Songwriter Alan Merrill Dies

Songwriter Alan Merrill died March 29 in New York City at the age of 69 as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus.

Daughter Laura relayed that she was allowed to spent only two minutes with her father before he died. She noted that her father thought he had a cold and was just playing it down.

Wife Joanna recounted that even though her husband was getting sicker, he was not allowed to be admitted to the hospital. It wasn’t until he was having a great deal of difficulty breathing that he was admitted to the hospital where he died 14 hours later.

A prolific songwriter, Merrill is best known for the signature hit song by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll”. Merrill wrote the song in 1975 and was recorded by his band The Arrows.

Merrill last performed two weeks ago.

Merrill formed The Arrows in 1974 in London with Merrill on vocals. His other bands include Runner and Vodka Collins.

His music has been recorded by Lou Rawls,Rick Derringer, Chuck Jackson, Britney Spears, Runner, Freddie Scott, Felix Cavaliere, Queen Of Japan, Vodka Collins, Joan Jett, Five, Dan Penn, Mickey Curtis, The Arrows, Spooner Oldham, Reverend Run, Tensaw, George Collis Band, Monsieur Kamayatsu, Ramon Bugatti, Phoenix, Dragon Ash, Catherine Howe, Miley Cyrus, Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Mari Kaneko, The Grand, Forever Young, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Shinohara Nobuhiko, Tiny Tim, Taylor-Neely Band, LA Guns, The Toys, Superfly, Christina Aguilera, Rolly and Troy Turner.

Merrill’s compositions appeared in dozens of film and television productions including variety and concert shows, “Flashdance”, “Where the Boys Are”, “Miles from Home”, “Wayne’s World 2”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “The King of Queens”, “Smallville”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “ER”, “Casal Rock”, “Vegas”, and “The Simpsons”.

Allan Preston Sachs was born February 19, 1951 in the Bronx, New York to a Ashkenazi Jewishwoodwind player father and a Croatian singer mother. During the course of his life he lived in Switzerland, Japan, London, Los Angeles, and New York City.

While living in Japan, Merrill appeared in a number of television commercials including Nissan, Jun clothing, and GT jeans.

He also worked as an actor in a few productions including the television series “Iltatahti”, “Encyclopedia Brown”, “ReAgitator: Revenge of the Parody”, and “The Life and Time of Gloria Swizzle”. “Shakespear’s Sh*tstorm” is in post production and “Spirit Riser” was being filmed at the time of his death.

Predeceased by his first wife, Merrill’s survivors include wife Joanna and daughter Laura.

 

feature photo credit: By Vanwalker – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88738731

IOC Reschedules Summer Olympics

After much deliberation, the International Olympic Committee made the choice, for the first time in Olympic history, to postpone the 2020 edition of the Summer Olympic Games that were originally scheduled to be held July 24 through August 9 in Tokyo, Japan. The Paralympic Games have also been postponed.

The decision came after a consultation between the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Government of Japan.

After Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō noted that the Summer Olympic Games should be held in summer, the Games have indeed been rescheduled for the summer of 2021. Exactly one year after the original dates, the XXIII Summer Olympiad will now be held July 23 through August 8 with the Paralympic Games taking place from August 24 through September 5.

The IOC, IPC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Government of Japan used three criteria in making their decisions; the health of the athletes and everyone involved with the Games, to safeguard the interests of the athletes, and the international sports calendar.

The new dates will allow everyone involved including health officials plenty of time to deal with any issues that arise including the constantly changing landscape of the world due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic currently encompassing the globe.

Several of the sports involved in the Games have already had to postpone qualifying events due to the virus and will now be able to hold those events for the rescheduled Olympic Games. Any qualifying matches that have already taken place will stand.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo stated that the Games will be held in their complete form; adding that Japan is prepared to fulfill their responsibility as the host country for the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach spoke on the decision saying, “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

IPC President Andrew Parsons added, “it is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world. When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport. With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

Opry Star Jan Howard Dies

Country music singer and songwriter Jan Howard died March 28 just two weeks after turning 91 in Gallatin, Tennessee as a result of natural causes. The Grand Ole Opry reports that Howard died in her sleep.

She was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years. While she had hits of her own, Howard saw success as a singing partner with Bill Anderson. She also wrote a number of songs for other artists including Kitty Wells and Connie Smith.

She is a member of the Missouri Country Music and North American Country Music Association International (NACMAI) Halls of Fame. Billboard named her the Most Promising Female Country singer in 1960.

Lulu Grace Johnson was born March 13, 1932 on a farm in West Plains, Missouri, the eighth of eleven children. Married and divorced four times, her first marriage came when she was just 15 years old. She became the mother of three before she was 20.

After her second divorce, Jan moved to Los Angeles where she met Harlan Howard who heard her singing while washing dishes. Howard talked her into singing a demo and a career was born.

Predeceased by two of her sons – one died in Vietnam – Howard is survived by her surviving son, two grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Jan Howard discography:
Jan Howard”
“Sweet and Sentimental”
“Evil on Your Mind”
“Bad Seed”
“This is Jan Howard Country”
“Lonely Country”
“Count Your Blessings Woman”
“The Real Me”
“For Loving You”
“For God and Country”
“Rock Me Back to Little Rock”
“If it’s All the Same to You”
“Bill and Jan (or Jan and Bill)”
“Love is Like a Spinning Wheel”
“Singing His Praise”
“Sincerely”
“Stars of the Grand Ole Opry”
“Tainted Love”
“Through the Years”

 

Feature photo credit:By ChrisTofu11961 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88729953

JLSC Offers Weekly Songwriting Contest

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest has a solution for musicians who are stuck at home and unable to perform gigs.

Each week the JLSC will sponsor a “Stuck at Home” songwriting contest. Each Monday a winner will be selected to win a selection of studio gear. The contest is open to writers, artists, and bands. The deadline each week is on Sunday night.

The prize package could include headphones, microphones,monitors, guitar stands, a tablet holder, cables, connectors, and a Yamaha guitar and keyboard.

All entries will also be automatically entered into the annual Lennon Contest that has over $300,000 in prizes including a $20,000 grand prize.

In it’s 23 year history, the John Lennon Songwriting Contest has awarded the efforts of popular artists including Meghan Trainor, American Authors, MAGIC!, and Gaby Moreno.

Brian Rothschild, Yoko One Lennon, and David Sonenberg founded the JLSC

 

feature photo credit: By Petar Milošević – Own work, stacked 8 macro images, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48556546

Battles Continue on ‘The Voice’

It’s week tow of the battle rounds on “The Voice”. After the first week, three of the four coaches has two singers on their teams with Kelly having just one singer on her team. Blake and Nick have saved a singer to compete in the save knockout battle.

Up first is team Blake and Bebe Rexha with Jacob Daniel Murphy and Toneisha Harris singing “Good as Hell” by Lizzo. John noted that the duo could really sing. Nick was shocked that Blake knew the song; Kelly added that it had to be a Gwen thing…it was. Jacob and Toneisha had Kelly on her feet dancing; adding it was one of her favourite battles. Blake said that it was a great musical moment. Blake chose Toneisha as the winner of the battle.

Kelly brought in Dua Lipa to help mentor her team. Kelly put Gigi Hess and Micah Iverson for a battle of “Someone You Loved”. The duo made Kelly cry during stage rehearsals. Blake said that every time he thought he knew who won, the other singer came in. John called it a heartfelt performance. Noting that it was a tough song to sing, Nick said that both singers were talented with a lot of potential. Saying that it is the hardest, Kelly chose Micah as the winner of the battle.

John Legend, with mentor Ella Mai, put Mandi Castillo and Cammwess together for a battle of “Seniorita”. The duo had John on his feet yelling beautiful. Nick was impressed with the performance. Kelly, who was up dancing, loved the performance. Blake was impressed with both singers. John called them both fantastic singers. John said that Cam reminds him of himself. Saying that he is back and forth on who he wants to pick, John chose Mandi as the winner of the battle. Kelly stole Cammwess.

Blake paired up Kailey Abel and Cam Spinks for a battle of “What If’s” by Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina. John called the performance fun. Nick called the performance special to watch. Noting that the song was out of their wheelhouse,Blake called it a great performance. Blake chose Cam as the winner of the battle.

Nick brought in his brothers to mentor his team members. He paired Tate Brusa and Anders Drerup for a battle of “Circles” by Post Malone. Kelly liked the guys singing solo but didn’t really care for them together. Blake and John agreed. Nick said that both guys were great; agreeing that the show isn’t about making a duo. Saying that it is a tough decision, Nick chose Tate as the winner of the battle.

In the last battle of the night, John has paired Darious Lyles and Nelson Cade III for a battle of “Come Together” by The Beatles. Nick called it a phenomenal performance; adding that he was impressed with it. Kelly said that they made the performance interesting and fun. Blake noted that both guys are similar. John called it one of the most entertaining performances; adding that it was fantastic. John chose Darious as the winner of the battle. As Nelson was walking off the stage, John pushed his button to save Nelson.

Four way knockout save:
Todd Michael Hall – Blake
Michael Williams – Nick
Nelson Cade III – John

Team Blake:
Joei Fulco
Levi Watkins
Toneisha Harris
Cam Spinks

Team Kelly:
Anaya Cheyenne
Micah Iverson
Cammwess – steal

Team Nick:
Roderick Chambers
Allegra Miles
Tate Brusa

Team Legend:
Joanna Serenko – steal
Mike Jerel
Mandi Castillo
Darious Lyles

Country Singer Joe Diffle Dies

Grammy Award winning Country music singer Joe Diffle died March 29 in Nashvile at the age of 61 as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus. Diffle had announced only two days prior that he had been diagnosed positive for the virus.

He was best known for his hit songs “John Deere Green”, “Home”, “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)”, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Bigger than the Beatles”, and “Pickup Man”.

Diffle appeared in an episode of “Diagnosis Murder” and “All My Friends are Cowboys”. He saw his music appear in “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Twister”, “Edie & Pen”, “Company’s Comin’: A Tribute to Porter Wagoner”, and “The Marty Stuart Show”.

Over the course of his career, Diffle recorded 12 albums;; two of which went platinum. He had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. Along with a Grammy Award, Diffle is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Before hitting the music charts, Diffle worked at Gibson Guitars, sang on demos, and wrote songs.

He was born Joseph Logan Diffie on December 28, 1958 in Tulsa, Oklahome but was raised in the small town of Velma. Prior to moving to Nashville, he played in bands, operated a small recording studio, and worked in an iron foundry.

He is survived by his fourth wife Tara and seven children.

 

feature photo credit: Joe Diffle Facebook fan page

John Prine in Stable Condition

Prior to the notification by the government that the corona virus had hit U.S. shores, hundreds of musicians entertained millions of fans.

One of those musicians was Hall of Fame artist John Prine. Earlier this month Prine’s wife Fiona stated that she had tested positive for the corona virus. Prine and his wife were quarantined and isolated after the diagnosis.

Prine was hospitalized on March 26 with the Covid-19 virus. Via a message by family members on Prine’s Twitter page, Prine’s condition deteriorated over the weekend and Prine was placed on a ventilator.

Fiona, who has since recovered from the virus, released an update on her husband saying that he is in stable condition.

The 73 year old Prine is a two time cancer survivor; the last one was lung cancer in 2013 which resulted in Prine having part of a lung removed.

Mixing folk and country music, John Prine has been creating music for 50 years. The two time Grammy Award winner is a member of the Nashville Songwriters and Songwriters Halls of Fame, and is a PEN New England Lyrics Award recipient. He has had his music recorded by numerous artists including Johnny Cash, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, and the Zac Brown Band.

 

feature photo credit: John Prine’s official website/press page

 

Final Judgement Begins on Idol

American Idol” travels to Hawaii for a showcase of the remaining 40 singers in a program that was shot back in January before the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the United States.

By the end of the showcase half of the singers will be eliminated from the competition as they work their way to the live shows and the fan vote.

Up first was Nick Merico, someone that Lionel didn’t like because he thought Nick was too arrogant. Nick sang a Bruno Mars song for his showcase. Admitting something has changed in him, Lionel announced that Nick is the first person in the top 20.

Makayla Brownley sang an Ingrid Andress song for her showcase. Lionel felt that she was too hyped up when she went on the stage and Luke announced that Makayla did not make it into the top 20.

Dewayne Crocker put his own spin on the smash hit “Old Town Road” for his showcase performance. Lionel noted that they had been wrestling with Dewayne; adding it was a hard decision but he is moving on to the top 20. Katy praised his showcase performance.

Camryn Leigh Smith chose “Break Every Chain” for her showcase. Katy thought that Camryn has a cool voice but Lionel didn’t feel the connection. Camryn did not make the top 20.

A storm popped up while the judges were delivering the news of the final judgement.

Devon Alexander, Jordan Jones, and Geena all failed to make the cut and are going home.

English born singer Louis Knight chose to perform the Sheeran song “Castle on the Hill” for his showcase. In true Hawaiian fashiion, Louis performed in bare feet. Katy noted that it wasn’t Louis’ best performance saying that he was too much in his head and needs to sing from the heart. Saying they have a bet on him, Louis made it into the top 20.

Fransisco Martin chose the Harry Stiles song “Falling” for his showcase and impressed the judges enough to make it into the top 20.

Jovin Webb impressed the judges in his audition with “Whipping Post” and hoped to repeat it with “You Are the Best Thing” in his showcase performance. Luke said that Jovin has a lot of signature star qualities and after scaring him, Lionel announced that Jovin is in the top 20.

Faith Becnel chose a Chaka Khan song for her showcase. Luke called Faith intriguing and fun; adding that her showcase was not a step up for her. Despite the remarks, Faith made it to the top 20.

Amber Fiedler was nine month pregnant when she auditioned – she gave birth three weeks after her audition. Katy has been fighting for Amber since her audition but that faith came to an end when Luke announced that Amber would not be moving on to the top 20.

Subway singer Just Sam sang a Selena song in Spanish for her showcase and had Katy on her feet. Sam is not a Spanish speaker. Luke called the performance impressive. Sam is in the top 20.

After originally coming to an audition to support girlfriend Margie Mays, Jonny West is now alone after the elimination of Margie and is feeling the nerves. Jonny chose a song by the Fray for his showcase and brought the judges to their feet. Katy called Jonny a serious artist but noted he is also playing the self sabotage game. Telling Jonny that he is no longer in the top 40, Katy said that he is in the top 20.

Dillon James chose a Bob Dylan song for his showcase – “The Times They are A-Changin’” – for his showcase, noting that it is appropriate for the time. Lionel noted that Dillon has emerged from a tunnel…but he will have to wait until next week to get the results.

The top 20:
Nick Merico
Dewayne Crocker
Louis Knight
Francisco Martin
Jovin Webb
Faith Becnel
Just Sam (Diaz)
Jonny West

NFL Players Play Madden Invitational

NASCAR isn’t the only sport who is getting in on the action of virtual sports. Members of the NFL have joined up to play Madden 20 in an effort to raise money for the CDC Foundation – an independent organization from the government agency. Anyone wishing to help out may do so at give4cdcf.org.

Players will battle against each other in a bracket setting with the final two players going head to head for the title.

Julu Smith-Schuster was to play against Antonio Cromartie but Cromartie was unable to particpate; as a result, Juju gets a bye to the next round.

Michael Vick and Matt Leinart will battle it out.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Orlando Scandrick will face off against each other.

And Derwin James and Ahman Green will make up the last pairing.

Chris Myers is joined by Rachel Bonnetta and Rob Gonzales will be covering the event.

While the computer controls some of the play, the player controls the quarterback.

With the preliminary rounds pre-recorded…
It’s Ahman Green with the Chiefs vs. Derwin James and the Seahawks face off against each other. Derwin James wins the round with a 27 to 3 win over Ahman Green.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh with the San Francisco and Orlando Scandrick and the Dallas Cowboys met in a grid iron battle. Houshmandzadeh and the 49ers win 17 to 7 over Scandrick and the Cowboys.

In the final preliminary matchup Matt Leinart and the New Orleans Saints against Michael Vick and the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens and Michael Vick win out by one point with a 7 to 6 win.

In the semi-final rounds…
T.J. And his 49ers face off against Derwin and the Seahawks. Derwin James and the Seattle Seahawks beat T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the San Francico 49ers 35 to 14. Derwin James moves on to the live final round.

In the final semi final, Juju Smith-Schuster and the Pittsburgh Steelers go up against Michael Vick and the Baltimore Ravens. Michael Vice and the Baltimore Ravens shutout Juju Smith-Schuster and the Pittsburgh Steelers 24 to 0 to advance to the finals against Derwin James and the Seattle Seahawks.

In the live finale, Michael Vick and the Ravens get the ball first, Lamar Jackson is sacked and then intercepted.

The home town team Seattle Seahawks pass for a touchdown on the first play of their possession and take the lead 7 to 0.

On the Ravens second possession, the Ravens go three and out with another sack.

The Seahawks start their secnd possession from their own 35 yard line, they keep the game going with a sideline catch on third and seven; two plays later the Seahawks score a second touchdown to make it 14 to 0.

In Madden Football, quarters are only six minutes long.

On the Ravens third possession, have go three and out again. The Seahawks takes the punt down for a touchdown.

At the end of the first quarter, the score is 21-0.

The second quarter begins with the Baltimore Ravens in possession of the ball. The Ravens get their first first down of the game. After two first downs, Lamar Jackson is sacked two plays in a row and has to punt the ball.

Baltimore scores a safety on the punt. They earn two points and get the ball back. The Ravens get their first first and goal of the game. Fourth and goal, the Ravens score their first touchdown of the game for a score of 21 to 9.

The Seahawks get the ball back with 1:35 remaining in the first half. In the first play of the possession, the Seahawks run the ball down to score another touchdown. It’s 28 to 9 Seahawks with 1:24 remaining in the half.

The Ravens start from their 30 yard line. The Seahawks intercept the ball on the second play of the possession.

Forty-four seconds remaining in the half. The Seahawks kick a field goal.

Halftime and the score is 38 to 9.

The Seahawks scored once again during a commercial break; making the score 45 to 9.

The Ravens score on a long run to make it 45 to 16 with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter.

The Ravens intercepted the ball.

Michael Vick is getting some help from his son with the game.

The Ravens fumble the ball and the Seahawks recover with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.

The Seahawks take a long run for a first and goal. The Seahawks score for a score of 52 to 16.

The Ravens have the ball, Lamar Jackson gets sacked again.

At the end of the third quarter the score is 52 to 16 Derwin James and the Seahawks.

During another commercial break the Seahawks score again to start the fourth quarter to make the score 59 to 16.

With 3:04 minutes remaining in the game the score is Seahawks 66 and the Ravens 16. The Seahawks have the ball. The Seahawks score another touchdown to make the score 73 to 16.

The Seahawks intercepted the ball and ran it in for the score. The score is 80 to 16. There are 2:13 seconds remaining in the game.

On a third and 14, Michael Vick said that he was going to throw a bomb. The pass was incomplete and he goes for it but gets sacked.

The Seahawks take over possession of the ball with 39 seconds remaining in the game. The Seahawks go for a touchdown and get a flag. On a third down play, the Seahawks get another penalty.

After Michael Vick said that Derwin James would not only score only six points but would not score any touchdowns, Derwin James and the Seahawks put 80 points on the board to beat Michael Vick and the Ravens 80 to 16 in the first Madden Invitational.

Orlando McDaniel Dies

As the Covid-19 virus continues to plague the nation, it has begun taking the lives of sports figures and celebrities. Former football player Orlando McDaniel died March 27 in Dallas at the age of 59 as a result of complications from the corona virus.

McDaniel had been in Washington, DC and fell ill upon his return home to Dallas.

The former LSU Tigers track star and wide receiver who placed second in the nation in 1980 at the NCAA 110 meter hurdles. As a football player, the wide receiver played from 1978 to 1981 where he caught 64 passes for 1,184 yards and had three touchdowns.

Former LSU Tigers track coach Dennis Shaver spoke on McDaniel said, “Orlando was a tireless worker for the youth in his area. His youth North Texas Cheetahs Track Club, year after year, developed many of the great athletes competing for universities throughout the United States.”

The Denver Broncos drafter McDaniel in the second round of the 1982 draft but the Shreveport, Lousisana native only played three games in the 1982 season.

Survivors include his daughter Alexis.

 

feature photo taken from Facebook.

Drivers Go iRacing in TX

After race fans took over Twitter last week and FOX Sports reigned number one in the Nielson ratings with the inaugural Pro Invitational Series from Homestead-Miami last week, iRacing returns with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 from Texas Motor Speedway.

After a qualifying race, William Byron and Dale Earnhardt Jr sit on the front row and will lead the remaining 33 drivers down for the green flag.

Grateful Dead original member Bob Weir offers up the National Anthem before the race.

Troy Aikman gives the command to start the engines.

Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Larry McReynolds return to call the race with NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer returns as the in-race reporter.

Last week the drivers were permitted two resets where they could make repairs and come off of pit road with a “new car”. This week the drivers only get one reset.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag and jumps out in front of Dale Earnhardt Jr for the lead as the drivers get spread out across the track.

More than a video game, iRacing is a subscription service that works much like a simulator with graphics and the feel of the real race. The only thing missing are the g-forces the drivers feel in the turns. In fact, some of the drivers use iRacing to learn the tracks before racing.

