FresnoBeehive.com

Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Noelle Bean is in Fresno on the High School nation tour

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Noelle Bean attended a private Christian High School. She was one of eight in her graduating class, and that was a jump from the typical four students in any of the other grades.

It’s a contrast to the schools the Los Angeles pop singer will visit as part of the High School Nation tour, which is in Fresno today.

For 10 years the tour has visited thousands of public high schools and middle schools, facilitating performing-, digital- and fine-arts opportunities for students and giving them free lunchtime concerts with some choice artists. Past performers have included Cody Simpson, Wale and Jason Castro.

This year’s fall tour features Dakota Bradley, Drake Bell and … Bean, who’s debut EP “Rollercoaster” was released on STRZ The Label in June.

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Spanspek Music and Arts Festival announces 2014 lineup

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Orosi’s Spanspek Music and Arts Festival is closing in on a decade of showcasing some of the hippest local bands and artists.

It seems to be just hitting its stride.

The lineup for this year’s festival (which was announced this morning) features eight local heavy hitters, including two of, arguably, the best known acts in town — the rock duo Strange Vine and violin master Patrick Contreras.

But the don’t miss band on this year’s bill may be Visalia fuzz-rockers Slow Season. The group had serious buzz at last year’s festival and has put in big work on the road (and in the studio) this year.

On the arts side of things, the festival will include more than a dozen artists/and/or art collectives, including Carlos Cisneros, the Orosi High School Art Department and Fresno Underground Art.

The event happens 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Orosi Memorial Hall in Orosi (follow the 99 south, just past Kingsburg, then head East). If you haven’t been, it’s completely worth the drive (especially with this year’s lineup). A full list of bands and artists can be seen at the Spanspek website.

On another festival note: Keep in mind Fresno’s own locals-only music fest, F.U.S.E. is happening Sept. 26-27.

Win tickets to Heavy Weather at Arte Americas Nights in the Plaza

nightsFresno’s summer days can be brutal. But our nights … our nights are so very lovely.

Which is why Arte Americas hosts a series of Friday-night concerts in it outdoor pavilion each summer. The Nights in the Plaza series features local and regional bands playing Latin lazz and mariachi, Brazilian, Son Jarocho and rockabilly.

We are giving away passes to this, the final week of the series’ run, which features the Central Valley Santana tribute Heavy Weather.

To enter to win passes to see the band, leave a comment in this post. Tell us your favorite way to spend a warm summer’s night in the Valley. The contest runs through noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up the passes at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours. Passes are good for any concert night, but do not guarantee entry, so early arrival is suggested.

We’ll have a new contest up every Monday so keep checking back. Complete performer schedule and contest rules on the jump.

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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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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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UPDATE: This story has been updated to remove the Mike Tyson show, which is not this weekend at all. Calendars are confusing.

Slather on some DEET and …

1. Metalachi at Arte Americas Nights in the Plaza
Who doesn’t want to hear a mariachi version of “Run to the Hills?

2. “Preacherman at Burning Man
Fresno is the Detroit of California, might explain this show’s inclusion as the best of West Coast fringe.

3. Taste of River Park
Remember when River Park put a curfew on kids? This is like that, but with Let’s Go Bowling.

4. Keyboard Concert Series
Garrick Ohlsson opens the 43rd season of the Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts series. This should be on your list of “Things every Fresnan should do once.”

5. Madera Fair
It is officially fair season in the Valley. Enjoy!

For music-specific events, check out this week’s BANDGEEK roundup.

Bandgeek: Humperdinck, Daniels and Doyle

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Aside from not eating at Burger King (the tax thing may be the least of its offences), your schedule for the next seven days looks full up, especially if you are into any sort of live music. The choices are presented here in our weekly roundup known as BANDGEEEEK!

TONIGHT:

  • EZ Mark’s Honky Tonk.
    A Sit-around jam. At Full Circle Brewing. 5:30 p.m. Free.

  • Engelbert Humperdinck.
    At Tachi Palace. 7:30 p.m. $35-$70.

  • Pacific Dub.
    W/ ONEoz. At Strummer’s. 8 p.m. $12. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Tonight: Go Dwntwn

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    Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda are the principal musicians and songwriters for the Los Angeles indie-pop group Dwntwn (pronounced Downtown), but over the past four years they’ve worked to keep from being the typical boy-girl duo. Which probably wasn’t difficult considering Leffler had just broken up with Cepeda’s brother when the two started playing music together.

    Oddly, they say, was’t as awkward as you’d think.

    I had some email correspondence with the band in advance of tonight’s show at Peeve’s Public House.

    I always like to start with the “newsy” stuff. So, what is happening with the band right now?

    We are in the middle of a west coast run that ends on Saturday in Fresno! We’ve been rehearsing a lot getting ready for the shows and we are excited to be playing all of the new songs off of our EP that came out a couple of months ago.

