    TONIGHT:

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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 ticketmaster.com, 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!

    FRIDAY: