Rockers and dancers come to Ironstone

The B-52s bring their infectious energy to Murphys on Sept. 16

Two more shows have been added to the Summer Concert Series at the Ironstone Amphitheatre outside Murphys. The shows join the Toby Keith show already slated for June 16.

Rock ’n’ roll supergroup Foreigner comes to Calaveras County on July 29. The band known for hits like “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” performs at the winery with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening and Queensryche opening the show.

Foreigner has contributed many incredible songs to the rock ’n’ roll songbook. With 10 multiplatinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, the act is hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world. Its sales now total more than 75 million albums.

Founded in 1976, Foreigner’s debut album produced the hits “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.” The album “Double Vision” followed, and the hits kept coming.

At the band’s core is founder and Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mick Jones, “the visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multilayered talents continue to escalate Foreigner’s influence and guide the band to new horizons,” says a release.

Jones reformed the band after it went on hiatus in 2002 and selected lead singer Kelly Hansen to help write an inspired new chapter in the band’s history. Jones also brought in bassist Jeff Pilson, multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel, guitarist Bruce Watson, keyboard player Michael Bluestein and drummer Chris Frazier.

“An unprecedented new level of energy leads the group to a re-emergence of astounding music that speaks to longtime Foreigner fans and younger generations,” the release said.

“We are so psyched to have them at Ironstone for the first time, and what a terrific supporting bill!” enthused Billy Cohen, the publicity and marketing representative for the Richter Entertainment Group, which books the shows at the amphitheater.

Jason Bonham is the son of Led Zeppelin’s original drummer John Bonham, who Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed the No. 1 pick in its 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Jason began playing the drums at age 5, but unlike other children who may perform for their parents’ friends, he played for the likes of Jimmy Page and members of the rock group Bad Company.

Jason represented his father with his sister Zoe when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1995. He soon put together another solo project that culminated in “In the Name of My Father – The Zepset,” which featured Led Zeppelin songs with proceeds going to charity.

Queensryche stormed onto the heavy metal scene in the early 1980s. The band has sold more than 20 million albums and gained fame with its second album, “Operation: Mindcrime” in 1988, which is considered by many as one of the best heavy metal concept albums of all time.

The series takes a turn on Sept. 16, when “The Life Tour” comes to the county starring Boy George and Culture Club, the B-52s and special guest Tom Bailey, half of the Thompson Twins.

Culture Club formed in 1981 and has sold more than 50 million records worldwide, led by hits like “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” “Karma Chameleon” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” Front man singer and songwriter Boy George was given the Ivor Novello lifetime achievement award in 2015 for his contributions to the music industry. Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss make up the rest of the band touring the country this summer.

Critic Bob Lefsetz called Culture Club “a true show band, with a master at its center. If you like to go out, if you like to feel good, if you like to be transported by music, if you are in search of authenticity in a land inundated by fake … then this is your gig!”

The B-52s’ popularity began as soon as the quintet performed its first gig at a friend’s house on Valentine’s Day in 1977, naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated bouffant hairdos. Today, Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson continue to perform effervescent shows, playing hits like “Love Shack,” “Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho” and “Roam.”

Bailey was part of the Thompson Twins, which also formed in the late 1970s. The British singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer was the lead singer of the band that initially played new wave tunes. It adopted a more pop sound and achieved success during the 1980s, scoring hits with “Love on Your Side,” “Hold Me Now,” “Doctor! Doctor!” and more.

Tickets for the Foreigner show are $55 to $400 and are on sale now at

Tickets for the Culture Club show are priced the same and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.


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