Friday, November 27, 2015 • 12:15

Harrah's Resort hosts Under the Sun Tour

Peter Frampton, shown above in his younger days, will perform at Harrah's on Aug. 30. photo by Courtesy photos.
August 06, 2014
Harrah's Resort invites Southern California to rock out to all the top songs of the 90s and 2000s at the Under the Sun Tour featured this month. Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler, and Uncle Kracker will take the stage Aug. 9 to wow guests with hit after hit of four great bands performing in just one night.

Formed in 1986, Sugar Ray is an alternative rock band from Newport Beach. Originally named Shrinky Dinx, they started out as a funk metal band, however abandoned this genre in later releases in favor of pop rock. After signing with Atlantic Records, the group's name was changed to Sugar Ray upon threat of a lawsuit from the Milton Bradley Company, maker of the Shrinky Dinks toy.

Sugar Ray first gained notoriety in 1997 with the release of "Fly," a song from the album "Floored' which was certified double platinum. "Every Morning" and "Someday When It's Over" were subsequent hits reflecting a mainstream pop music style. By the end of 1997, critics were skeptical that the band could produce another successful song labeling them a one-hit wonder. Sugar Ray's reply to those accusations was their 1999 album titled "14:59," implying that their 15 minutes of fame were not quite up. "14:59" was certified triple platinum, outselling its predecessors.

After releasing a "Greatest Hits" album in 2005, the band went into relative inactivity for a number of years until an album was released in 2009 featuring the song "Boardwalk."

Smash Mouth is an alternative rock band from San Jose formed in 1994. The band is known for its retro style spanning several decades of popular music. Smash Mouth is recognized for the songs "Walking in the Sun" (1997) and "All Star" (1999). The group rose to fame with the release of "Astro Lounge," the second album which veered away from an earlier ska punk musical style to a more pop sound. This album was the most critically acclaimed and was eventually certified triple platinum.

Uncle Kracker is one of the many outstanding acts coming to Harrah's in August.
In 2001, Smash Mouth appeared as themselves in the film "Rat Race." After the band's signing to Universal Records, "All Star Smash Hits" was released in 2005 followed by a Christmas album, "Gift of Rock" featuring covers of Christmas songs by The Ramones and The Kinks. The album "Summer Girl" included remixed "Old Habits" tracks as well as new songs. In 2012, their single titled "Magic" from the same-titled album debuted at Number 22 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. The following year, Smash Mouth headlined the AutoNation Coast to Coast event.

From Princeton, New Jersey, the rock band Blues Traveler started out as a high school garage band in 1987. The group's music covers a vast genre of musical styles including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, and Southern rock. Whereas fans recognize Blues Traveler for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group's Top 40 Singles "Run-Around" and "Hook."

After their fourth studio album "Four," the group gained mainstream popularity in 1994. However, in 2002, record label A & M dropped the band after bassist Bobby Sheehan's death and singer/harmonica player John Popper's weight struggle put a damper on the group's success. The band took this transition to start a new musical direction releasing a double-disc compilation entitled "25" on a smaller experimental label. "Suzie Cracks the Whip," Blues Traveler's most recent studio album, was released in 2012.

Country rock musician Uncle Kracker is Matthew Shafer born June 6, 1974. Before his musical career began, Shafer visited a nightclub in Clawson, Michigan where his brother competed in turntables against then-unknown musician Kid Rock. As a result, Shafer became the DJ for Kid Rock performing at live shows. After Rock's multi-platinum release, "The History of Rock," Shafer released his first solo album "Double Wide" in 2000. Produced by Kid Rock, the certified 2X multi-platinum album reached Number 7 on the Billboard 200 and is Shafer's most successful and highest-selling album.

After release of a special remix of "Memphis Soul Song," Shafer became good friends with country music star Kenny Chesney and the two began a successful touring partnership brought about by the success of Chesney's hit single "When the Sun Goes Down." Shafer moved into a pure country sound on his third album "Seventy Two and Sunny." The song "Smile" from the "Happy Hour" album reached Number 31 on the Billboard 100. From his fifth studio album "Midnight Special," Shafer performed songs "Blue Skies" and "Nobody's Sad on a Saturday Night" during a 2013 tour with Kid Rock.

Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler, and Uncle Kracker will take the stage Aug. 9 at Harrah's Resort in Valley Center.
Legendary English rock band Deep Purple will transform the stage Aug. 14. Formed in 1968 in Hertford, they are considered pioneers in heavy metal and hard rock. Formed as a progressive rock band, their sound shifted to hard rock in 1970. Deep Purple was listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "The Globe's Loudest Band" for a concert at London's Rainbow Theatre. The band has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and was ranked Number 22 on VH1's Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

Originally named Roundabout, the band's name was changed to Deep Purple after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's grandmother's favorite song she played on the piano. Their debut album "Shades of Deep Purple" reached Number 24 on Billboard's pop album chart. Their third album entitled "Deep Purple" contained strings and woodwind showcasing Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov influences. A three-movement epic performed by the band at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was one of the first collaborations between a rock band and an orchestra. Vocalist Ian Gillan and Blackmore didn't want to be tagged as a group who played with orchestras, so their music shifted to a tighter, hard-rocking style reflected in the albums "In Rock," and "Fireball." "Machine Head" is the band's most recognized albums in which "Smoke on the Water" is the song Deep Purple is most noted for. The song was inspired from an incident in which a man fired a flare gun into the ceiling during a gig burning down the casino.

After successful release of the album "Who Do We Think We Are," internal tensions and exhaustion from a hectic touring schedule contributed to the band becoming victims of their own success. The band officially broke up in 1976. Later in the year, guitarist Tommy Bolin was found unconscious in a Miami hotel room. At 25, Bolin died from multiple-drug intoxication.

In 1984, eight years after the demise of Deep Purple, a reunion took place with the classic line-up. This revived reunion resulted in extensive touring, however in 1993 Deep Purple was fading as audiences were falling off. Then, with a revamped set-list, the band enjoyed successful tours throughout the 1990s. In 2002, the only two founding members left in the band, Jon Lord and Ian Paice announced amicable retirement. In 2012, co-founding member and organ player, Lord died in London at age 71.

In February 2013, the group released their new album "Now What." Through the years, Deep Purple influenced a myriad of rock and metal bands. Nominated in 2012 and 2013, they were not inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite ranking second in the public's vote which included over half a million votes.

Peter Frampton takes over The Event Center on Saturday Aug. 30 with Frampton's Guitar Circus. An English rock musician, Frampton's international breakthrough album "Frampton Comes Alive" sold more than six million copies in the U.S. He is known for his hits "Breaking All the Rules," "Show Me the Way," and "Baby, I Love Your Way."

At the age of seven, Frampton found his grandmother's ukulele in the attic and taught himself to play and later taught himself to play the guitar and piano before taking classical music lessons. By the age of 12, he played in The Little Ravens band. He attended Bromley Technical School with David Bowie. On lunch breaks they spent time together playing Buddy Holly songs. Frampton was a successful child singer in the bands The Trubeats and The Preachers. He was singer and lead guitarist for The Herd and was named The Face of 1968 by the magazine Rave. At 18, Frampton joined Humble Pie. After four studio albums and one album with Humble Pie, he left the band and went solo.

In a session with George Harrison, he was introduced to the talk box that became one of his trademark guitar effects. Frampton toured extensively to support his solo career. In 1975, the "Frampton" album went to Number 32 in the U.S. charts and was certified gold.

But Frampton's career seemed to fall as quickly as it had risen. In 1970, he suffered a near-fatal car accident in the Bahamas. He returned to the studio in 1979 to record "Where I Should Be." After his "Rise Up" release he suffered another setback during a tour in Brazil when a cargo plane crashed killing three and destroying all his guitars. He later released the Grammy Award-winning "Fingerprints," an instrumental album, then united with his old friend Bowie to make albums and tour together. Later, he rejoined his old Humble Pie mate Steve Marriott for shows at the Half Moon in London. Instead of doing a Frampton-Marriott tour, Marriott abruptly returned to England and in less than 24 hours after his return, he died in a house fire. Distraught by Marriott's death, Frampton took a break from the road.

On June 23, 2014, Frampton released a new album "Hummingbird In a Box." Father of three children, he has been married three times and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Harrah's Resort is located at 777 Harrah's Rincon Way in scenic Valley Center. Concert tickets are available at the gift shop daily from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. or at the Box Office (760) 651-3061.

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