Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Aside from morning the loss of “Downton Abbey” …

1. “Dos Mundos
Omare Nare, bringing Mariachi back from the dead.

2. “Varekai
What the heck are the Russian Swings?

3. “Allegorical Portraiture
New work from Ronald Dzerigian and his first Fresno show since 2010.

4. Christopher Titus
Some of you no doubt watched his sitcom on FOX.

5. Old Town Clovis Antiques & Collectibles Fair
Hipsters love antiquing, I guess.

And a bonus five concerts.

1. Yonatan Gat
2. Pete Rock
3. La Barranca
4. Night School
5. Planet Booty

For all of the music-related event this weekend, check out the weekley BANDGEEEK! post.

BANDGEEK!: Omar Nare, La Barranca and Yonatan Gat

In the midst of proving just how much of a “Sharknado” fan you are, be sure to spend some time at one of this week’s concert options. I’ve collected them here in another BANDGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Sweet Bump It.
    W/Amoret (acoustic set). At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • KC & The Sunshine Band.
    At Tachi Palace. 6 p.m. $35-$75. (Flier link)

  • Giddens/Dana/Hamada.
    At the Landmark. 8 p.m. Free.

  • Vice.
    W/Swamps, No Authority, Make Way and Step-4-Change. At CYC. 7 p.m. $5 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Iwanaga.
    W/T&A. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    At Full Circle Brewing. 5:30 p.m. Free.

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    Big businesses opening, closing in Fresno

    It’s been a busy week on the retail front, with lots of highly anticipated stores announcing they’re coming, and at least one that said it’s leaving. Here’s the rundown.

    Closing: Fresh & Easy announced Monday that it’s closing all three of its stores in Fresno and Clovis by April 3. The sales have already started at the stores (and are apparently quite crazy). It’s an end to the grand experiment of bringing a British-style, small-format grocer to the U.S. — at least in the Fresno area. The retailer never quite found its niche. The company lives on under a new American owner, and stores in Reedley and Lemoore will remain open. 

    One Fresh & Easy store that closed in recent years has been converted to a Grocery Outlet downtown and the one on Cedar Avenue near Shields Avenue is on track to become a library. It’s a little too early to tell what will happen to the two stores that are closing in Fresno and one in Clovis. Any ideas?

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    On this day in 1991, Timmy T had a No. 1 hit

    Exactly 24 years ago today "One More Try" was number #1 on the Billboard charts with a bullet! Woop woop! #timmyt #onemoretry #1991 #90s #tbt #billboard #throwbackthursday #throwback #freestyleexplosion #iphone #retrorewind #mtv #vh1 #selfie #me #hmu #classicrock #classic

    A photo posted by Timmy T "Prince of Freestyle" (@therealtimmyt) on

    I realized today that Timmy T. was conspicuously absent from the Grizzlies Fresno Famous Bobblehead contest (round of 16 voting ends 5 p.m. tonight). I say conspicuously, because Timmy T. (real name Timothy Torres) was born and raised in Fresno and was particularly famous for a quick moment in 1991 with his song “One More Try,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

    On this very day, in fact.

    We haven’t mentioned Timmy T. much of the Beehive lately, but he was of particular interest on the site for awhile, especially after rappers Fashawn and Omar Aura gave “One More Try” this awesome (and Fresnocentric) makeover in 2012.

    Having a No. 1 single is no small feat, especially one with such a damn catchy chorus. So, my hats off and respect to Timmy T. Click through the jump to see a video of the original track.

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    BANDGEEK!: KRS-One, Trash Talk and Punk Rock Karaoke

    You might want to get downtown for that $10 cup of coffee you’ve always dreamed of. Let that fuel you through the rest of the week, which is chock full of live music. Here is your weekly collated list. It’s another BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Trash Talk.
    W/Ratking and Lee Bannon. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12-$13. All ages.

  • You Knew Me When.
    W/Travis Brooks. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • The 25th annual City Jazz Festival.
    W/Eric Marienthal and the Fresno City College Jazz Ensemble. At FCC Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $10-$15.

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

  • Mr. Bang.
    W/Strange Ones, Acrylics and Chokeslam. At CYC. 7 p.m. $4. (Flier link)

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    BANDGEEK!: Ape Machine, Ani-Me and a FresYes Fest

    For radio music, check out some classic hip-hip on FM 105.5. The station gets an official name and kick-off party next week.

    For live music, there are a few more choices, which I collate each week in my BANDGEEEK roundup.

    It’s the least I can do.


  • Dengue Fever.
    W/Amoret. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12-$14. All ages.

  • Enter into Atonement tour.
    W/Inanimate Existence, Wryth and Amenthes. At Strummer’s (GRILL SIDE). 10 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Hollow Wood.
    W/So Long Williamsburg and A.Lone. At Peeve’s Public House. 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
    At the Tower Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $33.50-$43.50.

  • Jacque Babb.
    W/Tore Lane. At Audie’s Olympic. 8:30 p.m. Free.

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    Iggy Azalea’s “Great Escape Tour” rescheduled

    If you were super excited that Iggy Azalea would be in town for her “Great Escape Tour” in a little more than a month — prepare for disappointment.

    The tour has been postponed. It will now kick off Sept. 18 in San Diego before stopping at the Save Mart Center, Sept. 20. Tickets will honored for the rescheduled dates, though shows in Baltimore, Las Vegas and Sacramento will not be rescheduled.

    Opening acts for the rescheduled dates have yet to be announced, either. Originally, Nick Jonas and Tinashé were scheduled to play.

    According to a release from the Save Mart Center, the tour was rescheduled “to accommodate for creative team availability and tour production plans …”

    “It is extremely important to Iggy that she delivers the show she envisaged to share with her fans and that requires more time in development.”

    Or, according to Iggz HQ:

    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 (but did not win) four Grammy Awards this year, including best new artist, best rap album, record of the year and best pop duo/group performance.

    Rescheduling a tour like this seems like a major undertaking, though some news outlets saw it coming. And Azalea’s management seems to have taken over her Instagram account, which leaves one to wonder, “what’s up with Iggy?”

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    Unless you’re busy clearing out the weeds

    1. The Rogue Festival
    Week two of Fresno’s festival of weird.

    2. Chinese New Year Parade and Festival
    Don’t be scared! Celebrate the year of the Ram in one of Fresno’s oldest (and awesome-est) neighborhoods).

    3. Life in Color
    If you think a paint party is some kind of home-improvement thing, just stay home.

    4. Tulare Sci-Fi Con II
    NERDS! And geeks and other assorted lovers of science-fiction-y stuff.

    5. Armenian Genocide Centennial Concert
    Featuring Fresno-based Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble,

    And a bonus five concert choices.

    1. Spindrift
    2. Tommy Castro and the Painkillers
    3. Songwriters in the Round
    4. Farooq
    5. Dirty Limbs

    For more music-specific offerings, be sure to check out my weekly BANDGEEK! post. For other entertainment options, go to

    BANDGEEK!: Tommy Castro, Sahab and Iration

    Maybe you’re thinking of making a trip to Los Angeles to score the kind of Girl Scout cookies they get down there.

    That’s not your plan? Well, there is plenty happening close to home this week, especially if you are into live music. You’re choices are collected here in my weekly BANDGEEEEK! roundup.


  • Sahab.
    W/Mike G and Left Brain of Odd Future. At Audie’s Olympic Tavern. 8 p.m. $12-$15. (Flier link)

  • Disco Night.
    W/DJ Mr. Leonard and Connor Miles. At Peeve’s Public House. 9 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)< ?blockquote>

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Low Leaf.
    W/Jacque Babb and Emery Payne. At Liquid Fetish. 8 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • The Return of Frank’s Place.
    W/House DJ Green, Bitter Buffalo, Sharks of Dance, Hell08′s, Meet Me in Montauk, St. X and Satellite Era. At Frank’s Place. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Win tickets to the Australian Bee Gees (CANCELED)

    UPDATE: Heads up: The Australian Bee Gees March 12 date at the Saroyan Theatre has been canceled. No word from promoters as to why the show was canceled or if the rest of the show’s tour will be affected. Ticket refunds will be available at point-of-purchase locations, or through Ticketmaster beginning Monday, March 9.

    Pop quiz: How deep is your love for the Bee Gees?

    Answer that in the comments section of this post and you’ll be entered to win tickets to see The Australian Bee Gees (a tribute to the brothers Gibb).

    The multimedia touring concert show stops 7:30 p.m. March 12 at the Saroyan Theatre. The Beehive will give away several pairs of tickets this week (and next week, too. So stayed tuned). You have until 5 p.m. Friday March 6 to enter this round of the contest. Winners will be notified by email and must be able to pick the tickets up at the Fresno Bee office (1626 E. St.) during normal business hours.

    While the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) are most often linked to disco (thank you “Saturday Night Fever”), the Australian-by-way-of-England group formed in 1958 and already had a successful career in the rock scene in the late ’60s. That success continued well into the 2000s with the deaths of Maurice (in 2003) and Robin (in 2012). Today, the band ranks among the Beatles, Paul McCartney, Elvis and Michael Jackson as one of the best-selling recording artist of all time. They are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than 2,500 artists have recorded covers of their songs.

    The Australian Bee Gees celebrate the band’s full career, playing selections from its early days (“To Love Somebody”), the disco era (“Stayin’ Alive”) and beyond. The band also does a weekend residency at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas.

    Watch a trailer for the show (and get the complete contest rules) on the jump.

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    Rogue Roundup for Tuesday, March 3

    Pictured: Rogue Street signs popped up on Olive Avenue this year. Photo credit: Bethany Clough.

    One thing that’s caught some attention this year are the street signs that have popped up around the Tower. The signs point the direction to the various Rogue venues. They’re cool frankly, and people are talking about them. Bethany Clough snapped this photo and says “I’ve heard Fresno Ideaworks gets the credit for the signs, but haven’t been able to identify who specifically made them. One Instagram user, @chaubui7, had this to say about them: ‘We should keep such signs permanently around town — They pique your interest and would be great for tourism.’ ”

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    BANDGEEK!: Light Thieves, Ledisi and Robert DeLong

    It’s the start of a weird two weeks here in Fresno. I mean that in the best possible way.

    If you’re into the Rogue Festival, I mean really into doing it right, you won’t have time for much else.

    I’ve gone ahead and collected the week’s concerts and musical happening anyway. Here they are in another BANDGEEEEK roundup.


  • Light Thieves.
    W/Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries, DJ Aesop and Midwest Moms. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $8-$12. (Flier link)

  • The Notones.
    Residency at the Oly. W/Butler Park. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

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    Fresno loves its barbecue, here’s one more restaurant serving it

    I feel like all I write about lately is barbecue restaurants opening. Here’s one more. The latest Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opens in Clovis Thursday in a former Blockbuster at Herndon and Fowler avenues near Vons. This is the small, quick-service Texas-style barbecue joint (that means no tri-tip) that also has restaurants in the El Paseo shopping center, Tulare, Hanford, Visalia and Porterville.

    In what Dickey’s folks are calling a “three day party,” they’ll be gift card giveaways on Thursday, a visit from “Mr. Dickey” as they call the chairman on Friday complete with $2 pulled pork sandwiches (that’s one at right), and more giveaways on Saturday.

    If you’re burned out on Dickey’s, here’s some other happening barbecue restaurants in town:

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    Watch VANish, hear Sahab

    Today is the release of the Danny Trejo’s straight-to-DVD-film “VANish.” The film, which Screen Rant calls “Reservoir Dogs” meets “Buried,” is the debut from writer/director Bryan Bockbrader and takes place completely inside a kidnapper’s van (which you could probably surmise from the name).

    Of local note: the film’s opening sequence features music from electronic musician/singer/producer Sahab. Click through the jump to see a quick video from the film screening earlier this month.

    You’ll remember Sahab released his second album “Kittysiclosis,” in November. The guys over at the Spanspek blog compared it to Kanye West’s “808s” and “Heartbreak.”

    You can catch the singer next Thursday (March 5) at Audie’s Olympic Tavern with guests Mike G and Left Brain (of Odd Future fame). It’ll be a Sahabratory Experience.

