CVIndependent

Thu12122019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

The holiday season is here! It’s December in the Coachella Valley—which means venues are hosting a whole lot of events that’ll put you in the holiday spirit. Here’s but a sampling of the offerings local venues have in December.

The glorious McCallum Theatre has a packed schedule of shows that’ll get you in the Christmas mood. On Sunday, Dec. 1, at 3 and 7 p.m., come experience one of the greatest musical groups ever: The Beach Boys. While the group is famous for surfing hits and the visionary masterpiece Pet Sounds, the band is coming to Palm Desert on the “Holiday, Harmonies and Hits” tour; expect songs spanning the Boys’ entire career, as well as some holiday greats. Tickets are $68 to $118. This is the giving season, so it makes sense that the McCallum is hosting its 2019 McCallum Theatre Annual Gala, featuring legendary singer Seal. Proceeds from the gala help fund theater operations and arts-education programs across the valley. It takes place at 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5. Tickets are $100 to $125. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs’ lineup this month has shows for lovers of all sorts of different genres. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, Old Dominion—with opener Ryan Hurd—will bring its “Make It Sweet” tour into town. Grab your cowboy hat and boots, and go square-dance the night away to the critically acclaimed country stylings! Tickets are $49 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, witness the Peanuts gang come to life at A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage. Enjoy holiday cheer with Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and more! Tickets are $39 to $69. Fresh off of Queen’s summer tour, where he again did an excellent job of filling the late Freddie Mercury’s shoes, Adam Lambert comes to Indio at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20. Come enjoy an evening of Lambert’s pop hits—and perhaps some Queen covers. Tickets are $59 to $99. Legendary soul and gospel singer Dionne Warwick will bring her “A Holiday Celebration” tour to town at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21. The night will be filled with holiday and pop classics, and will feature Warwick’s signature voice backed by a 14-piece string section. Tickets are $39 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 is featuring a few fun events in December. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, The Dan Band will bring comedic interpretations of pop songs and hilarious stage banter to the Spotlight Showroom stage. This is the band featured at the end of The Hangover. Tickets are $20 to $30. Also coming to Spotlight: Femmes of Rock, rock violinists who cover your favorite classic-rock tunes, from AC/DC to ZZ Top. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, come find out what your favorite classic-rock song would sound like played by four violin-istas! Tickets are $25 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Agua Caliente will host legendary recording artist Chris Isaak at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13. Best known for his song “Wicked Game”—one of the most covered songs in music—Isaak is bringing his rockabilly sound to Rancho Mirage for an entertaining night of songs. Tickets are $50 to $275. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo Casino is showcasing a festive lineup of music and comedy acts throughout December. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, The Charlie Daniels Band is coming to Cabazon looking for a soul to steal. Country, Southern rock, and badass solos and beards—what more could you ask for? Tickets are $49. If you’re looking to laugh until you cry, come to Morongo on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 or 10 p.m., to witness one of the funniest comics of our time, Gabriel Iglesias. With numerous of specials, and his own series on Netflix, Iglesias is at the top of his game. Tickets are $69, and were close to selling out at press time. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet's features a plethora of bands to warm you up during cold Pioneertown nights this month. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, psych-punk outfit KOLARS will grace the Pappy’s stage. Considering the band’s ability to combine vastly different genres into one live set, the show will have something for everyone. Tickets are $15. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 28, The Evangenitals will return to Pappy’s for a night of alt-country and fun! The show is free, so why not go and enjoy it? Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Toucan's Tiki Bar and Cabaret Lounge is hosting a couple of December events. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, Joel Kim Booster (pictured below) will come to Palm Springs for a night of comedy. He has written for shows such as Big Mouth, and has had specials on Comedy Central. Tickets are $25. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, Frenchie Davis brings her Soulful for the Holidays show to the desert. Davis has done both Broadway and the televised singing-competition shows during her career, so it’s safe to say: She can sing. Tickets are $35 to $45. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; www.reactionshows.com.

The Purple Room promises to keep you entertained this month. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, Levi Kreis brings his annual Home for the Holidays show to the Purple Room. Go watch as Kreis infuses gospel, country, rockabilly, jazz and Christmas hits into one show. Tickets are $40 to $45. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, Scot Bruce returns to the Purple Room to become Elvis for the Elvis: Blue Suede Christmas show. If you weren’t around during Elvis’ day, or even if you were, go see the next best thing! Tickets are $30 to $35. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27, Palm Springs JUMP! will pay tribute to some of the best artists who lived and performed in Palm Springs. This event will feature tunes from Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and others. Tickets are $25 to $30. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

The Ace is home to a lot of fantastic December happenings. From Friday, Dec. 20, through Sunday, Dec. 22, experience a weekend of comedy, music, movies and more at the Old St. Shtick festival. A plethora of comedians will be featured, such as Guy Branum, Billy Wayne Davis, Chris Estrada and others. Admission is free on Friday; tickets are $15 the other nights. At 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 26, gather for a night of tales at Campfire Stories With Desert Oracle’s Ken Layne. He was the subject of our September cover story. This is a perfect time to warm up by the fire and hear conspiracy theories regarding the monsters that surround our desert. The event is free! Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

Published in Previews

It is now officially fall in the Coachella Valley, which means the weather’s getting colder—and the entertainment is getting hotter. Here are some November events worth noting.

