Music News & Reviews

Three Days Grace, Pop Evil and Stars in Stereo headline Blazefest 2015


Fresno fans yearn for live rock music


Three Days Grace had two singles on top iTunes’ active rock charts last summer


The concert represents the music you’ll hear on 105.1 The Blaze


Judging by the calls coming into 105.1 the Blaze, Fresno rock fans are yearning for live music.

“The thing I hear most from callers at the station is that nobody comes to Fresno,” says Jon Ballard, who serves as the station’s program director and afternoon DJ. “We’re trying to change that.”

Enter Blazefest, the station-sponsored concert Thursday, April 16, at Woodward Park. The lineup — Three Days Grace, Pop Evil and Stars in Stereo — is reflective of the music you hear on the station and represents three solid, up-and-coming rock bands, Ballard says.

This isn’t the station’s first foray into concerts. It staged its first Blazefest, with Cheap Trick, Everclear and Tesla, at the Regional Sports Complex in 2011. If this year’s event is a success, it could mean more station-sponsored events, Ballard says.

Here’s what you need to know about the Blazefest acts.

Thee Days Grace

The basics: The Canadian post-grunge band has been playing since the late ’90s and saw success with its second album “One-X” in 2006. It reached No. 2 on Billboard’s rock charts and No. 5 on the Top 200.

The band lost its original singer in 2013, but it didn’t lose its core fans. The first two singles with new singer Matt Walst hit No. 1 on iTunes Active Rock Chart last summer. The new album “Human” was released in late March.

Trivia: The band originally formed under the name Groundswell when its members were still in high school.

Pop Evil

The basics: The Michigan-band Pop Evil honed its live skills opening on major tours for the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Judas Priest and Black Label Society. The band cranked out three No. 1 singles on Billboard’s rock chart last year. It is working with producer Adam Kasper (he recorded Soundgarden and Foo Fighters) on a new LP scheduled for release this summer.

Trivia: Pop Evil is known for railing against the music industry. The band landed a major-label contract for its debut album, then tore the contract up on stage.

Stars In Stereo

The basics: Led by frontwoman Bec Hollcraft, Stars in Stereo is the newest band on the Blazefest lineup. The Los Angeles quartet has only been playing since 2012. This isn’t the band’s first stop in Fresno. It played Strummer’s nightclub in 2013.

Trivia: The band’s guitarist, Jordan McGraw, is the son of television personality Phil McGraw, aka Dr. Phil.