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Archive: Music & Entertainment / Spokane and North Idaho

Sasquatch, marmots and Night Ranger. Oh my!

Time for a quick concert update.

It took a bit longer this year than in years past, but Sasquatch at the Gorge Amphitheatre has sold out. And the solar-powered Musicfest created last year by KYRS has a new name. Marmotfest - catchy, isn't it? - will set up shop on Glover Field in Peaceful Valley on July 12. The station's manager, Lupito Flores, promises a lot of great local talent and a big headliner. We'll find out the lineup on May 2. Stay tuned …

Meanwhile, the Spokane Arena announced it was bringing old-school arena rockers Boston to town in September. Joining them will be Night Ranger, the 1980s rock band behind the hits “Sister Christian,” “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America.” Unlike Boston, which is down to one original member – singer/guitarist Tom Scholz – Night Ranger is touring with its core membership intact: drummer/vocalist Kelly Keagy, bass/vocalist Jack Blades and guitarist Brad Gillis. They’ll have a new record out in June, as well.

Some of you out there might remember Night Ranger’s first big gig in Spokane, a September 1984 show at the Opera House that sold out in 2 ½ hours. Tickets for this year’s show are on sale today.

Speaking of the Opera House, comedian Lewis Black will bring his “The Rant is Due” tour to what is now known as INB Performing Arts Center in November. It’s a late add to the 2014-15 Best of Broadway season from West Coast Entertainment. Tickets are being offered first to BoB season ticket holders. They go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. May 2 through TicketsWest. Prices are set at $39.50 to $65.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. File this one under “Wow.”

You heard about that production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” going on tour? The one with JC Chasez of NSYNC, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Johnny “Rotten” Lydon of the Sex Pistols? No? Well it’s coming to Spokane, too. July 9 at the arena. Tickets go on sale May 12.


Extras needed for zombie show to shoot in Spokane

Zombies are coming to Spokane.

A new SyFy network series, “Z Nation,” will begin filming in and around Spokane around May 1, and the Big Fish NW Talent agency is on the lookout for extras.

Lots of extras, some of whom will be asked to play zombies.

“Z Nation,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, is coming from executive producer Karl Schaefer, who worked on “Eureka,” and The Asylum production company, the folks behind “Sharknado.” As the Reporter said on Monday, “Z Nation” is set “three years after a mysterious zombie virus has gutted the country and follows a team of everyday heroes tasked with transporting the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood.”

Potential extras will need to be registered with Big Fish to be considered. For information on how to do so, click here. Be prepared to submit a color headshot and full bodyshot. People of all ages, sizes, shapes and races will be needed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 13 episodes will be shot, and the series is set to air in the fall. 

Myles Kennedy, Slash, Aerosmith plan Gorge stop

Aerosmith, the long-running rock band, will hit the Gorge Amphitheatre on Aug. 16 on its Let Rock Rule Tour. Along for the fun is former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash with Spokane's own Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday through Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Ticket will range from $55 to $129.

Slash and Kennedy  - who fronted the Spokane band the Mayfield Four before getting national attention with Alter Bridge - have worked together before, releasing “Apocalyptic Love” in 2012. Kennedy and his latest band, The Conspirators, are working on Slash's next record, due out in September.

Also announced at the Gorge this week is KUBE 93's Summer Jam, now expanded to a two-day festival June 6 and 7. The headliners include Ice Cube, Chris Brown, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Big K.R.I.T. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m.  Saturday, again through Live Nation or Ticketmaster. Tickets are $39.75 for the Summer Jam Classic event  on June 6 (with Ice Cube) and $49.75 for the Summer Jam on June 7 (with Chris Brown). Visit LiveNation.com for details.

McGraw, Mars, Linkin Park added to Gorge lineup

We've got Sasquatch (twice), Jack Johnson, Bruno Mars and Dave Matthews on the books. Now add Tim McGraw, Linkin Park and Jared Leto to the mix.