The illustrious McCallum Theatre features some premium entertainment this month. Rock icon Melissa Etheridge, known for hits “Ain’t It Heavy” and “Bring Me Some Water,” takes the stage at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14. The Oscar and Grammy winner is touring in support of her most recent album, The Medicine Show. Tickets are $85 to $105, and are very nearly sold out. As we inch closer to the holidays, the arrival of A Christmas Story: The Musical will be most welcome. The songwriters behind Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land have transformed the cult-classic film into a stage show that “will shoot yer eye out, kid!” Catch it at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26; and 2 and 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27. Tickets are $65 to $125. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30, piano wizard John Tesh (right) will grace the McCallum stage. After selling 8 million records over his career, Tesh is coming to Palm Desert on his “Acoustic Christmas” tour, which will get you in the right mood for the upcoming holiday season. Tickets are $35 to $75. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs is featuring one of the biggest norteño groups in the world at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, as Los Tigres del Norte brings hits from a 30-plus-year career to Indio for a night of música y baile! Fresh off the Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison live album and concurrent Netflix special, you can enjoy what Billboard calls “the most influential regional Mexican group.” Tickets are $49 to $99. Coming to the Fantasy Springs stage at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, is legendary crooner Paul Anka. While Anka will play the hits from his career, such as his 1959 classic “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” this Anka Sings Sinatra: His Songs, My Songs, My Way tour also features Anka’s tribute to the Chairman of the Board. Even at 78, Anka still can woo with that trademark voice. Tickets are $59 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29’s most-intriguing November event is the All Star Jam, presented by Auen Foundation. Have you ever wondered what would happen if members from hit groups such as The Romantics, Journey, Chicago and Kansas all got together under one roof for the ultimate jam session? With all proceeds going to Martha’s Village, it’d be a shame for you to not to go and find out. The show is at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, and tickets are $75 to $95. You must be 21 or older to attend. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Agua Caliente turns up the heat this month, as funk pioneers Tower of Power (alongside openers Average White Band) arrive at The Show at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, to celebrate their 50th anniversary by performing songs that are guaranteed to “funkifize, energize and provide the soundtrack for new American movements of love, peace, soul power, mind power and people power to rise!” In 1973, the group asked “What Is Hip?”, so go find the answer. Tickets are $46 to $170. A few weeks later, the irreplaceable and recognizable voice of legendary soul singer Smokey Robinson will come to Rancho Mirage. Witness the Motown leader live, at 79 years young, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $95 to $125. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo will host the multi-talented Wayne Brady, from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and, more recently, Let’s Make a Deal. Go see his comedy and singing skills in full effect at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8. Tickets are $45 to $55. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s November lineup features top-notch acts of seemingly every kind. At 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1, enjoy the desert’s own Jesika von Rabbit, with support acts Landroid and Popstar Nima, on a night that promises to invigorate. Tickets are $20. The following weekend, catch two legends who rocked the ’70s. Cherie Currie (The Runaways) and Brie Darling (Fanny) have teamed up and plan to take Pappy’s back four decades with hits from their catalogs, along with some of their favorite songs. The show is at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, and tickets are $20. Pappy’s will close out the month with the genre-melding Meat Puppets, with supporting act Particle Kid (ason of Willie Nelson), at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30. Thanks to Meat Puppets tracks dabbling in country, punk and alternative rock, fans won’t want to miss out on these ’80s icons who inspired the likes of Kurt Cobain. (Two tracks on Nirvana’s Unplugged album are Meat Puppets covers!) Tickets are $25 and may already be sold out. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Toucans is hosting some festive events this month. From 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, check out the second annual Pride in the Parking Lot event. Admission is free, but space is limited, so head to the website below to reserve space, as legendary DJ Chi Chi LaRue and other music acts will perform all day long. The following weekend, famous lesbian standup comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer (below), with special guest Ebony Toliver, will bring the laughs at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8. Tickets are $25. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; www.reactionshows.com.

At the Date Shed, reggae all-stars Fortunate Youth will return to Indio at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14. The group is fresh off single “Young and Innocent” with Half Pint, so come down, get up, stand up and boogie to some reggae rock. Tickets are $20. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.facebook.com/dateshed.

The Purple Room in Palm Springs features some top acts this month. Vocal and cello duo Branden and James will be bringing their brand of classical/soul music to the stage at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23. They are on their “All You Need Is Love” tour, and will fill the night with a wide array of hits from Nat King Cole to music from Rent. Tickets are $35 to $40. Also gracing the Purple Room’s stage is musical treasure Marilyn Maye. At age 91, there’s nothing she can’t do. She’s most famous for her record number of appearances on The Tonight Show—76! Ella Fitzgerald once called her “the greatest white female singer in the world.” See her perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30. Tickets are $70 to $90. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club promises a night of laughter for the ages at 9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 6, when the weekly Belly Flop comedy night features Neil Hamburger, Maggie Maye and Robert Dayton. Iconic comedian Neil Hamburger has opened for Tenacious D, Tim and Eric, and Faith No More, and tells some of the worst jokes you will ever hear (in a good way). Tickets are free; you just need to RSVP. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

Published in Previews

According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A is the cultural center of the universe. As a result, the Coachella Valley, being two hours away (plus or minus, depending on how fast you drive), naturally experiences some trickle-down cool; if a star explodes in L.A., we are going to experience some of the blast.

