Reno winter shows: Ramon Ayala, Color Me Badd, 'Stomp,' Eddie Izzard
President’s Day Weekend is usually a hot one for Reno-Tahoe shows, and this year is no exception to this rule. From avant-garde indie pop to stars from the ’90s on the concert trail, there’s no shortage of entertainment to recover from on that extra day off. Plus, some big shows have been announced for the spring and summer, including two giant country stars. Here’s a look at where to go and what to do.
Now through Feb 24: Stage shows at Harrah’s Reno
Before a new stage show appears in Sammy’s Showroom in March - hint: it’s a tribute to a leggy legend of rock and soul - this is the last time you can see either “The Magic of Eli Kerr” or the 21+ stage/comedy show “Essence.” To find out ticket prices and specific day details for each show, go to harrahsreno.com Info: 775-786-3232.
Now through Feb. 18: Amir K
A real comedic chameleon, Amir K is known for great accents and characters that speak to his multicultural upbringing. He recently was featured as part of “Jerks With Cameras,” a prank show on MTV, and will soon be in the romantic comedy, “The Pyramid.” Opening the show is Benji Aflalo. Shows are 9 p.m. Feb. 15 to 18 at the Cabaret Theater at Harveys Lake Tahoe. Tickets are $25, $30 on Saturdays. Info: 775-588-6611 or improvtahoe.com
Feb. 15: Havok
Jmax Productions brings this thrash metal band loved by discerning headbangers. Formed about 14 years ago in Denver, Havok has all the speedy, technical and gnarled characteristics of this style down to an art. Their most recent album is their fourth, “Conformicide,” released last March. Opening is local metal band Condemned Existence. It is at 8 p.m. at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, 71 S. Wells Ave., and is all ages. Tickets are $15. Info: 775-384-1652 or jmaxproductions.net
Feb. 15: Joe Dosch
Dosch was recently featured roasting Justin Bieber along with other comics on Comedy Central. He’s also a featured artist for the RSVP Gay Cruises line and is described in his bio as being “intellectual, yet brutal.” That’s quite the combo! This show is for ages 17 and older. It takes place at 8 p.m. at Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St. Cost is $12 advance, $15 day-of-show, $10 at the door only for students or military with ID. Info: 775-322-5233 or renotahoecomedy.com
Feb. 16: Dead Winter Carpenters and Front Country
Rising to a popularity level closer to a national act, Tahoe-based jam band Dead Winter Carpenters is back for another headlining stint at Crystal Bay. They share the bill with Front Country, a trad country group from Nashville. The show is 9 p.m. at the Crown Room at Crystal Bay Club Casino. Tickets are $17 advance, $20 day-of-show. Info: 775-833-6333 or crystalbaycasino.com
Feb. 16: Tune-Yards
One of the big buzz bands of the past few years makes the trek to Reno. Tune-Yards is a New York band led by Merrill Garbus, a singer and musician with a distinctive style that mixes indie rock with the avant-garde, classic soul music and African styles both traditional and poppy. It’s a heady brew and not for everyone, but Tune-Yards has been captivating audiences for more than a decade. Experimental electronic/soul act Sudan Archives, from Ohio, is the opener. The show costs $20 to $23 and this is an all-ages show at Cargo, Whitney Peak Hotel. Info: 775-398-5400 or cargoreno.com
Feb. 16: Ramon Ayala
A true ambassador of the Norteno sound, Ayala has been performing for four decades now, drawing in fans with his accordion-driven style. Although he definitely has a style that harkens back to Mexican folk, Ayala also uses electric guitars and drums in his music. Ayala will be playing with the band Lorenzo de Monteclaro. It takes place at 8 p.m. at Reno Ballroom, 401 N. Center St. Tickets are $45 to $63. Info: 775-325-7401 or silverlegacyreno.com
Feb. 16: Brew Haha 2018
You know that it’s charity event season’s official start when the Brew Haha get underway. Featuring more than 100 brews to taste and live music this year from popular local soul/rock band Mojo Green, Brew Haha’s proceeds go to the Sierra Arts Foundation.
It takes place at 8 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom, Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Ave. in Sparks. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 day of the event, $65 for VIP admission (VIPs enter the event an hour early). Info: 775-356-3300 or nuggetcasinoresort.com
Feb. 16 and 17: DisMANtled
Comedians Justin Rupple, Joe Dosch, Alex Mandelberg and Rev. Mitcz star in this comedy show where they talk about relationships from the minds of men. Then, it’s a Q&A on that same subject that’s totally improvisational (and likely pretty wild). This show is for ages 17 and older. It takes place at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St. Cost is $17 advance, $2- day-of-show, $14 at the door only for students or military with ID. Info: 775-322-5233 or renotahoecomedy.com
Feb. 16-18: Jamie Kennedy
It’s a rootsy return to the stage for Kennedy, who was a struggling stand-up comedian before his landed roles in films such as “Romeo + Juliet” and the “Scream” series.
Kennedy performs shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 17 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy Resort Casino. Tickets are $34. Info: 775-325-7401 or silverlegacyreno.com
Feb. 17: Color Me Badd
Known for a trio of No. 1 hits in the early ‘90s -- “I Wanna Sex You Up,” “All4Love” and “I Adore Mi Amor” -- Color Me Badd had big moments in the sun during that era’s boy-band boom. They are still performing today and feature original members Bryan Adams (who sang most of the lead vocals) and Mark Calderon. The show takes place at 8 p.m. in the Showroom at Montbleu Resort Casino, Stateline. Tickets are $25, $35 and $45. Info: 775-588-3515 or montbleuresort.com
Feb. 17 and 18: The Motet
President’s Day weekend gets decidedly funky for the return of this acclaimed band from Denver, playing two shows in the Crown Room at Crystal Bay Casino. The Motet have played the High Sierra Music Festival in past years and play a potent mix of rock, funk, jazz and Afropop music. The 9 p.m. Feb. 17 show features The Main Squeeze, DESCRIBE, while the Feb. 18 show features Monophonics, the excellent San Francisco funk/soul longtimers. Prices for each day are $25 in advance, $30 day of show. Info: 775-833-6333 or crystalbaycasino.com
Feb. 17: Theory of a Deadman
Although there are still plenty of grinding guitars at their live shows, this Canadian hard rock band is getting attention lately for adding more keyboards and pop hooks to their sound. It’s working commercially - the band’s song “Rx (Medicate)” recently topped Billboard’s Mainstreak rock chart. The show is opened by NYC rock band Spirit Animal. It takes place at 7 p.m. in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Tickets are $33. Info: 800-427-7247 or harrahstahoe.com
Feb. 17: Tiffany Haddish
Emerging as a new comedy star in the past year, Haddish brings her sassy and witty style to the (literally) big stage for a return trip to Reno. Her first Showtime special, “She Ready! From the Hood To Hollywood,” was released last year alongside her roles in films such as “Girls Trip” and “Keanu” and a book called “The Last Black Unicorn,” that details her journey from South Central L.A. to life as an actress. Her show takes place at 8 p.m. at the Grand Theatre, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Tickets are $29 to $49. Info: 775-789-1115 or grandsierraresort.com
Feb. 17: Twista
Lex inside the Grand Sierra Resort often brings in hit hip-hop acts currently rolling on the charts, but for this show it’s an artist that made his name in the ‘90s. Twista’s super-fast rapping style led to hits and a big following once he debuted in 1992 and it also led to collaborations with Chris Brown and Lady Gaga, among others. Twista will be at Lex at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20. Info: 775-789-1115 or grandsierraresort.com
Feb. 18: Trump Vs. Obama
Not a boxing match (per se), this comedy show features President Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown (who has been on the “Today” show) and Bob Dibuono portraying President Donald Trump (he’s played the prez on “The View”). Expect a lot of wild, topical fun at this show, which is for mature audiences only. it takes place at 8 p.m. at the Showroom in Montbleu Resort Casino. Tickets are $30. Info: 775-588-3515 or montbleuresort.com
Feb. 18: Dark Star Orchestra
In the world of tribute bands, Dark Star Orchestra is on a higher level than most. Working for decades as a band that meticulously plays the Grateful Dead’s music, DSO also has one up on their fellow tribute travelers: they’ve had members of the Dead sit in on shows. The group returns to the area for a 7:30 p.m. show in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Tickets are $27 to $75. Info: 800-427-7247 or harrahstahoe.com
Feb. 18: Murs
