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[whitespace] Spring Sugar

Paramount kicked off its concert season with sun-kissed Sugar Ray show

By Sarah Quelland

IT WAS OPENING WEEKEND at Paramount's Great America, and the park kicked off its season of music with live performances by Sugar Ray and San Francisco's the Fingers on Sunday (April 2). The concert was held in the park's Redwood Amphitheater, which serves as an enjoyable outdoor space to see a show. Sugar Ray's summery rock & roll and party attitude work much better in an outdoor setting than in large arenas. Frontman Mark McGrath has a great sense of humor (the band's most recent album is titled 14:59, an allusion to the speculation that their 15 minutes of fame are almost up) and makes for an ideal host. In one of the more spontaneous moments of the evening, McGrath brought two audience members onstage and handed off the microphone, leaving them to their own freestyling devices. After the two guys delivered awkward attempts, McGrath took over the mic again for a few verses of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." Sugar Ray also performed hits like "Every Morning," "Someday" and "Fly," and he had all the sun-kissed girls screaming.

The Fingers brought in a fair number of people as well. This pop band offers hooky, radio-friendly songs, but its most impressive feature is the use of a cellist. Semyon Kobialka's playing gave the band's music an unusual twist. The Fingers' first full-length CD, Prophets and Casanovas, is available now. Upcoming shows at Great America include "Weird Al" Yankovic on July 30 and country singer Martina McBride on Aug. 11.

Former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach performed at Maritime Hall in San Francisco last Friday (March 31) with Blue Period and American Heartbreak. The show may not have been anywhere near a sell-out, but everyone in the crowd was incredibly enthusiastic. The long-haired rock star performed a mixture of old Skid Row material (including "Youth Gone Wild," "In a Darkened Room" and "I Remember You") as well as new songs from his solo effort Bring 'Em Bach Alive ("The Most Powerful Man in the World" and "Superjerk, Superstar, Supertears").

Stone Temple Pilots should be coming through this area soon. Listen to KSJO 92.3FM for updates. ... Pantera, whose latest assault, Reinventing the Steel, is finally in stores, is participating in OzzFest 2000, which stops at Shoreline Amphitheatre on Aug. 26. Along with namesake Ozzy Osbourne, metal heavyweights Static-X, Methods of Mayhem, Godsmack, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age and P.O.D. are scheduled to rule the main stage, while Ministry, Kittie, Taproot, Disturbed, Pitchshifter, Primer 55, Crazy Town, the Deadlights, Shuvel, Slaves on Dope and Pumpjack roughen up the second stage. After he's cried wolf so many times, it's become difficult to take Ozzy seriously, but the aging rocker says he's planning to retire after this tour. Visit www.ozzy.com for updates. Tickets for OzzFest go on sale this Sunday (April 9).

Papa Roach holds its CD-release party at the Edge in Palo Alto on April 27. Taproot, Salmon and other guests are scheduled to open at this special show. This will be the last live rock show at the Edge, a club that has been a staple of the Bay Area's all-ages nightlife for 11 years now. After a farewell party on April 29, the club is closing its doors for extensive remodeling. The club is set to reopen in July under a new name as a chi-chi supper club complete with patio dining. Tickets for the Papa Roach show are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. ... A new 21+ dance club is opening its doors. This Saturday (April 8), you can celebrate the arrival of Club BX (234 B St. in downtown San Mateo), a rock en español club featuring house, dance, techno, rock and pop music. ... JJ's Blues celebrates its 17th anniversary on Sunday (April 9) with a barbecue and plenty of blues starting at 4pm. ... Norwegian rock trio Big Bang stops by the Usual one more time next Tuesday (April 11) before leaving the country.

PLAN AHEAD: The Donnas and Groovie Ghoulies, April 7 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco; Berlin, April 7 at the Usual; Dance Hall Crashers and the Muffs, April 8 at Maritime Hall; Fishbone and Slightly Stoopid, April 12 at the Usual; Static-X, April 14, Slim's in San Francisco; Joe Satriani, April 14 at the Warfield in San Francisco; 311 and Incubus, May 28 at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

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From the April 6-12, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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