Live Entertainment Returns to the Valley

By Steven Sanchez


Never thought I’d say this in a while, but live entertainment is back! And what better way than to welcome concerts back to the Central Valley, than one of the greatest classic rock bands of all time, Foreigner. Kings River Life Magazine had the honor of being there to witness it at the Saroyan Theatre on July 27. Being anywhere near a stage felt like it was the very first time (pun intended).

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They came out of the starting gate with a slew of favorite hits with "Double Vision", "Cold as Ice", "Waiting For A Girl Like You", I mean it was ridiculous. A compilation of the greatest hits all being played in front of you. May I remind you that this isn’t the original lineup from their heyday performing. With that said, and with only Mick Jones serving as the only original member, that the other talented musicians that occupy the roster do a tremendous job of keeping the spirit of their past prime alive.
Foreigner-Photo by Steven Sanchez

With great musicians such as bassist, Jeff Pilson, who was first in the 80s-metal band Dokken, and an appearance in Mark Wahlberg starring film Rock Star; and guitarist, Bruce Watson, who has played on hit tracks like Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song” and Christina Aguilera’s “What A Girl Wants”, the music was tight and crisp the whole time. No matter who was playing, it was Foreigner all the way.

Seeing a concert would’ve felt like a foreign concept in 2020; there was a feeling of surrealism amongst the audience leading up to the show. Like…is this really happening? But as soon as the band started playing, all the fears and worries went away, and everybody was rocking out. Shows are slowly but surely making their way to Fresno, and these classic rockers set the tone of what’s to come for the rest of the year.

Photo by Steven Sanchez


Rebelution returned to Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater on Thursday, August 5. Like I had mentioned previously with Foreigner, it was a crazy notion that we’d be here with live entertainment, but having it outdoors nonetheless. It doesn’t hit you until you ponder the thought like I did when I realized it’s been close to a year and a half since I last came back to this place for a show. But whatever thoughts you had about the past or doubts about what’s currently happening in the world, all that was relieved when Rebelution took the stage.

Rebelution-Photo by Steven Sanchez

Photo by Steven Sanchez

The Isla Vista reggae band comprising of UC Santa Barbara grads have been a mainstay in the genre for the past couple of decades, and their popularity continues to grow with consistent continuous number one charting reggae albums on the Billboard charts. Their chill, California laid-back, good-vibes sound is so enriching that it makes you feel like you’re on vacation or relaxing on a beach. Their music definitely puts you in a mood and takes your mind to a different place, one that’s free from stress and is all good times. And with everything we went through in 2020 and are continuing to face now, this music couldn’t be needed any more than now. 

I said that music can take you to a different place, and for me, there’s no place I’d rather be than at an outdoor venue watching a great band play and sharing this moment with a few thousand people. It was even the more exciting when I ran into several people I want to high school with where it felt like mini-reunion. That’s the beauty of great music, it can bring people together from the past to the present to rejoice in a cohesive moment filled with positivity. Once the sun went down and the smoke didn’t clear, it just continued to grow and the scent continued to build (lol); once the band graced the stage, everyone’s troubles faded, and the music completely took over and all those there were in unison of musical harmony. Believe me, you didn’t have to be buzzed to get caught up in the moment, but for those that were, I’m sure it helped. Much appreciation to Rebelution for another great show to add to the list from when they performed here in 2019, and something tells me the relationship between Fresno and this band is only going to get better in the years ahead.

Steven Sanchez is a film graduate of UNLV. He’s a filmmaker, writer, photographer, and music manager. Obsessed with movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A football fanatic, big fan of the Oakland Raiders. Enjoys reading and collecting vinyl records. If there’s a rock show in town more than likely he’ll be there. Loves his grandma’s home cooked meals. He has a twin sister and most people call him the pretty one. You can learn more about Steven on his YouTube channel and on Instagram @stevensanchez5807 photos and videos.