Aaron Lewis has described his audiences as “a very healthy mix of cowboy hats, baseball caps, tattoos, and black shirts.” They reflect his diverse career.
Lewis was lead singer with Staind, which hit platinum success with “Dysfunction” in the late ’90s, with such hits as “Just Go” and “Mudshovel.”
Since he headed out on his own, Lewis has boldly gone in multiple directions, for instance abandoning all those amplifiers for all-acoustic sets – the singer, a stool, a guitar. Lately he’s become a powerful force in country music where his songs have become known for the stories they tell. There have been hits in that genre like “Country Boy” and “It’s Been a While,” and now there’s a new one, “That Ain’t Country” from this latest album “Sinner,” released in September. The album, which hit No. 1, has been described as a throwback of sorts to classic outlaw country music like that of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Nelson recorded duets with Lewis on the album on the title track and “Trigger.”
As a solo act, Lewis has become a mainstay in casino showrooms. He performs three concerts in the area this weekend, commencing Friday, April 21, at the Silver Legacy in Reno (8 p.m.; $50; silverlegacy.com). He crosses the Sierra to Jackson Rancheria Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23. (7 p.m.; $30-$50; Saturday’s show is sold out; jacksoncasino.com).
The big concert of the weekend is undoubtedly KISS, coming to the Grand Sierra in Reno Friday, April 21. It’s been the buzz of the town since it was announced. The glam rock band, members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and still fronted by the Gene Simmons, has remained true to what itis, a combination of classic and unforgettable rock (“Rock and Roll All Nite”) and clown show, a highly theatrical approach. Nothing else out there like KISS. (8 p.m.; $181.65-$236.79; grandsierraresort.com)
Cache Creek has some classic rock this weekend as well when War plays there Saturday. Purveyors of hits like “Spill the Wine,” “Low Rider,” and “The Cisco Kid,” War in live performance presents its songs cleanly and well. (8 p.m.; $35-$59; cachecreek.com)
Tonight, Cache Creek brings in the hunky Aussies for the female-fan favorite Thunder from Down Under. In the last few years this franchise has surpassed the once-dominant leader Chippendales. (9 p.m.; $25-$45)
And finally, Thunder Valley goes for some retro moments with the ABBA tribute concert “Abbafab: the Premier ABBA Experience.” (7:30 p.m.; $24.95-$34.95; thundervalleyresort.com)