Music News & Reviews

Grizzly Fest features dozen bands at downtown concert


Sometimes, Matthew Vasquez is baffled by his job.

He gets to spend the summer out on tour, having a great time playing music with his friends.

“And then you can pay to see it,” says Vasquez, who sings for the San Diego indie-rock band Delta Spirit, which co-headlines the Grizzly Fest on Saturday, May 16, at Chukchansi Park.

Partly, the friends he is referring to are his band mates. He has known them since high school and lived with them for the better part of 10 years, though he recently moved to Austin, Texas. The rest of the band is now split between New York and Southern California.

But Vasquez also is referring to the network of musicians and bands he has met on the road during Delta Spirit’s career.

Those are the friends he will be seeing nightly on the band’s summer tour. It’s fittingly called “An Evening With Delta Spirit and Friends.” Included on that roster are members of Deer Tick, Dr. Dog and the Walkmen. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman Alec Ounsworth, Nashville singer-songwriter Robert Ellis and Deep Sea Diver’s Jessica Dobson also have been mentioned for the tour, which kicks off at the end of May with a two-night stand in San Diego.

Sadly, the scheduling of Grizzly Fest didn’t allow for it to be included as part of the tour.

“Otherwise we’d have some friend with us,” Vasquez says.

The tour will be different from the typical Delta Spirit show you will see at the Grizzly Fest. It’s designed to be more intimate, with quieter versions of their more rocking songs, Vasquez says. It will also be the last time fans will see the band performing live for a while. Following the tour, members will spend time working on new material or doing other projects. Vasquez is working on a solo project.

So, these sets of shows — Grizzly Fest included — are a summer send off, Vasquez says.

“It’s kind of a sweet goodbye.”

Contact Joshua Tehee:, (559) 441-6479 or @joshuatehee on Twitter.


Grizzly Fest, 3 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Chukchansi Park. VIP tickets are $30. Details:

Grizzly Fest Five

More than a dozen bands, from across genres, will perform at Saturday’s Grizzly Fest at Chukchansi Park. Here is a quick look at five of the performers.

▪ Fashawn: Fresno’s own. The Nas-affiliated MC has been a driving force behind the Grizzly Fest since he headlined the original day-long music festival in 2012.

▪ Fuzz: Fuzz is the rock power trio from Ty Segall; currently one of indie-rock’s most prolific singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalists.

▪ Strange Vine: Longtime stalwarts in the Fresno rock scene Ian Blesse and Toby Cordova are breaking through in other markets. The duo recently headlined a show at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and will open a set of shows for guitarist Robin Trower in June.

▪ Zee Will: This hungry young Fresno MC already has opened for big-names like Tyga and Kendrick Lamar. He’s come on strong in the last year, with a new mix tape and a stand-out performance at last month’s Catacomb Party.

▪ Slow Season: This is festival weekend for the Led Zeppelin-inspired psych-rock band. After the Grizzly Fest, Slow Season travels to Southern California for the Psycho California metal music festival.

The full lineup for Grizzly Fest includes: Iamsu and Kool John, Sahab, 40 Watt Hype, Lou Umbra, Exile with Choosey, Clouded Vision, The Kid Ryan, Omar Aura and DJ Mr. Leonard.