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    BANDGEEK!: Napalm Death, Fauxgazi and Kuppajoe’s farwell show

    OK, so the Oscars are on TV. That’s Sunday night. That leaves the rest of the week for one of these awesome live shows, which I’ve collected in you weekly BANDGEEEK roundup.


  • Put Your Heart Into It.
    Benefit fundraiser, featuring Journey Revisited. At Fulton 55. $15-$25. (Flier link)

  • Tim Burton Tribute Art Show.
    Werebear and Spaklejet. At Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden. 5 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Kuppajoe Final Show.
    W/Lakes (San Luis Obispo, Ca), The Soma Holidays (reunion set), Sleepover Disaster and Brother Luke and the Comrades and Swimming In Paint. At Kuppajoe. 7:30 p.m. $6-$8. All ages. (Flier link)

  • The Suppressors.
    W/The Easy In. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages.

  • Stay Wild.
    W/Common War, Sleeve, Chokeslam at Make Way. At C.A.F.E. Infoshop. 8 p.m. $5 donation. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Acrylics.
    Matinee show at Tower District Records. 2 p.m. Free.

  • Leaving Austin.
    W/The Crossing. At Audies’ Olympic. 9 p.m. $7. (Flier link)

  • Kings of Blackstone.
    Music at Gazebo Gardens. 6 p.m. Free.

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    Tailspin Tommy’s closes, new Mexican restaurants open

    Tailspin Tommy’s Aerodrome Eatery has closed — but maybe not for long. The little cafe at Chandler Airport where you could eat a burger and watch small planes land and take off closed Friday. The owners, who both have full-time jobs outside the restaurant, said the restaurant rarely paid for itself and they ended up paying bills out of their own pockets. Once the staff — including the purple-haired worker who had a sweet goodbye on Facebook — got other jobs, they decided with a heavy heart to close it.

    But, they are close to finalizing a deal with an owner-operator who may have an easier time keeping the place afloat. I’ll keep you updated on that. The restaurant has been Tailspin Tommy’s for about three years, but a restaurant much longer than that.

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    Kwirkworld closing, Hobby Lobby may be coming, more food and shopping news

    One of Fresno’s quirkiest and most-loved stores is closing, but there’s news of a lots of openings in the works too. Here’s a rundown on what’s happening the shopping and eating world in Fresno and Clovis.

    Closing: Kwirkworld. The River Park store known for novelties such as stick-on hipster mustaches and socks that say “bacon” is closing. Owner Kirk Psenner is returning to selling real estate. He said Wednesday: “When I look at the economic picture, it’s the difference between just skating by and going back to my passion that I was hugely successful at.” You can see the full story here and read the announcement Kwirkworld posted on its Facebook page here. The store will close sometime in March and is already having a sale.

    Possibly opening: Hobby Lobby. The craft retailer that makes headlines for other things confirmed it is looking to open in Fresno. “We are actively looking for a location in Fresno but nothing has been signed as of yet,” says spokesman Vince Parker of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.

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    BANDGEEK!: Patrick (Contreras), (Tijuana) Panthers and the Parlor Mob

    From the sound of things, a lot of you are planning on watching “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That’s cool. When you’re done, there is plenty of music to be had. We’ve collected this week’s concerts in another installment of BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Tijuana Panthers.
    W/Massenger, Dirty Limbs. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $10. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Tecumseh Release Party.
    W/DJ AESOP, Bitter Buffalo and Sleeve. At Tioga-Sequoia Beer Garden. 5 p.m. Free.

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    Sing and play. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Tyler Edwards.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. Price TBD.

  • Read more

    BANDGEEK!: Pinback, Wailin’ Jennys and a ’90s slaughter

    You may want to travel some this weekend, while the gas is still cheap. Or, you can just take your car to one (or more) of the awesome concerts happening through the week. Here’s a handy-dandy compiled list for you. Here’s your BANDGEEEEEK!