    You just released a video for “Heroine.” Tell us some about the song and the process of making the video?

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    Big Fresno Fair finalizes entertainment schedule

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    The Big Fresno Fair has finalized this year’s entertainment lineup and it includes some hip-hop, classic rock, country, comedy and now … crooning.

    Tony Bennett will perform on the fair’s closing night, Oct. 13. Tickets are $45-$50 and on sale 9 a.m. Aug. 29. The 88-year old singer has been topping the charts since the ’50s with songs like “Because of You” and “Rags to Riches,” and continues to stay relevant. His duets album with Lady Gaga is set for release in September.

    The fair also announced the addition of alternative rock newcomers the Kongos (Oct. 10), comedian Jim Gaffigan (Oct. 1) and the La Buena Corrido Fest, featuring Larry Hernandez, Proyecto X and Jorge Valenzuela (Oct. 5). Tickets for Gaffigan are $30-$35 and on sale now. Tickets for Kongos are $8-$12. The La Buena Corrido Fest is $10-$30. Both will be on sale to the general public starting 9 a.m. Aug. 29.

    The additions come with a change of dates for comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who is now performing Oct. 4. You can see the full fair schedule on the jump.

    Also on the horizon is the Madera District Fair, which run Sept. 4-7 and features performances from War (Sept. 4), Dwight Yoakam (Sept. 5), Foreigner (Sept. 6) Los Tucanes (Sept. 7). Showtimes and ticket information can be found at www.maderafair.com or by calling (866) 973-9610 or (559) 674-8511.

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    Win tickets to Leftover Cuties

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    The Painted Table is best known for its catering. You’ve no doubt seen the chefs (or their cuisine) out at events, including the Fresno Food Expo. They did cooking demonstrations all day.

    The business also hosts events out of a space in the Tower Theatre complex. Those with long enough memories will remember it as the old Daily Planet space.

    While the space is mostly reserved for special private parties, The Painted Table will open it up as a live music venue for pair of performers over the next two weekend. You can get all the needed info on The Painted Table’s Facebook page.

    First up is the Los Angeles retro-jazz pop band Leftover Cuties, which plays The Painted Table on Sunday. If you are unfamiliar with Leftover Cuties by name, you may have heard its music. The band wrote and performed the theme song for the Showtime series “The Big C” and has songs featured in commercials for Hyundai and Samsung. The Samsung ad aired during the 2012 Olympics. Proceeds from the show will benefit Fresno’s NOCO dance collective.

    We have tickets to give away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us what is the cutest thing you have ever seen. The contest runs until noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

    Check out a video of Leftover Cuties and get the complete concert rules on the jump.

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    Win tickets to Beatriz Herrera at Arte Americas Nights in the Plaza

    nightsFresno’s summer days can be brutal. But our nights … our nights are so very lovely.

    Which is why Arte Americas hosts a series of Friday-night concerts in it outdoor pavilion each summer. The Nights in the Plaza series features local and regional bands playing Latin lazz and mariachi, Brazilian, Son Jarocho and rockabilly.

    We’ll be giving away passes each week (except Sept. 26) for the rest of the series’ run. This week’s concert features local singer Beatriz Herrera. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us your favorite way to spend a warm summer’s night in the Valley. The contest runs through noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up the passes at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours. Passes are good for any concert night, but do not guarantee entry, so early arrival is suggested.

    We’ll have a new contest up every Monday so keep checking back. Complete performer schedule and contest rules on the jump.

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    Mid-week concerts to get you through to Friday

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    To anyone who thinks there is nothing to do in Fresno, I give this quick list of super-ridiculous concerts — one or more every day through Thursday (and then the weekend kicks in).

    Feel free to pass it along. You can add this message: “Quit complaining.”

    TONIGHT:

  • Lynryd Skynyrd
    It’s a Saturday night special … on Monday … See what I did there.
  • Beach Day.
    Free girl-pop garage rock at Peeve’s.
  • TUESDAY:

  • Future Islands
    Best frontman in entertainment today? You be the judge.
  • Balance and Composure
    Post hard-core emo band from Pennsylvania. For fans of Sunny Day Real Estate.
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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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    Go find someone you love and hug them. It’s been a long week. Then …

    1. Big Brother presents Strangelove
    All I ever needed is here in my arms.

    2. Logger’s Jamboree
    Chopping, sawing and general wood play. You’ve got to love the smell of fresh wood chips in the morning.

    3. NOCO Summer Soiree
    Aerial dance + classical music inside a museum. It’s a triple shot of culture.

    4. Rock N’ Shop
    Music and collectibles. Special appearance by a jaw-less zombie pet (or the dude who played one on TV anyway).

