STORY 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 15:
Brad Paisley – May 15 at The Susquehanna Bank Center: Country music is a tough scene when it comes to weeding out the true talent from the sugar-coated pop. It’s sort of like how Top 40 was back in the 80s; lots of one-hit wonders, artists that shot to stardom and then had a shockingly fast fall with little fanfare. Brad Paisley is someone in country who is a true talent. In just over 15 years, he’s landed three Grammys, two American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards. A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, Paisley earned the first of his 22 number one singles in 1999, and most tellingly, he was responsible for writing or co-writing 19 of them.
Faith No More – May 15 at The Electric Factory: Of all the bands who hit big in the 90s, Faith No More was one that so many wanted to see reunite. They influenced so many bands, from Nirvana to System of a Down with their unique and versatile style. 1999 saw them finally return, but it was mainly as a touring act. Next month however, FNM will release their first full length album since 1997 of new material titled “Sol Invictus.” Going by an advance listen, it’s well worth the wait. Look for the Bay Area natives to perform a smattering of new tracks along with all the hits.
Jane’s Addiction – May 16 at The Electric Factory: It’s like 90s revival week at The Electric Factory, continuing with yet another legendary act who made their biggest impact in that decade looks to shake the rafters of the venue. Jane’s Addiction developed a nearly unclassifiable sound that ended up recruiting such followers as Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine and the Smashing Pumpkins. This summer they’re set to perform at festivals and are even heading to Alaska for a few dates. There’s also a handful of headlining shows, the one at The Electric Factory among them.
WMMR BBQ – May 16 at The Susquehanna Bank Center: For a night of hard driving rock and roll, WMMR has it wired with this year’s MMR*B*Q. Along with killer headliners Slash with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators and a version of Stone Temple Pilots fronted by Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, there’s a bunch of newer artists that are can’t miss. Rival Sons have become a favorite among the rock sect with guitars turned up to 11 reminiscent of mid-period Led Zeppelin. The Pretty Reckless and Halestorm are two bands fronted by females which prove that yes indeed, girls can rock. The show will be general admission from when the first band goes on, and then will turn into reserved seating around 5 p.m.
The Who with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts – May 17 at The Wells Fargo Center: Still going and still claiming that this will be the last tour, The Who are a sight to see no matter if they never really say goodbye. Despite having just two original members left in frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, the half-Who pack a powerful punch. One more reason to see the show is the opener in local girl Joan Jett with her backing band The Blackhearts in tow. Jett was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and she sure deserves it with a litany of hits like “I Hate Myself For Loving You” and a great cover of The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
In Flames – May 18 at Reverb: Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1990, In Flames is world-renown as one of the forefathers of melodic death metal. Ten studio albums in, they’ve had countless successful tours around the globe, sold millions of records and have a massive fanbase worldwide, known affectionately as the Jesterheads. It’s quite the rarity in a genre that tends to be incredibly marginalized, but somehow In Flames has proven to be an unstoppable force in heavy music.
Primal Scream – May 19 at The Theatre of Living Arts: Primal Scream has never succumbed to the musical trends of their home in Great Britain, managing to thrive through the late-80s Madchester and jangle-pop era as well as the much-hyped Britpop that lasted through much of the 90s. They’ve pretty much moved at their own pace, switching up sounds as they saw fit and making it work. A career highpoint might have been 1991’s masterpiece Screamadelica, but even their most recent album – number 10 – “More Light” was universally hailed by critics and fans as one of the best that Primal Scream has done.
Listen to these tracks:
Brad Paisley: “Perfect Storm”
Faith No More: “Ashes to Ashes”
Jane’s Addiction: “Jane Says”
Stone Temple Pilots: “Out of Time”
Joan Jett: “I Hate Myself For Loving You”
In Flames: “Deliver Us”
Primal Scream: “Rocks”