We're talking about summer at the Gorge Amphitheatre. Concert promoters Live Nation this week announced the lineup for the third Watershed festival - think Sasquatch for country fans - and a late summer show featuring newly minted Oscar winner Leto and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars.

Watershed, set for Aug. 1-3, will feature megastar McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, the Eli Young Band, Billy Currington and Cassadee Pope, among many others. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 13 through Ticketmaster. It'll set you back $175 for the three-day festival.

On Sept. 13, the Gorge will host the Grammy-winning rock band Linkin Park, Leto's 30 Seconds to Mars (which features Leto's brother Shannon on drums) and the group AFI. Those tickets will range from $43.50 to $94, and go on sale Friday through Ticketmaster.

Also announced this week? A two-show date with comedian George Lopez at Northern Quest Casino. The catch? It's June 6, the same night Lily Tomlin is at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. However, as the folks at Northern Quest pointed out on Twitter, Lopez is doing two shows. Don't want to choose? Head to his early show out the West Plains, then drive downtown for Tomlin's gig at the Fox.

Either way, tickets to either of Lopez's shows are on sale at 8:30 a.m. Saturday through the casino.

Pass closure derails Legg concert

Today's highway closure on Snoqualmie Pass means tonight's Adrian Legg concert at Chateau Rive has been canceled.

Legg, a renowned acoustic guitarist, performed in Seattle on Sunday night as part of his U.S. tour. According to a news release from Chateau Rive, the pass closure means Legg will not be able travel to Spokane for the show.

Tickets will be refunded through www.ticketswest.com or The Deal Planet Spokane starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. For more information call TicketsWest at (800) 325-SEAT.

Motley Crue books stop at the Arena

Motley Crue is embarking on a farewell tour, and plans a stop in Spokane on Nov. 22 to celebrate. Joining them is fellow metal legend Alice Cooper.

After more than three decades together, the band's original members - Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars - have mutually agreed to go their separate ways after a two-year grand finale tour.

The first nine shows of the tour sold out. Tickets to the Spokane gig go on sale through TicketsWest at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1. Prices will be $20, $39.50, $59.59 and $75.

Can't wait until November? The band will make a stop on the West Side - at the White River Amphitheatre - on July 27. Tickets to that show are on sale now through Live Nation and Ticketmaster, and range from $39.50 -$125.

Beausoleil brought a bit of warmth to the Bing

I don't know much about music. But as the saying goes, I know what I like. And through my occasional trips to New Orleans, I've developed a liking for both Cajun and Zydeco music.

I fell in love with Zydeco on a cool December night several years ago. This was at the Rock 'n' Bowl, the famous New Orleans bowling alley nightclub. I don't remember the exact year, but I do remember seeing Peyton Manning there, and this was back when he was still playing for Tennessee, so it had to be before 1998. What I do remember is that Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas were playing, the Rock 'n' Bowl was rocking, and I ended up dancing — which doesn't happen often.

No one danced Sunday night at the Bing Crosby Theater. At least I didn't see anybody dancing. But the crowd certainly appreciated the Cajun music that Beausoleil played. Led by Michael Doucet, whose fiddle and accordion playing was amazing, Beausoleil played a range of tunes, all Cajunized — Doucet's term — but comprising a variety of styles, from blues to something that sounded almost like jazz.

The Bing isn't the Rock 'n' Bowl. But it's the best Spokane has. And it's a damn nice venue to see any group, particularly one that has ties to New Orleans.

I should have danced.

Just announced: Seinfeld, Thompson Square, county fair

Yes, you saw that correctly. Jerry Seinfeld is coming to the Palouse.

Seinfeld will perform at Beasley Coliseum on the campus of Washington State University in Pullman on April 12. Tickets are on sale now through TicketsWest and cost $71.50-$76.50. If my search through the Spokesman-Review archives yielded the correct answer, it's been nearly six years since the comedy legend has been in our region.