The drivers will run 125 laps for a total of 187 miles.

An iRacing champion, William Byron has led the first 10 laps of the race.

Again this week, the field is comprised of drivers from the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck, Xfinity, and NASCAR Cup Series; as well as, retired drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr and Bobby Labonte.

John Hunter Nemechek takes the lead from William Byron but Byron gets his lead back.

Several drivers spun out after contact between Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch but the track stayed green.

The first caution flag comes out on lap 27 after Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell make contact sending Bell through the infield.

William Byron leads the race off of pit road.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 32 with Byron jumping out in front for the lead.

Mike Joy reports that there are a total of 39 NASCAR championships in the field this week.

The caution flag comes out on lap 39 after Anthony Alfredo gets hit and spins out.

After staying out on the track, Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 44 and holds on to the lead before Chase Elliott passes for the lead.

During the first pit stop Alex Bowman missed his pit box. On the second pit stop he was caught speeding. A speeding penalty in iRacing is a 40 second hold on pit road.

On lap 45, William Byron retakes the lead with four fresh tires.

Dale Earnhardt Jr has not only gotten his name on his dashboard, he has his car sponsor Hellman’s there too.

Mike Joy reports that John Wood of Wood Brothers Racing has launched a fundraising effort that bough over 200 tablets which were distributed to 12 nursing homes so that the residents can use them to connect with family since visiting is not allowed.

Ryan Preece takes over the lead of the race with John Hunter Nemechek in second and William Byron in third.

After staying out on the track after the last caution, Denny Hamlin has dropped to 16th place on lap 57.

Lap 60, John Hunter Nemechek gets around Ryan Preece to take the lead.

Lap 63, halfway, John Hunter Nemechek is in the lead with 32 cars on the lead lap. All 35 drivers are still on the track. There have been only two caution flags in the race.

William Byron has retaken the lead of the race.

Lap 83, green flag pit stops have begun. John Hunter Nemechek had troubple getting on pit road..

Lapp 88, leader William Byron brings his car down pit road. Alex Labbe spins on pit road. Ty Majeski is the new leader.

Lap 90, leader Ty Majeski comes down pit raod and gives the lead over the Michael McDowell.

Lap 92, Chase Elliott makes his first pit stop since lap 28.

Lap 93, leader Michael McDowell makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The one big difference in reality and iRacing is that the drivers in iRacing know exactly how much fuel they have in the tank; there is no fuel gage.

Mike Joy reports that Roush Fenway Racing and Eldora Speedway both donates several cases of masks to hospitals.

Lap 99, leader Dale Earnhardt Jr, Ross Chastain, and Kurt Busch are the only drivers who have yet to make a pit stop.

With 20 laps remaining in the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr continues to lead the race with William Byron in second.

Lap 106, Dale Earnhardt Jr finally makes his pit stop and gives the lead back to William Byron.

Lap 108, Daniel Suarez brings out the caution flag after he spins out.

Several of the drivers come down pit road for service including leader William Byron. Byron leads the race off of pit road.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart with eleven laps remaining in the race and gets out in front for the lead.

Clint Bowyer spins out and brings out after making contact with Greg Biffle and the caution flag with 10 laps remaining in the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ty Majeski, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ty Dillon were all involved in the race. The sanctioning body has parked Daniel Suarez for attempting to wreck a driver on purpose.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart with only five laps remaining in the race. Bobby Labonte spins out on the restart but the track stays green.

Timmy Hill bumps William Byron and takes the lead.

Ryan Preece makes a run through the grass after contact with several drivers wreck and brings out the caution flag with only three laps remaining in the race. William Byron was also hit and make a run through the grass.

There is overtime racing in iRacing but unlike NASCAR where there are unlimited attemps, iRacing limits overtime restarts to three.

Timmy Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of overtime racing with Hill jumping out in front to hold on to the lead.

Timmy Hill takes the white flag with Ryan Preece on his bumper.

Timmy Hill wins his 674th iRacing win with the win of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125.

UK Summer Fests Canceled

As the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, more music events are being postponed and canceled.

The UK has stated, “emergency services will not be able to support major events.”

The All Points East Festival scheduled to take place in Victoria Park May 22 through 31 has been canceled.

A statement issued by All Points East read, “the decision was made following a constant review of recent Government actions and statements, and after further consultation with key partners and agencies it is clear that we are unable to guarantee the safety and well being of those working at and attending the event.”

Currently there is not word on whether the British Summer Time in Hyde Park this July will continue or be postponed.

Additionally, the Lovebox, Download, Isle of Wright, and The Great Escape Festivals have all been canceled.

“It has become clear that it’s just not possible for this year’s festival to go ahead,” promoters said of the Lovebox which was originally scheduled for June 12-14.

Scheduled for the same weekend – June 12 to 14 -, promoters of the Download Festival also stated that it was not possible for the Festival to go on this year.

Scheduled for June 11 to 14, promoters of the Isle of Wright Festival said, “The Isle of Wight Festival will no longer be taking place this year. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we have tried our hardest to make it work, but it was unavoidable given the current status. The whole team was excited to welcome everyone to the island for another fantastic festival and we extend our sincere apologies to everyone who was looking forward to it as much as we were.”

But not everyone is canceling shows and holding up in their homes. Thom Yorke and Massive Attack will be performing an acoustic show on May 24.

Actor John Callahan Dies

Daytime drama actor John Callahan died in the early hours of March 28 at the age of 66 after suffering a massive stroke at his Palm Desert home the day before.

He is best known for his role as Edmund Grey on “All My Children”; a role he played from 1992 until 2005.

After making his screen debut in 1982 as a reporter on “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, Callahan appeared in nearly three dozen productions including “The Mississippi”, “Three’s Company”, “Fantasy Island”, “General Hospital”, “Hotel”, “Falcon Crest”, “Murder, he Wrote”, as Craig Hunt in nearly 300 episodes of “Santa Barbara”, “Spin City”, over 350 episodes of “All My Children”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Watch Over Me”, “Cold Case”, three different roles in over 100 episodes of “Days of Our Lives”, “The Bay”, “eCupid”, as host of “miss America” with his wife, and a variety of reality and game shows.

John Kevin Callahan was born on December 23, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York but grew up on Long Island.

Survivors include his two ex-wives and daughter Kaya McKenna.

 

feature photo credit taken from Callahan’s Facebook page.

Princesses Maria Teresa de Borbon-Parma Dies

Princesses Maria Teresa de Borbon-Parma – the cousin of King Filipe IV of Spain – became the first member of a royal family to die as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus. Princess Maria died March 26 in Paris at the age of 86.

The Duke of Aranjuez, Prince Sixto Enrique de Borbon made the announcement on social media.

A professor of Sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Complutense University in Madrid; she was known for her progressive views including women’s rights; which earned her the name, the Red Princess.

Her interest in women’s rights also led her to study Islam.

Princess Maria Teresa was born in 1933 and educated in France.

A memorial mass was held for the Princess in Madrid on Friday.

Prince Charles – the Duke of Wales – from England has and Prince Albert of Monaco have also tested positive for the virus. Both report that they are doing well.

 

Feature photo credit: taken Facebook

Indy – NASCAR Doubleheader

Race fans are well familiar with the Memorial Day weekend doubleheader where the Indianapolis 500 gets the day started and then the action later moves to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600.

But for the first time in racing history, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the sight of a doubleheader of its own when the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series will each hold races on July 4.

While NASCAR is still working to reschedule its postponed races, the IndyCar Series has announced an updated schedule with the Indianapolis 500 moving from May 24 to August 23.

The GMR Grand Prix will kick off July 4 racing festivities on the 14 turn road course which will be followed by the debut of the Xfinity Series road course race.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Douglas Boles spoke on the historic event saying, “for very good reason, this historic pairing will be circled on the calendar of every motorsports fan. We appreciate our friends at NASCAR for their flexibility and support in this matter and will work with them on a memorable, exciting weekend of racing action.”

The weekend’s events will also be a must see event for NASCAR racing fans when former NASCAR driver and Indy Series and NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas team owner Tony Stewart will get behind the wheel to run in the inaugural Penzoil 150 road course race.

Seven time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is also looking to get behind the wheel of an Indy car for a race on the same weekend.

Asterix Creator Albert Uderzo Dies

French comic book artist Albert Uderzo died March 24 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France at the age of 92 as a result of a heart attack. Son-in-law Bernard de Choisy said that Uderzo died in his sleep; adding that the death was not related to the Covid-19 virus.

Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo created the comic book character Asterix – a short man with a droopy mustache and wearing a winged helmet – and his friend the big bellied Obelix in the 1960’s. The duo lived in Gaul and fought Romans trying to conquer the area.

New without descriptionBy Lin Mei – originally posted to Flickr as New without information, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50173618

Originally Uderzo was the illustrator with Goscinny taking on the writing duties; but after Goscinny’s death in 1977, Uderzo assumed both duties. There are dozens of Asterix comic books in the series and have been translated into numerous languages. The series has gone on to inspire theme parks, films, and television shows.

Alberto Aleandro Uderzo was born on April 25, 1927 in Fismes, France the son of an Italian immigrant. He became a French citizen when he was seven years old in 1934. Albert had an older brother who was also named Albert but he died when he was eight months old as a result of pneumonia.

Growing up outside Paris, a young Albert was fascinated with the character from Walt Disney; especially Mickey Mouse whom he used as inspiration for his own characters.

As well as his son-in-law; Uderzo is survived by his wife of over 60 years Ada, and daughter Sylvie.

 

 

Feature photo credit: By Georges Seguin (Okki) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3741094

Globetrotter Curly Neal Dies

Harlem Globetrotter legend Curly Neal died March 26 in his Houston suburb home at the age of 77. No official cause of death was given.

Known for his dynamic dribbling and shooting, Neal was a member of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters from 1963 to 1985. Wearing the number 22 jersey, Neal played 6,000 games in 97 countries over his 22 year career. Over their 93 year history, he is one of only eight Globetrotters to have his uniform Jersey retired, Neal’s number 22 hangs from the rafters at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly91xOm4cZM

Even after his retirement from playing on the court, Neal remained with the Globetrotters as a promotional ambassador.

Globetrotters General Manager Jeff Munn spoke on Neal saying, “we have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known. His basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide. He always made time for his many fans and inspired millions.”

Fred Neal was born May 19, 1942 in Greensboro, North Carolina where he attended James B. Dudley High School. At Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte where he scored over 23 points a game. In 2008 he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters “Legends” ring.

Neal’s survivors include his wife of over 40 years Rose.

 

feature photo credit: taken from the Harlem Globetrotter’s Facebook page.

Award Winning Playwright Terrence McNally Dies

Tony Award winning playwright Terrence McNally died March 24 in a Sarasota, Florida hospital at the age of 81 as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus. His representative Matt Polk said that McNally was a survivor of lung cancer and suffered from chronic inflammatory lung disease.

McNally’s plays were about connection, love, homophobia, and AIDS.

McNally once spoke on his choice of collaborators saying, “I like to work with people who are a lot more talented and smarter than me, who make fewer mistakes than I do, and who can call me out when I do something lazy.”

McNally made his Broadway debut in 1963 with “The Lady of the Camellias”. He also wrote “And Things that Go Bump in the Night”, “Morning, Noon, and Night”, “Bad Habits”, “The Ritz”, “The Rink”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, “Love!, Valour! Compassion!”, “Master Class”, “Ragtime”, “The Full Monty”, “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”, “Deuce”, “Catch Me if You Can”, “Mothers and Sons”, “It’s Only a Play”, “The Visit”, “Anastasia”, and “Prince of Broadway”.

McNally also appeared as an actor in a handful of screen productions beginning with an episode of “ChiPS” in 1979. His other appearances were in “Salvage 1”, “Tenspeed and Brown Shoe”, “The Greatest American Hero”, “The Rousters” – movie and TV series, and as Dr. Robert Lynch in four episodes of “The Young and the Restless”.

Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham said that McNally’s “plays are a pleasure to do.” Actor Conrad Ricamora spoke on McNally saying he is “the most kind, brilliant person to work with.” Late night talk show host James Corden called McNally, “an absolute gentleman and his commitment to the theater was unwavering.” Pulitzer Prize winning composer Tom Kitt called McNally, “irreplaceable”.

The four time Tony Award winner is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an Emmy Award, a two time Drama Desk Award winner, is a member of Phi Betta Kappa, was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Tony Awards and was presented with an honourary doctorate degree from New York University in 2019.

He was born on November 3, 1938 in St. Petersburg, Florida but grew up across the Gulf of Mexico in Corpus Christi, Texas where he discovered opera music when he was 10 years old. While in college at Columbia University, his room mate was New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. He once served as a tutor and guardian to the sons of author John Steinbeck. Before becoming a successful playwright, McNally worked as a newspaper reporter, a tutor, and a stage manager at the Actors Studio.

Openly gay, McNally is survived by his husband of over 15 years Thomas Kirdahy, brother Peter, nephew Stephen, niece Kylie, mother-in-law Joan.

 

feature photo credit: By ReadingReed43 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49325489

NFL Players Get New Contract

Although they aren’t sure when they will take to the grid iron, professional football players recently voted on a new contract that will increase the size of team rotsters and increase player salaries.

Beginning with the 2021 season the playing season will include 17 regular season games. There are still some logistics to work out dealing with neutral sites and home game numbers with an uneven number of games.

Conversely, the number of pre-season games will be reduced from four games to three.

Though not a part of the CBA, the owners have increased the post season with the addition of two more teams.

Teams will be allowed to add two more players to the practice squad roster; with an additional two more players added at a later date. The game rosters will be increased from the current 54 to 55 players.

With the salary cap for each team at $198.2 million, the minimum salary has also been increased; as has the pensions for retired players.

The agreement also lowers the penalties for players who test positive for marijuana, including the elimination of game suspensions. The results for a positive test have been increased significantly from 35 nanograms to 150.

Already approved by the 32 team owners, the new player’s contract is a whopping 439 pages long. Running through 2030 but was narrowly agreed upon by the Player’s Association executive board and the player representatives. With 2,500 players in the league the new contract passed by a simple majority with a vote of 1,019 to 959. NFL standouts Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt and Todd Gurley were among those players that spoke out against the new agreement.

A pleased Commissioner, Roger Goodell said, “we are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed new CBA, which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football.” Goodell added, “we appreciate the tireless efforts of the members of the Management Council Executive Committee and the NFLPA leadership, both of whom devoted nearly a year to detailed, good faith negotiations to reach this comprehensive, transformative agreement.”

The business end of the NFL has begun with free agency and the trading of players and the annual drafting of college players is set to take place in Las Vegas April 23-25.

Tony and OOC Awards Postponed

While the annual Tony Awards will not be held until June, the massive interruption of Broadway productions due to the bans on large groups of people because of the Covid-19 virus has resulted in the Broadway Theatre Wing and the Broadway League has postponed the 74th annual awards presentation.

The Tony Awards which honour the best musicals and plays on Broadway was originally scheduled for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall. The awards show will go on but at a date yet to be determined.

The deadline for shows to open and still be eligible for the 2020 Tony Awards was April 23 with the nominees set to be announced on April 28. At the time that Broadway went dark, there 16 shows in previews and eight more awaiting previews prior to official openings.

After a ban on large gatherings was issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Broadway has been dark since March 12. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 13; depending on the situation with the spread of the virus.

In previews at the time Broadway went dark, the revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and “Hangmen” announced earlier this week that they would not continue once Broadway has reopened.

Three other productions “Flying Over Sunset”, “Birthday Candles”, and “Caroline, or Change” have been postponed until the fall.

The Outer Critics Circle Awards, which were also scheduled to be presented later this spring, have also postponed the 70th annual awards gala because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

OCC President David Gordon announced that the annual awards presentation set for May 21 have been put on hold with a new date yet to be determined.

The April 20 announcement of the nominees will also be delayed.

The Outer Critics Circle Awards winners are determined by journalists, foreign and domestic, who cover Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

 

Rock Hall Sets New Induction Date

Like many other celebrations and ceremonies, the annual induction ceremonies for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was postponed after a ban on large groups of people was imposed.

Originally scheduled for May 2 in Cleveland – the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – The Hall has rescheduled the historic event for November 7 with the premium television station HBO set to broadcast the gala event live.

In the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T-Rex, Ahmet Ertegun, Irving Azoff, and Jon Landau will all become the newest members of the Rock Hall.

Music fans who have already purchased tickets can use them for the new date; there is no need to exchange tickets. Anyone who cannot attend the festivities on the new date, can get a refund via their Ticketmaster account.

Currently the Rock Hall is closed to the public, but they are offering free educational materials that can be used by teachers in virtual classrooms at rockhall.com/education.

Rock and music fans have not been left out. The Rock Hall has archived previous induction ceremonies with 34 years of uncut ceremonies, fans can listen to Hall inductees via Spotify, and take a virtual tour of the museum.

FOX to Air iRacing Series

Last weekend FOX Sports aired the very first eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race in lieu of the actual race in Homestead-Miami which had been postponed due to the Covid-19 virus and the bans on crowds.

That inaugural race with Denny Hamlin just edging out Dale Earnhardt Jr for the win drew nearly one million viewers, making it the most watched sports program on Sunday and since the shutdown of live sporting events on March 12. In addition, the iRacing event topped the list of tweeting and interactions on Twitter.

FOX Sports has announced that they will be broadcasting the rest of the Pro Invitational Series races beginning with the virtual Texas Motor Speedway on March 29. The races will be aired in the United States and Canada.

FOX broadcasters Mike Joy, former NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, and former NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds will continue to cover the races from the studios in Charlotte with Clint Bowyer serving as the in car / driver commentator.

Jeff Gordon spoke on the social media popularity saying, “the response on social media to last Sunday’s race has been incredible. We were able to broadcast a virtual race that was exciting and entertaining. It brought a little bit of ‘normalcy’ back to the weekend, and I can’t wait to call the action Sunday at Texas.”

Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for NASCAR Time Clark spoke on the first race saying, “we’re overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement sent by industry stakeholders, drivers, partners, media and most importantly, our fans. We all can’t wait to get back to racing and our partners at iRacing and FOX have worked with us to do just that – race.”

iRacing is more than a video game, the drivers compete using simulators that feature virtual reality graphics that imitate the real tracks right down to the bumps on the racing surface. The Pro Invitational Series features drivers from the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series; as well as, retired NASCAR drivers.

Sax Man Manu Dibango Dies

African Jazz saxophone player Manu Dibango died March 24 in a Paris, France hospital as a result of the Covid-19 virus at the age of 86.

Born in Cameroon, Dibango fused the African rhythms of his homeland with funk and dance music who had a big hit in 1972 with his song “Soul Makossa” – which later became the inspiration and sampling for the Michael Jackson hit “Wanna Be Starting Something”. Dibango filed a suit against Jackson for using the song without permission which was settled out of court.

In the 50’s Dibango began touring the world playing his music and in 1960 he was one of the founding members of the band African Jazz. He also led the band African Soul and the Ivoirian national broadcast orchestra.

Over the course of his long career Dibango has worked with numerous musicians including Fela Kuti, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Don Cherry, the Fania All Stars, MC Mello, Herbie Hancock, Hugh Masekela, and Charlotte M’Bango.

Dibango’s music appeared in two dozen film nad television productions including the documentary “Salsa”, “Miami Vice”, “Less than “Zero”, “Gotti”, “The Sopranos”, “Ride Along”, and “Little America”.

He was born Emmanuel Dibango N’Djocke on December 12, 1933 in Douala, Cameroon where he began his musical studies in the church. He went to high school in Saint-Calais, France where he learned to play the saxophone piano and vibraphone. He met his wife Marie-Josee (Coco) in Brussels while playing there; they married in 1957.

Besides playing music he ran nightclubs, directed orchestras, and launched one of the first music journals in Africa.

Predeceased by his wife Coco, he is survived by his children – Georgia and Anya, Michel.

Due to restrictions in crowd size, Dibango’s funeral will be a private affair with a public memorial when it is permitted.

Feature photo credit: By Selbymay – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88505041

NY Philharmonic Cancels

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra becomes the latest musical organization to fall prey to the Covid-19 virus, when the orchestra canceled the remainder of their 2019/20 concert season. The cancellation also includes a tour of Europe where they were scheduled to perform 10 concerts.

The orchestra estimates that shutting down their season will result in millions of dollars in lost revenue.

While members of the orchestra will continue to receive their health insurance; they will see their salaries drastically reduced. Salaries will be cut to the union minimum for April and lowered further to 75 percent of the minimum for May.

There are 106 members in the orchestra that are affected by the cancellation; however, so far there have been no decisions made for the 113 member administrative staff.

The Philharmonic will be making use of their archives.

The Philharmonic has yet to make a decision on the summer Concerts in the Park or the July performances in China and Vail, Colorado.

Live Music Lives on via Streaming

With theatres, music clubs, and other entertainment venues closed; artists are struggling to find work and make ends meet.

Looking to keep the music going; John Legend, Bono, Chris Martin, Pink, John Mayer, and Keith Urban are among the musicians who have turned to the world wide web to broadcast concerts from their homes.

Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winning “The Voice” coach John Legend spoke on performing from his home saying, “this is a cool way to connect with people and make them feel some kind of love and intimacy and connection, even though they have to be stuck at home.”

Legend added, “so many people are dealing with a lot of stress right now, trauma, anxiety, all those things. And they don’t know what to do. And a lot of musicians and artists and entertainers are unable to go out and do the thing that we do best, which is perform live at venues with lots of people. So we’re trying to find ways to stay in touch with people and give them some love.”

Niall Horan, Ben Gibbard, Rob Thomas, JoJo, Christine and the Queens, Yungblud, David Foster, Code Orange, Katherine McPhee, Grouplove, Caitlyn Smith, and Neil Young have also been live streaming performances.

Music festivals have also been postponed but Willie Nelson found a way to hold his Luck Reunion Festival – normally held in his backyard – with a free broadcast featuring performers playing from their own homes including Lukas Nelson, Jewel, Nathaniel Raeliff, and Margo Price.

Latin music stars Juanes and Alejandro Sanz paired up for a jam session that was streamed.

The Academy of Country Music has had to postpone their annual awards ceremonies but some of the artists will be performing from their own homes in a special CBS special on April 5.

Miley Cyrus has started a daily talk show – “Bright Minded: Live with Miley” on Instagram.

Rolling Stone magazine has closed its offices but has started a new performance series “In My Room” aired on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Chord Overstreet has launched a live performance series on You Tube he calls “Quartine Sessions”.

OneRepublic has been performing music and offering some cooking lessons.

With Broadway shuttered, members of the Broadway stage have been putting on some shows of their own they are calling “Stars in the House”.

While they are unable to tour and promote new music, artists are still recording and mixing; with some planning on continuing to release new music. Unlike the early days of recording when everyone gathered in the studio and the songs were recorded live, today artists often record one at a time while the engineer is in another room.

 

feature photo credit: By SvaRoM – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22720609

Hollywood Week Ends on Idol

It’s the final night of Hollywood Week on special Monday edition of “American Idol”. By the end of the night the 167 singers who arrived in Hollywood will be pared down to only 40.

But first the singers who survived the duets round have to sing solo one more time. This is the first time they will be performing with a full band.

Last season Alejandro made it all the way to the finale; this season he returns to speak with the singers and to offer a little advice.

Again for this round, the singers will not get any feedback from the judges.

Despite a word of warning from Katy and the other judges about performing original songs and picking a song that would showcase their talent; a number of the singers chose to perform their own material anyway. And it was the wrong choice for many of them.

The singers who make the top 40 will get to perform in a showcase on the beach in Hawaii.

Just Sam didn’t let a sore throat slow her down and brought the judges to their feet with her performance.

Marcus had some nervous issues with his song and had went blank during his performance. And he wasn’t the only one who cracked under the pressure.

After several bad performances, Katy went back stage and spoke to the singers.

Luke questioned whether they would have 40 singers to take to Hawaii.

After the stress got to her, Makayla collapsed back stage. She has a rare condition that causes her to react badly to stress. Makayla returns to the stage and performs her song sitting on a stool.

And it’s finally time for the judges to deliberate on who moves on and who goes home.

The singers have been divided into three rooms and await the judge’s verdict. One of the rooms will go home, but two of them will be moving on.

The first room got the good news that they will be moving on to the top 40.

In room two, the news wasn’t so good, they had reached the end of their Idol journey for this year.

In room three, they will be joining the singers in room one and making the trip to Hawaii for the top 40 showcase.

Next week the top 40 must sing for their lives before a live audience in a two night event that will reveal the singers who will sing for fan votes.

Battles Begin on ‘The Voice’

The blind auditions are over and the teams are filled; now it’s time for the battles to begin on “The Voice”.

Forty artists will compete in 20 battles for a chance to make it to the next round of the competition. And to help the coaches get their teams ready, they called in some help from celebrity mentors.

In a new set of rules, the coaches get a chance to steal a singer before their coach can save them. Also new this season is each coach will save one singer and those singers will compete against each other for one spot.

Up first is Blake with Bebe Rexha as his celebrity mentor. A pop singer, Rexha had a big hit with the duo Florida Georgia Line. First up are Joei and Todd with the Tina Turner hit “The Best” and brought the coaches to their feet. John said that the song fit both singers perfectly; adding that they were fantastic. Nick compared the performance to 10 shots of caffeine; adding it was a fun and perfect routine. Kelly called the performance killer. Blake said that both singers deserve to be there. Rolling the dice, Blake chose Joei as the winner of the battle. As Todd was walking off the stage, Kelly pushed her button to steal at the same time Blake pushed to save Todd.

With some help from British pop star Dua Lipa, Kelly paired Anaya and Chelle to perform a Duo Lipa song. John said that both girls are excellent singers. Kelly said that both singers were really great. Kelly chose Anaya as the winner of the battle. No one chose to steal Chelle.

Nick chose brought his brothers Joe and Kevin to help out with the singers. Nick chose to pair Joanna and Roderick for a performance of “When the Party’s Ove” by Billie Eilish and brought the coaches to their feet. Kelly called it her favourite battle; adding that Nick created a masterpiece. Blake said that he was a fan of both singers. John noted that the song had range and grace; saying that they showed. Saying that he was in a tough position, Nick chose Roderick as the winner of the battle. John pushed his button to use his one steal on Joanna.

Nick got some help from R&B artist Ella Mai to help with his singers. He chose to pair Mike Jerel and Zach Day for a battle of the Miguel song “Adorn”. The guys had the crowd clapping along and John out of his chair grooving. Nick called it a true battle; adding that was exhilarating to watch. Kelly noted that they both had confidence and were gifted. Blake noted that neither one of them messed up. John said that the guys delivered the song. John chose Mike Jerel as the winner of the battle. No one stole Zach.

Blake paired Levi and Jamal for a battle of “Counting Stars” by One Republic. Jamal said that he and Levi sang together in warm ups before the auditions. The guys brought the coaches to their feet. John said that they were so fun to watch. Nick was kind of mad, wondering why Levi wasn’t on his team. Fourteen year old Levi is a type one diabetic, and Nick is also a type one diabetic. Kelly called the performance adventurous. Blake noted a few pitch issues with Jamal, but he was impressed with Levi. Blake chose Levi as the winner of the battle.

Nick is known for making notes during performances, Blake gave Nick a note book with “Nick’s Notes” on it.

In the final battle of the night, Nick…and brothers…paired Michael and Allegra for a battle of “How Will I Know?”. In rehearsals, Nick noted that the duo sounded like they had been singing together for years. Kelly said that it was so good and a great pairing. Blake called it a killer duet performance. John said that it was lovely to watch; adding that he got some Nick vibes from Michael. Nick said from the moment he first heard them sing he was blown away; adding that they made the song their own. Nick chose Allegra as the winner of the battle. Nick pushed his button to save Michael.

Four way knockout save:
Todd Michael Hall
Michael Williams

Team Blake:
Joei Fulco
Levi Watkins

Team Kelly:
Anaya Cheyenne

Team Nick:
Roderick Chambers
Allegra Miles

Team Legend:
Joanna Serenko – steal
Mike Jerel

2 Broadway Shows End Run

In an attempt to “flatten the curve” of the current Covid-19 virus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the closure of all theatres, restaurants, gyms, and any other places where large crowds of people may gather.

While much of Broadway waits patiently for the doors of Broadway to open once again, not all of the productions are able to survive the darkness.

The revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” gave it’s final performance on March 17 before it, like all of Broadway, was closed down. Still in previews, the show was scheduled to open April 9. Due to some scheduling conflicts, the production will not be opening as planned.

The play “Hangmen” has also announced that after opening previews on February 29 with a scheduled opening on March 19 will not be continuing when the lights of Broadway return.

Producers Robert Fox, Jean Doumanian, Elizabeth I. McCann, and Craig Balsam issued a statement saying, “given our show’s budget and capitalization, we do not have the economic resources to be able to continue to pay the theater owners, cast, and crew through this still undefined closure period. Therefore, in the interests of all involved, we regretfully have no choice but to close the show. We are all extremely disappointed that we cannot give Martin McDonagh and our fabulous director, cast and team the celebrated opening they all deserve.”

Approaching peak season and a cut-off date for the annual Tony Awards; other productions may face the same dilemmas as “Hangmen” and “Virginia Woolf”.

Anyone who has purchased tickets for either show may get a refund from the point of purchase or may have their ticket prices automatically refunded.

Currently, Broadway is scheduled to reopen its doors the day after Easter on April 13.

B’way Makes Deal with Workers

While The Met has closed its doors and furloughed everyone including the orchestra and chorus; the Broadway League and the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds have come to terms on compensation for all union workers while they remain unemployed as a result of Covid-19 closures.

Speaking on the agreement, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “we are a community that cares about each other, and we are pleased that we can offer some relief. Once we are past this challenging moment, we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our theatres to experience the best of live entertainment together once again.”

All COBUG members will be paid for the performance week that was cut short when Governor Andrew Cuomo put a ban of large groups and closed the theatres plus two weeks.

In addition, union members will hold on to their current health insurance through April 12. Union representative and the Broadway League will meet next month to negotiate extending coverage.

Both organizations are urging Congress to extend similar benefits to other entertainment workers who have been affected by bans and closures due to the Covid-19 virus.

COBUG issued a statement saying, “now Congress must do its part for arts and entertainment workers on Broadway and beyond to ensure they have access to unemployment insurance and health care during this industry-wide shutdown.”

Currently Broadway is scheduled to reopen its productions on April 12; depending on whether or not government officials have lifted or extended current bans.

The Met Closes/ Streams Shows

The Covid-19 virus and the subsequent bans and closures have shuttered all theatrical and Broadway productions for the foreseeable future.

The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the entire season and has furloughed all of it artists and musicians.

However, The Met has begun streaming past performances. This week features 29 and a half hours of Wagner.

Performances begin at 7:30pm and will be available for 24 hours. Opera fans may watch the performances on The Met homepage at https://www.metopera.org/.

The Met March performance schedule:
March 23 – “Tristan und Isolde”
March 24 – “Das Rheingold”
March 25 – “Die Walkure”
March 26 – “Siegfried”
March 27 – “Gotterdammerung”
March 28 – “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg”
March 29 – “Tannhauser”

Next week’s schedule includes “Dialogues des Cermelites”, “Il Barbiere did Siviglia”, “Nixon in Chine”, “Don Carlo”, “Les Pecheurs de Perles”, “Macbeth”, and “Norma”.

 

feature photo credit: By Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA – MET Opera, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79641428

 

Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses recently announced that they were postponing their South American dates; those dates have now been rescheduled.

The rockers will return to South America in November and December.

The band encourages fans to hold on to their tickets which be will good for the new dates.

The current tour is set to resume on May 20 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Guns N’ Roses rescheduled tour dates:

Nov 8 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Nov 11 in Merida, Mexico
Nov 15 at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma in San Jose, Costa Rica
Nov 18 at the Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Nov 21 at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa in Quito, Ecuador
Nov 24 at the Estadio Universidad San Marcos in Lima, Peru
Nov 27 at Lollapalooza in Santiago, Chile
Nov 29 at Lollapalooza in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec 4 at Lollapalooza in Sao Paolo, Brazil
Dec 6 at the Estero Picnic in Bogota, Columbia

Lynyrd SKynyrd

On their farewell tour, Lynyrd Skynyrd has had to postpone and reschedule several of their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour due to the corona virus.

The Fresno, Reno, Tupelo, Bossier City, Cape Girardeau, Huntsville, Allentown, Providence, Madison, and Ft Wayne dates have all been affected by the schedule change. Tickets for those dates will be honoured on the new dates.

Currently the tour is set to resume on May 1 in Knoxville, Tennessee and continue in the U.S. through mid-June with a rescheduled date in August before traveling to Europe.

Rescheduled Lynyrd Skynyrd tour dates:
Aug 14 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA
Sept 11 at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA
Sept 12 at the Kunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI
Sept 18 at the Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center in Ft. Wayne, IN
Sept 19 at the Allen County War Memorial in Madison, WI
Oct 2 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, NV
Oct 16 at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, MS
Oct 17 at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, LA
Oct 23 at the Von Braun Center Arena in Huntsville, AL
Oct 24 at the Show Me Center in Cap Girardeau, MO

NASCAR Goes iRacing

For the next few weeks NASCAR has parked their cars and has shut down races. But the NASCAR community has found an alternative way to get their racing fix with the iRacing Pro Series Invitational – a virtual reality racing series – from Homestead-Miami Raceway.

Thirty five drivers from the Gander RV and Outdoors, Xfinity, and NASCAR Cup Series; along with the return of two retired drivers all climbed into their simulators for a 150 mile race.

Drivers use iRacing as a way to help them learn how to run on a specific track with its realistic features right down to the bumps on the track.

With Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Larry McReynolds in the FOX studios and Clint Bowyer reporting from his iracing simulator to bring the first ever iRacing Pro Series race.

Drivers have simulators that run from only $200 to tens of thousands of dollars. With no fire suit and helmet needed, Denny Hamlin even noted that he was running the race in bare feet.

Like in real racing, there was a qualifying session with Garrett Smithley taking the pole and William Byron starting alongside on the front row.

With the stands full of virtual fans, Motor Racing Outreach Chaplin Billy Mauldin offers the pre race prayer, and singing from his garage Dillon Scott offers the National Anthem. There is even a command to start the engines.

Unlike the real cars, drivers have two chances to reset their cars after a crash and while there will be no crew members jumping over the wall, the drivers will make stops on pit road for fresh tires…and they have an unlimited supply of tires. There aren’t any crew members on pit road, but the cars are raised up as if the car was up on the jack.

IRacing Control has the cars set up identically, it will be up to the drivers to use their skill and strategy to run the race.

After the wave of the green flag, Garrett Smithley gets out in front initially but iRacing champion William Byron passes Smithley and takes the lead.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap two when Anthony Alfredo and Austin Cindric make contact and spin out.

The green flag comes back out on lap eight with William Bryon leading the field.

Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch,Ryan Truex, and Justin Allgaier bring out the second caution flag of the race for a crash.

The green flag comes out on lap 19 with Denny Hamlin in front after taking only two tires during his pit stop. Hamlin was the only driver to take two tires.

Jimmie Johnson brings out the third caution flag of the race on lap 21 after getting in a crash with Ryan Preece that catches up several other drivers. Clint Bowyer had to use his reset button after the crash.

Jimmie Johnson and John Hunter Nemechek are laps down after having some computer issues.

The green flag comes out on lap 26 with Denny Hamlin getting out in front for the lead.

The fourth caution flag comes out on lap 28 for another crash involving Ross Chastain and Willaim Byron. After the crash, Dale Earnhardt Jr is in the lead with the virtual fans cheering him on.

The green flag comes out once again on lap 33 with Dale Jr in the lead.

Kurt Busch spins out and brings out the fifth caution flag on lap 39, Parker Kligerman, Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Denny Hamlin were also involved.

The green flag comes out on lap 43 with William Byron taking the lead.

Erik Jones spins out after making contact with Anthony Alfredo and brings out the sixth caution flag of the race on lap 44.

Larry McReynolds reports that among the 35 drivers on the track, there are 32 championships.

The green flag comes back out on lap 50 – half way – with William Byron taking the lead.

Timmy Hill and William Byron battle back and forth for the lead with Timmy Hill getting out in front. An avid iRacing driver, Timmy Hill has won over 600 iRaces.

The seventh caution flag comes out on lap 59 when Bubba Wallace and Chase Elliott make contact with Elliott spinning out. At nine green flag laps, it is the longest run of green flag laps so far.

The green flag comes out on lap 66 with Chase Brisco in the lead after not making a pit stop.

Pole sitter Garrett Smithley takes the lead on lap 68.

Alex Bowman brings out the caution flag on lap 69. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron were also involved.

The green flag comes out on lap 74 with Garrett Smithley in the lead.

The ninth caution flag of the race comes out on lap 77 after Michael McDowell and Ross Chastain made contact. Clint Bowyer and Ryan Preece were also involved.

The green flag comes out on lap 82 with Garrett Smithley getting out in front and Timmy Hill on his bumper.

With only 10 laps remaining in the race, Garrett Smithley is in the lead with Timmy Hill on his bumper; Dale Earnhardt Jr is in third and coming on.

Nine to go, Timmy Hill takes the lead; Dale Jr takes second.

Five to go, Dale Earnhardt Jr takes the lead but Denny Hamlin is coming on.

Dale Earnhardt takes the white flag but Denny Hamlin is challenging for the lead.

Denny Hamlin wins the race by a narrow margin after narrowly avoiding making contact with Earnhardt. With 10 laps remaining in the race, Hamlin was still outside the top 10.

This is Hamlin’s 35th iRacing win.

And what win isn’t complete without a burnout???

Hamlin pledged to donate $100 per lap led and $5,000 if he won to relief efforts for Floridians affected by the corona virus. Kevin Harvick and the NASCAR Foundation have promised to match the donation.

There were no stages, no points, and no big purse; but there was a lot of fun to be had by everyone involved.

 

Hollywood Week Continues on Idol

It’s night two of Hollywood Week on “American Idol” and more surprises are in store for the singers.

In seasons past the singers had to go through the treacherous group round; but surprise surprise, for an Idol first the singers will have to perform duets.

Unlike the genre round where the singers get no feedback from the judges, this time the singers will get their results after they perform.

The judges point out that with the group performances the singers only had to learn a little piece of a song but with the duets the singers had to not only learn more of the song, they also had to showcase their personalities and make a connection. Song choice was also an issue for some of the duos.

Madison and Peyton had a shaky performance; Peyton apologized for his part and told the judges that Madison should be given a second chance. After a short discussion, the judges decided to give both singers a second chance.

Tito and Robert put on a very passionate performance that was filled with vocal gymnastics and lots of high notes but Lionel announced that only Robert will be moving on to the next round.

On Monday, the singers have one final chance to impress the judges.

The Who

The Who have announced that they have rescheduled their postponed United Kingdom and Ireland concert dates.

Originally set to begin Mach 16, 2020 in Manchester, the shows will now take place in March 2021. Tickets already purchased are good for the new dates.

Roger Daltrey has said that this, “may be the last time we do a tour of this type;” adding, “the shows will be fantastic.”

Noting that the decision to postpone the dates had not been reached easily; Pete Townshend said, “if one fan caught Corona virus at a Who concert, it would be one too many.”

The Who 2021 tour dates (rescheduled from March 2020):
March 5 at the 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland
March 8 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, UK
March 10 at the SSE Hyrdro in Glasgow, UK
March 12 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, UK
March 15 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, UK
March 17 at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, UK
March 22 at the SSE Wembley Arena in London, UK
March 24 at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, UK
March 27 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, UK
March 29 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK

King Kong

The Glasgow band King Kong have rescheduled their postponed spring tour dates in the United Kingdom. The new dates begin with one show in October with the remainder of the dates running through February of next year.

Fans who have purchased tickets for the spring dates will be able to use them for the new concert dates.

King Kong’s Alan Nimmo spoke on the situation saying, “It is with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that our April tour will have to be postponed! We held on as long as we could and always maintained that we would not cancel anything unless the choice was taken out of our hands and that now seems to have happened!

Rescheduled King Kong tour dates:
Oct 16 at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, UK
Feb 3 at the Grand Opera House in York, UK
Feb 5 at the Academy in Manchester, UK
Feb 6 at the Ladmill in Sheffield, UK
Feb 7 at the Y Plas in Cardiff, UK
Feb 9 at the Town Hall in Birmingham, UK
Feb 13 at the Electric Ballroom in London, UK
Feb 14 at the City Hall in Salisbury, UK
Feb 16 at The Apex Arts Centre in Bury St. Edmunds
Feb 17 at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, UK
Feb 18 at the Old Fruitmarket in Glaslow

Nik West Gets ‘Moody’

Bass player, singer, and songwriter Nik West is about to release her second album “Moody” on April 1. Calling on her life and musical journey, West features a variety of genres on “Moody”. Funk music pioneer Larry Graham, Narada Michael Walden,Cindy Blackman-Santana, and Larissa Basillo all join West on the album.

This summer she will be touring with Lenny Kravitz.

But Kravitz isn’t the only big name star that West has shared the stage with. In her short career, she has worked with The Purple One himself – Prince, Quincy Jones, the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, John Mayer, Sugarland, Macy Gray, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, and Orianthi.

Referred to as “a Gumby on stage”, West isn’t one for standing still when she performs, West dances around the stage as she sings and plays the bass. Her performance of “Back in Black” originally by AC/DC has made big fans out of Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Nik West tour dates:
May 17 at the Bayou St. John in New Orleans, LA
June 28 at a venue yet to be determined in Vienna, Austria
July 11 at the Sion Sous Les Etoiles in Sitten, Switzerland
July 15 at the Jazz Open in Stuttgart, Germany
July 16 at the Guitare En Scene Festival in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, France
July 18 at the Adaia Gocek in Gocek, Turkey
July 26 at the Kulturfestival Grafelfing in Munich, Germany
July 31 at the Fasching in Stockholm, Sweden
Aug 2 at the Kaliningrad City Jazz in Kaliningrad, Russia

 

feature photo credit: taken from Nik West’s website

Entertainer Kenny Rogers Dies

Grammy Award winning entertainer Kenny Rogers died March 20 in his Sandy Springs, Georgia home at the age of 81. The cause of death was listed as natural causes.