Whether or not you agree with the Times … we can all agree there is much fun to be had this October across the Coachella Valley.

Fantasy Springs is offering a unique comedy event that you won’t want to miss. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short will bring their “Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t” tour to Indio for an evening of laughs and stories, with special guests Paul Shaffer, Della Mae and Alison Brown. Unbeknownst to many, Steve Martin is an accomplished banjo player, winning a Grammy in 2010 for a bluegrass album. Both men are widely popular—and funny. Let’s hope Martin brings out his banjo. Tickets are $79 to $139. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, put on your cowboy boots and head to the Special Events Center for Big and Rich, with special guests Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister. Tickets are $49 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

The Show at Agua Caliente Casino is hosting several events this month we want to tell you about. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, REO Speedwagon will bring arena-pop anthems to The Show. It’s a good thing this event is on a Friday: You don’t want to go to work the day after a night with REO Speedwagon. Tickets are $65 to $195. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23, blues great Joe Bonamassa will take the stage. A whopping 16 Bonamassa albums have topped the Billboard blues chart! Tickets are $89 to $199. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, the man Pitchfork called “the face of modern reggaeton” will perform: J Balvin. He wowed audiences at Coachella earlier this year. Tickets are $85 to $125. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

At 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, the legendary Mexican norteño band Los Tucanes de Tijuana returns to Spotlight 29 and the city of Coachella, which gave the band the keys to the city in the week leading up to the band’s performance at Coachella and Chella. Get ready to hear the smash hit about a danceaholic woman, “La Chona”; it drives concert-goers crazy, so the band is known to play it twice. Tickets are $35 to $55. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa is bringing a couple of old-school legends to Cabazon in October. At 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, Patti LaBelle will take the Morongo stage. Need we say more? Tickets are $69 to $79. A 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, the man, the myth, the legend, Engelbert Humperdinck will return to Morongo. The man who was born in British India with the name Arnold Dorsey has gone on to sell more than 140 million records … and baffle Eurovision audiences when the then-76-year-old was inexplicably Great Britain’s entry into the continent-wide contest back in 2012. Tickets are $65 to $85. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s has a number of exciting shows booked this month. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, indie-rock artists Beth Orton and Mercury Rev will bring their critically acclaimed music to Pappy’s inside stage. The show promises to provide high-desert vibes: psychedelia, acoustic guitars, distortion, lots of effects, boots—all of it. They will be performing their tribute to Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete. Tickets are $35. At 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, Pappy’s welcomes Soccer Mommy and Rosie Tucker, both critically acclaimed artists who have gained popularity in the blogosphere this year. Tickets are $18 to $20. At 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, Neon Indian, one of the progenitors of the “chill-wave” genre, will bring electronic pop songs in for an intimate evening. Led by Texas-born musician Alan Palomo, Neon Indian released its debut album, Psychic Chasms, 10 years ago, and most recently released Vega Intl. Night School in 2015. Palomo has kept busy with filmmaking, acting and soundtracking, and this show serves as Neon Indian’s return; according to Palomo’s Instagram, the band will be playing some “nuevo fuego,” or “new fire”—in other words, new songs. Hashtag smiley-face emoji. Hashtag fire emoji. Tickets are $20 to $25. At 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, The Black Lips will return to the desert for a guaranteed loud evening of garage rock. Expect the unexpected, as the band is known for its wild stage antics. For fans of New York Dolls, T. Rex and Wavves. Tickets are $25. Weekdays at Pappy’s seem to be the place to be, because at 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, Cherry Glazerr will bring feminist indie garage-rock songs back to the Pappy’s stage. This promises to be a fun show. Tickets are $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Purple Room has some noteworthy events this month. John Lloyd Young will take the stage at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12. Young performs a series of covers for fans of ’50s and ’60s rock ’n’ roll, including songs by Roy Orbison and The Platters, among others. Tickets are $50 to $65. At 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19, Kinsey Sicks will bring their famous show back to Palm Springs. According to the Purple Room website, the show is a “mix of gorgeous a cappella, hilarious drag, obscenity and absurdity with gasp-inducing political satire thrown in for bad measure.” Tickets are $35 to $45. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, the Tony Award-nominated Sharon McNight will perform her “Red Hot Mama” show, which is a tribute to Sophie Tucker. Tickets are $30 to $35. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

The Tack Room Tavern has a great month of events planned. Indio TerrorFest takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26; you can read all about that next week at CVIndependent.com. But first comes one of the best charity events of the year: At 5:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19, the Tack Room will host the 12th Annual Concert for Autism, a benefit for the Desert Autism Foundation. Performers will include John Garcia and the Band of Gold, FrankEatstheFloor, The Hellions and many others. A $10 donation is suggested at the door. Tack Room Tavern, 81800 Ave. 51, Indio; 760-347-9985; www.facebook.com/tackroomtavern.

