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June Concerts Galore…And More to Come

IN THE July 9 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andMusic,
andSteven Sanchez
SECTIONS

by Steven Sanchez

It’s July, which means that summer is in full swing! The triple digit heat is amongst us which leaves us scrambling for activities to participate in to keep cool. There are those that’ve been indulging in pool swimming, barbequing, summer blockbuster binging, and the list goes on. Speaking for myself, I’ve occupied my time pursuing all the top concerts in the Central Valley. June has been an eventful month for live entertainment. Small or big venue, indoors or outdoors, it doesn’t matter, nor what genre it is, there’s been a variety of shows to choose from. The best part is that there is more to come as the summer continues on.

Provided is a collection of first-hand accounts of what took place at these crowded extravaganzas. Don’t just take my word for it, go to one of these and see why this has been a good kick start to a rockin’ summer.

BLUE OCTOBER

The Texas alternative band came back to the Valley this time in Bakersfield for a headbangin’ but inspirational show at the Fox Theatre on June 7. Kings River Life has featured the band before when they came to Warnor’s Theatre around this time last year. I left with the same takeaway this time as I did before…this band saves lives.

blue october

Justen Furstenfeld – singer

We mentioned how lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld, has drawn inspiration from his past bouts with depression and anxiety and has used it as his muse for his lyrical content. It’s that kind of emotional relatability that has consistently drawn audiences to their shows to make an emotional connection with them. I’ve conversed with fans who say they travel city-to-city just to see this band, as if they were a modern day Grateful Dead. Those dedicated fans don’t just attend to be entertained, they go as if it were a spiritual retreat for them. Whether if their playing classic defining hits like “Hate Me” and “Into The Ocean” or originals from their newest album, “I Hope You’re Happy,” the camaraderie between both parties never wavers.

blue oct

Will Knaak – lead guitar

With this band, one moment it’s a hard-driving song and the next can be the sweetest ballad you’ve ever heard. And occupied by Justin’s life stories during the break of the next song, adds more depth and substance to the show. I’ve seen the band twice already, and I would continue to expand that number the more times they come to this area of California. One of their names may come from the month of Halloween, but from the satisfaction I get after every show I’ve been to, I would see them no matter what month it is.

SNOW THA PRODUCT

Snow Tha Product, the San Jose-based female rapper, brought her attitude laced, rapid fire style of rapping to the Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co. on June 12. The red-headed, tattooed bombshell, her real name Claudia Alexandra Feliciano, known for being outspoken and unfiltered, showed those same traits when she came to the downtown venue. It was definitely hot that day, but don’t let her name fool you, by no means did it get cool when she hit the stage, she turned the heat up even more once she started performing.

The Hispanic hip-hopper broke out with songs “Holy Sh**” and “Drunk Love” and since then she’s been one of the most recognizable faces when it comes to contemporary female rappers.

Snow Tha Product

Never shying away from speaking her mind is what makes her beloved by her fans, and it showed when she did the meet and greet with her fans. The line felt like forever with her supporters who were waiting patiently to snap a shot with the fast-mouthed princess. The hip hop community came out in full force that night. It may have been a Wednesday night, but with all the festivities that were taking place, it felt like a weekend. Fresno loves its hip hop, and having artists like Snow Tha Product come to the Valley helps diversify the musical options here in terms of interest and concerts. If she continues to stay in the game, then this will be a product that the people would love to purchase.

THIRD EYE BLIND

On June 13, the San Francisco pop rock band that was one of the main seminal hit makers of the late ’90s and early 2000s, came to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Theatre and gave the interior a rock makeover. Lead by the charismatic front man Stephan Jenkins, this man can do it all – singer, songwriter, musician – he’s unquestionably the leader of the group and driving force which explains why they’ve been going strong all this time.

The commercial platinum sellers behind “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” “How’s It Going to Be,” and “Never Let You Go,” brought the energy throughout their entire set. Whether if it was the hits or their most recent singles, it didn’t matter, the band felt it and so did the crowd.

music

Third Eye Blind. Stephan Jenkins, singer and guitarist.