The self proclaimed Country music singer, had hit songs on the pop music charts, and saw a few of his hit songs turned into made for television films. Rogers broke onto the music scene as a member of the First Edition. He retired from touring in 2017 after 60 years of performing.

Before there was Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw; there was Kenny Rogers who packed arenas with fans.

Along with his three Grammy Awards; Rogers has five Country Music Association Awards, is a CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has 10 Academy of Country Music Awards, 19 American Music Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His “Greatest Hits” album has been certified with a Diamond Award for selling at least 10 million copies – 12 million sold in the U.S.; he also has seven albums that were certified multiple platinum.

He was born Kenneth Ray Rogers on August 21, 1938 the fourth of eight children to a shipyard worker father and a hospital worker mother. His interest in music began while he was in his teens when he joined a group called The Scholars. He later joined the jazz group Bobby Doyle Trio as their bass player and then the folk group the Christy Minstrels which later became The First Edition and then Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Rogers and the Minstrels saw success with the song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” and with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” as a part of the First Edition. Rogers had his first solo hit in 1977 on both the Country and Pop charts with “Lucille”. Rogers was one of the many voices included in the charity hit “We are the World”.

Rogers’ biggest success came with the hit song “The Gambler” which he later parleyed into a made for TV film trilogy. Rogers starred as “The Gambler” Brady Hawkes.

His hit “Coward of the County” was also turned into a film with Rogers playing the role of the preacher.

Outside of music, Rogers had an interest in photography where he published a number of books, was part owner in a riverboat, and owned a chain of restaurants called Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Rogers appeared as an actor in two dozen productions including his role as Brady Hawkes in “The Gambler” films, the preacher and Uncle Matthew in “Coward of the County”, the racing film “Six Pack”, “Wild Horses”, “Rio Diablo”, “Dr. Quinn, Medicone Woman”, “Touched by an Angel”, and “How I Met Your Mother”.

Appearing as himself nearly 250 times, Rogers has appeared on variety shows including “The Muppet Show” and “Hee Haw”, talk shows and late night television talk shows, as host of the television series “Rollin’ on the River”,”American Bandstand”, his own television specials award shows, and documentaries.

He is survived by his fifth wife Wanda; children Justin, Jordan, Chris, Carole, and Kenny Jr; three siblings; nieces and nephews; and grandchildren,


Kenny Rogers discography:
With over 60 years of making music, Rogers recorded dozens of albums including…
“The First Edition ’69”
“Ruby Don’t Take You Love to Town”
“Fools”
“Tell it All Brother”
“Transition”
“Backroads”
The Ballad of Calico
“Planet Texas”
“Monument”
“Rollin’”
“Love Lifted Me”
“Kenny Rogers”
“Daytime Friends”
“The Gambler”
“Love or Something Like It”
“Kenny”
“Gideon”
“Share Your Love”
Love Will Turn You Around”
“Eyes that See in the Dark”
“We’ve Got Tonight”
“Once Upon a Christmas”
“What About Me?”
“Love is What We Make It”
“The Heart of the Matter”
“They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To”
“Prefer the Moonlight”
“Christmas in America”
“Something Inside So Strong”
“Love is Strange”
“Back Home Again”
“If Only My Heart Had a Voice”
“Timepiece”
“Country Songs”
“Pieces of Calico Silver”
“The Gift”
“Across My Heart”
“Christmas from the Heart”
“She Rides Wild Horses”
“Christmas”
“There You Go Again”
“A&E Live by Request”
“Back to the Well”
“Christmas with Kenny”
“Water & Bridges”
“After Dark”
“The Love of God”
“Christmas Live!”
“Amazing Grace”
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”
“Once Again it’s Christmas”

 

 

feature photo credit: By The original uploader was ACT1 at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1920219

Films to be Released Early

Finding something to keep the children occupied when they’re out of school can be a real challenge; and now that many of the places parents normally go to keep those children occupied have closed due to the outbreak of the corona virus.

Hollywood is looking to help with the problem by releasing some films a little early and making them available on the various streaming services or via Video on Demand.

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said, “we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable. We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”

Disney has released “Frozen II” early on Disney+
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is available on VOD
“The Way Back” will be available on VOD next week
“Bloodshot” will be available on VOD March 24
“Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn “ will be available on VOD March 24
Emma” will be available on VOD March 24; a 48 hour rental will be available for $19.99
“The Hunt” will be available on VOD March 20; a 48 hour rental will be available for $19.99
“I Still Believe” will be available on VOD March 27
“The Invisible Man” will be available on VOD March 20, a 48 hour rental will be available for $19.99
“Onward” will be available on VOD March 20 for $19.99 and available on Disney+ April 3
“Sonic the Hedgehog” will be available on VOD March 31
“Trolls World Tour” will be available on VOD April 10; a 48 hour rental will be available for $19.99

A number of films that were set for release in recent weeks or were planned to be released in the coming weeks have been postponed including “Mulan”, “Black Widow”, “The New Mutants”, “The Personal History of David Coperfield”, “Antebellum”, “A Quiet Place Part II”, “The Lvoebirds”, “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, “Fast & Furious 9”, “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”, and the James Bond film “Time to Die”.

 

feature photo credit: By Basykes – Originally uploaded to Flickr as 8mm reel of film, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5333464

Strong Reveals Video Hall Finalists

In their early days people went to the arcade to play video games; today people play their video games at home.

And while the Strong Museum of Play and the World Video Game Hall of Fame are temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 virus; video game fans can still play their games at home.

On March 19 the Strong Museum announced the nominees for 2020 class for the World Video Game Hall of Fame have been announced. Out of thousands of entries from over 100 countries, 12 finalists have been selected – Bejeweled, Centipede, Frogger, GoldenEye 007, Guitar Hero, King’s Quest, Minecraft, NBA Jame, Nokia Snake, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

The date for the official induction ceremony has yet to be determined and will be announced once the issues with the corona virus have been cleared up.

Finalists are selected on their global influence and popular culture, influence on the video gaming world, and the longevity of the game.

Along with the panel of experts who will determine the newest class of the Hall of Fame, fans will also get a chance to have their say. From now until April 2 fans can go toworldvideogamehalloffame.org and cast their votes. The top three vote getting games from the fan vote will count as one vote that will be included in the total vote count.

The newest members to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will join previous inductees Colossal Cave Adventure, Donkey Kong, DOOM, Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto III, Halo: Combat Evolved, John Madden Football, The Legend of Zelda, Microsoft Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pokemon Red and Green, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Spacewar!, Street Fighter II, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, Tetris, Tomb Raider, and World of Warcraft.

Visitors to The Strong in Rochester, New York can see the games in the Hall of Fame; as well as, the inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the numerous exhibits on display at The Museum including a mini Wegman’s grocery store and the front stoop from “Sesame Street”.

Meet the nominees for the World Video Game Hall of Fame:

Originally created as a Flash game in 2001, Bejeweled revolutionized the match three game industry. The game has been downloaded over 500 million times.

One of the earliest arcade games, Centipede made it debut in 1981 was co-designed by Dona Bailey – one of only a few female programmers at the time. Since its creation, Centipede has been released in mobile, portable, and board game formats.

Another early arcade game, Frogger was also released in 1981 and saw millions of players attempt to navigate frogs across a variety of obstacles most notably a wide highway. Since its inception, Frogger has seen over two dozen versions. The famous game has been the subject of a song, featured in a Disney film, and the centerpiece of a “Seinfeld” episode.

The James Bond franchise enters the video game nominee list with GoldenEye 007. The shooting game made its debut in 1997 and became one of Nintendo’s top three games.

Launched in 2005, Guitar Hero has allowed millions of gamers to unleash their inner rock star. The guitar playing game has sold more than 25 million copies and brought in over $2 billion.

Another game with a female co-designer, King’s Quest was released in 1984 and allowed players to enter a fairy tale land and helped to spawn numerous adventure games.

Introduced in 2009, Minecraft quickly became a global phenomenon and has sold over 175 million copies across off of its various platforms with gaming console versions leading the way.

NBA Jam allows players to defy gravity and show off their dunking skills. Released in 1993, the game features some of the biggest names in professional basketball. One of the most important sports arcade games of all time, NBA Jam has earned over $1 billion.

Taking inspiration from one of the first arcade games to hit the gaming world, Pac Man; the Finnish company Nokia created Nokia Snake for mobile phone owners to have a game to occupy their time. The game features a snake eating food and launched the mobile phone gaming revolution.

Selling more than seven million copies, Super Smash Bros. Melee first appeared in 2001. Since the game first appeared, multiple versions of the game have come out.

Released in 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was the sequel to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. The adventure game earned the title “Game of the Year” at the Game Developers Conference.

A popular children’s television show, the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” was released in 1995. Combining education and entertainment, the game made it fun for millions of children to learn geography.

 

feature photo courtesy of The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY

 

Composer Charles Wuorinen Dies

Award winning composer Charles Wuorinen died March 11 in New York City as a result of injuries sustained from a fall he had last September at the age of 81.

A prolific writer, Wuorinen composed over 250 works including the music for “Brokeback Mountain”. He earned the Pulitzer prize in Music for “Time’s Encomium” – the first electronic work to earn the award. He was the youngest composer at the time to win the award.

He also composed the operas “Brokeback Mountain” and “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”. He has also composed works for the ballet, modern dance, and orchestra with an emphasis on percussion – a major interest.

As well as, leading the San Francisco Orchestra for three years; Wuorinen has performed with the Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and American Composers Orchestras.

Besides performing with orchestras around the nation, he has taught at a number of universities including Columbia, Princeton, the New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music, Yale, SUNY Buffalo, and Rutgers University.

Along with earning the Pulitzer prize, Wuorinen received the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composer’s Award when he was 16 years old for his composition “O Filii et Filiae” (Sons and Daughters), Lili Boulanger Memorial Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship, He is a co-founder of the Group for Contemporary Music and is a member of the American Academys of Arts and Letters and Arts and Sciences.

He was born on June 9, 1938 in New York City the son of Columbia University’s history department chairman. Hi musical interest began at age six when he set his sights on becoming a composer. Wuorinen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia.

Wuorinen is survived by his husband of 32 years Howard Stokar.

 

 

Feature photo credit: By User:Hstokar, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24661942

NASCAR, iRacing Launch New eRacing Series

NASCAR races have been postponed until at least May 3. Officials hope to return to the track for races at Martinsville on May 8 and 9.

Taking advantage of the new popularity in iRacing, NASCAR has joined up with iRacing for the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. The first race will be held on the FOX Sports Network channel FS1. Racing fans may also view the race via the FOX Sports app.

The 90 minute simulator styled race; some of the sports top drivers from the Gander RV and Outdoors, Xfinity, and NASCAR series will be participating.

Until the races were called off, the drivers would have been battling it out on the mile and a half track at Miami-Homestead. Appropriately, the inaugural iRacing series kicks off at a virtual Miami-Homestead with FOX Sports broadcasters Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Larry McReynolds calling the action much as they do in a normal race.

While he may no longer race every week, Dale Earnhardt Jr leads the list of iRacing drivers to compete in the Pro Invitational Series. Other drivers include Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Timmy Hill, Michael McDowell, John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Preece, Garrett Smithley, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Landon Cassill and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The full 35 driver lineup will be announced prior to race start on Sunday. Clint Bowyer will be the in-car race analyst.

Vice president of NASCAR racing development Ben Kennedy spoke on the new series saying, “until we have cars back on track, the entire NASCAR community has aligned to provide our passionate fans with a unique, fun and competitive experience on race day. Our long-time partners at iRacing offer an incredible product, and we are excited to see how many of our best drivers will stack up in the virtual domain of competitive racing.”

 

Razzies Announce Winners

In previous years the Razzie Awards were held on the night before the annual Academy Awards. In 2020, the 40th annual Razzie Awards celebrating the worst of Hollywood were held at a private ceremony on March 15 in what they are calling the “lock down edition”.

The monster re-imagined film production of the hit Broadway musical “Cats” topped the list of winners with six after flopping at the box office. The Sylvester Stallone film “Rambo: Last Blood” came in at a distant second with two awards.

The Razzies closed out the 2020 Hollywood Awards season by presenting the Golden Raspberry to the worst productions and performers in the film world.

40th Annual Razzie Award winners:
Worst Picture: “Cats”
Worst Actor: John Travolta for his role in “The Fanatic” and “Trading Paint”
Worst Actress: Hilary Duff for her role in “The Haunting of Sharon Tate”
Worst Supporting Actor: James Corden for his role in “Cats”
Worst Supporting Actress: Rebel Wilson for her role in “Cats”
Worst Screen Combo: Any two half-feline/half-human Hairballs in “Cats”
Worst Screenplay: “Cats” by Lee Hall and Tom Hooper
Tom Hooper for “Cats”
Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: “Rambo: Last Blood”
Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property: “Rambo: Last Blood”
Razzie Redeermer Award (given to an actor who has “redeemed” himself over the past year): Eddie Murphy for his role in “Dolemite is My Name”

Rufus Wainwright

Singer-songwriter and eclectic music artist Rufus Wainwright is releasing his new album “Unfollow the Rules” on April 25 and following it up with a big tour. This will be his seventh studio album and his first pop album since 2012.

The tour will begin in the United States and work its way across the globe where it will end in Paris. More dates are expected to be added to the tour.

Rufus Wainwright “Unfollow the Rules” tour dates:
April 19 at the High Water Festival in North Charleston, SC
April 24 at Die Glocke in Bremen, Germany
April 25 at L’Auditorium in Bourges, France
April 27 at the Islington Assembly Hall in London, UK (2 shows)
May 1 at the City Winery in New York City, NY
May 2 at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, NY
May 3 at the City Winery in New York City, NY
May 8 at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA
May 9 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA (2 shows)
May 11 at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA
May 17 at the Corona Capital in Guadalajara, Mexico
May 30 at the Egeskov Castle in Kværndrup, Denmark
June 2 at the Zorlu PAC Jazz Festival in Istanbul, Turkey
July 4 at the PortAmerica in Caldas de Reis, Spain
July 5 at the Noches del Botanico in Madrid, Spain
July 7 at the Festival Jardins do dMarques in Oeiras, Portugal
July 14 at the Francofolies Festival in La Rochelle, France
July 18 at the Echterlive in Echternach, Luxembourg
Aug 1 at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow, UK
Aug 2 at the All Together Now in Waterford, Ireland
Nov 6 at Le Grand Rex in Paris, France

Modern English

Modern English is celebrating 40 years of making music with a summer tour in North America.

Included in the tour is a performance of their album “After the Snow” in its entirety, which features the hit song “Melt with You”, for the first time.

Calling recording the album an incredible experience, frontman Robbie Grey said that the band wants to bring the creative and memorable atmosphere of making the album to a live audience.

Actors will be opening shows for the first week of the tour; with Bootblacks taking over the opening duties for the rest of the tour.

Modern English tour dates:
June 12 at the Casbah in San Diego, CA
June 13 at the Concert Lounge in Riverside, CA
June 14 aat the Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA
June 16 at The Chapel in San Francisco, CA
June 18 at the Doug Fir in Portland, OR
June 19 at the Triple Door in Seattle, WA
June 20 at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver, BC
June 23 at the Soiled Dove in Denver, CO
June 25 at the Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI
June 26 at the Space in Evanston, IL
June 28 at The Acorn in Three Oaks, MI
June 30 at the Crafthouse in Pittsburgh, PA
July 1 at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY
July 2 at Sony Hall in New York City, NY
July 5 at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ
July 6 at the Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia, PA
July 8 at Earl’s in Atlanta, GA
July 10 at the Orpheum in Tampa, FL
July 11 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach, FL

 

Zion and Lennox

The reggae duo of Zion and Lennox have announced their first tour of the United States in 20 years. Set to kick off in late May, the tour will only cover 10 cities and run through the end of June.

Tickets are currently on sale.

Zion and Lennox tour dates:
May 15 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA
May 16 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA
May 23 at the United Place in New York City, NY
May 24 at the Fox Tower in Ledyard, CT
June 6 at the Payne Arena in Hidalgo, TX
June 7 at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, TX
June 12 at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL
June 14 at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA
June 26 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
June 27 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL

Truck Series’ Brett Moffitt Has Accident

While no one wanted to see a break in the young NASCAR season, it came at a most opportune time for Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series driver Brett Moffitt.

While riding his motocross bike over the weekend, Moffitt had an accident that resulted in his fracturing bones in both of his legs. Moffitt has had surgery and is now recovering from his injuries.

Truck owner GMS Racing said that Moffitt is in “very good spirits”. He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to race again in six to eight weeks.

The 2018 Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series champion is an eleven time Truck Series winner. The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year has also made four Xfinity Series starts this season and currently ranks fourth in Truck Series points.

 

 

Feature photo credit: By Zach Catanzareti Photo – brett moffitt, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83345081

Wrestlemania Goes On

While most of the sports world has postponed seasons or cancelled events. The WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment – continues to hold events but with precautions.

The April 5 WrestleMania 36 has been moved from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and will be conducted without a live audience. Other events scheduled in conjunction with the WWE has been cancelled.

Wrestlemania 36 will be streamed live at 7pm on the WWE Network and on pay per view. The WWE said that only essential personnel will be involved with the event.

The biggest event of the WWE season, Wrestlemania will include Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg, Shayna Baszler vs. Becky Lynch, and John Cena vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Also scheduled to appear is former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

WWE has been moving its events to the Performance Center in Orlando.

 

 

Feature photo credit: By Marc Middleton – https://www.wrestlinginc.com/news/2019/03/wwe-wrestlemania-36-press-conference-photos-and-official-651716/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77325528

NASCAR Update

The outbreak of the corona virus has brought a halt to all sporting events. Entire seasons have been cancelled while others have been postponed.

In a statement from NASCAR…
The health and safety of our fans, industry and the communities in which we race is our most important priority, so in accordance with recent CDC guidance, NASCAR is currently postponing all race events through May 3rd, with plans to return racing in Martinsville (May 8 and 9). We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the race track.”

In an update, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that NASCAR plans to run the entire 36 points races and the annual All Star race. Depending on when the season will once again get underway, NASCAR may have to run some doubleheader races or mid-week races. NASCAR is looking to reschedule the postponed races prior to the 10 race playoffs.

The NASCAR schedule includes the Xfinity and Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series races.

Phelps added, “at this particular point, we would like to finish the season at Phoenix and keep the playoff portion intact. With that said, that will require a lot of different opportunities for us to look at. We’re in the process of doing that. So no specifics around midweek races or you’ve heard about doubleheaders and different things, so at this particular point, a lot of things on the table for us to look at, working with our race teams, working with our race tracks to make sure that the things that we’re putting on the table are feasible for us to do.”

Along with the already postponed races in Atlanta and Homestead-Miami; the races at Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, and Dover.

Along with the current health crisis, NASCAR is working on debuting a new car model next season which includes track testing this season, concern over how a two month layoff from racing will effect the teams, collaborating with broadcasters on presenting the races once they resume and how to fill the current void.

Blind Auditions Conclude on ‘The Voice’

As the blind auditions conclude on “The Voice” Blake, Kelly, and Nick all have eight singers on their teams; while John has seven. This season, the teams will have only 10 singers instead of the 12 from previous seasons.

But before the singing hopefuls take the stage to sing for the coaches, the coaches themselves take the stage for a performance of Nick’s hit song “Jealous”.

Born in Japan, Micha Iverson performed karaoke as a child but didn’t come to music until he came to the U.S. and college. Kelly was the first coach to turn her chair, Nick and Blake pushed their buttons together near the end of the song. Kelly loved Micah’s voice and was very excited when Micah said that she was one of her influences. Nick pointed out that he grew up listening to the same things Micah did. John said that he regrets not turning his chair. Blake admitted to not knowing the names or genres they were talking about – emo, Switchfoot, Jimmy Eats World, Dashboard Confessional – but said that it doesn’t matter because he has won the song six times. After the coaches battling it out, Micah chose Kelly to be his coach and is the first guy to be on her team.

Brittney Allen has been taking singing lessons since she was 10 years old. After saying that he was looking for somebody special, John was the only coach who pushed his button for Brittney. Kelly said that Brittney had a great head voice. Nick noted that he is down to the last couple of spots; adding that he is being selective but Brittney did great. John said that he is excited to coach Brittney.

Blake said that he is looking for someone who can blow the roof off the place.

Tracey Preston hails from Philadelphia where she sang in church. She currently performs with Vivian Green. While Tracey put on a show, she failed to turn any chairs. Nick said that there were some impressive moments. Saying that she is almost full, Kelly said that Tracey was incredible and told her to come back.

Cam Spinks comes from rural Alabama where he grew up on a farm and in the woods. A full time musician, he is looking to take his career to the next step. Cam had to wait a while before Blake finally pushed his button; followed by Kelly. Kelly said that Cam gave her the vibe of country music that she grew up on. Blake noted that he heard a lot of different things in Cam’s voice. Cam chose Blake to be his coach.

Canadian born Anders Drerup has played music on five of the seven continents. He performed a reggae version of the the Elvis hit “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” and got Nick to turn his chair. Nick noted that they can have a lot of fun with the song selections.

Nick is looking for someone he can collaborate with to fill his final spot.