Toucans is hosting some fun cabaret events this month. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11, adult-contemporary singer-songwriter Tom Goss is performing along with Deven Green. Goss’ songs are emotive folk narratives reminiscent of Mumford and Sons, and Of Monsters and Men. Goss is playing in support of his upcoming album, Territories. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, the comedian and entertainer Mama Tits brings her outrageous part-comedy, part-concert show to Toucans for a night of fun, laughter and risqué jokes. Tickets are $25. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; www.reactionshows.com.

Below: Cherry Glazzer, by Pamela Littky.

Published in Previews

Louis Fonsi is best known for his smash hit “Despacito,” which as of now has been viewed 6.4 billion times on YouTube.

Yes, that’s correct: 6.4 billion, with a “b.” It’s sure to be one of the songs he performs during his show at Fantasy Springs this Friday, Sept. 20.

Despite this amazing success, during a recent phone interview, Fonsi came off as humble and grateful, crediting his collaborator on the song, Daddy Yankee, as well as Justin Bieber, who is featured on a popular remix of the song. As of this writing, that version “only” has 648 million-plus YouTube views.

Of course, the Puerto Rico native is known for much more than “Despacito.” In fact, he said some of his fans aren’t quite sure what to make of the song and the direction of his new album, Vida.

“Oh, they miss the more romantic songs on my past albums, which were more focused around love ballads,” Fonsi said. “I still do that! I am a balladeer at heart, but I also wanted to do more of an upbeat album. … This has some ballads as well, but it also has dance and more of today’s … Latin sound.”

Why did Fonsi—with six platinum albums to his credit before Vida—make the change?

“There is just so much new blood, with kids making amazing beats these days, and I love all that,” Fonsi said. “Fifteen years ago, it was so hard to make your own music, and it was too expensive. Now you can do it with software. It lets you just simply upload your music to the internet for the world to hear, so it’s easier to make great tracks and new sounds.”

Fonsi said he’s especially enjoyed the collaborative nature of some of his newer music.

“If I get a week off, I go home to family but also hit the studio where I write my songs,” he said. “I also love to collaborate and work with new people, so I go on search tours to Nashville, New York, London—anywhere to find people to co-write with.”

Fonsi was born in San Juan but moved to Orlando, Fla., when he was 11. Some of his first jobs were—no surprise—at theme parks.

“I was always a performer,” he said. “It was in my blood even as a child. Working in all the different theme parks was an amazing training ground for me. I then went to the Florida State University School of Music with a full scholarship.”

Fonsi at one point was part a boy band called Big Guys, which included future *NSYNC member Joey Fatone. While that band never made it big, he credited the experience for helping him understand the importance of hard work.

In 2013, Fonsi had a brief stint in Forever Tango on Broadway.

“I love acting. I love Broadway, and I want to go back eventually,” Fonsi said. “But I also love TV. I am a judge on Telemundo’s The Voice. We are starting on the second season. My team won Season 1, so I have a lot to live up to. … I am a positive judge. If I like people, you will know, but if I’m not connecting, they will also know.”

Fonsi said he gains inspiration from R&B greats like Stevie Wonder and Brian McKnight.

“My hero was singer and salsa musician Juan Luis Guerra,” Fonsi said. “He is my all-time-favorite from the Dominican Republic. He is a genius songwriter and one of the nicest human beings on Earth. I am so lucky to now call him a friend and collaborator. I also enjoy Richard Marx, who brings a lot to the table when we collaborate.”

What does Fonsi say to people who may be concerned about going to a show where much of the music will be sung in Spanish?

“I sing in Spanish. I am a Latino artist. I am bilingual, yes, but it’s in my DNA,” Fonsi said. “It’s exciting to go to different countries and sing in my native tongue and see flags in the audience from all over. They might not understand all my lyrics, but dance unites us all.”

Luis Fonsi will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Drive, in Indio. Tickets are $49 to $99. For tickets or more information, call 760-342-5000, or visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Published in Previews

Summer is finally beginning to wind down—and that means some venues are waking up after summer hibernations. Here are some of the most noteworthy events happening in our warm and sandy home.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is hosting a lot of fantastic events in September. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1, the “Something Great From 68’” tour will land at the Indio casino, bringing Brian Wilson and The Zombies to play music from their 1968 works: Wilson, the songwriting genius from the Beach Boys, will play from the albums Friends and Surf’s Up, in addition to “all the hits,” while The Zombies—recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees—will play the album Odessey and Oracle. Check out an interview with Colin Blunstone from The Zombies here. Tickets are $49 to $89. At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, Bryan Adams will stop in to perform his pop-rock hits such as “Summer of ’69,” “Heaven” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” These radio staples are timeless, but seeing them live could give new life to them, and perhaps to your relationship—the show has potential to be a great date night. Tickets are $59 to $99. The Doobie Brothers, one of the most successful non-disco bands during the disco era, will hit the stage at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14. They’ll bring more than five decades of songs to the Special Events Center … but I doubt they’ll bring doobies, since I don’t think those are allowed inside. Tickets are $39 to $69. If you like Latin music, you’ll want to be there at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, when Luis Fonsi will perform songs spanning his 20-year career, including the world-wide smash hit “Despacito,” a remix of which famously featured Justin Bieber. Tickets are $49 to $99. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, alt-rock crooner Rob Thomas, formerly of Matchbox 20—a band you might remember if you watched VH1 in the ’90s—will perform in support of his fourth solo album, Chip Tooth Smile. Though he has a wide catalog of solo material, based on recent set lists, Thomas will probably throw in a few of Matchbox 20’s hits (“Unwell,” “3 a.m.,” and “If You’re Gone”), in addition to a rendition of his 1999 smash hit with Santana, “Smooth.” Tickets are $59 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