It was eclectic in the regard that one moment you were bombarded by a platoon of guitars and pulse pounding drums, and then to a mellow acoustic showcase, even if it was just Stephan by himself and not the band.

We covered Stephan Jenkins last year as he did a free impromptu performance in support of democratic political candidate Andrew Janz. It was great to see him perform as a one-man band, but to hear him being accompanied by the group at full volume really was icing on the cake. As a child of the 90s, Third Eye Blind definitely was a definitive band of that era, so to hear that music being played in front of me than just hearing it on the radio or seeing it on MTV or VH1, to see it live in my periphery was an awesome experience. And I’m not the only one that felt that way, too. They played what we thought was their last song and went off the stage. The crowd chanted for an encore. They came back and played “Semi-Charmed Life.” For most of the song it was mostly the audience that was singing the song in unison. Proving how much this band means to them. Their longevity speaks for itself and shows why they’ve lived beyond a semi-charmed life.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY

The jazz age is back and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy cast a spell on a Tower Theatre crowd on June 15. Stepping into the theatre you felt like you went back in time to a jazz club in the 1940s. They’re the leading pioneers of the swing revival when the renaissance took place in the 90s. It was in film and television at the time and this band was one of the most popular names of that movement. They may be from Southern California, but they sound like they have roots either from New York or France.

music

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

They don’t kid around when comes to the revitalization of that era. They got the top hats, the suits, the lingo, and the movements all down with cultural and aesthetic accuracy. Hearing the horn section, and the up-tempo drums, you instinctively reacted with foot tapping, or clapping, or the automatic urge to dance. And for some couples in the crowd, they did. What’s even more amazing about this group besides the spot-on mirror reflection of a past genre, but the fact that the original members have been together for almost thirty years. They were featured in the indie film “Swingers” in 1996, the film that gave Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau their start, helped put them on the map. They even performed at the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXIII. If their image and sound doesn’t give it away to what kind of band they are, let their most notable song names make it clearer with “Go Daddy-O”, “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)”, and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” Their show was big and bad (the good connotation) and one smooth, jive, boogie-woogie jam after another that if a band can transport your mind to a different time and believe in the magic of music, no matter where it’s coming from, that’s a great experience.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

REBELUTION

“You say you want a rebelution,” well that’s what people thought and wished for when they attended the Rebelution concert at the Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheatre on June 19. The day was really, hot but the band brought the chill reggae vibes to cool off everybody once the sun started to set. The Grammy nominees for the “Best Reggae Album” award have been here before, and there’s just something about their music and that relaxing California atmosphere in the summertime is what makes this combination click.

music

Rebelution

Just by going off their sound alone you’d think they came straight from the island of Jamaica, but the fact is that they’re actually from Isla Vista. They have definitely set themselves apart by being one of the most popular contemporary reggae bands of the digital millennial era. The genre is known as a past art form, but they have definitely brought it back. The whole point of reggae is to bring about a cool sensation, but when they played, everybody cheered them on like it was a full-on rock show.

music

Eric Rachmany – singer and guitarist

Everybody was in positive spirits throughout the night, or maybe the smoke induced environment had a little something to do with that. Whether you were in a cloud of haze or not, it didn’t matter, everyone was there just to have a good time. They’ve been around since 2004, and I believe they can continue to keep the legacy of reggae alive in the future. Not only is music their business, but they’ve been involved in another business endeavor, making all-natural cannabis oil cartridges and a customized oil battery pen and herb vaporizer. All in all, I guess one can say their soul concern in this world is to just make people happy.

Steven Sanchez is a film graduate of UNLV. He’s a filmmaker, writer, photographer, and music manager. Obsessed with movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A football fanatic, big fan of the Oakland Raiders. Enjoys reading and collecting vinyl records. If there’s a rock show in town more than likely he’ll be there. Loves his grandma’s home cooked meals. He has a twin sister and most people call him the pretty one. You can learn more about Steven on his YouTube channel and on Instagram @stevensanchez5807 photos and videos.

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