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 May 1:
Crocodiles – May 1 at Kung-Fu Necktie
There are loads of bands out there that defy, don’t need, and often don’t deserve categorization. Since Crocodiles formed seven years ago, singer Brandon Welchez and guitarist Charles Rowell have been dodging “Jesus and Mary Chain sound-alikes” and “Echo & the Bunnymen wannabes” dispatches from crusty critics too lazy to dig deeper than their own well-worn copies of Psychocandy and Ocean Rain for frames of reference. Now, with their fifth album Boys due out later this month, people are finally waking up to the brilliance of this duo that it’s more than some throwback novelty. https://soundcloud.com/cccrocodiles/crybaby-demon
The Mavericks – May 1 at The Keswick Theatre
Since reuniting in 2011 after a seven year breakup, The Mavericks have been keeping fans excited with tours and new releases, the most recent of the latter which came out in mid-February, titled Mono. From their earliest shows as a garage band playing the punk clubs on Miami Beach, the Tex-Mex outfit has had a skill for getting people to groove. Drawing on a mix of classic country, cow-punk and standards, frontman Raul Malo and company left South Florida, bringing their rhythmic fervor and Latin machismo, along with Malo’s lush baritone, to the world. Now, after a too long layoff, they bring it to Glenside.
Godsmack with Hellyeah – May 2 at The Santander Arena
Godsmack might be the headliner on this tour, but the respective metal pedigrees of the opener is going to bring in a bunch of fans too. Featuring Mudvayne’s Chad Gray on vocals, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul on drums and Nothingface’s Tom Maxwell on guitar, Hellyeah have spent much of their career trying to extract themselves from the shadow of their former acts. Releasing last year’s fourth album Blood for Blood – which their fans and critics have dubbed their best – it looks like that finally may be happening.
Bang Tango – May 3 at J.C. Dobbs
From the looks of things on the upcoming schedule at the legendary Dobbs, it’s like someone built a time machine down on South Street in Philadelphia that goes back to the year 1988. Members of glam metal stalwarts Dokken and White Lion will be there in the next few weeks, but first up is Bang Tango, who many argue were unfairly lumped in with the late-80s hair-metal movement. Sure, they had the long, teased hair and pretty boy pouts down pat, but there was a musicianship that many of their so called contemporaries were missing, including some funk and jam elements that should’ve lent credibility to a truly vapid Los Angeles scene. Hopefully that’s on display Sunday at Dobbs.
Atmosphere – May 6 at The Trocadero
Minneapolis is known for many things; pretty lakes, the Mall of America, unrelenting winters. But 17 years ago, hip-hop act Atmosphere transformed the city into something else entirely: a nexus from which underground rap spiraled-out to the masses. And thanks to the duo’s nonstop touring habits, albums charting in the Top 20, and their galvanizing artist-owned label Rhymesayers – which features MF Doom and Aesop Rock – they’re still pushing the boundaries of what indie rap can mean. Southsiders, the group’s eighth studio album, was recorded in south Minneapolis and Oakland and is a shout-out to their native neighborhood. It also happens to drop the day of the show at The Troc, making the gig that much more poignant.
Alkaline Trio – May 7 at The Theatre of Living Arts
The trend of the last decade or so has been for artists to play a record in its entirety, usually to promote some sort of deluxe edition released to coincide with a milestone anniversary. Punk rock band Alkaline Trio has taken that idea though and turned it completely on its head; they are picking a eight cities across the country and setting up shop there for four nights at a stretch and playing their eight record catalog in full over those evenings. It’s ambitious, it’s a bit crazy, and it’s definitely something worth checking out. Thursday at the TLA is the inaugural Philly show.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience – May 7 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Let’s be realistic for a moment; Led Zeppelin is probably never, ever going to tour again. No amount of money, fan outcry or complaining from guitarist Jimmy Page about singer Robert Plant’s lack of interest in doing it is going to change that. The next best thing is without a doubt Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. Not only has Bonham got a direct bloodline lineage as his father John was Zeppelin’s drummer until his death in 1980, but Jason has played behind the kit with the band each time they’ve done a one off reunion gig since 1988. Hi “Led Zeppelin Experience” is a sight to see – and hear – as he’s become one of the most excellent students of the band’s catalog and his father’s style of playing.