Meanwhile, the Spokane County Interstate Fair has announced the lineup for this year's Grandstand concerts. The acts set to perform are Big & Rich (Sept. 8), Creedence Clearwater Revisited (Sept. 9), Jars of Clay with Kutless (Sept. 10), REO Speedwagon (Sept. 11), and Seether (Sept.12). Tickets go on sale to the public in July and will be available through the fair office or any TicketsWest outlet.

Also announced this week - hot country duo Thompson Square is coming to Northern Quest on May 16. Tickets will go on sale Saturday through the casino's box office and website. Prices range from $45-$75.

Arena wants to know Spokane’s bucket list of live shows

Ever dreamed of seeing Bruce Springsteen at the Spokane Arena? Or Beyoncé? The folks at the arena want to know what big-name bands are on Spokane’s bucket list.

Now through March 12, the arena is asking folks to vote on the performers they’d like to see grace their stage. If the stars align and one of your favorite acts is booked for a show, you could win a pair of tickets just for voting.

To vote, just click here.

My votes? Foo Fighters certainly. Green Day? Absolutely. Springsteen, naturally. I'd also add Mumford & Sons, David Bowie, Duran Duran and Adele to the list. And I'll keep dreaming for that eventual R.E.M. reunion tour.

Who would get your vote?

Tickets on sale this week

Chateau Rive has added a second show from singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells (one of Spokane's own) on April 4 at 10:30 p.m. The earlier show that night has SOLD OUT. Tickets ($25) go on sale at 10 a.m.  Friday through TicketsWest. Also coming on sale soon:

Abba Mania, April 4, at Northern Quest. $45-$65 through Northern Quest. (8:30 a.m. Friday);

“Wicked,” May 7-25, INB Performing Arts Center.  $42.50-$152.50, through TicketsWest (10 a.m. Friday);

Arlo Guthrie, April 30, Bing Crosby Theater. $37-$102 through TicketsWest (10 a.m. Friday);

Tech N9NE, May 22, Knitting Factory. $26 through Ticketweb (10 a.m. Friday);

T Pain, March 16, Knitting Factory. $35-$130 through Ticketweb (10 a.m. Friday);

Kidz Bop, March 30, Knitting Factory. $20 through Ticketweb (10 a.m. Friday);

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, April 27, Coeur d’Alene Casino. $40-$50 through TicketsWest (10 a.m. Monday).

Below: Pat Benatar sings her hit “Love Is a Battlefield.”

Civic hires new artistic director

Spokane Civic Theater today announced they've hired Keith Dixon as the new artistic director.

Dixon replaces Yvonne A.K. Johnson, who was fired last summer. He comes to Spokane from Baton Rouge, La., where he was managing artistic director of Theatre Baton Rouge.

Colleague Nina Culver is working on a story for tomorrow's paper. In the meantime, here are the highlights from Civic's news release:

” Dixon will transition into the position during the next few months and take it up full-time in June 2014.

Dixon has served as Managing Artistic Director for Theatre Baton Rouge (formerly Baton Rouge Little Theater) over the last ten seasons. In that time he has directed over thirty-five shows for TBR and has also directed for Miners Alley Playhouse (Colorado), Columbia University, Chandelier Theatre, and the American Theatre of Actors (New York) as well as companies in Tennessee. Prior to moving to Louisiana, he worked at McCarter Theatre Center and the Roundabout Theatre Company. He holds a BA in Theatre from Middle Tennessee State University.

'The Board of Directors is looking forward to Keith's artistic leadership and to his bringing his own southern flavor to the Spokane Civic Theatre,' said Larry Wooley, Civic Board President,  'His first directing challenge will be A Christmas Carol in the next season.  Personally, I am very excited to add him to our already outstanding pool of artistic talent.'

Dixon's resume and credentials are available at www.keithdixon.info.

Veteran’s Day: Country Joe spoke for many of us

On this Veterans Day, 2013, my mind goes back 44 years. Back to the summer of 1969, when I would rise most mornings before the sun was up, fuel my river patrol boat and, with my crew of three, head out through the headlands protecting Vung Ro Bay and onto the usually calm waters of the South China Sea.

