Country legend Mark Chestnutt rocks Sycuan Live & Up Close theater and more to come

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Well, Bubba would have never shot the jukebox if multi-platinum country artist Mark Chestnutt was playing one of his great classic country hits. In a sold out concert, Chesnutt delivered his story telling ballads to his favorite “honky tonk drinking songs” at Sycuan Casino’s Live & Up Close on April 13. Non-stop, Chestnutt and his band delivered an evening of great classic music to East County, a flavor that is never too sweet for those that love the sounds of classic country.

Well, Bubba would have never shot the jukebox if multi-platinum country artist Mark Chestnutt was playing one of his great classic country hits. In a sold out concert, Chesnutt delivered his story telling ballads to his favorite “honky tonk drinking songs” at Sycuan Casino’s Live & Up Close on April 13. Non-stop, Chestnutt and his band delivered an evening of great classic music to East County, a flavor that is never too sweet for those that love the sounds of classic country.

Chestnutt, whose influences come from the late and great country artists, is reminiscent of the roots of country music. A huge fan of country icons like Buck Owens and Hank Williams, he seamlessly transitioned between his great ballads and honky tonk music without a hitch. He held the audience captive with “Almost Goodbye” and “Let it Rain” and got some boot scootin’ action with his honky tonk classics like “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” and “Somebody save the Honky Tonk.” These, along with a couple of new songs that he and his band are heading to the recording studio after this tour to begin his next album, left the crowd wanting more. And Chestnutt was just as entertaining in between sets as he interacted between the audience, (knowing several of them on a first name basis), to his band, who several times would start a set with heavy rock and roll and then transition into one of Chesnutt’s hits without missing a beat.

If this is any indication of what Sycuan Live & Up Close offers on a regular basis, it is truly one of the best venues that San Diego County has to offer and fortunately for East County music lovers, right in our back yard.

Juan Baca, director of Sycuan Casino wears many hats as director of security for the entire resort, manages claims, safety and EMT dispatch and all of the entertainment booked at Sycuan Live & Up Close. Baca said Chestnutt performed last year with an acoustic set and it went so well they brought him back this year with his full band.

Baca said this venue is special. The theater (that seats 450) does not have a bad seat in the house. With plush seating, it is a comfortable venue and Sycuan sells it own tickets, so there are no extra ticket charges. 

Sycuan Players Card holders get 20 percent off all ticket purchases and for players that use the card frequently in many cases can see a concert free of charge. Card members also swipe cards as they enter the concert for a $100 giveaway at the end of each concert.

Baca said that music is a cure for whatever ails you and that he takes that seriously when booking entertainment. Sycuan Live & Up Close has a phone app with the latest acts and the ability to purchase tickets.

“Acts like this makes people come in an enjoy themselves,” he said. “And that is what we want to do. We want people to feel how we feel about it. Even it is for a short period of time we want people to come in and get their mind off of everything and enjoy the show, then we have done our job.”

Baca said they have the philosophy of treating customers like rock stars so they will come back to the shows, and then enjoy all the other activities that Sycuan Casino has to offer, and that they treat the entertainment just as well so they will want to come back and play.

Baca said he is excited about many of the upcoming shows. Chubby Checker performs on April 25 and Rodney Carrington on May 2. Baca said though Australia’s Thunder from Down Under is sold out, he promises that there is another show just for ladies coming out later this season. Other shows on the horizon include Ricky Nelson Remembered on May 4, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies on May 9, Ronnie Milsap on June 14 and the Little River Band on July 13.

Baca said one concert he believes will take East County by storm is Lorenzo Antonio on July 26. He said this is his first appearance here and though he is very popular in Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado he is excited to bring this multi talented Latino artist to Live & Up Close. Antonio has sold millions of records in the Latino market, but his talent does not stop there. A show for any music lover, Antonio has the ability to smoothly sail from traditional Latino music and ballads, to songs by The Mavericks and Michael Jackson.

For more information about Sycuan Live & Up Close shows and the Sycuan Casino go to sycuan.com.

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