1980s pop legends Duran Duran will bring the band’s songs and co-occurring glam fashion to The Show at Agua Caliente at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5. This performance is only one of seven shows scheduled (as of this writing) for the British icons, whose songs include “Rio,” “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Tickets were $85 to $115, but are listed as sold out … so if you want to go, you’re going to need to check the secondary markets. September in the Coachella Valley seems to really attract legendary acts, as Steely Dan will also play at The Show, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. The band is famous for its eclectic influences. Its endurance as a classic-rock act is indebted to legendary songs including “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Do It Again.” It will be interesting to see this iconic band perform in an intimate venue. If all of the concerts occurring this month haven’t already depleted your entertainment budget … tickets are $125 to $175. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

At 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15, Morongo welcomes comedian Felipe Esparza. Read our profile on him here. Tickets start at $39, and were close to selling out at our press deadline. Although we don’t know the weather for that day yet, it will at least be 98 Degrees at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, when the ’90s boy band featuring Nick Lachey and company will stop by to perform the hits. Tickets are $29 to $49. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s, per usual, has a lot of good shows for fans of indie rock scheduled in September. At 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, the female-led Merge Records band Ex Hex will perform its garage-punk alongside queer icon Seth Bogart (from Hunx and His Punx). This is an inside show, and tickets are $18 to $20. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, Pappy and Harriet’s will welcome Sharon Van Etten (below; photo by Ryan Pfluger)who has been gaining much acclaim lately from independent radio and media, most notably for the melancholic yet uplifting song “Seventeen.” Tickets are $32 to $36. Acclaimed lo-fi indie-pop musician Ariel Pink will perform in support of his new album at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. Support will come from Jennifer Herrema. This rare show from this “cult weirdo” promises to be interesting and will be worth the drive up the mountain. Tickets range $28 to $33. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Open again after its usual two-month summer hiatus, the Purple Room at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, will welcome Adam Pascal, an original cast member of Rent. He most recently performed in Pretty Woman: The Musical. The event, “So Far …” promises to be an “intimate, acoustic, career retrospective, including questions, answers, stories, and songs, in a one-of-a-kind event.” Tickets are $40 to $50. At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, Brenna Whitaker will stop by to perform her vast catalog of cover songs and originals. One of her biggest fans is Michael Bublé! Tickets are $25 to $30. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Toucans is waking up from its summer entertainment slumber with a show by someone who’s becoming a Palm Springs regular: Ty Herndon will perform at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20. The country singer twice topped the country charts with songs back in the ’90s; he came out as a gay man in 2014. Tickets are $30 to $40. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; reactionshows.com.

