Any veteran of the first-person shooter genre of video games knows that half the fun lies not only in blasting away at opponents, but also in customizing your loadout, memorizing level layout, and ultimately mastering team tactics. The creators of World Extreme aim to bring this experience to life, packing their 10,000-square-foot arena with dense urban-style terrain. They arm players with their custom radio-frequency-style weaponry, in the shape of M4s, MP5s, or AK-47s. They program each weapon to simulate specific circumstances, from free-for-all battles to team bomb-setting exercises. Unlike at most laser-tag arenas, when a well-placed shot knocks a player out of the game, they must scour the field for a respawn box to reenter play, adding extra stakes to the contest.
The Future of Rock Music Fest’s lineup of established Modesto performers and youthful up-and-comers tests the integrity of the stage with an amp-rattling evening of rock 'n' roll. Steely Dan tribute Kid Charlemagne, accompanied by local cover-band masterminds Johnny and Kelly, regales audiences with lively renditions of songs by their inspiration. Hari Kari, meanwhile, will whisk aural synapses back in time, exposing ears to an eclectic selection of hits from the ‘80s like a disco crystal ball. Fresh-faced teen group The High Voltage Band takes the stage to show off their precocious musical talents before California rockers Offshore coalesce around the soaring vocals of lead singer Genesis, essaying a program of original songs and punk covers of such bands as Taking Back Sunday and Blink 182. Finally, Neil Buettner and Matt Harrington band together and eschew modern electric-rock innovations in favor of acoustic guitars and steam-powered amps.
The dazzling, art-deco exterior of The State Theatre sends moviegoers back in time to Hollywood’s heyday. The elegant 1934 theater eschews the big-budget productions and 3D infomercials of today’s movie industry and instead screens classic films and indie features. On opening nights, The State Theatre often hosts Skype Q&A sessions with the directors and other filmmakers.
The Gallo Center for the Arts houses two state-of-the-art theaters that showcase an abundance of theater, music, dance, and lectures throughout the year. Colorful spins and stiletto-sharp swirls seize the stage in a dizzying display of Argentinean culture with Tango Buenos Aires, and advice aficionados will revel in the clever contemplations of Ann Landers successor Amy Dickinson, whose column is published in more than 200 newspapers nationwide. Music mavens, meanwhile, will bask in the artistic prowess of the Philharmonic of Poland, a powerful acoustic experience helmed by the wand of sonic sorcerer Boguslaw Dawidow that massages eardrums with works by Strauss, Lehar, and Mozart. More hands-on classical connoisseurs will be privy to a fully educational musical experience with Jeffrey Siegel's informative keyboard conversations, which are half witty lecture, half virtuosic performance, and half lesson in remedial fractions.
The Modesto Symphony Orchestra begins 2012 with a two-hour journey through the classical compositions of Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. One hour before the performance, both those familiar with and new to classical music can learn more about the evening's program and secret baton semaphoring at the pre-concert conversation with conductor David Lockington. Inside the Rogers Theater, meticulous audio specs lavish ears with lush sound. The theater's shoebox design and retractable draperies tune the hall to coax precise reverberations from symphonic sounds.
Since 1960, the city of Modesto has been the minor league home to six different big league franchises including the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Oakland Athletics. But despite all the bouncing around, the Nuts have consistently won, and have captured five California League championships over the years. Now affiliated with the Colorado Rockies, the team is still looking for its first title under the Nuts moniker, which it officially adopted in 2005 as a nod to the region's farming products and any fans who try to catch foul balls in their mouths.