WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock ‘n roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning March 27:
The War on Drugs – March 27 at The Tower Theatre: Philadelphia’s War on Drugs has come quite a way since getting its start 10 years ago when frontman Adam Granduciel moved to the area from Oakland. It’s taken awhile, as it wasn’t until 2011’s breakthrough release “Slave Ambient” had the group spending the bulk of two years on the road, touring through progressively larger rock clubs, festival stages and late-night television slots. By the time last year’s Lost in the Dream came out, a wide fan base was tuned into a careful and thrilling reinvention of the sound that’s become The War on Drugs’ trademark featuring scattershot layers with phantom drum machines and organ lines dotting the musical middle distance all across the songs. Bring that back to the place where it all started will make the Tower show unique.
Lauryn Hill – March 28 at The Keswick Theatre: The best part about this show is the fact that it falls on a Saturday night. Most people will be able to sleep in then on Sunday because inevitably, Miss Hill will show up late, like, really, really late. Why bother then? Because it will either be a fantastic show or a complete mess worth witnessing and talking about for days. Hill has one of the truly great albums of the last two decades in “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and even though she hasn’t done squat since then, it’s one of those recordings that one can live off of for the rest of their career.
Pennywise – March 28 The Trocadero: But back in 2010 when the Philadelphia Flyers made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals, the song played each time they scored a goal was the infectious chorus of “Bro Hymn” by Pennywise. Now it’s some dreadful music by Showtek called “Booyah” and the Flyers are missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. Relive the glory days when the SoCal punk rockers take over the Troc this weekend and make it all better for just one night.
Zach Deputy – March 29 at Sellersville Theater: Jam band upstart Zach Deputy has made his mark as a touring powerhouse in recent years. As a child, the musical influences of his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage mingled with Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix as well as soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles left him honing his craft into a hybrid which created a signature sound. To bring this sound to the stage, the big, upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show — enhanced by looping technology — that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls “Island-infused, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul” to the enthusiastic crowds.
Keith Sweat – March 29 at The Liacouras Center: Few artists epitomized the New Jack Swing era of the late 1980s into the early 1990s like Keith Sweat. And even fewer have been able to remain a major draw to this day. It’s no surprise then that he’s headlining this year’s Philly Spring Jam event which is being touted as “Old School R&B vs. Hip Hop.” With luminaries like Whodini, Rob Base and 112 on the bill as well, it’s going to feel like 1989 all over again.
Joseph – March 31 at World Café Live – Upstairs: Joseph isn’t the name of some guy looking to join the ranks of Madonna, Bono and Adele as a performer known by one word; no, it’s much deeper than that. Joseph is the moniker which a trio of sisters from the Pacific Northwest goes by, an ode to their grandfather’s name. Allie, Natalie and Meegan Closner create pitch perfect harmonies that are stunning in their beauty and are sure to sound spellbinding with the acoustics in the room at World Café.
King Tuff – April 1 at Union Transfer: Kyle Thomas, better known as the mastermind behind King Tuff, sounds like the a combination of the best parts of T. Rex and Alex Chilton. Last year he dropped his second album, Black Moon Spell, for the iconic Sub Pop label, with his self-titled debut for them in the books as one of the more pleasant surprises of 2012. He has the ability to mingle jarring rockabilly with a rocking thump in a manner that few are able to pull off. Thomas has claimed in interviews to have upward of 20 King Tuff albums written, so there’s a lot to look forward to. Start with a listen to “Bad Thing,” check out the show on April Fool’s Day and go away pleasantly surprised instead of being hoodwinked by some jokester.
Michael Christopher “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket. For more go to www.tickettoentertainment.com.