Latina singer Mandi Castillo chose to sing her audition in Spanish. While Kelly loves Spanish singers, it was Nick who turned his chair first with Kelly following. John and Blake make it a four chair turn at the end of the song. Nick got emotional when he was making his comments; he said that Mandi is in a lane all her own. Kelly said that it was everything it should be for a blind audition. Blake said that Mandi’s vocal talent was unbelievable. John said that he is a fan of Mandi’s singing; adding that it was a magical performance. Kelly tried to bribe Mandi with a jacket, but Mandi said that she was going with her gut and chose John to be her coach.

Oklahoma native Kailey Abel is a worship leader but enjoys singing a variety of musical styles. After listening for a bit, Blake turned his chair and became the first coach to fill his team. Blake said she has an incredible voice. Kelly said that she has a cool texture to her voice. Blake said that he would bet the farm on Kailey winning the competition.

Blake said that he has the winner on his team.

Host Carson Daly surprised personal trainer Tyrone Perkins loves the style of Tony Bennet and Frank Sinatra and wants to bring those days back. At 68 he is the oldest person to ever be on “The Voice”. But he failed to turn any of the coache’s chairs. John said the song was fun but he wasn’t sure how to work with that. Kelly said that Tyrone looked very sharp.

Gigi Hess has been singing solo and with groups but is looking to take her musical career to the next step. It didn’t take long for Kelly to turn her chair and completes her team as the only coach to turn her chair. Nick said that Kelly is the perfect fit for Gigi. John suggested a little restraint on the riffs and runs.

Music teacher and professional musician Kevin Farris is looking for the next step. Playing to the audience and being himself peaked John’s interest enough to turn his chair, but it took a while before Nick pushed his button too. John said that he felt the love of music in Kevin’s performance. Nick called it a phenomenal performance; adding that Kevin’s voice blew him away. Nick joined Kevin on stage for a little jam. John was hoping that Kevin would break the mold and got with him instead of Nick. Telling John that he would love to go out to a beer with him, Kevin chose Nick to be his coach.

Nick’s team is full; John is the only coach with an open spot.

Allison Grace works in marketing by day and gigs at night. Her performance of the Noah Jones song “Don’t Know Why” didn’t impress John enough to turn his chair. John said that he didn’t hear enough power in the song. Nick encouraged her to write her own songs to fit her voice.

Cedrice has been singing for only three years after discovering how freeing it was to perform on stage. She chose to perform her own version of “Fever” for her audition. Cedrice had to wait for a bit before John turned his chair to fill his team. Kelly was itching to turn her chair but has a full team; she kept saying oh my god. The other coaches were getting up to see who was singing. Kelly called Cedrice sexy; adding that she was so mad. Kelly said that she was fantastic with passion and fire. Nick said that Cedrice’s voice was electrifying and has all the right things to go far in the competition. Blake said that he was so happy for Cedrice; adding that it was meant to be for John to get her. John said that no one else sounds like her and approached the song with everything she needed; adding that she is very special.

Next week the battles begin…

The Teams:
Team Blake:

Levi Watkins
Todd Michael Hall
Todd Tilghman
Toneisha Harris
Joei Fulco
Jamal Corrie
Jon Mullins
Jacob Daniel Murphy
Cam Spinks
Kailey Abel

Team Kelly:
Chelle
Megan Danielle
Tayler Green
Sara Collins
Samantha Howell
Anaya Cheyenne
Mandi Thomas
Jules
Micah Iverson
Gigi Hess

Team Legend:
Darious Lyles
Nelson Cade, III
Zach Day
Camwes
Thunderstorm Artis
Zan Fiskum
Mike Jerel
Brittney Allen
Mandi Castillo
Cedrice

Team Nick:
Arei Moon
Joanna Serenko
Tate Brusa
Allegra Miles
Samuel Wilco
Jacob Miller
Roderick Chambers
Michael Williams
Anders Drerup
Kevin Harris

Hollywood Week Begins on Idol

The singers have all gathered in California for Hollywood Week on “American Idol”; but it’s nothing like they have ever seen before as the judges work to find the top singers to earn fan votes.

For the first time in Idol history the judges will see all 167 singers before the judges make any decisions.

First up, they must pick a genre and then choose a song as they sing for their life.

First up is the singer-songwriter group. During his performance, Katy screamed to hear more from Nepal native Arthur.

Not surprisingly, the largest group was the pop genre. Other genres include R&B and Country. When R&B singer Just Sam performed, she brought her “lucky box” that she uses on the trains and after she sang, the judges put money in her box.

Upon learning that the judges would be listening to all 167 singers, Luke asked if they were violating some kind of labour law.

When Amber Fielder auditioned for Idol she was nine months pregnant; she returns in Hollywood Week three weeks after having the baby.

Garbage man Doug, teased the judges by starting the wrong song before performing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and had the crowd clapping along. In deliberations, the judges had mixed reviews. Doug didn’t make it through to the next round; but he wasn’t alone.

Next week it’s the group round…and more surprises.

Auditions Conclude on Idol

In a two night event, “American Idol” concludes the 2020 edition of the auditions.

Getting things started in Oregon, Robert Taylor III plays the piano as he sings and amazed the judges. Growing up in the church, Robert felt that he could never by himself; but now he has come out of his shadow fulfilling a a dream of his father’s by being on the show. Katy said that now it is time for Robert to figure out what kind of artist he wants to be and he can begin with a trip to Hollywood week.

Jafar Hurambi put on a full performance. Katy noted that Jafar’s singing wasn’t as good as his dancing and gave him a no.

Grace Leer made it to the top 20 of “American Juniors” when she was eleven; after spending some time being a “normal” kid, she has returned to music and impressed the judges. Luke said that Grace was easy to listen to, Katy called Grace instantly recognizable. Grace got three yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

School of Rock teacher Franklin Boone earned some applause from the judges. Luke said that he saw recording artist from Franklin. Katy said that Franklin could win the show. Franklin got his ticket to Hollywood.

Luke Stafford brought his saxophone to his audition. Lionel was impressed with the sax but Luke got three nos from the judges on his singing.

Church singer Roselyn Carter was born and raised in Watts and is looking to show that there is a way out. Lionel was knocked out but Katy wanted to hear more saying that Roselyn took them to church, so now take them to the Staples Center. Lionel said that is what you call natural talent; adding that he was moved. Luke agreed that the audition was moving. Katy said that Roselyn embodies what Idol is all about. Giving Roselyn a cheer, she got her ticket to Hollywood.

Katy wants to hold auditions on a boat, since it is so beautiful in Washington, DC. Megan Knight is the first singer to audition on a boat for “American Idol”. Luke said that she had a great voice; adding that she could use a little coaching. In the boat vote, Megan got her ticket to Hollywood. Katy has to re-enact a scene from “Titanic”

Back in the audition room…Lionel finds someone else in his seat and pretends to be an auditioner with “Hello”. Gilberto River joined Lionel before singing “Proud Mary” for the judges dressed in a rainbow top and red stiletto boots. After telling his watch that he was ok, Lionel said that in a world of uniqueness, Gilberto is unique. Lionel thought that Gilberto is theatrical. Katy said that he needs to take himself and his voice more seriously. Questioning whether he is for Idol, Lionel said no but Luke gave Gilberto a yes and he got his ticket ot Hollywood.

Justin Oliver chose a Bruno Mars song – “Treasure” – with the man who wrote the song playing the piano. Fred said technically it was great but the singer needed more energy. Luke said vocally it didn’t get all there. Lionel felt that Justin’s vocals lacked a bit. Justin got three nos from the judges.

After some clips of no votes, Aliana Jester brought her dog into the audition with her. Katy said that Aliana has an incredible gift. Luke called her a special singer. Lionel called her a star; adding that Aliana reminds him of a young Whtiney. Aliana got her ticket to Hollywood.

Jamaica native and busker Jahzan, first sang with her mother and Lionel said that they had the vibe. After Jahzan sang on her own, Katy said that she did great; adding that her voice was a mix of Tony Braxton, Cher, and Shakira. Luke noted that Jahzan had a unique voice. Lionel invited mom to stand next to her daughter, and told them that Jahzan gets her ticket to Hollywood.

Jordan Moyes gave Katy chill bumps with his audition. Luke said that the audition screams massive songwriter. Katy loved his guitar player. Lionel called the performance very fresh. Jordan got his ticket to Hollywood.

Demi Rae wrote in a journal at age nine that it was her dream to be on “American Idol”; and now she is there to audition for the show. Katy asked if Demi had ever tried to perused a music career and when Demi said no; the judges asked why at the same time. Luke said that Demi has a natural cry and a great voice. Demi got three yeses and her ticket to Hollywood – Katy put the ticket inside her journal.

While the judges were roasting marshmellows, Nash sang “Shoulda Been a Cowboy” with Luke joining in. Katy liked the mullet but questioned the singing. Nash got a little singing lesson from Luke. Lionel said no but to work on it and come back strong.

Seventeen year old Makayla Brownlee hails from the wheat capital of America and chose a Dixie Chicks song for her audition. Katy said that she has a really good voice on her but told her to enunciate more. Lionel loved the yodel cry, calling it her signature. Noting that they have a lot of Country singing girls this year but Luke is anxious to see her fight it out with them. She gets her ticket to Hollywood.

In the final audition of the season, a very pregnant Amber Fiedler revealed that she has put the baby up for adoption before she sang an Etta James song for her audition. Luke said that Amber has a timeless sound and easy to listen to. Katy said that she has a big shot at going very far. Lionel said that she nailed it. Amber got three yeses and her ticket to Hollywood.

Tomorrow a new Hollywood week begins with challenges never seen before.

Tiger Joins HOF

Considered to be one of the greatest golfers in the world, Tiger Woods has been elected to the World of Golf Hall of Fame. The remaining finalists are Johnny Farrell, Padraig Harrington, Tom Weiskopf, Susie Maxwell Berning, Beverly Hanson, Sandra Palmer, Dottie Pepper, Tim Finchem, and Marion Hollins. The three other members that will be joining Woods will be announced at a later date.

Woods will join the 2021 class of inductees after the eligibilty age was lowered to 45. He will join other members including Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.

Releasing a statement Woods said, “I am both honored and humbled to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. This past year has been such an incredible journey and the support I’ve received from my family, friends and fans has been overwhelming. This achievement is the ultimate recognition to never give up and keep chasing.”

Over the course of his career, Woods has won 82 PGA tournaments including 15 Majors. He also has wins in Europe, Japan, Asia, and Australia for a total of 107 victories.

After being the first golfer to win the U.S. Amateur three times and two of seven tournaments; Woods won his first Masters at the age of 21 with a 12 shot lead; becoming the youngest professional to do so. Woods is the only professional golfer to hold the title for all four professional Majors at the same time.

Off of the golf course, Woods is credited with being responsible for television deals and the rise in tournament prize money.

Over recent years Woods has not been seen on the course as much due to some medical issues.

 

Feature photo credit: By Tiger Woods drives by Allison.jpg: Keith Allisonderivative work: Muhammad – Tiger Woods drives by Allison.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7786582

Dan + Shay

Among the many artists who have postponed tour dates due to the outbreak of the corona virus, Dan + Shay have rescheduled their tour dates.

Any fan who has purchased a ticket for the postponed dates may use them for the new dates.

Due to the rescheduled performances, Dan + Shay have had to withdraw from the rescheduled Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California which is set for the weekend of October 23-25.

Dan + Shay tour dates:
July 30 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK
July 31 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Aug 1 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
Aug 6 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY
Aug 7 at The Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 13 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, NE
Aug 14 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
Aud 15 at the United Center in Chicago, IL
Aug 28 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI
Aug 29 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
Sept 10 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC
Sept 11 at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA
Sept 12 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, NC
Sept 17 at the Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, AR
Sept 18 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO
Sept 19 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
Sept 24 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
Sept 25 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Sept 26 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
Sept 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Oct 1 at the Amway Center
Oct 2 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA
Oct 3 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
Oct 5 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
Oct 8 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
Oct 9 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA
Oct 10 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT
Oct 11 at the GIANT Center in Hershey, PA
Oct 15 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Oct 16 at the Vivint Smark Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 17 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Oct 21 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ
Oct 23 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA
Oct 24 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA
Oct 29 at the Extra Mile Arena in Boise, ID
Oct 30 at the Moda Center in Portland, OR
Oct 31 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA

Rock Hall Postpones Events, Closes

Saying that the health and safety of their fans is the highest priority, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has postponed the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; as well as, the events leading up to the gala event set to make The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., T. Rex, Depeche Mode, Jon Landau, and Irving Azoff a part of the Hall of Fame.

The Hall noted that the rescheduled event dates will be announced soon; along with the new date for the live broadcast of the ceremony on HBO will be announced.

After further concerns over the spread of the corona virus, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced that they will be closing the Museum for the next two weeks – from March 14 to March 27. The Rock Hall states that they will be monitoring the situation and will continue to provide updates.

In addition to the postponing of the Rock Hall Induction ceremony; the Spotlight on Janis Joplin and the Film Series featuring Linda Ronstadt will also be postponed.

Fans who have purchased tickets for an upcoming event will be issued a refund. Fans who have purchased tickets for the Museum will have their tickets honoured once the museum reopens.

Manilow to Present ‘A Gift of Love 5’

It seems that the new year has barely begun, but it is never too early to plan ahead for the holidays.

Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award winning Hall of Fame artist Barry Manilow has planned his fifth annual “Gift of Love” holiday benefit concerts in his desert home of Palm Springs, California.

A Gift of Love 5” will take place December 8, 9, and 11-13 at the McCallum Theatre where Barry will be performing his hit songs and some holiday favourites.

Proceeds from the concerts are donated to 25 different charities. The ticket holder decides which charity will benefit from their tickets sales. While the hall must be rented and crew and artists must be paid; Barry is donating his time and talent to the project.

Tickets go on sale March 23 at 10am local time and are available on AGOL5.com or by calling 424-298-4818. Ticket prices range from $60 to $500 plus a $3,00 McCallum facility fee. There are priority, gold, platinum, and sponsorship packages also available that include meet and greets with Barry.

Included in the list of charities is the Manilow Music Project, animal rescue charities, the Desert AIDS Project, and Jewish Family Services.

Third Eye Blind

Artists around the world postponing dates, but acting hopefully rockers Third Eye Blind have rescheduled some of those dates for later this summer. The rockers are touring in support of their newest album “Screamer”.

Stephen Jenkins and Co. will be joining Third Eye Blind on the tour as an opening act. Save the Day will also be on hand for a few of the dates.

This is the first time that Third Eye Blind have ever had to reschedule concert events.

Third Eye Blind tour dates:
May 31 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA
June 1 at the Observatory in San Diego, CA
June 3 at the Uptown in Kansas City, MO
June 4 at the Sylvee in Madison, WI
June 12 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, PA
June 14 at the Royal Oak in Detroit, MI
June 23 at the Roseland Ballroom in Portland, OR
June 24 at the Showbox in Seattle, WA
July 13 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC
July 14 at the House of Blues in Boston, MA
July 15 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY
July 25 at the mission Ballroom in Denver, CO
July 26 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA

Drag Race Disqualifies Sherry Pie

More than just entertainment, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” shines a light on the trials and hardships gay men must endure just for being who they are and for their choice of work as a drag queen.

In the previous eleven seasons only once was a queen disqualified for breaking the rules and was dismissed during the season.

With the third show of season 12 set to air, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and World of Wonder Productions have announced that drag queen Sherry Pie has been disqualified from the show. Having been previously recorded, the show will continue to air out of respect for the other queens on the show. However, Sherry Pie will not be a part of the live grand finale at the end of the series.

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Real name Joey Gugliemelli, was accused of catfishing – creating a fake identity on social media for nefarious purposes – by five men. He posed as a casting director requesting “embarrassing audition tapes of themselves saying and doing degrading things”. Allegedly his victims included former SUNY Cortland classmates and Nebraska theater company colleagues

Buzzfeed broke the original story noting the alleged acts occurred over several years.

Gugliemelli took to Facebook to issue an apology for his actions – “This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel.” He continued, “until being on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. I learned on that show how important ‘loving yourself’ is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions.”

He added, “I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”

 

photos taken from the RuPaul’s Drag Race Facebook page.

UFC to Continue

While professional and collegiate sports around the country and the world are suspending and cancelling sporting events over concerns about the corona virus pandemic; UFC – Ultimate Fight Club – has decided that the fights will continue.

UFC president Dana White noted that he had spoken with the White House saying, “the UFC always go overboard with health and safety, and that’s what we’re going to do here. I talked to the president and the vice president of the United States today about this. They’re taking this very serious. They’re saying ‘Be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking.’” White added, “everybody is panicking, and instead of panicking, we’re actually getting out there and working with doctors and health officials and the government to figure out how we keep the sport safe and how we can continue to put on events.”

However, some of the events will be relocated to the UFC Apex facility – a 1,500 capacity venue – in Las Vegas.

The March 14 UFC Brasillia event in Brazil is being held without the fans as a result of a local law enacted regarding the corona virus.

The UFC London event on March 21 will go on as planned.

The UFC Columbus event scheduled for March 28 will be relocated to the UFC Apex Arena in Las Vegas.

The UFC Portland event scheduled for April 11 will be relocated to the UFC Apex Arena in Las Vegas.

Currently the UFC 249 event scheduled for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be held as planned.

White and Trump have a long history; UFC’s 28, 30, and 31 were all held at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, essentially saving White’s company. White is a big Trump supporter and has been seen at numerous UFC events.

 

Feature photo credit: By Andrius Petrucenia – https://www.flickr.com/photos/andriux_uk_events/18776720152/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86228612

NYC Shows Go Dark

A bustling city that never sleeps with millions of residents and million more visitors; New York City will be considerably more quiet over the next few weeks.

After a speech from the White House announcing a travel ban, an announcement by New York state governor Andrew Cuomo, and fears over the spreading corona virus; The Metropolitan Opera has canceled all rehearsals and performances through the remainder of March. The closure will affect 21 performances including “Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)” which was set to be broadcast in movie theatres around the world and soprano Diana Damrau and Royal Opera music director Antonio Pappano playing the piano.

Carnegie Hall has also announced that they will be canceling all of their performances for the rest of March. These performances include Angelique Kidjo and the Castalian String Quartet and Musical Armenia.

In light of Governor Cuomo’s announcement to limit crowd sizes and concern over the corona virus; especially after an employee has tested positive for the virus, Broadway has announced that all of their shows will go dark beginning March 12 with plans to resume productions on April 13 – the day after Easter.

In a statement, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals. Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night.”

The travel ban has affected several of the performers since they cannot get to New York City. Gelb noted that full time union artists will remain on the payroll for the remainder of the month.

General Manager for The Met Peter Geld said that it is still too soon to tell whether they can salvage any of the remaining season which closes on May 9.

Depending on a fairly short season of performances each year, the cancellations will cost The Met…and the city millions of dollars in lost revenue. And while Broadway and Off Broadway runs year round, they will also suffer a great deal in financial losses.

Geld stated, we do not have business interruption insurance. In fact, I don’t believe any of the performing arts companies, or at least none of the others I’ve been talking to, have it;” adding that he hopes many of their patrons will gift their tickets to The Met in lieu of asking for a refund.

NASCAR Race On Minus Fans

On March 11, NASCAR released a statement saying that while the upcoming races would continue as scheduled, they were making some changes in track policies.

However, on March 12, NASCAR has amended their statement saying, “at this time, NASCAR will hold its race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway without fans in attendance. These events will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race. We will work with public health officials as we determine future scheduling beyond these events.”

Officials at Atlanta Motor Speedway said that fans who have purchased tickets for the event will receive full credit for any tickets purchased including grandstand seating, infield, camping, fan hospitality, and pit passes.

NASCAR runs only one race each season at Atlanta Motor Speedway; but the credit obtained from the race can be used at any NASCAR sanctioned event for the remainder of the 2020 or 2021 racing seasons at any Speedway Motorsports owned track. Information on obtaining credit for ticket purchases will be available on nascar.com in the next 48 hours.

Iration

Iration have a new album – “Coastin’ – coming out this summer and to help promote the album, they will be embarking on a tour of the United States in July and August.

Tribal Seeds will be joining the band on the tour. Iration will also be bringing along a few more special guests which they will be announcing soon.

Saying that they are excited for fans to hear the album, members of Iration also note that they are also excited to be playing the new music for fans.

Iration Summer tour dates:
July 9 at The Masquerade in Atlanta, GA
July 10 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL
July 11 at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL
July 12 at the Cocoa Beach Riverfront Park in Cocoa, FL
July 15 at the Salvage Station in Asheville, NC
July 16 at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC
July 17 at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA
July 18 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC
July 19 at the Charlotte Metro Cred Union Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC
July 23 at the Pier 6 Pavilion in Baltimore, MD
July 24 at the Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport in New York City, NY
July 25 at Bold Point Park in East Providence, RI
July 26 at the Stone Pony Summerstage in Asbury Park, NJ
Aug 14 at the Rotary Amphitheater in Fresno, CA
Aug 16 at the MontBleu Resort and Casino in Lake Tahoe, NV
Aug 19 at the Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, ID
Aug 21 at the Pavilion at Riverfront in Spokane, WA
Aug 22 at the Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA
Aug 23 at Edgefield in Troutdale, OR
Aug 26 at the Villa Hispana Pavilion in Albuquerque, NM
Aug 27 at the Mesa Amphitheatre in Mesa, AZ
Aug 28 at the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA
Aug 29 at the Mandalay Bay Beach in Las Vegas, NV
Aug 30 at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA

Coachella/Stagecoach Postponed

In the wake of the corona virus affecting more countries around the world, the organizers of the popular Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals in Indo, California have announced that while they are not outright canceling the three day music festivals; they will be postponing them for a period of six months where both weekends of Coachella and the one weekend of Stagecoach will all be held in October.

