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 July 3:
Buddy Guy – July 3 at The Keswick Theatre: At age 78, Buddy Guy has done it all. He’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. He has received 6 Grammy Awards — along with receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award this year — 28 Blues Music Awards, the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone ranked him in the top 25 of its “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” To say Guy is a “living legend” is about as apt a term as one can come up with, and seeing him perform live will show just why.
The Roots – June 4 on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway: If you missed hometown favorites The Roots at their annual and sold out Family Picnic a few weeks back, you’re in luck; the band will be the headliners at this year’s Wawa Welcome America! celebration. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway hosts what is boasted as the “largest free concert” in the country on July 4th with great food, fun and entertainment all day long. It all leads up to the incredible Fourth of July Jam and grand finale fireworks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Starting at 7 p.m., The Roots and special guests including Miguel and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland will perform before an explosive fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Foo Fighters – July 6 at Susquehanna Bank Center: Since breaking his leg last month during a show in Sweden, Dave Grohl has kept fans in the States on edge as to whether this summer’s extensive Foo Fighters North American tour will come off in an abbreviated version if at all. At press time, the band’s 20th Anniversary Blowout on the 4th of July was still on in Washington D.C., as was the Camden date. Check http://foofighters.com/tour. Here’s hoping Grohl continues to heal and the Foos continue to bring what has long been one of the greatest live shows in music.
Kid Rock — July 7 at Susquehanna Bank Center: Haters still rail on Kid Rock for whatever reason is convenient, but 10 albums into a 25-year career, it’s clear that not only is he here to stay, but that he’s a pretty diversely talented artist. This year’s “First Kiss” record hit number two on the Billboard charts, buoyed by the title track single, and his tour with tickets across the board at just $20 has endeared him to longtime fans. This summer, he’s brought along classic rockers Foreigner, which is just one more aspect of Rock paying homage to his various influences.
Raekwon and Ghostface Killah — July 7 at The Theater of Living Arts: Raekwon and Ghostface Killah are perhaps best known as members of the hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, though both have prolific solo careers including two recent albums each. This summer they’ve linked up for a tour which will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Raekwon’s classic album, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” The 1995 release was the solo debut from Rae, an instant classic and heavily featured Ghostface, so it won’t be a surprise to see the two prowling the stage quite often together at the TLA.
Patti LaBelle — July 9 at the Dell Music Center: Patti LaBelle defines all the best qualities of a diva and she deserves every single accolade and award she has received over the years — and there have been a multitude of both. From her early days with the Bluebelles through a wildly successful solo career, the Philly native has always been a top performer in the R&B genre and it’s always a special show when LaBelle hosts it in her hometown.
Stephen Stills — July 9 at The Keswick Theatre: While the war of words continues to fly between David Crosby and Neil Young, a full on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion seems unlikely, but for Stephen Stills, he’s — ahem — “still” getting the music out there. For his current round of solo shows, the singer-songwriter and guitarist is planning a career spanning set separated into acoustic and electric segments. Expect new and old solo material, CSN&Y, Crosby, Stills & Nash and songs from his time in Buffalo Springfield.