    5. Ani-Jam
    One word: Cosplay.

    RIP jazz guitarist and instructor Andre Bush

    For those who missed my story in today’s Fresno Bee, the local music scene is mourning the death of jazz guitarist and instructor Andre Bush.

    Bush was a graduate of the Roosevelt School of the Arts and a fixture in the local jazz scene as both a player and a teacher. He was also an accomplished touring musician and session guitarist, who played several years on the Lilith Fair and was nominated for a Grammy is 2005. He had his own guitar technique book (published by Mel Bay, no less) and was named as one of the 342 most significant guitarists in jazz history by critic Scott Yanow.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

    nightsWhile you’re figuring out which of the neighbors to snitch on first …

    1. Zappa Plays Zappa
    For fans of off-the-wall quirky, but thoughtfully composed, rock-and-roll-as art.

    2. Wayans Brothers Live
    Put the four Wayans brothers together and you have a comedy empire. Here, they do stand-up comedy together for the first time.

    3. Audie’s Olympic Tavern
    Great rock shows scheduled for tonight AND tomorrow. Take your pick, or go to both.
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    4. “Life Itself
    Thank Fresno Filmworks for bringing this to town.

    5. Fig Fest
    Fresno owes everything to its figs, which we honor by eating.

    For a full list of weekend music options, check out this week’s BANDGEEEEEK!

    Bandgeek: Lou Shields, Les Wolves and Zappa Plays Zappa

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    Today is National IPA Day. You will want to celebrate. But not too much, because there are dozens of local music happenings you might want to make. Here they are in list form in this week’s BANDGEEEEEK!

    TONIGHT:

  • Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate.
    At Strummer’s. 7 p.m. $32.

  • Lou Shields.
    W/Jimmie O. AT Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. No price listed. (Flier link)

  • From The Messenger.
    W/The Rest Will Fall, Bred To Survive, City of Skies and Farooq. At CYC. 6:30 p.m. $4. All ages. (Flier link)

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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    You could copycat Neel Kashkari and act homeless for the weekend. Instead, how about …

    1. Guardians of the Galaxy
    People who I trust tell me this movie lives up to the hype.

    2. TNMT night at the Grizzlies
    Nostalgia is a power thing.

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    3. Mrs. Park’s Regency Rout
    For fans of Jane Austen. Party like it’s 1799 — or 1809, or whenever the England’s Regency era was.

    4. Restaurant Week
    Buy local (food).

    5. Rudy Parris at Old Town Saloon
    Rudy Parris is one of three local artists poised to become a bonafide star. See him now, at a bar, for free. You’ll thank yourself later.

    For music-specific events, don’t forget our weekly BANDGEEK! concert roundup.

    Bandgeek: Mr. Rude, Rudy Parris and Ballyhoo!

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    As you’re out and about this weekend, seeing one of the dozens of local, live music performances (presented here in our weekly BANDGEEK post), remember Fresno cabbies want your business (for their own, it seems). It’s nice to feel wanted, right?

    TONIGHT:

  • Campfire Cassettes.
    W/Todd N Todd, Bededonia and Santa Mira. At Full Circle Brewing Co. 8 p.m. $4. (Flier link)

  • Rudy Parris.
    At Old Town Saloon. 7:30 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

  • White Glove Service.
    W/Wordsauce. At Cellar Door Visalia. 9:30 p.m. $7. (Flier link)

  • Shockwave.
    At ApCal. 7 p.m. Free.

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    Win tickets to Trios Los Romance at Arte Americas Nights in the Plaza

    nightsFresno’s summer days can be brutal. But our nights … our nights are so very lovely.

    Which is why Arte Americas hosts a series of Friday-night concerts in it outdoor pavilion each summer. The Nights in the Plaza series features local and regional bands playing Latin lazz and mariachi, Brazilian, Son Jarocho and rockabilly.

    We’ll be giving away passes each week (except Sept. 26) for the rest of the series’ run. This week’s concert features local trio (and longtime Nights in the Plaza performers) Trio Los Romance. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us your favorite way to spend a warm summer’s night in the Valley. The contest runs through noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up the passes at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours. Passes are good for any concert night, but do not guarantee entry, so early arrival is suggested.

    We’ll have a new contest up every Monday so keep checking back. Complete performer schedule and contest rules on the jump.

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    Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

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    Peel yourself away from the news for an hour or so …

    1. Jose Canseco Home Run Challenge tryouts
    I know next to nothing about baseball. What I do know is this: Jose Canseco swung HARD! Like, breaking-bat hard.

    2. Opera Ambulante
    Spanish Opera at River Park. The juxtaposition of cultures is just too much!
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    3. The theater
    Take your pick..

    4. Rock & Roll: Behind the Scenes
    A panel discussion on the nuts and bolts of rock and roll. Hint: It’s not as glamorous as you might think.