Once there, I would cut the engines, and we would sit, smoking, or dozing or eating our C rations, and wait for the sun to come up over the horizon — a horizon set in the direction of home, a mystical place we referred to as The World.

I left Vung Ro sometime early the following December, and Vietnam for good on Dec. 9. I departed the Oakland Army Terminal the following day with my separation papers in one hand, $400 in cash in the other. That was the moment I consider the beginning of my adult life.

Today it is fashionable to thank veterans for their service. This is a proper and honorable thing to do. It is, I have to add, not something that occurred often in my day. But I don't say that as a complaint. My war was unpopular among most of my contemporaries — and, truth be told, among most of the soldiers I served with. So while I, for one, remain proud of my service, I harbor no illusions about the purpose of the Vietnam War — or, in fact, any war in general.

So pardon me if I refrain from all the flag-waving that the media delight in. In some cases I have no doubt such gestures are genuine. Many of my friends are using this day as an opportunity to express their love and admiration for loved ones who served. More power to them. But all around me, I also see those using veterans to promote a political, social and even commercial agenda — the same kind of agenda that George Orwell warned us against.

And so I will spend my day humming the little ditty I've embedded below, one that is steeped in ironic commentary. Penned by Country Joe McDonald, it remains a viable anthem for many of my era who believe that war is nothing to glorify, only to mourn.

Catch ‘Carrie’ … live and well at The Bing

I can't say as I think much of the new “Carrie” movie. Besides being a strange choice to be director, Kimberly Pierce just doesn't seem to know what she wants to do with Stephen King's story. It's pretty much the same thing that Brian De Palma put on the big screen some 37 years ago, only without any of the interesting visuals that make De Palma a master filmmaker.

Still, my criticism doesn't apply to “Carrie the Musical,” a show that will play tonight and Thursday at the Bing Crosby Theater. Produced by Lilac City Performing Arts, the show features music by Michael Gore, book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, music direction by David Hill and is directed by Justin M. Schlabach.

Musicals are a whole different animal. Not better, necessarily. But certainly different. For ticket information, click here.


Isamu Jordan: Spokane is in your debt

It's all over Facebook that Isamu Jordan, the former Spokesman-Review reporter, the Spokane musical promoter and key figure in the Spokane-based band The Flying Spiders, has died suddenly. I'm still waiting to read official word from The Spokesman-Review, the Inlander or some other credible source. Until that happens, though, I don't want to miss the opportunity to pay special tribute to my former colleague by posting a video of him and his band.

Update: The Spokesman-Review report.

Best of Broadway brings a bit of the Big Apple

Years ago, when I was entertainment editor for The Spokesman-Review, I was approached by a group wanting publicity for a series of events they planned on bringing to Spokane. That was nothing unusual. Everyone is always looking to publicize some event or other.

This one, though, was to be special. It was the precursor to what has become a regular occurrence in Spokane: The Best of Broadway series that brings road shows of popular musicals to the city every year.

Though it might be preferable to see the shows in a bigger city — New York, where many enjoy their premieres — it's far more convenient to see them in Spokane, which allows at least some of us to see professional-quality productions and still get home as soon as 20 minutes after the curtain closes.

(During a recent visit to New York, we took in a Louis CK comedy show in Staten Island, and it took us nearly that long to walk back to where we'd parked the car. And then another hour's drive back to Brooklyn. Just saying.)

Anyway, the Best of Broadway lineup for 2013-2014 is pretty much what you'd expect: “Anything Goes,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Hello Dolly!” (with Sally Struthers), “Sister Act” and “Wicked.” Click here for ticket info.

I was going to close this post by saying something such as “It's just like being in New York.” But I couldn't get my fingers to work I was laughing so hard. So let's just say this much: It's something like being in New York … but without the traffic, of course.

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