Music News & Reviews

The week in entertainment: Light Thieves curate New Saturnalia concert, plus Swede Fest and more

Fresno psych-rock band Light Thieves hosts the first of two New Saturnalia concerts. Theirs is Friday, Dec. 9, at Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company.
Fresno psych-rock band Light Thieves hosts the first of two New Saturnalia concerts. Theirs is Friday, Dec. 9, at Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company. Special to The Bee

In ancient Rome, Saturnalia served as a time of celebration. It was all feasting, free speech and equality.

Such is the intent behind New Saturnalia, a pair of free, all-age concerts curated by the psychedelic rock band Light Thieves, which headlines the first event Friday night. The band will be joined by a half-dozen local compatriots and collaborators, including 1800s, La Niña, Sagey, Dirty Limbs, Sci-Fi Caper and Never Young. Strange Vine will headline the second concert on Dec. 23 with Light Thieves, Fierce Creatures, Cockamamie Jamie, Sahab, Brother Luke and the Comrades and Amoret. The events are being hosted in collaboration with Light Thieves’ album crowdfunding campaign.

Details: 6 p.m. Friday. Tioga Sequoia, Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden, 745 Fulton St. Free. All ages. 559-486-2337,

Other events worth noting this week:

Get phazed

The event: The eclectic rock quartet Phaze Theory performs a rare U.S. concert. The band will be joined by Fresno DJ Mr. Leonard.

The draw: Phaze Theory is the brainchild of London composer and electric tuba player Christopher Barrett. The band, which has been featured on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival, features a rotating roster of musicians. The group is based in Fresno now and features local players Antonio Montanez (drums), CorrinCruz (vocals) and Christopher Janzen (guitar).

Mr. Leonard is the go-to DJ in certain circles. He is known for his deep musical knowledge and penchant for putting together superb funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop mixes.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday. Mia Cuppa Caffe, 620 E. Olive Ave. $10-$12.

How Swede it is

The event: See homemade parodies of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and TV shows at the 16th installment of Swede Fest.

The draw: At this point, you should be well-acquainted with Swede Fest. Its creators have earned national recognition for their low-budget recreations of big-name movie trailers. Their take on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” earned them a spot on “Good Morning America.” The festival itself has spawned several satellite events on the East Coast.

The fan-made films are less than five minutes and are suitable for all ages. Did we mention the event is free?

Details: 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Tower Theater, 815 E. Olive Ave. Free. All ages.

Album Leaf live

The event: Visalia’s Sound N Vision Foundation hosts the atmospheric rock project Album Leaf. Sacramento electronic band Rituals of Mine opens the show.

The draw: Album Leaf is the solo project of San Diego musician Jimmy LaValle and has been a big deal in the indie-rock scene since the late 1990s. Its sixth studio album, “Between Waves,” was released in August. Rituals of Mine is a newer phenomenon, having recently signed to Warner Bros. Records. They also toured with the Deftones. Until this year, the band played under the name Sister Crayon.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. The Cellar Doo, 101 W. Main St., Visalia. $15. 559-636-9463,

An EDM paint party

The event: Rave-style art and dance performance concert Life in Color sets up at the Fresno Convention Center.

The draw: Life in Color is an over-the-top carnival show/electronic dance music party. Think aerial acts and stilt walkers, a fire show and the infamous neon paint blast, all done as the backdrop to world-class DJs. Mega-DJ Steve Aoki was originally scheduled to headline the show, but he dropped out last week. He will be replaced by Canadian duo Adventure Club, progressive house DJ 3Lau, DJ producer Solano and the duo Donnie X Clyde.

Life in Color stopped in Fresno in 2014 and 2015.

Details: 7 p.m. Saturday. Fresno Convention Center, 848 M St. $51.50-$76.50. 800-745-3000,

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee