On Tour

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Kansas, one of the most successful American rock bands to come out of the 1970's, brought their progressive rock jam sounds to the opulent Thousand Oaks Civic Center, Wednesday, September, 13th. The marathon performance featured no less than 24 songs in a nonstop show that stretched nearly three hours into the late summer evening.

The Bluegrass scene has been exploding over the past few years, and since the Bill Monroe days, south-central PA has been at the heart of it. In the middle of this hotspot of up and coming bluegrass bands, is Mountain Ride, an original bluegrass band that seamlessly comingles both traditional and progressive bluegrass styles. Lead singer and songwriter Eric Avey has assembled an amazingly talented group of musicians to go along with some very well written original lyrics.

A true English rock legend brought nearly six decades of rock music history to the Samala Showroom at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez California last weekend. Steve Winwood has been a rock star all of his adult life, beginning his musical career as a child prodigy in Birmingham England. The 69-year-old singer-songwriter, master Hammond B3 organist, and smoking blues-rock guitarist joined his first rock band, the Spencer Davis Group, in 1963.

Michael Franti and Spearhead brought the 'Love Out Loud' tour to McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater in Troutdale, Oregon, on September 9. The show featured positive vibes from the opening acts Choir, Choir, Choir, which had the crowd singing along, and singer-songwriter Ethan Tucker, who played a few acoustic songs, to Franti's two-hour heart felt performance.

As the sun crested the sky on one of the more perfect afternoons you could ask for in the middle of New York City at the end of August, Phil LeshLesh and his Terrapin Family Band huddled at the side of the stage as the audience hooted and hollered, unable to contain their excitement for the music that was about to come.

As a music journalist for a decade and a half, I see a lot of live music. But every once in a while, I catch a concert that gives me a special feeling of knowing that I have seen music history and something sonically special. This was one of those moments. A few years ago here, it was Lana Del Rey who captivated her sold out show. This summer, it was her male musical soul mate Father John Misty.

Dressed in black, like his collaborator Carlene Carter’s famous dad, Johnny Cash, John Mellencamp wasted no time getting in tune for his second Ravinia performance, surrounded by a smoke machine and a background of scrawled graffiti.

In the last decade, one the North Bay Area and wine country’s premier venues has become Weill Hall at Sonoma State University. Housed in the Green Music Center, this indoor/outdoor hybrid venue space is one of a kind. The theater has stunning wooden seats and a double-tiered balcony, while the outdoor lawn seating is ideal for year long daytime and nighttime shows. Despite its sizeable capacity, it feels homey and intimate with projector screens displaying multi-shot coverage of the stage up-close.

This past Saturday at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater, Nederland’s own Yonder Mountain String Band and longtime jam legends Gov’t Mule co-headlined an action-packed show filled with sit-ins, surprises and an incredible all-star tribute to the late great Gregg Allman. It was the first time in over ten years that Yonder and Gov’t Mule have teamed up for a show. The Marcus King Band also joined in on the festivities, as members of all three bands sat in with one another throughout their respective sets.

Heavy Metal madness descended on Paso Robles Tuesday night, August 8th, with a triple header of hard core music at the Vina Robles Amphitheater.