WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and 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 April 17:
Matt and Kim – April 17 at The Electric Factory: It’s pretty fair to say that few outfits made up of just two individuals can bring as much infectious energy to the stage as Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt and Kim. Having released their latest full length effort, New Glow just last week, Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums) have gotten things rolling in their exuberant style with a performance lyric video for the song “Get It.” It’s pretty much three minutes and seven seconds of heaven for anyone who has, or hasn’t yet, seen Matt and Kim’s legendary live shows. With New Glow, the twosome who love hip-hop and pop have made an album of undeniably catchy beat-driven anthems with hooks that just don’t stop and just won’t leave your head.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – April 17 at Santander Performing Arts Center: Five years ago, after many years on the road building separate, successful solo careers, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi took a major risk by forming a new band with an extended pool of collaborators and friends while ditching their individual projects. One listen to their second album, 2013’s Made Up Mind and you’ll agree it was well worth taking the chance. The formidable husband-and-wife duo explore new ideas together through songs rooted in the blues and infuse them with their own unique blend of southern soul, American roots music, authentic rock ‘n’ roll, and a touch of Florida swamp magic. It all flows into some excellent live performances as Friday at the Santander will prove.
Tyler Hilton – April 18 at Arcadia University in Glenside and April 20 at St. Joseph’s University: Before Tyler Hilton wrote the songs that appear on his new album, The Storms We Share, he had never written anything but love songs. That’s not too surprising as the 26-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist took his musical clues from the likes of Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra, guys known for writing about affairs of the heart. But after working on the new album for three years and having already scrapped hundreds of songs that he didn’t consider good enough, he came upon the idea that everyone shares one common thing: having to weather storms in life. That turned into a metaphor about recognizing that we all need to be encouraged to weather those storms. It’s a positivity that is lacking in much of music these days and is truly refreshing.
Michael Schenker – April 20 at Sellersville Theater 1894: Some guitarists are, for better or worse, meant to be on their own. Think of Jeff Beck, Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen; sure, all of them have done time in well-known bands, but for whatever reason, they shine better when on their own. Michael Schenker is definitely in that company. Despite being in legendary outfits like the Scorpions and UFO, it’s as a solo artist that the virtuoso guitarist does his best work. At the Sellersville Theater, expect him to whip up a mix of all his former outfits as well as some blistering fretwork.
Dan Bern – April 22 at Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville: Certain artists paint pictures with a brush while others do it with a song; Dan Bern does both. Musically, he’s released eighteen albums since 1996 and built a loyal following based on a ton of touring and output of songs in all forms. In 2012, he released two new studio recordings, Doubleheader — an 18 song tribute to baseball — and Drifter, showcasing the American roots music that has made Bern one of the most compelling singer/songwriters of his generation.
Kodaline – April 21 at The Theatre of Living Arts: Irish rockers Kodaline surprised a lot of people by following up their debut, A Perfect World, with February’s Coming Up for Air, as they were supposed to be on an extended break. But you can’t mess with inspiration, and the Dublin quartet was sparked by an experiment that inspired them to shake up their sound, started recording and couldn’t stop. Just eight weeks later, the album was complete. Fans can credit a session with legendary producer Jacknife Lee in opening the band’s eyes to new ways of recording that led them almost immediately to the studio. Thankfully, the road has followed.
The Wombats – April 23 at Union Transfer: English act The Wombats got big and they got big fast. A platinum album with their 2007 debut Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation was followed by 300,000 combined sales of their indie dancefloor smashes “Kill the Director” “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” “Backfire At The Disco” and “Moving To New York.” The ensuing two-year tour during which Liverpool’s biggest exports in a decade played to well over a million people, culminating in a massive homecoming Liverpool Arena show for 10,000 ecstatic local fans of their dark yet exuberant and infectious alt.pop. Now they are back on these shores, and playing a ridiculously intimate show at Union Transfer. When it comes to “can’t miss” for the week, this show is it.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven in Seven” column appears weekly in this publication. For more, check www.tickettoentertainment.com