Chevelle and why there aren’t more rock concerts at Stockton Arena

Here’s a trivia question involving the past and the future of the local concert scene. On March 7, Chevelle will headline a concert at Stockton Arena that also features Sick Puppies and Dazeafter. Who was the last mainstream rock performer to take the stage at the 10,000-seat venue?

Hint: She once had a hit single with a song that ripped off Toni Basil’s “Mickey.”

That’s right, I’m pretty sure it was Avril Lavigne, who headlined the Jingle Ball show on Dec. 1, 2007. (The arena’s online calendar only goes back to October 2008, but I checked’s archives for Stockton Arena concerts in 2008 and couldn’t find reference to a rock show. If I’m wrong, correct me in the comments below.) Of course, I’m defining rock somewhat liberally here. Lavigne is more pop than punk these days.

If you’re not willing to classify Lavigne as rock, then the last mainstream rock performer to play Stockton’s biggest venue was Ozzy Osbourne. He took the arena stage in November, 2007. Last year Latin acts headlined each of the four major concerts held at the arena.

The reason isn’t the music. It’s the money. Latin performers like Vicente Fernandez and Marco Antonio Solis have proven that they can bring fans to the arena and make money for the promoters who pay for the concerts.

Promoting a rock concert at the arena is a much bigger financial risk. The only rock act who’s proven he can regularly attract an arena-sized crowd in Stockton is Bob Dylan, a music legend. Lavigne drew a ho-hum 6,000, while sources at the time said the Osbourne show had one of the smallest crowds in the venue’s short history.

Rock concert promoters look at those attendance figures and are discouraged from bringing acts to the arena. If the concert flops and ticket sales are dismal, they’ll lose too much money.

The lack of rock radio stations in the area doesn’t help. It’s more evidence to promoters that there is no support for big rock concerts in Stockton, and they can’t promote their shows over the airwaves like they can in cities with rock radio.

At $35-$100 per ticket, can Chevelle and Sick Puppies draw enough fans to prove to promoters that they should bring more rock acts to Stockton?

We’ll see.

I’m a little behind on my daily duties, so my weekly music and entertainment around the 209 post won’t be up until tomorrow morning. If you’re looking for something to do tonight, head to, where I regularly retweet concert and party info.

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