Published in Previews

July and August are the slowest months for entertainment in the Coachella Valley, with multiple venues on hiatus—but the casinos and Pappy and Harriet’s are still offering plenty of great events.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a fabulous Independence Day week slate. At 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 3, enjoy a free Independence Day Fireworks Show. The fireworks will be blasting off from the Eagle Falls Golf Course, and The Eagle 106.9 will be playing some great songs to accompany them. Admission is free. At 8 p.m., Friday, July 5, enjoy the rocking flute-driven tunes of Jethro Tull. The band has extended its 50th Anniversary Tour, and considering the band rivaled the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Elton John in its early years, you won’t want to miss this one. Tickets are $59 to $129. Later in the month, at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 27, Mexican singer-songwriter Gerardo Ortiz will return to Fantasy Springs. The 29-year-old was actually born in Pasadena, and he has two Grammy Award nominations to his credit. Tickets are $39 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage is offering a busy July calendar. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 13, Hotel California: A Salute to The Eagles will take the stage. Hotel California is an Eagles tribute band that has been performing for 30 years and is known for masterfully replicating the sounds of the Eagles songs you love. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Friday, July 19, check out The Ultimate E.L.O. Experience: A New World Record. This is an Electric Light Orchestra tribute, including the lights and all of the string arrangements. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Friday, July 26, enjoy ’80s R&B and pop at the Freestyle Jam, featuring Stevie B, Trinere, Nu Shooz, Debbie Deb and Connie. These were some of the biggest names in ’80s pop and are often sampled or remixed in today’s digital era. Tickets are $40 to $60. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 is hosting a couple of hot July events. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 20, the Spanish Comedy Slam will take place. The show will feature performances from Alex Reymundo, who recently had his own Comedy Central special; Luz Pazos, a former beauty queen from Peru who has performed at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles and appeared on PBS’ First Nations Comedy Experience; Rene Garcia, who has performed with Tommy Davidson, Ron White and Bill Bellamy; Carlos Rodriguez, a Sacramento native who has been voted the Best Comic by the Sacramento News & Review; and Anthony K, another Sacramento resident who has a one-hour special available on Spotify and Google Play. Tickets are $20 to $35. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 27, go back four decades during the ’70s Soul Jam, featuring performances by Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes and The Stylistics, as well as Mr. Dyn-o-Mite himself, Jimmie “JJ” Walker. Tickets are $39 to $59. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa is hosting some great July events. At 9 p.m., Saturday, July 6, country star Lee Greenwood will be appearing. One of his biggest hits is his 1984 song “God Bless the U.S.A.” In fact, a lot of his material is ’Merica themed, to give you those July 4th feels. Tickets are $29 to $39. At 9 p.m., Friday, July 12, Chicano rock-band Los Lonely Boys (upper right) will be performing. The South Texas trio was a staple of contemporary radio in the mid-2000s with “Heaven” and “More Than Love.” Tickets are $55 to $65. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s has a packed schedule; here are a just a few shows you may want to consider. At 9 p.m., Friday, July 5, Welsh musician and producer Cate Le Bon will be performing. Le Bon has toured with acts such as St. Vincent, Perfume Genius and John Grant—if that says something in regard to her talents. While she has a rock sound, she also goes into folk and pop territory. Tickets are $18. At 9 p.m., Saturday, July 20, up-and-coming country performer Gethen Jenkins will take the stage. Jenkins’ bio reads like a character out of a bad ass adventure novel—born in the West Virginia, raised in a rural Indian village in Alaska, a stint in the U.S. Marines, etc. He’s performed with the Marshall Tucker Band, Wanda Jackson and others. Tickets are $15. At 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, on the eve of what will be the 15th and final Campout, Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery will be performing solo; Peter Case will also take the stage. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

What do you get when you take ’50s-style rock ’n’ roll and meld it with folk-music songwriting?

The answer: You get Don McLean.

The man—best known, of course, for his wildly successful 1971 single “American Pie”—last year released his first new studio album in nine years, Botanical Gardens. McLean will be stopping by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, July 13.

McLean—a Palm Desert resident—has called Botanical Gardens his “most reflective” album, saying the title uses gardens as a metaphor for heaven, in the context of life and death. During a recent phone interview, McLean said Botanical Gardens may be his final original album.

“I may do one more, but I don’t know,” McLean said. “I’m at the end of the road as far as writing and recording. I think I have fairly interesting songwriting ideas that other people can use.”

The material on Botanical Gardens is beautiful, and it doesn’t stray too far from his past recordings.

“I don’t really pay attention to what the times are like—and that’s part of my problem,” McLean said. “I’m sort of an unreconstructed ’50s man. I live in my own world and try to tell the truth, but also try to realize what people are going through. I keep one eye on where people are at, but most of the time, I invent song ideas that I think are wonderful. I have fun trying to make those things happen. What I do is I fuse old-fashioned popular music and rock ’n’ roll, like Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent, and folk music. I try to find a feeling that I want to get, an emotion of some sort, and then I try to get it so when I hear a song, the emotion comes back to me.”

McLean returned to Nashville to record Botanical Gardens.

“I started (recording in Nashville) in 1978, and I immediately had hit records,” McLean said. “I worked with a guy named Larry Butler, and he was brilliant. Unfortunately, he passed away. I didn’t want to go to Nashville, because I was more into Los Angeles or New York, where there was a whole different music scene. The Nashville thing seemed to be pretty cookie-cutter, and I didn’t want that sound. What I found when I got there was they were all so happy to do new things—anything but country. They were just excited about doing Chain Lightning,” McLean’s 1978 album.

“In the studios (in Nashville), I have it together. Everyone knows what’s going on, and they’re swinging with it. In New York, they have a lot of attitude, and the studio musicians have their heads up their asses sometimes thinking they know everything. But these guys in Nashville do know everything and act as if they heard this idea for the first time when you tell them. I ended up recording there for the past 35 years, and it had everything I wanted.”

At a benefit show in 2018 for UCLA Health and Teen Cancer America, McLean performed a cover of his hit song “Vincent” with Ed Sheeran.

“(Ed) is really a remarkable fellow, because he seems impervious to his success, his ego and the pressures that are all around him; he’s like a Cheshire cat,” McLean said. “He’s very mellow and asked me if we could do this. It took two seconds of rehearsal and worked out perfectly. He’s done it his own way, and I applaud him.”

“American Pie” has been covered and parodied many, many times. However, McLean said one of his favorite covers of his music was actually of “The Grave,” done by another legendary artist back in 2003.

“I want songs to be useful for people. That’s the folk side of things. ‘American Pie’ has had so many brilliant parodies, and it’s unbelievable,” McLean said. “I sit there and read these things, (wondering) how people make these things up; it’s terrific! I’m always interested in hearing those. I think one of my proudest moments was when George Michael did ‘The Grave’ to protest the war in Iraq, because no one else had the balls to stand up and say, ‘No! This is wrong!’ But he did, and he sang that song. I was so proud of him and the fact he used my song.”