Coachella will be held October 9-11 and 16-18 with Stagecoach taking place on October 23-25.

In a statement Goldenvoice said, “at the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns. While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously. We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”

All tickets and passes for both events will be honoured for the new dates. For those fans who cannot attend the new festival dates, information for getting refunds will be forthcoming.

There is no word yet as to whether the lineup of performers will change.

After six new cases were diagnosed in Riverside County, the Riverside County Public Health Office Dr. Cameron Kaiser said, “no doubt it will impact many people, but my top priority is to protect the health of the entire community.”

 

feature photo credit: Coachella Facebook page

 

NASCAR Enacts Track Restrictions

The outbreak of the corona virus has upended sporting and entertainment events the world over.

While some sporting leagues hare holding events sans the fans. While NASCAR has not banned the fans, they have issued a statement on new restrictions at the track beginning with the race this weekend in Atlanta.

Medical facilities at a NASCAR event can rival any hospital. Their infield care centers are prepared to handle any emergency. That medical staff has just gotten a little bigger with the addition of infectious disease specialist. The new doctor will be on hand to offer technical assistance and to help in creating policy when needed. NASCAR will take all precautions and will follow CDC guidelines when it comes to anyone suspected of catching the virus.

Additionally…
NASCAR has always been a fan friendly sport that allows the fans to freely interact with the drivers and teams; that policy will change until the current health crisis has passed. Access to the teams and drivers will be restricted; as well as, dignitaries and officials.

All meetings between drivers and crew chiefs and track services will be held in open air locations. Events involving drivers should be held in an open air environment where they can be easily seen by fans.

It is recommended that drivers carry their own sharpies for autographs, pre-autograph items when possible, and make the hero cards the primary autographed item.

Close access to drivers during introductions will no longer be permitted – a six foot buffer will be erected between drivers and fans at the introduction stage and at the starting grid.

Via a statement, NASCAR said, “the health, safety and well-being of our industry, employees, media, fans and everyone associated with our events remains our top priority. We will remain diligent as we actively monitor this situation with medical experts and health officials.”

King Crimson

The progressive rock band King Crimson have planned a North American tour of the eastern portion of the country for this summer.

Bass man Tony Levin spoke on the tour via statement saying that they will be going old school with a tour bus and playing some of the outdoor venues they played over 30 years ago. As for the music, Levin notes that the set list hasn’t been set yet but it will include music from the band’s 50 year career including pieces that they have never before played live.

King Crimson tour dates:
June 4 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL
June 5 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL
June 6 at the Mizner Park Amphitheatre in Miami, FL
June 8 at the Dr. Phillips Walt Disney in Orlando, FL
June 9 at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, LA
June 10 at the Graceland Soundstage in Memphis, TN
June 12 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC
June 13 at the Union Bank Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA
June 14 at The Mann Center in Philadelphia, PA
June 16 at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, NY
June 18 at the Rockland Trust Pavilion in Boston, MA
June 19 at the Forest Hills Stadium in New York City, NY
June 20 at the Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, CT
June 22 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ
June 24 at the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights,OH
June 25 at the Palace Theatre in Louisville, KY
June 26 at the Meadowbrook Amphitheatre in Detroit, MI
June 28 at the MECU Pavilion in Baltimore, MD
June 30 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA
July 1 at Artpark in Lewiston, NY
July 5 at the Ravinia in Chicago, IL
July 7 at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal, QC
July 9 at the Festival d’ete in Quebec City, QC
July 11 at the Bluesfest in Ottawa, ON
July 12 at Casino Rama in Rama, ON

BPO, Rachmaninoff, and Slolarski

For their March 6 and 7 concert, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra had a full program of music and guest performances.

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The program opened with one of musical director Joann Falletta’s most beloved pieces – “Prelude a Apres-midi d’un Faun” (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) by Claude Debussey. The composition is the musical interpretation of the poem written by Stephane Mallorme.

The poem tells the story of Pan – the half man half goat mythological figure – and his fascination with a wood nymph who scorned his desires. Turned into reeds by the gods in response to the wood nymphs pleas, Pan takes the reeds and fashions them into a flut – the Pan Pipe.

A light and airy tunes, the piece was a nice way to get an afternoon of music started.

In a BPO Classics debut, the Orchestra performed two works by the French composer Florent Schmitt. Up first was the piece originally composed for the saxophone, “Legende for Violin and Orchestra, Op 66” featuring BPO Concert Master Nikki Chooi on violin.

Finishing out the first half of the program was “Oriane et la Prince D’Amour, Op 83”.

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After the intermission, Joanna Falletta, and the BPO return to the stage with guest pianist Konrad Skolarski for a performance of the “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op 18” by Sergey Rachmaninoff.

Only 22 and still at the St. Petersburg Conservatory when he composed his first Piano Concerto, the young Rachmaninoff was devastated by the debut performance when the conductor Glazinov had had too much to drink and botched the performance. The disaster sent Rachmaninoff into a tailspin of depression that left him unable to compose for three years.

After consulting a hypnotist, Rachmaninoff made his triumphant return to composing with his second Piano Concerto.

The famous work is familiar to more than just classical music fans. The work was the inspiration for the popular song “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen.

Fans of the James Bond films would also recognize a few passages in the Concerto in the spymaster’s film scores.

A brilliant pianist, Rachmaninoff also had large hands and composed his pieces using the entire keyboard of 88 keys. This gives any pianist a huge challenge in performing Rachmaninoff’s compositions.

Making his return to the Buffalo to perform with the BPO, Konrad was up to the challenge and performed the Concerto brilliantly. J

After the performance he returned to the stage to give an encore performance.

Gary Lewis Wows in Bear’s Den

Born into a musical family, Gary Lewis knows how to put on a show. From a very early age, father Jerry Lewis taught his son well on how to be a performer.

On March 7 Gary Lewis and the Playboys made a return visit to the Bear’s Den Showroom in the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino for a show that not only featured the life and music of Lewis; but was also a celebration of the music from the ’60’s.

Playing before a packed house, Lewis opened the show with a video clip of his father introducing the band and a performance of “Count Me In”. In between performances of “Love Potion No. 9”, “Save Your Heart for Me”, “Without a Word of Warning”, “I’m Sure Gonna Miss Her”, “I’m a Believer”, “Everybody Loves a Clown”, “I Won’t Make that Mistake Again”, Woolly Bully”, “This Diamond Ring”, “Barefootin’”, “My Heart’s a Symphony”, “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Sealed with a Kiss”, and “She’s Just My Style”; Lewis told stories about the songs, his life, and showed video clips of himself and with his dad.

As Lewis and the band left the stage, the crowd was standing, clapping, and shouting for more. After a few minutes, Lewis returned to the stage for one more song. Saying he didn’t know what to do, Lewis chose a rocking Beatles tune before going out in the concourse to greet a very long line of fans for photos and autographs.

NASCAR Issues Phoenix Penalty

On March 8, Joey Logano took his number 22 Penske Racing car to victory lane at the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway for his second win of the season.

During the post race inspection process, Logano’s car was found to have one of its lug nuts improperly secured.

As a result of the infraction, number 22 crew chief Paul Wolfe was fined $10,000. There were no other issues with the car and Logano will keep his win with no further penalties.

Last season NASCAR implemented a rule change that stated, any race winner who is charged with a car infraction during the post race inspection will have their win vacated and placed in the last place position.

Ringo Starr’s All Star Band

Sir Ringo Starr is famously known for singing that “he gets by with a little help from his friends.”

For the past several years, Sir Ringo has been getting a lot of help from his friends with his annual All Star Band tours.

Sir Ringo and the band will once again be touring North America for a tour this June.

Current All Star Band members include Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette, and Hamish Stuart.

Edgar Winter and The Avett Brothers will be opening some of the shows.

Starr released his latest album – “What’s My Name” – on October 25.

Ringo Starr’s All Star Band tour dates:
May 29 & 30 at the Casino Rama Resort in Rama, ON
June 2, 3 & 5 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, NY
June 9 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, ME
June 10 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, MA
June 11 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH
June 14 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ
June 16 & 17 at The Modell Lyric in Baltimore, MD
June 20 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
June 23 & 24 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA
June 26 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL
June 27 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL
June 28 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL

Swedish Actor Max von Sydow Dies

Long time actor Max von Sydow died March 8 in Provence, France home at the age of 90. No official cause of death was given.

The Swedish born actor has appeared in dozens of productions but is best know for his roles as Priest in “The Exorcist” and as the Three Eyed Raven in the award winning television series “The Game of Thrones”.

He made his film debut in 1949 in “Only a Mother”; a film from his native land of Sweden. It wasn’t until 1965 that Max made his Hollywood debut as Jesus in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. He turned down the role of Dr. No in the James Bond film “Dr. No”, but accepted the role of bad guy Ernst Blofeld in “Never Say Never Again” – Sean Connery’s last film as Bond. He also played “Flash Gordon” villain Ming the Merciless. He has appeared in several of Ingmar Bergman’s films.

His other roles include “The Seventh Seal”, “Hawaii”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “Three Days of the Condor”, “Footloose”, “Conan the Barbarian”, “Dune”, as the Apostle Peter in “Quo Vadis?”, King John of Portugal in the television mini series “Christopher Columbus”, “Hannah and Her Sister”. The voice of the narrator in “Europa”, “Needful Things”, “Rush Hour 3”, “The Tudors”, “Robin Hood”, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”, “The Simpsons”, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, and his final role in 2018 as Vladimir Petrenko in “The Command”. He is also scheduled to appear in “Echoes of the Past” as Nikolas Andreou which is currently in post production.

Often choosing not to appear outside of Europe, Max appeared as himself in documentaries, talk shows, and award shows.

He was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Sweden. A very shy child, he became interested in acting at age 14 after seeing a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. His first acting experience came while at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm after serving his mandatory military service.

Married and divorced twice, Max is survived by his sons Clas, Henrik, Yvan, and Cedric.

 

Feature photo credit: By Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10095122

‘The Voice’ Blind Auditions, part 4

It’s night four of the Blind Auditions on “The Voice” and Anaya Cheyenne gets the show started off with her version of “I’ll Never Love Again”. It was at the end of the song when Blake and Kelly push their buttons together. Nick called Anaya’s performance impressive. Kelly noted that Anaya had an incredible range, but felt she could work with her on technique. Blake called her performance unreal. Anaya chose Kelly to be her coach.

Blake leads the way with six artists on his team with Kelly, Nick, and John each having five artists on their teams. This season the coaches are only allowed to pick 10 singers for their teams instead of the 12 from past seasons.

Mandi Thomas gave a bilingual performance of “Time to Say Goodbye” and it didn’t take long for Kelly to push her button and then stand for the performance. Nick said that he didn’t know anything about opera but had goosebumps. Mandi is a classically trained singer who has been singing since she was eleven. Kelly has been looking for an opera singer.

John noted that he has all guys on his team; and Kelly added that she has all girls.

Ari Tibi comes from an artistic family, her mother is a French teacher and her father is a film composer. Ari is currently is an all girl band. Ari failed to turn any chairs. Blake said that it was disappointing; adding that they were so close. John liked the ending; calling it powerful and told her to come back. Nick noted that it was the song choice. Kelly said that there were moments.

Playing the guitar, Jacob Miller performed the Bob Dylan song “The Times They are A Changing”. Kelly and Blake pushed their buttons together, and then Nick added his name to the list. Nick said that Jacob’s voice is incredible. Jacob is a big fan of music from the 1920’s; adding that he loves ragtime. Kelly is interested in seeing how she could take a modern song and put Jacob’s old time music spin on it. Blake noted that Jacob’s style needs to be protected. Nick said that he would be excited to spend some time with Jacob; including a collaboration with The Jonas Brothers. Saying that is a tough call, Jacob chose Nick to be his coach.

Jon Mullins chose “Don’t Give Up on Me” for his audition and had Blake turning his chair early in the performance. A surprised Blake ran up and hugged Jon; calling it his greatest coaching day on the show. Kelly said that Jon has a big voice; adding that he is gifted. Nick said that Jon has an enormous voice and if he gets the chance he will steal Jon. Jon called Blake the king.

Jacob Daniel Murphy got Blake to turn his chair at the last moment. Nick was shocked; adding that he messed up. John said that the quality of Jacob’s voice is exceptional. Blake didn’t think he would ever get Jacob and felt like he was robbing a bank when no one else turned their chair.

Zan Fiskum sees “The Voice” as her chance to step out on her own. And she didn’t have to wait long before Nick pushed his button. John followed shortly thereafter. Kelly made it a three chair turn near the end of the song. Calling the performance beautiful, Blake said that Zan deserved a four chair turn and he messed it up. John said that Zan has a beautiful tone. Nick commended Zan for stepping out on her own; adding that she left him speechless. Kelly said that Zan has an amazing gift and a quality you can’t teach. In his first turn of the day, Zan chose John to be her coach.

Chan Fuze has been playing music on stage since he was a teen. At six feet 10 inches, Chan stands out on stage. But he failed to turn any chairs. Blake felt that there was too much emphasis on the dance moves instead of the singing. The coaches felt that the falsetto needed a little work. Kelly said that this environment isn’t quite right for Chan but he belongs in the rock world.

Calling himself a singing dinosaur, 40 year old Roderick Chambers has been singing most of his life. He chose “Back to One” by Brian McKnight for his audition and had Nick turning his chair very quickly…and then singing and dancing along. While Kelly said that she loved the song and John was grooving along, they did not turn their chairs. John noted that Roderick sounded like Nick.

Jules began playing at six, writing at 10, and performing at 12…she is now 15. Blake and Kelly waited until the end of the song before pushing their buttons. Nick said that it was a great performance; noting she took a risk doing her own arrangement of the song. Kelly noted that Jules has some Celine Dion control going. Blake was impressed with Jules’ arrangement of the song; adding he thinks she can make it to the finals. Saying that she loved them both, Jules chose Kelly to be her coach.

Jared Harper is deaf in his right ear, but has been playing music a long time. He chose the Rolling Stones hit “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” for his audition. John was rocking in his chair but did not push his button. Jared did not get any chairs to turn. John said that Jared has a cool tone but noted that there were some pitch issues. Nick said that he was desperate to spin. Blake thought the gravely sound was cool, but agreed with John on the pitch issues; adding that Jared seemed a bit restricted.

The teams are close to being filled and the coaches are getting very picky with their choices.

Michael Williams comes from a sports family but chose music over sports after a medical issue as a child. Michael had to wait until the end of the song before Nick pushed his button. After turning, Kelly said that he was so cute; adding that he looked like a young Tom Cruise. Kelly said that she loved Michael’s voice; adding he has an incredible gift. Nick noted that he finally understood what Blake was saying that it’s their job to coach the singers; adding that he can’t wait to coach Michael.

In the final audition of the night, Mike Jerel got Nick and John to hit their buttons after three words of “It’s a Man’s World”. Kelly came next a bit later and finally Blake made it the first four chair turn of the night. Kelly said that Mike set the room on fire. He grew up performing in retirement communities with has grandma. John said that every note was played with confidence. Kelly said that Mike was very talented. Blake thought that Mike was a girl; noting that Mike was singing notes that were incredible. Blake said that Mike is going to blow people away every time he sings. Nick noted that if he were Mike, he would go with John but wouldn’t it be nice to choose the unexpected coach. John said that Mike has the ability to win the show. Mom came out and said John should be the coach. Mike followed Mom’s advice and chose John to be his coach.

John has seven singers on his team; while the remaining coaches – Kelly, Blake, and Nick – have eight singers on their teams.

The Teams:
Team Blake:

Levi Watkins
Todd Michael Hall
Todd Tilghman
Toneisha Harris
Joei Fulco
Jamal Corrie
Jon Mullins
Jacob Daniel Murphy

Team Kelly:
Chelle
Megan Danielle
Tayler Green
Sara Collins
Samantha Howell
Anaya Cheyenne
Mandi Thomas
Jules

Team Legend:
Darious Lyles
Nelson Cade, III
Zach Day
Camwes
Thunderstorm Artis
Zan Fiskum
Mike Jerel

Team Nick:
Arei Moon
Joanna Serenko
Tate Brusa
Allegra Miles
Samuel Wilco
Jacob Miller
Roderick Chambers
Michael Williams

Julien’s to Auction Beatles Memorabilia

After a decade together, The Fab Four – better known as The Beatles – officially broke up on April 10, 1970. Marking that date, Julien’s Auctions is holding an auction of some Beatles memorabilia at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square (New York City) and online.

Nearly 300 items will be up for auction including some rare vinyl, never before seen memorabilia, obscure items, and collectible artifacts. One of the biggest items in the collection is the original stage used by The Beatles from their very first performance at Lathom Hall in in Liverpoool in 1960. The four Liverpool lads were known at The Silver Bells at the time.

It is also the stage that was the sight of a big scuffle involving bass man Stu Sutcliffe and resulted in a broken finger of John Lennon trying to help Sutcliffe.

The band would go on to give 10 more performances on the stage which was built in 1884. The stage measures 19 feet 8 inches by 9 feet 10 inches and has an estimated value of $10,000-$20,000.

Other items on the auction list include handwritten lyrics of “Hey Jude” by Sir Paul, a baseball signed by John, Paul, George, and Ringo taken from the band’s final U.S. show at Candlestick Park, a shooting script for the “Hello, Goodbye” with notes by Paul McCartney, a pair of wide-cut corduroy trousers worn by John Lennon on the Magical Mystery Tour, and a standing brass ashtray used by Ringo at Abbey Road.

 

feature photo credit: By ingen uppgift – Scanpix, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22219792

Venues, etc. Band Together to Save SXSW

On March 6 the city of Austin, Texas canceled the annual SXSW Festival over concerns of the corona virus.

Many large events like the SXSW Festival are covered by insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances; however, a cancellation due to health concerns is not covered by the insurance policy.

However, some Festival organizers have taken matters into their own hands and are trying to salvage what they can of the Festival event that was set to begin later this week.

Noting that the cancellation has impacted thousands of artists; Heard Presents, Prism.FM, Red River Cultural District. Giant Noise, Barracuda, Beerland, Cheer Up Charlies, Empire Control Room & Garage, Elysium, Mohawk, and Stubbs are banding together to raise money to help cover the expenses incurred by artists who were scheduled to perform at SXSW.

Noting that there are thousands of workers, businesses, organizations, and artists who depend on SXSW to survive; the group who has banded together to “ensure as many artists and events that want to continue on and perform a showcase in Austin in the following weeks are able to do so; provide financial relief to artists, workers, and partners who have incurred unrecoupable expenses in connection with confirmed events and performances; provide financial relief for artists workers and partners who have lost income that they counted on to pay bills, rent, etc.; and to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred to ensure safety of patrons of these events as required by our local, state, and federal governments.

In a statement issued by the Band Together group stated, “our venues and staff are ready and willing to work to make ten glorious days of music, art, culture and technology happen across our city, and more folks around town are joining us every minute. Artists and workers have incurred expenses to get to and stay in the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’ during the next few weeks. Some may have been reimbursed or refunded but many folks are out thousands of dollars. Our goal is to keep as many artists as possible coming to Austin. We also want to assist rehoming events that are losing their venues or can’t afford to pay for equipment or staff.”

Band Together is asking anyone interested in participating in the upcoming events to contact them.

Auditions Continue on ‘American Idol’

It’s week four of the auditions on “American Idol”. As the show begins, Lionel and Luke announce that there will be a fourth judge this season. Katy announces that she is going to have a baby; adding she is going to get fat and everything will be bigger.

Luke has to remove a splinter from Katy’s finger.

Dental student Danny La Bota gets the auditions started off with his version of “Royals” by Lorde. Katy called Danny one of the most original people on Idol this season. Luke said that Danny had an old school vintage voice. Lionel noted that Danny had control and a crazy range. Danny got his ticket to Hollywood with three yeses.

Several of the auditioners were more interested in seeing Luke.

But Lou Dawg had no idea who any of the judges were. He chose an original song for his audition. After Lou called Lionel Pat Sayjak, Lionel turned his chair around. Luke said that Lou almost had it but wondered whether he had enough to make it through the show. Katy said that it felt more like a hobby. When asked if he wanted it, Lou said that he didn’t know what “it” is. Noting that it would take a lot of work, Katy said yes, but the guys said no but encouraged Lou to find “it” and come back.

Devon Alexander grew up in a log cabin with a TV that got only one channel – the one Idol was on. The judges were into it and gave Devon his ticket to Hollywood.

Makayla Phillips auditioned in 2017 but was two weeks too young at the time. She returns to try again and gave Katy chills. Makayla got her her ticket to Hollywood.

