It's not too early to plan summer entertainment.
In some cases, it's quickly becoming too late.
Big acts hit the road in the summer, and many play Northern California's fair and music festival circuit, with tickets for those concerts often evaporating faster than beer spilled on hot asphalt.
That's especially true for two standout festivals within driving range of Sacramento: the Thunder Valley Summer Concert Series in Lincoln and the Harveys Outdoor Arena Summer Concert Series at Lake Tahoe.
Three styles of music have traditionally been the biggest draws in such venues: classic rock, country and whatever happens to be the current craze.
This year, the Lake Tahoe series epitomizes that mix with the Steve Miller Band and the Dave Matthews Band representing the first category; Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley representing the second; and Fun. representing the third.
The Steve Miller Band kicks off the Tahoe festival June 22 ($39.50-$135), followed by McGraw on July 16 ($69.50-$135.50) and Rascal Flatts with the Band Perry on July 19 ($59.50-$135.50).
Phish, the jam band with a fervid following, quickly sold out the venue for its July 30-31 shows, as it did last year.
Wrapping things up are recent Grammy winners Fun. with Tegan and Sara on Aug. 27 ($49.50); Paisley, whose recording with LL Cool J of "Accidental Racist" has created a stir, on Aug. 30 ($69.50-$135.50); and the Dave Matthews Band on Sept. 4 ($75).
All tickets for the Lake Tahoe series are sold by Ticketmaster and available at apeconcerts.com.
The Thunder Valley series hasn't been around as long as Tahoe's, but it includes a wide range of acts and no tickets for more than $100 (close, though).
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons kick it all off on June 1 ($39.50-$84.50), followed by Pat Benatar and Cheap Trick on June 7 ($39.50-$87.50), the "Super Summer Soul Jam" on June 8 ($34.50-$84.50), the Doobie Brothers on June 14 ($24.50-$87.50), comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham on June 21 ($39.50- $94.50), and Lynyrd Skynyrd on June 22 ($44.50-$97.50).
July 12's "Under the Sun" concert features '90s nostalgia with Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms and others ($34.50-$77.50). Huey Lewis and the News play July 13 ($39.50-$97.50), and Norteño artist Larry Hernandez takes the stage July 20 ($29.50-$77.50).
There are many more on the docket, but of special note is an irresistible combo of Gladys Knight and the Pips with the O'Jays on Aug. 9 ($39.50-$89.50) and Frampton's Guitar Circus with Peter Frampton and B.B. King on Aug. 30 ($44.50-$97.50).
All tickets and a complete schedule are at http://thundervalleyresort.com.
Boomtown, Reno Events Center: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, April 27. (800) 648-3790.
Carson Valley Inn Valley Ballroom: Baxter Black, May 2. Cabaret Lounge: Decoy, today- Saturday; Brian Andrews, Sunday-Wednesday. (775) 782-9711.
Eldorado, Reno Showroom: "Menopause the Musical," Tuesdays- Sundays, today-July 14. (800) 648-5966.
Grand Sierra - Grand Theatre: Whitney Myer, next Friday. (800) 648-3568.
Harrah's Lake Tahoe South Shore Room: Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, April 27; Super Diamond, May 11; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, June 1. (800) 427-7247.
Harrah's Reno Sammy's Showroom: the Four Tenors, Thursdays-Sundays, through May 28. The Stage @ the Zone: Double Trouble, today-Saturday; Rustlers Heat, next Friday-April 27. (800) 427-7247.
Harveys, Lake Tahoe Improv: Vince Morris, Wednesday-April 28. (800) 427-8397.
Horizon, Lake Tahoe Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.
MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe Blu Nightclub: Antiserum, Unkle Dubson vs. Bassment-ality, Phil Harmonic vs. Benjah Ninhah, Equinox vs. Oscar Daniel, today. (888) 829-7630.
Silver Legacy, Reno Grand Exposition Hall: Tesla, May 4. (800) 687-8733.