While McLean is at an age when many people are pondering retirement, he said he still loves the thrill of a tour, even if his show at Fantasy Springs is just a short drive from home.

“I love to get set for the next gig, the next plane flight, and I don’t do well sitting around for too long,” he said. “I get too antsy. For me to do what I did as a kid—playing for a whole week in a nightclub—I think I’d have to hang myself, and I couldn’t do it now. I can’t go to the same place every night and do it again. But I can say that I’m in very good shape; I have a great band; and we’re going to kick some ass.”

Don McLean will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, in Indio. Tickets are $29 to $59. For tickets or more information, call 760-342-5000, or visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Published in Previews

House of Lucidity Opens in Cathedral City

The House of Lucidity, Cathedral City’s newest dispensary, officially opened with a ribbon-cutting—complements of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce—on May 1.

The 10,000 square foot facility is located at 36399 Cathedral Canyon Drive. In addition to the gorgeous dispensary—which features black-and-white photos of celebrities including Frank Sinatra—House of Lucidity also has a cultivation facility and an extraction lab.

House of Lucidity is open from 4 to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call www.houseoflucidity.com.


City of Coachella to Host Cannabis Summit

The city of Coachella is bringing in a lot of big names for its SoCal Cannabis Summit, taking place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Monday and Tuesday, June 24 and 25.

The summit will begin with a cultivation and dispensary bus tour, followed by a reception on Monday. On Tuesday, the summit will feature speakers including Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin, California Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax, California Treasurer Fiona Ma, and many other political leaders and marijuana experts. An exhibit hall will also be open to the public with free admission on Tuesday.

Tickets for the bus tour are $50, while summit tickets are $75. For tickets or more information, visit coachellacannabissummit.com.


Marijuana Revenues Disappoint Gov. Newsom

Revenues from marijuana growth and sales are bringing millions of dollars into state coffers—but not nearly as much as the state anticipated.

According to a May 23 news release, the cannabis industry—via the state’s cannabis excise tax, cultivation tax and sales tax—paid $116.6 million to the state in the first three months of 2019, according to first-quarter tax returns, due April 30, which had been submitted so far. That’s up slightly from the $111.9 million paid during last quarter of 2018.

Earlier in May, Gov. Gavin Newsom had to scale back cannabis-tax revenue projections significantly—cutting $223 million from the amount expected to be collected by June 2020.

According to the Associated Press, the reasons for the disappointing sales included the thriving illegal market, as well as the state’s struggles with licensing and regulation.

Newsom also blamed some states and counties for not welcoming legal cannabis into their communities.

“We knew (some counties and cities) would be stubborn in providing access and providing retail locations and that would take even longer than some other states, and that’s exactly what’s happening,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

Published in Cannabis in the CV

June means the start of summer—and a relatively quiet month as far as big events go. However, never fear, because there’s still plenty of entertainment to enjoy.

