Michael McDonald and America at the Fruityard Amphitheater


Friday night was the final show of the season at BASA Nationwide Fruit yard Amphitheater and there was something for every music fan. It was a beautiful night and a packed house as America took the stage. It’s easy to forget how many hits they have accumulated since 1970. Nearly every one of those hits was played: “Sister Golden Hair,” “A Horse With No Name,” “I Need You,” “Woman Tonight.” Every song sounded great, with the harmonies of founders Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell on “Ventura Highway”. Beatles collaborator George Martin-produced hits “Sister Golden Hair” and “Lonely People” were terrific. Covers of “Eleanor Rigby” and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreaming” were loved by the crowd. Beckley moved to piano for a lovely “Only in Your Heart.”

It definitely a night for classic soft rock as Michael McDonald took the stage next; he played hits from his solo career as well as works he created with the Doobie Brothers; like “Here to Love you” , “Real Love”,” Minute by Minute” and ended with “Takin’ it to the Streets”. McDonald treated the crowd with songs covering Marvin Gays and Kenny Loggins. For the encore, he sang Gaye’s “What’s Going On”.

The whole night an excited crowd sang along as they swayed back and forth to both bands collection of hits. It was a wonderful night and a great show to put an exclamation mark to Modesto newest outdoor venue’s 2019 season.

Speical thank you to Joe Traina and Don Bean for putting this venue in our back yard and Richter Entertainment Group for giving us a summer of some great music.. Til next year!

Photos and story by Michael J Mangano

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.