Mosean Wilson chose an original song for his audition that he performed on his own keyboard. Luke said that Mosean is what it’s all about. Katy said that he has an incredible voice. Lionel said that they felt it and gave Mosean a hug. Lionel said that they are standing behind him and gave Mosean a ticket to Hollywood.

After clips of yes votes, Faith had questions about her. While they thought she had a good voice, they weren’t sure she was taking herself serious. Saying that Faith had a ton of potential, Katy said yes…and Luke agreed giving Faith her ticket to Hollywood.

After meeting at church Kat (Luna) and Space Cowboy (Alejandro) auditioned together with “Shallow” from “A Star is Born”. Luke asked if they were real people and Katy was in tears. Luke said that Space Cowboy is a good Instagram name. Luke said that it never happens that two people knock it out of the park. Kat got three yeses and then Alex also got three yeses for both singers to get their tickets to Hollywood.

Tavia brought her “girl-tarist” Terry to play with her. She chose the Gloria Gaynor hit “I Will Survive” for her audition. Calling them entertaining, Katy said that they duo should be a permanent duo, but noted the voice was sometimes iffy. Katy and Lionel said that she needs a little more work. This was Tavia’s first time doing an audition.

Sophia Wackerman comes from a musical family and played the piano for her audition. Luke said that Sophia has a signature tone. Lionel said that Sophia is several different threats that work in her favour. Katy said that Sophia has her own style with instant identity. Sophia got her ticket to Hollywood. Katy took Sophia out to meet the other singers to tell them to bring it because they have some really good singers.

Savannah is reportedly a haunted city, Jimmy Levy comes from a family of mediums and psychics. Jimmy’s mom comes in and has some psychic advice for the judges. Lionel called Jimmy a great front man for an Alternative band. Katy said that Jimmy would need a lot of work but gave him a yes. The guys also gave him a yes and Jimmy got his ticket to Hollywood. Jimmy said that his mother saw him getting the ticket seven years ago.

Dance team member Olivia Ximines performed with her dance team before singing for the judges. Lionel noted that Olivia had her dancers. Lionel called the performance fantastic. Katy called Olivia a delight. Luke said that Olivia has a sparkling personality. Olivia got three yeses and a ticket to Hollywood.

Marna Michele is the first singer to audition for the show who uses a wheelchair. Luke said that Marna has incredible range but wanted her to dig in a little more. Lionel told her to concentrate on the story because it loses the emotion. Katy gives Marna a little voice lesson. With three yeses, Marna has a ticket to Hollywood. Katy told Marna that she would be treated the same as the other singers.

West Virginia native Zack Dobbins comes from a musical family. He has never been to Hollywood…or on an airplane. Luke tuned up Zack’s guitar at the beginning of the original song Zach chose for his audition. Lionel was fascinated but couldn’t put it in words. Katy called Zack authentic. Luke said that they didn’t want to change Zack but they would teach him a little about singing. Zack got his ticket to Hollywood. Katy called Zack a diamond in the rough.

In the final audition of the night, Ren Patrick chose “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn for her audition. Luke called Ren an incredible singer; adding she did a great job. Lionel said that Ren’s got an instrument and he is interested in seeing how far she can go with that instrument. Katy brought Ren’s mom in and gave her the ticket to Hollywood.

First 2 Time 2020 Winner in Phoenix

It’s the final race of the west coast swing when the NASCAR Cup Series cars run the FanShield 500.

At one mile in length, Phoenix Raceway is considered a short track which also means a new rules package and look to the cars. The drivers will also have to break in a new tire from Goodyear.

This is the first time in NASCAR history that the drivers are getting such an early look at the track where they will not only run the final race of the season; but will also crown a new champion.

NASCAR ran their first race at Phoenix in 1988 with Alan Kulwicki winning the race…and created a new tradition by running a victory lap backwards, which became known as the Polish Victory Lap.


The short-track package includes a much shorter rear spoiler and front splinter that will require the drivers to rely on handling and performance.

It seems that every year Silly Season begins a little earlier and this year talk has already begun as to whichdrivers may be moving on after the season after only three races. While Jimmie Johnson has already announced his impending retirement, there are teams who have yet to cement drivers for next season. But one driver has taken his name off the list when Penske Racing driver Ryan Blaney signed a new multi year contract to continue driving the number 12 car.

Still healing after his big crash, Ryan Newman has made a visit or two to the Roush-Fenway Racing shop and this weekend he is in the garage with his Roush-Fenway team mates. While there is still no timetable for his return to the number six car, Newman says that he is feeling good. Ross Chastain will continue to driver the number six car until Newman is ready to return to driving.

For the second week in a row, NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr will have to start the race from the back of the field, but this time it has nothing to do with issues in the inspection process. On Saturday morning, Truex’s number 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team put a new engine in the car. According to the rules, drivers must use the same engine the entire weekend or face a penalty of starting the race from the back of the field if they replace that engine…even if it was done for mechanical issues.

After qualifying, Chase Elliott puts his number nine car on the pole with a time of 26.06 seconds around the track. Elliott will bring the field to green with Kevin Harvick starting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the FanShield 500:
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Kurt Busch
Alex Bowman
Matt DiBenedetto
Kyle Busch
Erik Jones
Martin Truex Jr – moved to the back of the field for an engine change
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Cole Custer
William Byron
Clint Bowyer
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Ryan Preece
Jimmie Johnson
Michael McDowell
Chris Buescher
Ross Chastain
Ty Dillon
John Hunter Nemechek
Bubba Wallace
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Austin Dillon
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Quin Houff
Reed Sorenson
Garrett Smithley
Joey Gase
Timmy Hill

Running 500 kilometers – 312 miles – all three of the stages will be different lengths with stage one lasting 75 laps, stage two is 115 laps, and stage three will be 122 laps.


Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and gets out in front for the lead.

Lap two; Chase Elliott is in the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Kyle Larson makes it a three way battle with Elliott taking the lead.

Lap four the top five are Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap six, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson who continue to battle for position.

Lap 10, Chase Elliott holds on to his lead of over half a second with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 16, Chase Elliott holds on to his half second lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 20, the leaders are already encountering slower traffic with Chase Elliott leading the way by half a second over Kevin Harvick.

Lap 25, Chase Elliott has led every lap so far with Kevin Harvick in second; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Ninth place driver Kyle Busch has brushed the wall but the track stays green and Busch remains on the track.

Lap 34, Chase Elliott continues to hold on to the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Lap 38, Kyle Larson is reporting a very tight condition.

Lap 39, Chase Elliott’s lead is down to less than a tenth of a second on Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 42, Chase Elliott’s lead is back up to half a second over Kevin Harvick.

Lap 50, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick; Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 54, Timmy Hill is on pit road.

Chase Elliott has a lead of only two tenths of a second on Kevin Harvick. After starting at the back of the field due to an engine change, Martin Truex Jr has moved up to 14th place.

Lap 57, in a three way battle for the lead, Chase Elliott holds on to the top spot with Kevin Harvick in second.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings out the first caution flag of the race after getting loose and hitting the wall on lap 58.

Lap 60, pit road becomes a very busy place as drivers come down looking for fresh rubber. Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road.

Ty Dillon’s crew was charged with coming over the pit wall too soon. Christopher Bell was caught speeding on pit road. Both drivers will restart the race from the back of the field.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart and holds on to the lead.

The second caution flag of the race comes out after Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney get into a crash.

Ryan Blaney is in the garage on the crash clock. Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski are on pit road for repairs.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 71 and holds on to the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Joey Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ky Busch round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick wins stage one for his first ever stage win at Phoenix.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Matt DiBenedetto
Kyle Busch
Alex Bowman
Martn Truex Jr
Aric Almirola
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones

After pitting only a few laps ago, several of the drivers stay out on the track; while other drivers come down pit road for service. The drivers cannot complete stage two without making at least one pit stop.

Timmy Hill and Ryan Blaney are out of the race.

Corey LaJoie was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 85 and holds off Chase Elliott to keep the lead; Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Lap 88, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Chase Elliott.

Lap 89, Chase Elliott has caught leader Kevin Harvick and is challenging for the lead.

Don’t think fresh tires matter??? Joey Logano is running times two seconds faster than lead Kevin Harvick after Logano came down pit road; while Harvick stayed out on the track.

Chase Elliot has gotten around Kevin Harvick for the lead with Joey Logano in third; Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 100, Chase Elliott has a tenth of a second lead on Kevin Harvick; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 104, Kevin Harvick retakes the lead from Chase Elliott; Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Austin Dillon had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a loose tire. He is now two laps down.

Lap 110, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 112, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Chase Elliott; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 123, Kevin Harvick has a second and a half lead on Brad Keselowski; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr rounding out the top five.

Lap 130, Kevin Harvick holds on to his second and a half lead on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 131,Austin Dillon brings out the caution flag after getting into the wall.

Pit road becomes a busy spalce as drivers are looking for fresh tires. Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski right behind him.

Joey Logano had an uncontrolled tire on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Kevin Harvick has a slow pit stop after difficulties on the right front tire.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 138 and the drivers immediately get several cars wide across the track. While Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski battle for the lead, Martin Truex Jr comes from third and takes the lead.

Lap 140; the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer.

After a three wide battle, Chase Elliott retakes the lead after a three battle

Lap 147, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

After a lead of over a second, Chase Elliott has to come down pit road with a loose wheel. Brad Keselowski is the new leader with a two second lead on Kevin Harvick; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Chase Elliott came back out on the track in 28th place, one lap down.

With 25 laps remaining in stage two, Brad Keselowski has a lead of a second and half on Kevin Harvick; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 170, Brak Keselowski holds on to his second and a half lead on Kevin Harvick; Martin Truex Jr, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 176, Kevin Harvick is beginning to eat into Brad Keselowski’s second and a half lead. Keselowski leads Harvick by 1.20 seconds; Martin Truex Jr, Tyler Reddick,, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

With nine laps remaining in stage two, Brad Keselowski’s lead over Kevin Harvick is down to less than a second.

With only two laps remaining in stage two, Garrett Smithley brings out the caution flag and freezing the field with a blown engine. Brad Keselowski wins stage two for his first stage win of the season and the first ever in Phoenix.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Martin Truex Jr
Tyler Reddick
Kyle Busch
Aric Almirola
Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer
Kyle Larson
Cole Custer

Chase Elliott is the “lucky dog” and will be on the lead lap.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road, beating Brad Keselowski by inches. Once again Kevin Harvick had a slow pit stop.

Michael McDowell has made several trips down pit road, many times with the hood up, but he is back out on the track.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 200, but it is Brad Keselowski who gets out in front for the lead with rookie driver Tyler Reddick in second. Martin Truex Jr falls to fifth place.

Lap 204, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, and Aric Almirola. Chase Elliott has gained 14 spots since the restart.

Lap 207, Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a lead of over a second and a half on Joey Logano; Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 209, Brad Keselowski’s lead is now over two seconds on Kevin Harvick; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Martin Treux Jr round out the top five.

Lap 211, Chase Elliott is back in the top 10 in ninth place.

Quin Houff brings out the caution flag after a heavily smoking car that backs into the wall. Houff tells his crew chief that something blew up.

Taking only two tires, Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road. Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, and Christopher Bell also took only two tires.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with 91 laps remaining in the race. Truex gets out in front of Tyler Reddick for the lead as drivers gets three wide across the track.

Christopher Bell gets into the wall but the track stays green.

With 89 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr has the lead but Joey Logano on fresher tires takes over the lead; Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

With 85 laps to go, Kevin Harvick passes Martin Truex Jr for second. Chase Elliott is back in the top five in fifth place.

With 77 laps to go, the drivers that took only two tires have fallen back in the field. Joey Logano leads the race by three quarters of a second over Kevin Harvick; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Erik Jones gets loose and taps the wall but the track stays green.

With 72 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has closed the gap on lead Joey Logano to half a second.

Sixty-five laps remain in the race, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

With 62 to go, Kevin Harvick passes Joey Logano for the lead.

Erik Jones brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall hard.

Pit road is very busy. Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road with Joey Logano coming out in second.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart with 54 laps to go. After a little side by side racing, Joey Logano gets out in front for the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Fifty to go, Joey Logano has a narrow lead on Kevin Harvick; Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick brings out the caution flag on lap 265 when he gets into the wall causing heavy damage to his car.

There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Much of the field has come down pit road for fresh tires and adjustments. Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers did not come down pit road.

Joey Logano’s team had issues on pit road, causing a slow pit stop.

The top nine drivers stayed out on the track.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with Chase Elliott alongside with 41 laps remaining in the race. After taking the inside lane, the drivers gets three and four wide with Kyle Larson getting out in front for the lead with Brad Keselowski in second.

Forty to go, Kyle Larson leads the race; Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski gets past Kyle Larson for the lead with 39 laps to go.

Thirty-five to go, Chris Buescher brings out the caution flag after a possible flat tire and a brush with the wall.

Kyle Busch is now the second place driver behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Even though they had come down pit road only a few laps back, the drivers again come down pit road for fresh tires.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Again staying out on the track, Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with 30 laps to to. The drivers get spread out across the track with Martin Truex Jr hitting the wall and bringing out the caution flag. Truex takes his car to the garage.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 24 laps to ge; the drivers get four and five wide across the track before getting two by two. Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead with Joey Logano in second; Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race with Joey Logano in second.

Joey Logano gets around Brad Keselowski to take the lead; Keivn Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

With 17 laps to go, Kevin Harvick passes Brad Keselowski for second; Joey Logano has a one second lead.

Fifteen to go, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kevin Harvick; Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Fourteen to go, Kyle Busch takes third from Brad Keselowski

Thirteen to go, Brad Keselowski retakes third place from Kyle Busch. Joey Logano continues to lead the race.

Ten to go, Joey Logano is in the lead with Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five.

Ross Chastain brings out the cuation flag with nine laps remaining in the race when he spins out after making contact with Cole Custer.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires but the leaders stay out.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart with only four laps remaining in the race. Logano gets out in front for the lead but gets a challenge from Kyle Busch.

Big spin brings out the caution flag with three laps to go will bring an overtime finish. In a five wide battle John Hunter Nemechek, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Matt DiBenedetto were all involved. Alex Bowman also sustained some damage to his car.

In a two lap shootout, Joey Logano brings the field to green from the inside lane and gets out in front to hold on to the lead; Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Joey Logano takes the white flag.

Joey Logano becomes the first driver to win a second race in this young NASCAR Cup Series season. This is career win number 25 for Joey Logano.

The unofficial results of the FanShield 500:
Joey Logano
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Kyle Larson
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Chase Elliott

Aric Almirola
Cole Custer

William Byron
Brad Keselowski
Jimmie Johnson
Matt DiBenedetto
Alex Bowman
Ty Dillon
Michael McDowell
Chris Buescher
Ryan Preece
Bubba Wallace
Denny Hamlin
Daniel Suarez
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ross Chastain
Christopher Bell
John Hunter Nemechek
JJ Yeley
Corey LaJoie
Erik Jones
Joey Gase
Reed Sorenson
Brennan Poole
Martin Truex Jr
Tyler Reddick
Quin Houff
Garrett Smithley
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Timmy Hill

Youngsters Rule in Phoenix Xfinity Race

The Xfinity Series closes out the west coast swing with the LS Tractor 200 from Phoenix Raceway.

With short track rules in play on the one mile track, the drivers get two laps to make their fastest time to qualify for the race in just a few hours.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch will be running the first of his five Xfinity Series races as he tries to notch win number 12 at Phoenix Raceway. Fellow NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski will start in fourth place.

Thirty nine teams have brought cars to fill 36 spots in the starting grid.

With a qualifying time of 26.86, Kyle Busch put his number 54 Twix car on the pole and will lead the field to green with Austin Cindric starting alongside on the front row.

Colby Howard and Kody Vanderwal will be making their Xfinity Series debuts in the race.

After the 39 cars qualified JJ Yeley, Matt Mills, and Bayley Currey all failed to qualify for the race.

The starting lineup for the LS Tractor 200:
Kyle Busch
Austin Cindric
Harrison Burton
Brad Keselowski
Ross Chastain
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Sieg
Riley Herbst
Daniel Hemric
Brandon Brown
Justin Haley
Myatt Snider
Landon Cassill
Brett Moffitt
Jeremy Clements
Joe Graf Jr.
Dillon Bassett
BJ McLeod
Alex Labbe
Ray Black Jr.
Josh Williams
Stephen Leicht
Michael Annett
Joe Nemechek
Tommy Joe Martins
Jeff Green
Timmy Hill
Chad Finchum
David Starr
Jesse Little
Colby Howard
Vinnie Miller
Kody Vanderwal

NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer will be joining Adam Alexander in the FOX broadcast booth for the race.

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 200 laps around the one mile track.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of the race but it is Austin Cindric who gets out in front first for the lead; Kyle Busch is in second place.

Lap three the top five are Austin Cindric, Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, and Justin Allgaier.

Lap five, Harrison Burton kisses wall and has fallen out of the top five to sixth place.

Lap six, Austin Cindric has a quarter of a second lead on Kyle Busch; Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 10, Austin Cindric continues to lead the race with Kyle Busch in second; Ross Chastain is in third nearly two seconds back.

Kyle Busch gets around Austin Cindric to take the lead.

Lap 17, Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Austin Cindric; Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 21, Kyle Busch holds on to his half second lead on Austin Cindric; but he has encountered slower traffic.

Leader Kyle Busch reports that he can’t quite get a handle on his car; adding that it is edgy.

Lap 25, Kyle Busch continues to lead the race with Austin Cindric a half second back; Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Daniel Hemric in the number eight car is reporting a very loose condition.

Lap 29, Kyle Busch holds on to the lead as he encounters slower traffic; Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Ray Black Jr brings out the first caution flag of the race when he gets loose and into the wall in a single car incident on lap 32. Black had to start the race from the back of the field after the team made some unapproved adjustments between qualifying and race start.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the gree flag restart from the outside lane with nine laps remaining in stage one. Busch takes the lead with Justin Allgaier in second on Busch’s bumper.

Lap 39, Justin Allgaier gets around Kyle Busch to take the lead after a little back and forth racing.

Lap 40, with the drivers getting three wide; Justin Allgaier is in the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Chase Briscoe, Kyle Busch, and Austin Cindric round out the top five.

Lap 43, there are 27 cars on the lead lap with all 36 drivers still on the track.

On the final lap of stage one; Justin Allgaier has a lead of over half a second on Ross Chastain.

Justin Allgaier wins his third stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Justin Allgaier
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch
Austin Cindric
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Brad Keselowski
Brandon Jones
Harrison Burton

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Justin Allgaier wins the race off of pit road, but he is in third place after Brad Keselowski and Brandon Brown stayed out on the track.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 56 but it is Brandon Brown who gets out in front before Justin Allgaier and Ross Chastain make it three wide.

Lap 58, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch, and Brandon Jones.

After starting the stage in the front, Brad Keselowski has dropped to sixth.

Jeremy Clements brins his car down pit road with a blown engine.

Fifteen laps remaining in stage two; Justin Allgaier is in the lead with Ross Chastain on his bumper; Kyle Busch, Noah Gragson, and Brandon Jones rounds out the top five.

Lap 64, Justin Allgaier has a lead of nearly half a second on Ross Chastain and Kyle Busch who battle back and forth for second.

Lap 68, Justin Allgaier holds on to the lead but Kyle Busch has moved into second place with Ross Chastain in third; Noah Gragson and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 0, Kyle Busch challenges Justin Allgaier for the lead.

After several laps of battling, Kyle Busch finally gets around Justin Allgaier to take the lead with 14 laps remaining in stage two.

Ten laps remain in stage two; Kyle Busch is in the lead by nearly half a second over Justin Allgaier; Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Colby Howard gets slowed on the track after hitting the wall and leaving debris on the track. NASCAR puts out the caution flag with only six laps remaining in stage two.

Leaders come down pit road for service.

Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Ross Chastain brings the field down for a two lap shootout to end stage two. Chastain gets out in front for the lead with Noah Gragson in second.

Noah Gragson gets around Ross Chastain to win stage two for his second career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch
Justin Allgaier
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Jones
Harrison Burton
Austin Cindric
Brandon Brown

Ross Chastain had to bring his car down pit road before it was open due to a power steering issue that had smoke coming into his cockpit.

Coming down pit road hot, Jesse Little nearly slams into Kyle Busch who was preparing to exit his pit stall.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 100 from the outside lane and edges out for the lead in a three wide battle with Chase Briscoe and Kyle Busch.

Lap 109, Noah Gragson leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

With 85 laps to go in the race, Justin Allgaier gets around Kyle Busch for second place.

And one lap later, Allgaier gets around leader Noah Gragson to take the lead of the race. The top five are Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Noah Gragson has some debris on his front grille.

Lap 120, Justin Allagier has a near half second lead on Noah Gragson with Kyle Busch, Chase Briscoe, and Harrison Burton rounding out the top five.

There are 27 cars on the lead lap with four cars out of the race.

Lap 123, Justin Allgaier has a lead of nearly a second on Noah Gragson.

The fifth caution flag of the race comes out with 73 laps to go when Joe Nemechek has brake issues.

In their pit window to finish the race on one more load of fuel, some of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.

Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road with Brandon Jones coming out second.

After staying out on the track Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe bring the field down for the green flag restart with Justin Allgaier holding on to the lead.

Lap 135, Brandond Jones battles with Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Brandon Brown gets loose on the track and brings out the caution flag.