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s Special Events Center is fairly calm in June, but the Rock Yard is in full swing on Saturday nights. Here’s the list of performers, with each show starting at 7:30 p.m. June 1: Journey tribute band Escape. June 8: Sammy Hagar tribute band Three Lock Box. June 15: Eric Clapton tribute band Clapton Road. June 22: Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Mr. Crowley. Saturday, June 29: The Who tribute band The Who Experience. All Rock Yard shows are free! Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage has a fine June slate. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 7, Mexican singer-songwriter Christian Nodal will be performing. When he released his first album Me Dejé Llevar in 2017, he took the music charts by storm, with the album reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Latin Albums chart. The 20-year-old recently released a new album, Ahora, and his star is continuing to rise. Tickets are $65 to $125. At 7 p.m., Saturday, June 15, Art Laboe’s Love Jam VIII will be happening. The lineup includes Baby Bash, MC Magic, Tierra, Frankie J, and LSOB. Come celebrate the popular radio show where you can call in your shout-out to your homeboy or homegirl in lockdown. Tickets are $45 to $65. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a June event you won’t want to miss. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 29, the Summer Rap Jam will take place. The lineup includes Warren G, Ying Yang Twins and Petey Pablo. I remember when Warren G released “Regulate” back in the mid ’90s, and everyone was playing it in their cars, on their boom boxes and on their home stereos. Tickets are $30 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is hosting a couple of great shows. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 14, comedians Jeff Ross and Dave Attell will be performing. Jeff Ross is known as the “Roastmaster General” for his celebrity roasts that have been shown on Comedy Central. He’s roasted some of the best … and some of the worst, including our current president. Dave Attell was the host of Insomniac With Dave Attell, which ran for four seasons on Comedy Central in the early 2000s. Tickets are $49 to $89. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, the all-male revue show Australia’s Thunder From Down Under returns. Considering how often this show comes back and sells out, it’s one of the hottest tickets around. I picture a mob of ladies screaming their heads off for two hours. Tickets are $25. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has a wild June schedule. A few highlights: At 9 p.m., Saturday, June 1, one of my favorite psychedelic-rock bands coming out of Los Angeles, Mystic Braves, will be performing. Organist Ignacio Gonzalez is also one of the owners of Lolipop Records, a popular independent label that has released records around the world. Tickets are $15 to $20. At 8 p.m., Sunday, June 9, country/folk artist Patty Griffin will be performing. She recently released her 10th album and will be at Pappy’s right after a European tour. Tickets are $30. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 28, local musician Gene Evaro Jr. will be performing in celebration of his 30th birthday. After Evaro’s tours with national acts, performances at various music festivals, and music appearances on television shows, one needs to ask: When someone is going to finally sign this guy and make him a bigger name than he already is? Tickets are $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has a big event in June. At 9 p.m., Saturday, June 22, fresh off a tour with Tool, All Souls (upper right) will be performing, along with local bands Herbert and Fever Dog. All Souls includes Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson), Erik Trammell (Black Elk, Brothers Collateral) and Totimoshi members Tony Aguilar and Meg Castellanos. Admission is $5. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/hoodbarandpizza.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs has an event booked that fans of the Desert Daze festival should attend: At 9 p.m., Thursday, June 6, the fest presents a performance by the band Traps PS. Admission is free! Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The Purple Room will soon enter its two-month summer slumber, but not before a fantastic June. At 6 p.m., Saturday, June 1, singer Jonathan Karrant will be performing. A popular recurring performer at the Purple Room, he’s best known for his excellent performances of Great American Songbook and vocal jazz music. Tickets are $30 to $35. At 6 p.m., Saturday, June 8, Scot Bruce will take the stage. He’s one of the best performers of Elvis Presley’s music that you will find. He’s so good at it that he’s been in music videos with Faith Hill and Sheryl Crow. Tickets are $30 to $35. At 6 p.m., Saturday, June 15, Las Vegas will be coming to Palm Springs with Lady Luck. The trio features powerful voices from Broadway, Hollywood, London’s West End and the Vegas strip—and the group will be doing a Las Vegas legends-themed show. Tickets are $30 to $35. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge rolls into June with a couple of fun events. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 1, drag star Sutton Lee Seymour will be performing. Seymour is known as the “Robin Williams of drag” and has entertained in sold-out venues around the world. Tickets are $25. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 8, America’s Got Talent’s Season 8 runner-up Taylor Williamson (below) will be performing. He’s quite funny. Tickets are $25. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; reactionshows.com.

Published in Previews

Joan Jett may be 60—but she didn’t show any signs of slowing down in the slightest when she rocked the Fantasy Springs Event Center on Sunday night, May 26.

Jett’s attire—a black bodysuit with bedazzled stars, leaving her arms and shoulders exposed—made her resemble a female pro-wrestler. But she’s an ass-kicker in rock ’n’ roll—so it wasn’t a bad look for her.

After starting with “Victim of Circumstance,” she immediately went into “Cherry Bomb,” the 1976 song made famous by her previous band, The Runaways. She followed that up with her cover of Gary Glitter’s “Do You Want to Touch Me.”

Toward the middle of her show, she talked about the 1987 box-office bomb of a film she did with Michael J. Fox, Light of Day. She mentioned that Bruce Springsteen wrote the title track, which is performed by Jett and Fox at the end of the film—and then said she was going to play it. Her version of the song, combined with the talents of the Blackhearts, was a treat to hear.

The show came during Memorial Day weekend. While Jett has supported anti-war presidential candidates in recent years, she is a staunch supporter of American service members, and she dedicated the night to all of the active and retired members of the military, which earned her loud applause.

She mentioned a documentary that she took part in about her career, Bad Reputation, and played a song from the film, called “Fresh Start.”

Jett briefly discussed Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast in 2012. Like everyone else, she said, she had a hard time not being able to run out and simply buy essentials, like normal—but that there was a network of people sharing what they had with others. She said to remember people who have survived any kind of disaster and to help them, before playing “Make It Back.”

Of course, no Joan Jett set is complete without “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” “Crimson and Clover” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” and those were the last three songs in the regular set. When she came back out for the encore, she played another song I considered a treat—a cover of the Replacements’ “Androgynous.” She also added her cover of the Dee Jays’ “Real Wild Child (Wild One),” and then closed with her rad cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.”

The Blackhearts roster appears to change regularly, given I couldn’t find a current roster—and Jett did mention that her keyboard player couldn’t make the show. Regardless, the guys she had for Sunday’s show played her songs beautifully and kept the energy levels high. Oh … and a shout-out to Jett for the leather pride sticker on one of her guitars.

Country singer/songwriter Elle King was the opening act—which seemed like a strange pairing, but the audience loved her. King’s voice is sort of an acquired taste, but she’s a smart songwriter and a talented multi-instrumentalist—and sometimes, a gritty voice can work in your favor. She played a good mix of material from her 2015 album, Love Stuff, and her 2018 album, Shake the Spirit, which goes into detail about her failed marriage, substance-abuse problems and spiritual awakenings. Of course, she closed her set with her 2015 hit, “Ex’s and Oh’s.”

Published in Reviews

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