Pat Clark

Music fests a case of what goes around …

Rob Thomas, shown here in 2013, will return to the Gallo Center for the Arts on July 3.
Rob Thomas, shown here in 2013, will return to the Gallo Center for the Arts on July 3. Associated Press file

My 16-year-old informed me last week that he plans to head off sans parental guidance to a concert in the Bay Area this summer, shortly after his 17th birthday.

“What concert?” I asked.

“Vans Warped Tour,” he said. “It’s like a festival. That means a bunch of bands play all day.”

Reeeeeeeally, honey? A festival? A bunch of bands? Fascinating.

It was the latest in a long line of moments when I get to explain to my boy that almost everything he thinks his generation came up with on its own, my generation did first.

He was shocked to not only hear that I was completely familiar with what the Vans Warped Tour was, but also that I’d been to several music festivals myself.

“You? How many?”

“Four, I guess.”

His eyes widened in shock: Maybe Mom really is as cool as she thinks she is. Then he clearly grew skeptical: No way, she’s not that cool.

“What bands did you see?”

“Journey, Santana, Tom Petty, The Tubes, Night Ranger, Bryan Adams, Men at Work, Stray Cats. … I went to a few Day on the Greens in Oakland, a Mountain Aire concert (Calaveras County).” Honestly, I couldn’t really remember all the bands I saw back in the day; it was the start of the 1980s and I was in my early 20s, and that’s all I’ll say about reasons of memory fogginess.

“Daaaaaaaang,” he said with an annoying tone of wonderment.

Not that he recognized many of the groups or artists among those I named; it was the fact that there were rock festivals in the stone ages that surprised him.

To be fair, I don’t recognize many of the names on the Vans Warped Tour bill. Or, well, any. Of course, I didn’t tell him that. But, he’s excited – for the concert, for the experience, for the freedom that being on the brink of young adulthood brings.

Yes, he’s extremely excited. Me? I’m a little freaked out. My memory isn’t that foggy.

On the subject of summer concerts, Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys has released this season’s lineup for its annual outdoor music series.

In addition to the shows, the folks at Ironstone say they are expanding the stage and making improvements to the amphitheater for this year.

A larger stage with a new roof will allow the venue “to make productions bigger and more fun to see for the audience,” according to a news release. “There will be better sight lines and we are going to bring in improved daylight LED screens. In addition we are making some of our production space even better for the bands.”

Last year, Ironstone offered only two concerts, pared significantly from past series. This season, the offerings are back up, with five dates of classic rock and country artists taking center stage. Here’s the lineup:

June 13’s kickoff concert will feature four artists: the Doobie Brothers, the Robert Cray Band, Los Lobos and Pat Simmons Jr.

July 25: Boston and REO Speedwagon

Aug. 1: Steve Miller Band, Buddy Guy

Aug. 13: The Band Perry, Scotty McCreery, Casey James

Aug. 27: Daryl Hall & John Oates, Mutlu

Tickets went on sale Thursday and are available through

The Gallo Center for the Arts has upped its offering ante as well for its current season, adding several shows. In addition, two shows have been announced early for the 2015-16 season, including a return appearance by one of last season’s biggest hits for the venue, Rob Thomas.

The pop/rock singer will return July 3 to the downtown Modesto theater with the hit-making group Plain White T’s as his opening act. Tickets are on sale at

Also announced early is a return on Sept. 16 by Weird Al Yankovic. Only a few seats remain to see this popular artist.

Here’s a look at some other added dates for the current season, including a couple that already have sold out:

Norteño band Los Tucanes de Tijuana, April 25

Christian band Big Daddy Weave, May 11

Bonnie Raitt, May 20 (sold out)

Clay Walker, May 22

Comics Teo Gonzalez and La Chupitos, May 23

Boz Scaggs, May 24

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, May 31

Peter Frampton, June 3 (sold out)

Look for the 2015-16 Gallo Center season to be announced in May.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at