One of the more successful underground rappers of the last few decades, Murs is from Los Angeles and has an experimental style that has earned him acclaim as both a solo artist and the member of collectives The Living Legends and Felt. He is planning to release a new album, “A Strange Journey Into the Unimaginable,” in March. The show takes place at 9 p.m. in Vinyl, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Stateline. Tickets are $17. Info: 844-588-7625 or hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com
Feb. 18: Hins and Vincy
For the holiday, downtown Reno will feature two 21st Century pop stars from China. Hin Cheung is as known as much as an actor as he is a singer of pop songs in varied styles. Vincy Chan first gained fame as part of TV talent shows in China and subsequently earned hits and awards for her mix of pop and electronic music. It takes place at 8 pm. at Reno Ballroom, 401 N. Center St. Tickets are $68 to $188. Info: 775-325-7401 or silverlegacyreno.com
Feb. 19: Japanese Breakfast and Jay Som
Two of the current leading lights of indie pop/rock will perform at the all-ages-friendly Holland Project this week. Japanese Breakfast is led by singer/songwriter Michelle Zauner from Eugene, Ore.., and features an arty take on electronic pop. Jay Som is singer/songwriter Melina Duterte from Oakland, Calif., and she mixes styles from upbeat punk to dreamy funk. Another indie-styled artist, NYC’s Hand Habits (aka Meg Duffy) opens the show. It takes place at 7 p.m. at The Holland Project, 140 Vesta St. Tickets are $10.50. Info: 775-742-1858 or hollandreno.org.
Feb. 20: Dorothy
Yes, there are still guitar-driven rock artists that can make a career happen from radio airplay. One of those is Dorothy Martin, who leads her same-name band from Los Angeles through songs that mix alternative rock and the harder stuff in equal measure. The band’s hits include “Dark Nights” and “Raise Hell,” and a new album called “28 Days in the Valley” is due in March. Dorothy performs at 7:30 p.m at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, 71 S. Wells Ave., for an all-ages show. Tickets are $15. Info: 775-384-1652 or jmaxproductions.net
Feb 23: “Stomp”
Trash cans scatter and boot-heels clatter in this traveling version of the show that mixes percussive beats with dance. It takes place at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Pioneer Center, 100 S. Virginia St. Tickets are $55 to $75. Info: 775-686-6600 or pioneercenter.com.
Feb 23: Metalachi
It’s a return to town for this unusual type of cover band: they play songs by Metallica but in the style of mariachi music. This is a free show that takes place at 10 p.m. on Feb. 23-25 at Brew Brothers in the Eldorado Resort Casino. Info: 775-785-9089 or eldoradoreno.com
Feb 23: Peter Cetera
Cetera’s best known for his work with Chicago throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, where he sang many of their big hits, but he’s had some solo hits as well, including “Glory of Love” from the film “The Karate Kid.” It takes place at 8 p.m. at the Ballroom, Nugget Casino Resort. Tickets are $48 to $88. Info: 775-356-3300 or nuggetcasinoresort.com
Feb. 23: Penn and Teller
Is it a magic show or is it comedy? For this dynamic duo that have been performing for decades, it’s definitely both. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the South Shore Room, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. TIckets are $82 to $275. Info: 800-427-7247 or harrahstahoe.com
Feb. 24: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
“Cecelia and the Satellite” is the best-known song from this popular indie pop-rock artist known for his songwriting. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the South Shore Room, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Tickets are $33. Info: 800-427-7247 or harrahstahoe.com
Feb. 24: Eddie Izzard
From comic monologues to best-selling books to ultra-marathons, Izzard has build a career out of the unexpected. He performs a show based on his best-selling memoir, “Believe Me,” at 8 p.m. at Grande Exposition Hall, Silver Legacy Resort Casino. Tickets are $65.50 to $85.50. Info: 775-325-7401 or silverlegacyreno.com
March 1: The Devil Wears Prada
They may be named for the darkly comic novel, but this band from Dayton, Ohio, is more wrenching than wry as they’ve played a mix of metal and hardcore punk since 2005. This all-ages show takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, 71 S. Wells Ave. Tickets are $17. Info: 775-384-1652 or jmaxproductions.net
March 2: Ethan Bortnick
This 17-year-old pianist has become a top attraction during PBS fundraising drives, as he plays a wide variety of music styles. It takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Center. Tickets are $40 to $55. Info: 775-686-6600 or pioneercenter.com.
