COLUMN 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 June 12:
Active Child – June 12 at World Café Live
Pat Grossi, aka Active Child, is no stranger to the stage. Now residing in Los Angeles, Grossi grew up in the northeast as a member of the Philadelphia Boy’s Choir. Since, he’s gone on to release two renowned EPs, an LP, and toured the world. Coming up June 16 Grossi will be at center stage once again on his sophomore full-length, Mercy. Back in his hometown of Philadelphia, it’ll feel like a sort of dimly lit, hallowed hall under the cover of night with church-like sounds creating haunting echoes and a tranquil ambience.
Taylor Swift – June 12 and 13 at Lincoln Financial Field
Hate on T-Swift all you want, but there’s something to be said for a small-town Pennsylvania girl who manages to sell out Lincoln Financial Field for two nights. Yeah, that “OMG — I won another award?!” face and ridiculous dancing at those same award shows tend to be highly grating, as does seemingly every hit she’s had based upon a high-profile relationship gone bad, but putting all that aside, the live spectacle is something to be witnessed. Expect more than a few last minute tickets to be released for both shows.
Barry Manilow – June 13 at the Wells Fargo Center
A staple of the concert scene for decades, Barry Manilow is finally calling it a day. The “One Last Time” tour is exactly what it sounds like, a long goodbye. A storied career that has featured hits like “Mandy,” “Copacabana” and “Can’t Smile Without You” isn’t exactly coming to a complete end; Manilow’s “Fanilows” will be happy to hear that Barry will still be performing, just on a limited basis from here on out. Expect more residency-like outings, including Las Vegas, where he’s already had some storied extensive stays.
Local H – June 16 at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, Del.
Local H is on tour celebrating its 25th anniversary, but unlike most bands who do that sort of thing, the Chicago-based rock duo are doing so with a brand new album, Hey Killer, which is just as good — if not better — than anything else they have in their eight-album catalog. Songs like “Mansplainer,” “City of Knives” and “The Misanthrope” are textbook examples of what makes the band rock so hard while others make it a career of pretending. Frontman Scott Lucas is also a good friend of Seven in Seven, so we’d be remiss not to mention his show.
Weird Al Yankovic – June 16 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
“Weird Al” Yankovic is the most successful comedy recording artist of all time, best known for hit song parodies such as “Amish Paradise,” “Eat It” and “White & Nerdy.” A three-time Grammy Award winner, Yankovic caught his first big break after sending in an unsolicited tape to the Dr. Demento Radio Show. The song, a parody of The Knack’s “My Sharona” called “My Bologna,” which he recorded in the bathroom of the college campus radio station, was a smash on the good Doctor’s show and became Al’s first national record release. He’s still innovative in the parodies, evident in last year’s “Word Crimes,” a takeoff on the Robin Thicke smash “Blurred Lines.”
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – June 17 at The Mann
It’s not easy being Robert Plant. OK, well, he’s a music legend, sure, but an overwhelming percentage of his fans would be ecstatic if he would just cave in to the pressure and link up with his mates from Led Zeppelin for one last tour. But he won’t. He refuses to succumb to the pressure to relive that golden mane, rock god past. Instead, Plant does music that he wants to do, and interprets Zep classics live in a manner more befitting a 66-year-old. The songs sound pretty amazing too; look forward to hearing “Black Dog,” “The Wanton Song” and “Whole Lotta Love” in a new and exciting format — one that works wonderfully.
Firefly Music Festival – June 18 at The Woodlands in Dover, Del.
While most music festivals stick with the three-day format, the Firefly Festival likes to stand out a bit from the crowded landscape and rock it out for four days, beginning on a Thursday. Things kick off in Dover at 5:30 with bands acts like Young Rising Sons with later sets from Grizfolk, Twin Peaks and Jungle. The big headliner for the night is The Kooks, who are always entertaining, solid and deserved of your weekend starting early.
Listen to these tracks:
Active Child: “Ivy”
Taylor Swift: “Bad Blood”
Barry Manilow: “Can’t Smile Without You”
Local H: “Mansplainer”
Weird Al Yankovic: “Word Crimes”
Robert Plant: “Turn It Up”
The Kooks: “Sway”
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” music column appears weekly in Ticket.