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 24:
Alien Ant Farm – April 24 at J.C. Dobbs: Since Alien Ant Farm in 1995, the quartet has enjoyed worldwide success and though it’s tapered off quite a bit in the past several years, it’s still quite the treat to not only see them live, but in such a tiny venue as J.C. Dobbs. Over the course of their four studio albums, they had a Grammy nomination in 2002 for the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” and a total of four top 10 singles. Earlier this year, they released their fifth album – and first since 2006 – titled “Always and Forever.”
Salt-N-Pepa – April 24 at Santander Arena in Reading: Something that never seems to go out of style is old school hip-hop. Late next month, legions of fans will be heading to Boca Raton, Fla. to see a sick bill featuring Color Me Badd, Vanilla Ice, Stevie B and 2 Live Crew. Friday night at the Santander Arena won’t have any of those acts, but it will have the show’s headliner in Salt N Pepa. Best known for the hit “Push It,” which lately has been getting national play in a Geico commercial featuring the trio, the girls will be pulling out all the stops.
Ed Kowalcyzk – April 26 at Sellersville Theater 1894: One of the best albums to come out of the mid-90s alternative room boom was Live’s Throwing Cooper. The York, Pa. natives hit it big with songs like “Lightning Crashes,” “I Alone” and “Selling the Drama” getting tons of radio and MTV airplay. Sadly, in 2009 the band went through a nasty split with singer Ed Kowalcyzk, who has since put out three solo records. This weekend though, at the sold out concert, he’ll be revisiting his past, performing “Throwing Copper” not only in its entirety, but acoustically.
Sixx:AM – April 28 at The Electric Factory: Legendary metal rockers Mötley Crüe are on a short break from their two-year long “Final Tour” jaunt, but bassist and head songwriter Nikki Sixx isn’t sitting around twiddling his thumbs waiting for it to start back up again. He’s taking his soon-to-be main project Sixx:A.M. on its first ever headlining tour of the States. Along with James Michael on vocals and DJ Ashba on guitar, the hard hitting collective played to a packed house at their sold out first show at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom earlier this month. At press time, tickets were still available for the Electric Factory gig though, and it’s also the second to the last of the tour before Sixx links back up with the Crüe.
Griffin House – April 29 at World Café Live: Singer/songwriter Griffin House was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio, but turned down a golf scholarship at Ohio University, picked up guitar and eventually moved to Nashville. It looks like he made the right choice as after a string of self-released albums he released the critically acclaimed “Flying Upside Down” in 2007 and was off to the proverbial races. Earlier this month House announced his is working on a new record and doing a Pledge Music campaign to fund it. The show at World Café is unlikely to feature any of that material as it’s still in the early stages, but with his relentless touring it wouldn’t be surprising for House to work something new up in time for the gig.
Every Time I Die – April 30 at Reverb: Last summer the seventh full-length from hardcore heroes Every Time I Die, “From Parts Unknown,” proved to be the most supremely heavy album the band has delivered since forming in Buffalo back in 1998. Produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, the follow-up to 2012’s Ex Lives saw vocalist Keith Buckley, guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, and drummer Ryan Leger cementing their massive riffs, frantic rhythms, and brutal vocal work into a dozen of the most awesomely devastating songs the band’s created so far. Cathartic and chaotic but always anchored by guitar-fueled hooks and raw yet poetic lyrics, the record that has Every Time I Die pushing into a brighter emotional territory promises to come across even more powerful in the live setting.
Stone Temple Pilots – April 30 at The Theatre of Living Arts: It’s a rarity in music that a band taking on a second singer finds success; the ones that have can be counted on one hand. Following their contentious split with Scott Weiland and the recruitment of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, STP have begun to rebuild themselves, first with a well-received EP in 2013 and now touring smaller venues to win back the fanbase. The TLA show is sold out, so it appears to be working.