March 3: Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas
Thomas is leading this incarnation of the band that had several hits that he sang, including “Jane” and “We Built This City.” It takes place at 8 p.m. at the Celebrity Showroom, Nugget Casino Resort. Tickets are $45 to $80. Info: 775-356-3300 or nuggetcasinoresort.com.
March 6: Anderson East
This singer/songwriter from Nashville has earned plaudits for his two albums and a big adult-alternative radio hit with the song “All on My Mind.” East performs 9 p.m. at the Crown Room, Crystal Bay Casino. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 day of show. Info: 775-833-6333 or crystalbaycasino.com
March 10: Psychedelic Furs
The Furs are a band from the UK who went from punky noise to tuneful pop-rock with hits like “Love My Way” and “Pretty in Pink.” It takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Tickets are $38 to $58. Info: 800-427-7247 or harrahstahoe.com
March 15: George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic
A true legend of funk music, Clinton still leads a very big band of P-Funk members through their classic hits such as “Flash Light” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” The group performs at 9 p.m. in the Crown Room at Crystal Bay Club Casino. Tickets are $37.50. Info: 775-833-6333 or crystalbaycasino.com
March 16: Dancing with the Stars Live
The pro dancers from the TV show are joined by two of the competition’s actors - Frankie Muniz and Jordan Fisher - as part of this latest live version. It takes place 9 p.m. at the Grand Theatre, Grand Sierra Resort. Tickets are $32 to $68. Info: 775-789-1115 or grandsierraresort.com.
March 17: The Isley Brothers
Having hits since the late ‘50s, the Brothers currently feature main singer Ron Isley and guitarist Ernie Isley, who powered much of the group’s ‘70s music. It takes place at 8 p.m. at Grande Exposition Hall, Silver Legacy Casino Resort. Tickets are $59.50 to $69.50. Info: 775-325-7401 or silverlegacyreno.com
Modern bluegrass/jam group Yonder Mountain String Band has been announced for March 22 at the Crown Casino Room, Crystal Bay Club Casino. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased now. Info: 775-833-6333 or crystalbaycasino.com
Alternative rockers All Time Low have been announced for April 20 at Cargo, Whitney Peak Hotel. Tickets are $27 and can be purchased now. Info: 775-398-5400 or cargoreno.com
A double bill featuring classic rockers Cheap Trick and ‘80s metal group Poison has been announced for May 20 at Grand Theatre, Grand Sierra Resort. Tickets start at $69 and are on sale now. Info: 775-789-2000 or grandsierraresort.com
Country star Kenny Chesney has been announced for July 3 at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena, Harveys Lake Tahoe. Tickets are between $69.50 and $149.50 and are on sale now. Info: 800-342-7724 or harveystahoe.com.
Country musician Chris Staplelton has been announced for July 26 at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena, Harveys Lake Tahoe. Tickets are between $69.50 and $149.50 and are on sale now. Info: 800-342-7724 or harveystahoe.com.