Justin Allgaier gives up his lead for a trip down pit road for fuel.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart with Kyle Busch alongside on the front row. Kyle Busch takes the lead with 58 laps to go, but the caution flag comes out for a wreck involving Daniel Hemric, Ray Black Jr, Joe Graf Jr, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Labbe.

After a long cleanup, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with 47 laps remaining in the race. Taking the inside lane, Kyle Busch gets out in front for the lead with Austin Cindric getting into second place.

Lap 155, Kyle Busch is in the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, and Jusitn Haley round out the top five.

Forty to go, Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Brandon Jones; Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 165, Kyle Busch holds on to the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Thirty to go, Kyle Busch continues to lead the race. After restarting the race in 15th place taking only fuel; Justin Allgaier has only moved up two spots to 13th place.

Lap 175, Brandon Jones has caught up to leader Kyle Busch and is challenging for the lead; Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Brandon Jones finally gets around Kyle Busch for the lead. Kyle Busch is using NASCAR Cup Series team mate Erik Jones’ pit crew; while team mate Brandon Jones is using Kyle Busch’s Cup pit crew.

Lap 183, Brandon Jones has increased his lead ot nearly a second on Kyle Busch with Harrison Burton, Brad Keselowski, and Noah Gragson rounding out the top five.

Lap 188, Brandon Jones has a lead of a second and a half on Kyle Busch with Harrison Burton in third on Busch’s bumper.

Lap 189, Harrison Burton gets around Kyle Busch for second place and a Joe Gibbs Racing 1 – 2 – 3.

Nine to go, Brandon Jones has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Harrison Burton; Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Justin Haley round out the top five. There are 18 cars on the lead lap.

Five to go, Brandon Jones has increased his lead to nearly three seconds.

Brandon Jones takes the white flag with a lead of over three seconds on Harrison Burton; Kyle Busch is in third.

Going back to back in the Xfinity Series, Joe Gibbs Racing wins the LS Tractor 200 with Brandon Jones; Harrison Burton (last week’s winner), and Kyle Busch in third give Coach Gibbs a 1-2-3. This is the 500th NASCAR win for Toyota.

Big fight after the race that required NASCAR officials to separate the teams of Dillon Bassett and Brandon Brown.

The unofficial results of the LS Tractor 200:
Brandon Jones
Harrison Burton
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Justin Haley
Chase Briscoe
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Ross Chastain
Riley Herbst
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Brown
Justin Allgaier
Myatt Snider
Jeff Green
Josh Williams
Michael Annett
Dillon Bassett
Brett Moffitt
BJ McLeod
Jesse Little
Alex Labbe
Timmy Hill
Chad Finchum
Ray Black Jr
David Starr
Vinnie Miller
Tommy Joe Martins
Kody Vanderwal
Daniel Hemric
Joe Graf Jr
Joe Nemechek
Stephen Leicht
Colby Howard
Landon Cassill
Jeremy Clements

Kim Gordon

Artistic pioneer Kim Gordon has announced that she will be embarking on a tour this spring. Stepping away from her role as bass player and vocalist for Sonic Youth and Body/Head, she will be making her debut as the headlining act for the tour.
Last year Gordon released her debut solo album “No Home Record”. She will be performing music live for the first time on the tour.

Running through the spring and summer; Gordon began the tour in London on March 6 and will feature several festival performances. She was also scheduled to present a keynote speech at the annual SXSW Festival on March 20; but Austin officials have canceled the annual music and film festival this year over concerns for the corona virus.

Kim Gordon tour dates:
March 8 at The Roundhouse in London, UK
May 22 at the Cabaret Sauvage in Paris, France
May 24 at the AB Ballroom in Brussels, Belgium
May 25 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 27 at the Gorilla in Manchester, UK
May 28 at SWX in Bristol, UK
May 29 at All Points East in London, UK
May 31 at the Art Rock Festival in Saint Brieuc, France
June 2 at the Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland
June 3 at the L’Epicerie Moderne in Feyzin, France
June 4-6 at the Northside 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark
June 8 at the Astra Kulturhaus in Berlin, Germany
June 9 at the Gloria Theater in Cologne, Germany
June 11 at the Primavera Sound in Porto, Portugal
July 17 at the First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN
July 17-19 at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL
July 21 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA
July 23 at the Webster Hall in New York City, NY
July 24 at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA
July 25 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC
Sept 11 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC
Sept 12 at The Showbox in Seattle, WA
Sept 13 at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR
Sept 15 at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA

A Bowie Celebration

David Bowie the man has gone but his music lives on both inside us and through the artists and musicians who have worked over the years.

Some of those musicians have come together for “A Bowie Celebration”.

The band has just begun a North American tour that will not only feature music from Bowie’s musical career; but will also feature preform antes of a couple of his biggest albums in full.

Having been a part of over 1,000 Bowie concert performances,Mike Garson serves as bandleader for the project. And sharing the stage at various performances are Gerry Leonard, Carmine Rojas, Alan Childs, and Kevin Armstrong. Guest vocalists include Corey Global ver, Sass Jordan, Evan Rachel Wood, and Joe Summer.

A Bowie Celebrating tour dates:
March 8 at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco, CA
March 11 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR
March 12 at the Neptune in Seattle, WA
March 13 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC
March 15 at the Palace Theatre in Calgary, AB
March 17 at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg, MB
March 19 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL
March 20 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Detroit, MI
March 21 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto, ON
March 23 at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall in Munhall, PA
March 24 at The State Theatre in Falls Church, VA
March 25 at the Agora Theatre in Cleveland, OH
March 27 at the Chevalier Theatre in Medford, MA
March 28 at the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon, NH
March 29 at the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT
March 31 at Sony Hall in New York City, NY
April 1 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ
April 2 at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ
April 3 at the Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ
April 4 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA
April 5 at the Tilles Center in Brookville, NY
April 7 at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
April 8 at the King Center in Melbourne, FL
April 9 at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL
April 10 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, FL
April 11 at the Amaturo in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Hayley Williams

Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams is stepping out on her own with a new debut solo album…and a tour.

“Petals for Armor” is due out May 8 and on May 13, she will be embarking on her tour that will begin in Europe.

Williams notes that she will be performing in places that Paramore outgrew a decade ago; adding, “it’s going to be so satisfying to feel the energy of a crowd that close again, especially while performing songs that feel so vital for me; songs I have never performed before for an audience.”

Hayley Williams tour dates:
May 13 at the Melkweg Max in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
May 15 at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK
May 16 at the Electric Brixton in London, UK
May 18 at La Cigale in Paris, France
May 19 at the Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany
May 28 at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA
May 30 at The Masonic in San Francisco, CA
June 1 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA
June 3 at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO
June 5 at the HiFi in Dallas, TX
June 6 at the House of Blues in Houston, TX
June 8 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL
June 10 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA
June 15 at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC
June 17 at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD
June 18 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, PA
June 20 at the Houe of Blues in Boston, MA
June 22 at the Rebel in Toronot, ON
June 24 at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, NY
June 26 at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL
June 27 at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI
June 29 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, TN

 

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins have announced a Bare Knuckle Rock and Roll Invasion Tour for this spring. The tour is a return to the Rock Invasion the band launched in 1993 breakout year.

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan spoke on the upcoming tour saying, “it’s been a good while since we’ve played a straight-up, bare-knuckle rock and roll show—one that avoids little in the way of raw power. This tour won’t be for those faint of heart and will certainly echo the dynamic modes in which we built our live reputation.”

The rockers have also scheduled som stadium dates for this summer.

Smashing Pumpkins tour dates:
April 23 at the Palace Theatre in Louisville, KY
April 25 at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids, MI
April 26 at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, IN
April 28 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
April 29 at The Rust Belt in East Moline, IL
May 1 at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN
May 2 at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, GA
May 3 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL
May 5 at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, SC
May 6 at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC
May 8 at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts in Greensboro, NC
July 8 at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA
July 11 at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI
July 13 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON
July 16 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC
July 18 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
July 21 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA

SXSW Cancels Events

For over 30 years music and entertainment artisans and fans have descended on the capital city of Austin in Texas for a week of events including hundreds of musical performances and panel discussions in the annual SXSW Festival.

Earlier this week Facebook, Netflix, Apple, and Twitter all announced that due to the mounting concerns over the corona virus they would not be participating in the 2020 edition of SXSW.

On March 6, just one week before the annual event, the city of Austin has announced that this year’s SXSW Festival has been canceled.

The decision was made after the Austin Public Health office stated, “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.”

SXSW stated that they are “exploring options to reschedule the event and working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants.”

SXSW Festval organizers noted “ we understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.”

SXSW is the latest in a series of recent cancellations. The Ultra Music Festival in Miami announced on Wednesday that they would be canceling their event later this month. France has also announced that they are canceling the Tomorrowland Winter Electronic Music Festival.

Several music artists have also canceled or postponed tours; especially tours scheduled in Asian countries, including BTS, Green Day, Slipknot, Trivium, Whitesnake, Sons of Apollo, The National, and Mac DeMarco.

 

feature photo credit: By Anna Hanks from Austin, Texas, USA – SXSW Music panel with Will Butler, Win Butler, Paul Krugman. SXSW 2015 Austin, Texas -5225.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68745089

Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Carlos Santana and Earth, Wind and Fire are joining up for what they are calling a “Miraculous Supernatural Tour”.

Along with doing their own tours, the rockers will pair up for 32 concert dates around North America this summer.

The tour begins just before the summer solstice and runs through the end of August.

According to a statement the shows will “Feature hits and fan favorites from yesterday, today, and tomorrow”.

Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire Miraculous Supernatural 2020 tour dates:
June 19 at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA
June 20 at the Band of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
June 23 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
June 24 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, CA
June 26 at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield, WA
June 27 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA
June 30 at the USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City, UT
July 1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
July 3 at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX
July 5 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
July 7 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, MO
July 8 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
July 10 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN
July 11 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
July 12 at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater in Milwaukee, WI
Aug 5 at the S&T Bank Music Park in Burgettstown, PA
Aug 6 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
Aug 8 at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA
Aug 9 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
Aug 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC
Aug 12 at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
Aug 15 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
Aug 16 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
Aug 19 at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY
Aug 20 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ
Aug 22 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
Aug 23 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY
Aug 25 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Aug 26 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta, GA
Aug 28 at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
Aug 29 at the MIDFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL

 

Santana tour dates:
March 14 at the Unipol Arena in Bologna, Italy
March 15 at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland
March 17 at the TAURON Arena in Krakow, Poland
March 19 at the Budapest Arena in Budapest, Hungary
March 20 at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria
March 22 at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany
March 23 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany
March 24 at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium
March 26 at The SSE Hyrdro in Glasgow, UK
March 27 at The O2 in London, UK
March 29 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland
March 31 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, Netherlands
April 2 at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway
April 3 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden
April 5 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland
May 13, 15-17, 20, & 22-24 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, NV
Sept 16, 18-20, 23, & 25-27 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, NV
Nov 4, 6-8, 11, & 13-15 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, NV

 

Earth, Wind, & Fire tour dates:
March 21 at the Universal Studios Florida Music Plaz Stage in Orlando, FL
May 6, 8, & 9 at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV
May 10 at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
May 15 & 16 at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV
May 30 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, TX

Bon Jovi

Boston rockers Bon Jovi have added some dates to their existing tour “due to popular demand”. Canadian rocker Bryan Adams will be joining the rockers on the tour.

Tickets go on sale March 6 and will include a CD copy of the band’s new release “Bon Jovi 2020”.

Bon Jovi American tour dates:
June 10 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA
June 11 at the Moda Center in Portland, OR
June 13 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA
June 16 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA
June 18 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA
June 20 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
June 23 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
June 25 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
June 26 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK
July 10 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON
July 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC
July 14 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
July 16 & 17 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA
July 19 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
July 21 at the United Center in Chicago, IL
July 23 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO
July 25 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
July 27 & 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY

As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, and Shadow of Intent

Hard rockers As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, and Shadow of Intent are joining up for a tour around the U.S. this spring. The tour begins in late May and runs through June.

As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, and Shadow of Intent tour dates:
May 20 at the Rialto in Tucson, AZ
May 21 at the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, AZ
May 23 at the Dos Amigos in Odessa TX

May 24 at Emo’s in Austin, TX
May 26 at The Aztec in San Antonio, TX
May 28 at the Rock Destin in Destin, FL
May 29 at The Ritz Ybor in Tampa, FL
May 30 at the Revolution in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
June 1 at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC
June 2 at The National in Richmond, VA
June 3 at the Gramercy in New York City, NY
June 5 at The Palladium in Worcester, MA
June 6 at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ
June 7 at the Upstate Concert Hall in Albany, NY
June 9 at The Athenaeum Theatre in Columbus, OH
June 10 at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids, MI
June 11 at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI
June 12 at The Pageant in St. Louis, MO
June 13 at The Truman in Kansas City, MO
June 14 at the Wave in Wichita, KS
June 15 at the Sunshine Studios in Colorado Springs, CO
June 16 at Washington’s in Fort Collins, CO
June 17 at the Mesa Theater in Grand Junction, CO
June 19 at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, CA
June 20 at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, CA

 

Pop Evil

Pop Evil has planned a busy spring with a North American tour; Joyous Wolf, Brkn Love, JunkBunny, Like Machines, and Stuck on Planet Earth will be joining them on various dates.

Band vocalists spoke on the upcoming tour saying, “we are so ready to get back on tour to see all our die hard fans across North America. We’re also very excited to debut and play some new material!”

The tour kicks off on May 8 and runs through June.

Pop Evil tour dates:
May 8 at the Velvet Underground in Toronto, ON
May 9 at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa, ON
May 10 at the Ale House in Kingston, ON
May 12 at the L’anti Bar & Spectacles in Quebec City, QC
May 14 at the Aura in Portland, ME
May 15 at the Sound Stage in Baltimore, MD
May 16 at the Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City, NJ
May 17 at the Sonic Temple in Columbus, OH
May 19 at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC
May 20 at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta, GA
May 22 at The Underground in Charlotte, NC
May 23 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL
May 24 at The Orpheum in Tampa, FL
May 27 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, TN
May 28 at the House of Blues on New Orleans, LA
May 29 at the Warehouse Live in Houston, TX
May 30 at the Gas Monkey Live in Dallas, TX
June 1 at the Mesa Theater in Grand Junction, CO
June 2 at The Depot in Salt Lake City, UT
June 3 at the Knitting Factory Concert House in Boise, ID
June 4 at The Showbox Seattle, WA
June 6 at the Knitting Factory Concert House in Spokane, WA
June 7 at the Cactus Jack’s Nightclub in Kanloops, BC
June 9 at The Gateway in Calgary, AB
June 10 at Better Than Fred’s in Grand Prairie, AB
June 12 at The Exchange in Regina, SK
June 13 at The Original in Minot, ND
June 15 at Wooly’s in Des Moines, IA
June 17 at the Summit Theater in Denver, CO
June 18 at The Truman in Kansas City, MO
June 19 at KC’s Marina Point in Evansville, IN
June 20 at The Sylvee in Madison, WI
June 21 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN
June 24 at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City, OK
June 25 at the Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, NE
June 26 at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL
June 27 at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI

Bush and Breaking Benjamin

Rockers Bush, Breaking Benjamin, Theory of a Deadman, Saint Asonia, and Cory Marks will be hitting the road together this summer for a tour of the United States.

The Gavin Rossdale band Bush is releasing their new album “The Kingdom” in May.

Bush and Breaking Benjamin tour dates:
July 15 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
July 17 at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, VA
July 18 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA
July 20 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, NY
July 21 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
July 23 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ
July 24 at the Darien Lake Amphitheatre in Darien Center, NY
July 26 at the Xfinity Theatrei n Hartford, CT
July 27 at The Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
July 29 at the S&T Bank Music Park in Burgettstown, PA
July 30 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
Aug 1 at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY
Aug 2 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Aug 4 at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville, IN
Aug 6 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
Aug 7 at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater in Milwaukee, WI
Aug 10 a t the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX
Aug 11 at the Germania Insurance Amphitheater in Austin, TX
Aug 13 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
Aug 15 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Aug 16 at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA
Aug 18 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, NC
Aug 19 at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC
Aug 21 at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
Aug 22 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL
Aug 24 at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach, AL
Aug 26 at the Riverbend Music Centeri n Cincinnati, OH
Aug 29 at the Providence Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS
Aug 31 at the Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Englewood, CO
Sept 2 at the Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, NM
Sept 3 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV
Sept 6 at the FivePOint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA
Sept 8 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
A date in St. Louis, MO is yet to be determined

Amorphis

Finnish rockers Amorphis have planned a North American tour this fall which will feature a performance of their latest album “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” in its entirety.

Fellow rockers Entomdeb A.D. And Nervosa will be joining Amorphis on the tour to serve as openng acts.

Along with performing their new album, Amorphis is celebrating 30 years of making music this year.

Amorphis tour dates:
April 9 at the Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo, Norway
April 11-13 at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki, Finland
April 22-24 at the Duo Music Exchange in Shibuya City, Japan
May 1 at the Hyvinkaan Villatehdas in Hyvinkaa, Finland
June 5 at The Rockfest in Tampere, Finland
June 10 at the Mystic Festival in Krakow, Poland
June 12 at the Z! Live Rock Fest in Zamora, Spain
June 21 at the Graspop Metel Meeting in Dessel, Belgium
June 26 at Rock in the City in Rauma, Finland
July 4 at Rock in the City in Oulu, Finland
July 9 at Masters of Rock in Vizovice, Czech Republic
July 10 at the Wolf Fest in Chelopech, Bulgaria
July 17 at Rock in the City in Rovaniemi, Finlandj
July 18 at the John Smith Rock Festival in Laukaa, Finland
July 19 at the Ilosaarirock Lagoon Bridge in Joensuu, Finland
July 25 at Rock in the City in Kerava, Finland
July 30 at Kuopiorock in Kuopio, Finland
Aug 1 at Rock in the City in Lappeenranta, Finland
Aug 12 at Summer Breeze in Kinkelsbuhl, Germany
Aug 14 at Metal on the Hill in Graz, Austria
Aug 22 at Rock in the City in Pori, Finland
Sept 11-13 at Kingsland in Brooklyn, NY
Sept 14 at The Fairmount in Montreal, QC
Sept 15 at Le D’Auteuil in Quebec City, QC
Sept 16 at the MOD Club in Toronto, ON
Sept 18 at The Palladium in Worcester, MA
Sept 19 at the Reverb in Reading, PA
Sept 20 at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, OH
Sept 22 at the Miramar Theater in Milwaukee, WI
Sept 23 at the Vaudville News in Des Moines, IA
Sept 24 at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL
Sept 25 at The Forge in Joliet, IL
Sept 26 at The Cabooze in Minneapolis, MN
Sept 27 at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg, MB
Sept 29 at The Starlite Room in Edmonton AB
Sept 30 at Dickens in Calgary, AB
Oct 2 at the Rickshaw Theater in Vancouver, BC
Oct 3 at El Corazon in Seattle, WA
Oct 4 at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, OR
Oct 5 at Holy Diver in Sacramento, CA
Oct 6 at the Oakland Metro Coperahouse in Oakland, CA
Oct 7 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, CA
Oct at the Brick by Brick in San Diego, CA
Oct 9 at Club Red in Mesa, AZ
Oct 11 at Hermans Hideaway in Denver, CO
Oct 13 at Come & Take it Live! In Austin, TX
Oct 14 at the Rock Box in San Antoniao, TX
Oct 15 at the Scout Bar in Houston, TX
Oct 16 at Trees in Dallas, TX
Oct 18 at the Orpheum in Tampa, FL
Oct 19 at the Kelsey Theater in West Palm Beach, FL
Oct 20 at The Abbey in Orlando, FL
Oct 21 at The Masquerade in Atlanta, GA
Oct 22 at the Canal Club in Richmond, VA
Oct 23 at the Soundstage in Baltimore, MD
Oct 24 a Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ
Oct 25 at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT

Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias

Latin music stars Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias are teaming up to co-headline a tour of North America this fall.

Sebastian Yatra will be joining the tour as a special guest performer. Speaking on the opportunity to tour with the Latin legends; Yatra said, it was the “most surreal moment in my life.” Adding, “if I didn’t have the chance to be onstage, I would buy a ticket to see you. I visualized this in my life. They are two of my biggest idols.”

The tour will begin on September 5 and run through October.

Enrique Iglesias noted in a press conference on the tour, “I thought this would happen some time, but didn’t know when.”

Both chart topping Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winning stars, both artists will have plenty of music to rock the stage and get the crowd moving.

Tickets for the tour go on sale beginning March 12.

Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias tour dates:
Sept 5 at the Gila River Arena in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 6 in the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX
Sept 9 at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, TX
Sept 11 at the AT&T Centter om San Antonio, TX
Sept 12 at the Toyota Centeri n Houston, TX
Sept 13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Spet 17 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
Sept 22 at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA
Sept 24 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA
Sept 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Oct 1 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL
Oct 6 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA
Oct 8 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON
Oct 10 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC
Oct 14 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Oct 15 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
Oct 17 at the Prudential Center n Newark, NJ
Oct 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Oct 23 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL
Oct 29 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Oct 30 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA