WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Though it doesn’t quite feel like spring today, the season’s concert schedule has filled up quickly . Let’s take a look at what’s in store:
Lincoln Financial Field
It’s somewhat quiet at the Linc this spring, but that doesn’t mean the lights are out. Taylor Swift has the honor of opening the season there with two shows June 12-13. Whether you like her music of not, Katy Perry’s biggest rival knows how to put on a spectacle.
Wells Fargo Center
There are a couple of goodbyes and a big return at the Wells Fargo Center this spring. The Who brings its “The Who Hits 50” to town May 17 with local favorite Joan Jett and her Blackhearts. And while this is being called The Who’s last big tour, fear not if you can’t make it this time — the kids will be back in November for one last go-round. June 13 sees Barry Manilow coming back “One Last Time!” before the crooner rides off into the Las Vegas sunset. But just a few days later, Bette Midler returns with her first major tour in a decade June 16. And New Kids on the Block are banking on ’90s nostalgia with openers TLC and Nelly June 19.
Susquehanna Bank Center
Across the river in Camden, there’s a bunch of bang for your buck, courtesy of two high-profile radio festivals. First up is the Radio 104.5 Birthday on May 10, which features Death Cab for Cutie, Of Monsters and Men, Hozier and Awolnation topping the bill. That following weekend, on May 16, it’s the WMMR BBQ with Slash as the headliner, and Bush, Breaking Benjamin, Seether and Rival Sons just a few of the names bringing the rock. June 10 has Fall Out Boy with Wiz Khalifa coming to the Bank Center, and Train with The Fray June 14.
Festival Pier at
Back on this side of the Delaware River, the long-awaited Replacements reunion arrives May 9, with Superchunk opening. Then there are a couple of cool festivals to usher in the warmer air. First up is Jam on the River May 16, which features Lotus, Electron, Savoy and Papadiso.
Then there is the eighth annual Roots Family Picnic May 30, headlined as always by its local namesake. Also on the bill is The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Phantogram, Erykah Badu and Chronixx, just a few names, with more to be announced. And on June 20, the emo tears will flow with Dashboard Confessional teaming up with ’90s alt-popsters Third Eye Blind.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts
The Mann doesn’t kick it into high gear until summer, but the spring comes in with some heavyweights, including Ed Sheeran May 26, Robert Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters with the Pixies opening June 16, and a double bill of David Gray and Amos Lee June 19.
Downtown, there’s a full schedule at the Electric Factory, beginning with emo punk rockers Taking Back Sunday performing a two-night stand Saturday and, fittingly, Sunday. Indie dance duo Matt and Kim bounce into the venue April 17, and Sixx: A.M., featuring Nikki Sixx, will perform April 28 while the Motley Crue final tour is on a break until later in the year. A reunited Faith No More headlines the Factory May 9. For a complete list of shoes, visit www.electricfactory.info
Theatre of Living Arts
It’s always bustling at the TLA on South Street, and this spring is no different, with more than 35 shows taking place. The Devil Wears Prada will be in town with Born of Osiris opening on April 7, while garage rockers The Sonics perform April 12, fresh on the heels of releasing their first album in five decades.
College-rock favorites Guster will be at the TLA April 24, with They Might Be Giants showing up the following night. Stone Temple Pilots, with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington at the mic, hit the stage April 30. Alkaline Trio plays an impressive four-night stand May 7-10, and industrial godfathers Ministry turn it up May 13.
One of the best things about the TLA is that shows are always being announced, some only a few weeks ahead of time. Keep checking this spot for on-sale dates, or head over to www.tlaphilly.com for a full rundown of gigs.
Academy of Music
Up the street and around the corner at the always classy Academy of Music, The Decemberists keep it cool April 7. Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice makes his hotly-anticipated return to town the following night, and then it’s two nights with Sufjan Stevens and Cold Specks April 9-10.
The Troc is still rocking, but ushering spring in a bit quietly tonight with a double bill of singer-songwriters Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata. Things will get much heavier in the coming weeks, with punkers Pennywise performing March 28 and a Coal Chamber linking up with Filter for a date April 4. The decibel explosion continues April 30 with Testament, Exodus and Shattered Sun in town. Shows are added almost daily to the Trocadero, so check out www.thetroc.com for updates.
Out in Glenside the Keswick has some great gigs lined up, starting tonight (March 20) with George Thorogood & The Destroyers taking the stage. The hit-or-miss Lauryn Hill will hopefully make her scheduled appearance March 28, and the oft-changing lineup of The Waterboys will be a show to talk about April 23.
Down the shore, Atlantic City has never been shy about getting its groove on before the sand castles on the beach are built. Bob Dylan will be at the Borgata Event Center April 10, and The Beach Boys — minus Brian Wilson — will be at the Borgata April 18. Crosby, Stills & Nash have planned a one-off date at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre on May 9.
Fresh off their show earlier in the week in Philly, The Who will be at Boardwalk Hall May 22, again with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts opening.
The Seaside Heights, N.J., boardwalk has a big show June 6, as Mumford & Sons team up with The Flaming Lips, Dawes and the Vaccines for a night. And Atlantic City staples Huey Lewis & The News perform June 19.
The concert landscape is always shifting, so keep tuning back into Rock Music Menu for the big updates as they come down the pike.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to email@example.com. Also check out his blog at our sister publication www.delcotimes.com.