  • Feed Our Future Benefit.
    W/ Barry McGuire, Terry Talbot, Steph Stoltenberg, Eva Scow, Ray Haney, Carl Deese, Jimmy McCartey, Roger Perry and the Terry Talbot Student Band. At Tower Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $18.50-$53.50. (Flier link)

  • Fresno’s Disco Night.
    W/DJ Mr. Leonard and Conor Miles. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Trails and Ways.
    W/Conversation. At Peeve’s Public House. 8:30 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Conversation.
    Tower District Records in-store performance. 6 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Healers.
    W/Midwest Moms, Acrylics and Aubrey. At Studio Itz. 7 p.m. Free. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Sahab.
    W/Zee Will and Eddie G. At Liquid Fetish. 8 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

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    TONIGHT: Feed our Future benefit w/Barry McGuire

    Here is a crazy thought: More than 80% of students in Fresno Unified School District qualify for free school meals and for some it might be the only daily meal they get.

    That means between lunch on Friday and breakfast on Monday, there are students who struggle to find food, says Jessica Nazaroff, who along with Shelby Dart started the nonprofit Feed our Future last march.

    Each week, the pair provides bags of non-perishable, easily prepared food items to students at Addams Elementary. These are students with chronic food insecurity, Nazaroff says.

    In less than a year, the program has grown from 50 students to 125 students.

    Nazaroff would like to do more.

    “I would love to see at at 300 by the end of the year,” she says.

    To help the cause, Feed our Future is hosting a benefit concert, 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tower Theatre.

    Read more

    TONIGHT: “Ultrasonic” book reading with Steven Church

    Ultrasonic,” the latest book from Fresno author Steven Church, is a divergent collection of essays tied together by the theme of sound.

    It’s the pop of a racquetball on a concrete wall, of heavy metal music used as torture. It’s the tap-tapping of trapped miners and ultrasonic whir and hiss of his baby daughter, developing in her mother’s womb.

    Individually, the stories are ruminations on Fresno and fatherhood, on etymology and death.

    And Elvis. What would it be like to play racquetball with the King?

    As a whole, the collection is the synthesis of Church’s creative process; “The the kind of rabbit hole Church tumbles down while researching his work,” as I wrote in a feature on the author when the book was released in December.

    Church will read from and sign copies of his book, 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Alice Peters Auditorium, at Fresno State, where Church teaches and is the founding editor of “The Normal School” literary magazine. The event is part of 2015 Reading Series, which is presented by The MFA Program in Creative Writing and the Fresno Poets’ Association. It is free and open to the pubic.

    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    OK, we know what you’ll be doing on Sunday. That leaves at least a day for …

    1. Bizare Art Festival
    A reminder that graffiti is art. Calwa Park has a quarter-mile legal graffiti wall. More than 65 artists will put it to good use.

    2. Sun Maid Kennel Club Dog Show
    If you’re interested in the intricacies of dog shows, or just want admire all the beautiful dogs.

    3. Mad Caddies
    The ska/punk/soul/dixieland/reggae rock band returns to Fresno with the Aggrolites and The Bunny Gang (w/Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly).

    4. The Appletones
    Ray Appleton’s rock band.

    BassVentures: Ultimate GLOW Experience
    I’m all about that bass.

    BANDGEEK: Comrades, Mad Caddies and the Ultimate Glow Experience

    Right about now you may be looking to lock yourself up in full quarantine. Brave it out and get to one of these awesome concerts happening through the week. They are once again collected here in out weekly BANDGEEEEEK! roundup.


  • The Long Black Veils.
    W/Lezayr. At Fulton 55. 9 p.m. $6-$8.

  • Ozmosis Happy Hour.
    W/Johnathan Sterling. At Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. 6 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • Brother Love And The Breakups.
    At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $6.

  • Read more

    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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    QnA with promoter Pete Salazar of Diehardz Music

    Pete Salazar doesn’t label himself as a “promoter,” even though his company, Diehardz Music, has been booking and promoting live music in Fresno for more than a half decade.

    “We are fans of pop-culture, music, movie, sports and selling collectibles,” Salazar says.

    Along with concerts, his team helps with band merchandising and printing and created the biannual Rock N Shop indoor mall show.

    Diehardz celebrates its seventh anniversary on Saturday with Stellar, a tribute to Incubus, plus locals Amorata, Days Under Authority and Rise the Ruler. We emailed with Salazar, just to get nostalgic.

    Tell us about the first show you booked?

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