    5. Meatball Magic
    My favorite DJs return to my favorite bar. It’s been awhile.

    And five for the music fans …

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    BANDGEEK: Shwaye, Sweat and the Summerland tour

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    Planes are being shot out of the sky! We won’t fault you for not thinking about getting out to see some live music this weekend. Still, it’s my job to keep you informed. So here it is, your weekly music roundup (back from a short hiatus) … BANDGEEEEK!

    TONIGHT:

  • Ghost Key.
    W/Castaway, Outlier, Rampage and Chip Spacey. At CYC. 6:30 p.m. $4. ALl ages. (Flier link)

  • Electronic Ladyland Tour.
    W/Je4sika Von Rabbit, Maria Del Pilar and Okapi Sun. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. No ticket price listed. (Flier link)

  • A beach party and potluck.
    W/Math, Suzy’s Dead, The P.I.T.S., Egg Slut and Sci-Fi Caper. At C.A.F.E. Infoshop. 6 p.m. $3-5. All ages. (Flier link)

  • Pinche Culture Night.
    5th Anniversary. W/Marcus Hernandez, Pa’Chango, Resident Alien and Conjunto Califas. At Cellar Door, Visalia. 7 p.m. Free. (Flier link)

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    Win tickets to Queen, It’s a Kinda Magic

    Queen has written more classic rock anthems than you’d even realize. Like, they have so many hits there are some you just forget about, unless you’re looking at the band’s greatest hits album, which there are two volumes of.

    That’s how many anthems the band has.

    That’s the wheelhouse for “Queen, It’s a Kinda Magic,” the touring Queen tribute that plays the Saroyan Theatre on Saturday. The show recreates the band at its iconic best — live and on stage.

    We have tickets to Saturday night’s performance that we will give away to a few lucky readers. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. We want to know your favorite Queen songs (and why). Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email (so check your if you enter). These are physical tickets and must be picked up at the Fresno Bee office (1626 E St.) during business hours. The contest deadline is NOON, THURSDAY July 17.

    Full contest rules on the jump.

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    Win tickets to The Experience at Arte Americas Nights in The Plaza

    nightsFresno’s summer days can be brutal. But our nights … our nights are so very lovely.

    Which is why Arte Americas hosts a series of Friday-night concerts in it outdoor pavilion each summer. The Nights in the Plaza series features local and regional bands playing Latin lazz and mariachi, Brazilian, Son Jarocho and rockabilly.

    We’ll be giving away passes each week (except July 25 and Sept. 26) for the rest of the series’ run. This week’s concert features Fresno all-star jazz group The Experience. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. Tell us your favorite way to spend a warm summer’s night in the Valley. The contest runs through noon Thursday. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and be able to pick up the passes at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours. Passes are good for any concert night, but do not guarantee entry, so early arrival is suggested.

    We’ll have a new contest up every Monday so keep checking back. Complete performer schedule and contest rules on the jump.

    Read more

    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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    The (un)official 4th of July playlist

    In advance of Friday’s celebrations, I’ve put together a quick list of my favorite seasonal songs (as I am wont to do. See: Halloween, Christmas). Feel free to tell me what songs I missed, or add your playlist in the comments section.

    Spirt of ’76 — The Dickie’s
    An obscure tune from the soundtrack to “Spirit of ’76,” an obscure time-travel comedy starring David Cassidy.

    America F**k Yeah — Trey Parker
    It’s a song and a meme. The song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Still, it does captures the spirit of American exceptionalism. It’s also a great sing-along.

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    Gazebo Gardens food truck nights expands to Thursdays

    foodtruck2Got plans tomorrow night? The food truck nights at Gazebo Gardens have expanded to Thursdays. It started with Saturdays last year, expanded to Fridays and the nursery tried out its first Thursday last week. It worked, so it’s now a regular thing. If you haven’t been to a food truck night there yet, here’s what to expect: Several food trucks, a walk through some blooming roses to get to them, lots of craft beer in the beer garden (get it? beer garden, at a nursery, heh), lovely local music and a general sense of friendliness and community. (And the occasional Amtrak train speeds by, which somehow adds a bit of unique charm.)

    The event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. all three days. The only thing different about Thursdays is that instead of a live band, it will be open mic night. (As the Gazebo Gardens Facebook page says: “So far, no Grammy contenders- just people smiling and cheering each other on.”)

    Food trucks vary each time, but it’s not unusual to see everyone from Dusty Buns to frozen yogurt truck Gorilla Gurt. Keep tabs on each truck’s Facebook or Twitter page to see if they’ll be there. Gazebo owner Scott Miller said that not only are lots of people turning out for the events, but food truck owners were asking for another night. He even hinted that Gazebo might be the site of a more permanent evolution of the food truck movement.