Saturday 23rd, 2010 - A great night for the Fresno music scene. Imagine, if you will, so many musical venues and events occurring in one town, on one night, that it’s impossible to cover everything. There were a ton of deejays, emcees and local bands performing all over Fresno Saturday night, but there were two major music festivals going on that really warranted checking out. First, Creative Fresno held it’s annual FuSE Fest downtown with an entire days lineup of local bands, and when the sun started going down, there was HIS Magazine’s Falltini held at the Via Montana Shopping Center in north Fresno. I would have loved to have been able to check out FuSE Fest, but unfortunately for me, it was one or the other… and I had a free pass to Falltini.
In what will be the first of many appearances, Valley411.com had a booth at this year’s Falltini, so thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hello and check us out! While we didn’t have the best location for talking (right in front of the stage), we did have a great location for checking out the live bands as well as thefashion show sponsored by Mia Bella and Patrick James.
Once the event got going, the opening band hit the stage and got things moving! B4 started off their set with a great cover of Estelle’s “American Boy” and just kept things building from there. The two lead singers (sorry, couldn’t get their names…) traded off each set with the female vocalist giving a funktified vibe to Katy Perry’s ‘California Dreaming’ and the male vocalist bringing his own style to Drabby’s ‘Millionaire.’ A very Ska/Funk/Blues sound that is a definite step up from most opening “cover” bands I’ve seen start off a show. For the purposes of this article, I searched for them online, but unfortunately came up with nada. Hopefully, they aren’t just another flash in the pan band and we’ll get to see more of them… lot’s more.
After a brief interlude and belly-dancing demonstration, the Super Lucky Catz hit the stage hard with their original set of songs, and brought a very “rock anthem” sound to supercharge Falltini. Unlike the previous band before (get it? B4?) them, all their songs were original. Not putting down cover bands, but it’s great to see when our local favorites bring their own sounds, style and lyrics. Throughout their set, they gave continual props to Fresno, and did a great job keeping the audience pumped up. I was able to talk at the lead singer, Rob a little bit after their set, so expect a 411 with the Catz soon!
After they cleared the stage, it was time for the fashion show. Being a self-proclaimed “Jeans and Polo” guy, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about what was going on down the runway, but I was a captive audience being that our booth was less than twenty feet away… The gratuitous use of techno and dance music kept me interested enough to see some great new styles that made me want to go shopping, so a job well done to Mia Bella and Patrick James Menswear for converting this hardcore fashion atheist to the world of metro-sexuality.
After the models took their final bow, local favorite Patrick Contreras took to the stage. The Patrick Contreras Band has quickly risen to local fame with their fresh and unusual sound. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Patrick Contreras, just imagine a musical mad scientist who plugs a Stradivarius violin into an amplifier, and then spends the next hour destroying the horse hair bow with enthusiasm and vigor. Hard rock meets the classic violin…
Contreras has some great covers in his set such as Jimi Hendrix’s 'Purple Haze' and led Zepplin’s ‘Cashmere,’ but it’s his original music that really sets him apart as a local legend. Not just that, but he strongly supports the local music scene by holding impromptu free concerts and organizing events. Recently, the mayor even declared August 30th ‘Patrick Contreras Day’ for his efforts in organizing the Tower Block Party.
At Falltini this year, Contreras and his band rocked the house as usual as the sky finally opened up and let loose with a shower of rain giving the entire stage a surreal atmosphere. True showman that he is, he and his band of musical gypsies endured the rain in rock-star style! If you’ve never heard him perform, check out his cover of ‘Purple Haze’ to get a taste of his unique talent.
Overall, Falltini’s lineup really rocked this year. Although my ears were ringing the entire next day (a result of being about 20 feet away from the speakers for four hours), it was worth it to enjoy performances by three great local bands. Definitely worth the cost of a $25 ticket...