FresYes announces mainstage lineup. Here's how it stacks up.
Plus, Audra McDonald will be at Warnors and paying tribute to Fresno Slim.
It’s questionable whether the organizers of FresYes Fest would consider it a music festival.
Music has certainly been at the forefront of the day-long downtown party since the beginning, with the lineups curated to showcase and celebrate Fresno, as is the theme of the day.
And, because it has outlasted Fresno’s other live-music festivals (F.U.S.E., Catacomb Party, Grizzly Fest), it has taken on a larger role as the city’s go-to event for such things, whether organizers wanted that or not.
Especially with the addition of a second stage last year.
All of this is preface to the announcement of this year’s mainstage lineup, which organizers released Saturday afternoon.
It keeps things diverse, stylistically, and you can tell organizers were looking to 1.) represent the scene and 2.) keep with the block-party vibe. Some will no doubt argue how well they did one or the other, but …
Here’s whos playing:
Angellvroo (pronounced Angel Ver-Roh) is the up-and-comer here. The singer/songwriter just entered his 20s and has already released a big number of self-produced bedroom pop singles. He performed on the Homegrown stage at last year’s festival.
Dakota Crossing is something that, surprisingly, we haven’t really seen at FresYes Fest; a country band. Modern, pop county specifically. Think: Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban.
Carlos Montano Band is well chosen for this particular gig. His music seems to exude a certain Fresno-ness (Fresness??). Think low-riders and nostalgic old-school funk smooth-soul R&B. Given Montano’s penchant for collaborations, we will probably see some guest joining the band on stage.
Sun Umbra has gotten lots of space on this site already. While the heavy-psych rock band is fairly new, its collected members have been performing in various bands around town for years.
Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries is another band well chosen for this gig. They are either (and actually probably both) an “all grrrl gang band,” or “Yr crush’s favorite band,” provided your crush is in “queer punk energy and plus-sized self-love.” That last part is actually from a feature on the band that ran in the L.A. Times, to give you a sense of things.
Blink-180True is a surprising choice for a lineup that has historically been heavy on original, local music. Yes, this a touring tribute act, but it does have ties to Fresno and have played in town enough that people will certainly know the name. And the name says it all here. It should be easy to see what organizers have in mind toward the end of the night; a whole crowd singing along to “All the Small Things.”
The Box is a staple at FresYes Fest as this point (see also: Taco Truck Throwdown). They will take the evening’s last slot as a after-hours, but pre-after party band.
For those wondering, there will be a second stage again this year. The lineup should be announced in the next week or so and we’ll break that down when we see it.
Disclosure: I host the Homegrown show on New Rock 104.1, which is a partner/sponsor of FresYes Fest.
Audra McDonald set to perform at Warnors Theater
Back in July, Good Company Players announced its 2023 season of performances, which included a surprise fundraiser/anniversary concert from Audra McDonald.
This was/is a big deal, seeing as McDonald is a massive Broadway and singing star and has performed in her hometown only a few times is last two decades. Her 2018 performance with the Fresno Philharmonic was a sell out.
Until now, we only had a save-the-date (June 25).
We now know the concert is booked for 2 p.m. June 25 the Warnors Theater. Tickets are $150 and look to be available online. Or, you can always call the box office.
This is a good get for Fresno (thanks to McDonald’s relationship with the Good Company Players and specifically its managing director Dan Pessano) and the kind of concert you want to see more of at the Warnors Center.
Tributes for Brandon Polin, aka Fresno Slim
Brandon Polin played guitar around own under the moniker Fresno Slim. He was well known among gigging players (guys like Don Heflin and Richie Blue).
The 26-year old died Feb. 4 after being in hospice with his family.
Blue called Polin’s playing “powerful,” said it was “soulful, deep and honest.”
“Brandon Polin had the gift in his fingers and being and he could really express it with his single note bends and natural blues playing,” Blue wrote in a post on Facebook earlier this month.
“I saw that when he was around 16 and boldly came up to me on a gig and asked to sit in. I remember saying to him, ‘Of course, with your balls how could I say no, set up over there.’ Through the years I nudged him along,” he wrote.
“He became a great blues guitarist and I’m happy I helped in getting him there.
“I love you kid. You made a difference.”
A tribute show/fundraiser is being held March 5 at Fulton 55 with performances from Kinzie Rose, Kurt Gruver, Ginger Blue, Bill Clifton and the Chicken and Whiskey Band, Jon Clifton and the Richie Blue Band.
Before that Fresbrew will host an open mic, 7-10 p.m., Feb. 22. The event will be hosted by Brian Hanes and The Dead Shrimp.
Further donations to Polin’s family can be made through this GoFundMe campaign.
That’s it for this week. Remember you can now hear me on the Homegrown Show Sundays at 8 p.m. on New Rock 104.1 FM. If you have anything you think I need to be looking at or listening to, feel free to let me know: email@example.com