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Rockin' Out or Laughing, the Valley Has Its Pick of Weekend Events
STEVEN HEADSHOT 1
By Steven Sanchez
Published 3 weeks ago on
March 28, 2024

Left to right: Comedian Jo Koy, singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, and filmmaker John Waters will perform in the Central Valley are performing in the Central Valley this weekend. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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There’ll be plenty of events to choose from this weekend. If you’re in the mood to go to a rock concert or a stand-up comedy show, Friday and Saturday will be the best time.

There’s virtually something for all ages this weekend in the Central Valley. Here’s a look at my Top 5 picks:

John Waters

The prominent, provocative filmmaker, John Waters, will perform a one-man show at the Tower Theatre in Fresno on Friday. The rule-bending director behind “Pink Flamingos,” “Cry-Baby,” “Serial Mom,” “Pecker,” and the film that paved the way for the Broadway musical, “Hairspray,” has been labeled the Prince of Puke, the King of Filth, and, in the words of William S. Burroughs, “the Pope of Trash.” Much to his delight. He’s established himself as the man who introduced the cross-dressing actress, Divine, to the masses.

One of the early pioneers of independent cinema in the early 70s, pushing boundaries is his forte; whether it be controversial or revered, he’s a rebel who has done things his way over the past five decades. With that, he has many stories and experiences to share with his fans. He might even indulge in the rumor mill taking place on his long-awaited return to the screen with a film based on his novel “Liarmouth,” supposedly starring Aubrey Plaza. This is the man who decreed, “If I made bad taste even 1% percent acceptable then I’ve done my job.”

How can you not expect an entertaining show?

Get your tickets here.

Melissa Etheridge 

To put it mildly, legendary Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge has led an interesting life. Her popularity and legacy have been built by memorable songs such as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy.” And, the eclectic, jammin’ guitar player will rock the the Visalia Fox Theatre stage on Friday.

She’s also won an Academy Award, is a cancer survivor, an LGBTQIA activist, and a cannabis advocate. She made her Broadway debut in Green Day’s rock opera “American Idiot,” and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2020, she launched The Etheridge Foundation to support groundbreaking scientific research into new treatments for painkiller addiction in honor of her son. Her accomplishments are a testament to her longevity.

Ethridge’s interesting life not only translates to her songs, but also to her memoirs with the New York Times bestseller “The Truth Is…” and “Talking to My Angels.” Her website states, ” ‘Talking to My Angels’ is a profoundly honest look into her inner life as a woman, an artist, a mother, and a survivor. With characteristic wit and courage, Melissa delves into how numerous tragedies served as a catalyst for growth, and what the past two decades have taught her about the value of music, love, family, and life in the face of death. It is her story: as raw, vulnerable, and electrifying as her acclaimed songs.”

This is a woman who pours her heart and soul into whatever she does and is one of the last remaining female icons of rock music. A chance to witness her performance will be an emotional one. She told the Visalia Times Delta, “That’s been my way. I’ve always believed songwriters are there to tell their experiences and make it real. There’s something about singing. It opens my soul and has gotten me through so much.”

Get your tickets here.

Y&T

The 80s metal band Y&T has delivered head-banging anthems for over 40 years. They say that before Mötley Crüe, Ratt, and even Metallica, they were doing it first. The band has been through multiple lineups but the consistent member since their inception in 1974 is Dave Meniketti (lead guitar/lead vocals). The rest of today’s lineup is John Nymann (guitar/vocals), Mike Vanderhule (drums/vocals), and Aaron Leigh (bass/vocals).

The numbers are impressive: a discography of 18 albums, three greatest hits collections, and a boxed set. “Summertime Girls” is the band’s most widely recognized song. It was played frequently on the TV show “Baywatch,” featured in several feature films (including “Real Genius”), and received heavy rotation during the heyday of MTV. Now it’s a classic rock radio.

They were recently featured in the 2019 documentary “Y&T: On With the Show,” commemorating their impact and legacy in the metal genre. In it, they received high praise from rock icons such as Sammy Hagar, Don Dokken of Dokken, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, and rock aficionado/radio host Eddie Trunk. In another interview, Lars Ulrich, the drummer of Metallica, stated, “That was the turning point for me wanting to play music. . . . You could tell that they loved what they were doing.”

With all these endorsements from metal royalty, maybe it should be a priority to go to the show. I’ve seen them firsthand, and know they will tear the stage up at Warnors Theatre in Fresno on Friday night.

Get your tickets here.

Jo Koy

Comedian Jo Koy has made several stops in Fresno, which means he must enjoy coming here. He’s had six comedy specials released by Comedy Central and Netflix and he hosted the 81st Golden Globe Awards this year.

His material revolves around making fun of his Filipino culture, especially his mother. Koy received the “Stand-Up Comedian Of The Year” award at the 2018 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. In 2019 he reached No. 1 on the Billboard Charts for his stand-up comedy album, ​”Live From Seattle.”​ Aside from stand-up, he sells his own rice on his website called Jo Koy’s Rice is Rice.

Hilarity is this man’s business, and Central Valley attendees can expect another gut-busting performance at the Save Mart Center this Saturday.

Get your tickets here.

Movements

The post-hardcore band Movements was formed in 2015 and consists of Patrick Miranda (vocals), Austin Cressey (bass guitar, rhythm guitar), Spencer York (drums), and Ira George (lead guitar).

These indie rockers may not be a household name but their digital sales showcase that they’ve built quite a fanbase. Their 2017 full-length debut, “Feel Something,” achieved 128 million Spotify streams by 2020 with much credit going to songs like, “Daylilly” (43 million Spotify streams), “Full Circle” (20 million Spotify streams), and “Colorblind” (15 million Spotify streams).

They were nominated for “Best Underground Band” at the 2017 Alternative Press Music Awards as the album reached No.2 on Billboard’s Top New Artist Albums Chart.

A  second album, “No Good Left to Give,” from 2020 had similar charting success. Their most recent album “Ruckus!” was released last year. The record title is a fitting description of what they’ll do to the Fresno crowd as they’ll be rockin’ and moshin’ at Tioga Sequoia Brewery on Saturday.

Get your tickets here.

 

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Steven Sanchez,
Content Manager/Entertainment Editor
Steven Sanchez, a resident of Clovis, graduated from Buchanan High School in the class of 2007 and obtained his film degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Steven is a multifaceted artist, working as a filmmaker, writer, photographer, videographer, and published author. He has a profound passion for movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A dedicated football enthusiast, he cheers for the Las Vegas Raiders. In his leisure time, he indulges in reading and collecting vinyl records. Steven is often found attending rock shows in town, a keen enthusiast of live music. He holds a special fondness for his grandma's homemade meals and spending time with his twin sister.

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