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 31:
Miguel – July 31 at The Theatre of Livings Arts
Grammy Award winning artist Miguel first hit the mainstream in 2010 with the infectious first single “All I Want Is You,” from his major label debut album of the same name, a song which blended a stark hip-hop beat with Miguel’s creamy vocals to form a sound that was absent from the radio and established him as one of the most unique and soulful voices in modern R&B. Late June saw the release of his third album, Wildheart, and it’s already garnering a steady buzz that’s sure to increase with the just kicked off tour.
Faith No More with Refused – Aug. 1 at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
There’s two major 90s nostalgia trips this week in town but if you have to pick one, this is it. Both California’s Faith No More and Sweden’s Refused broke up several years ago and it looked like neither would be getting back together anytime soon — if ever. Yet the two reconvened in 2009 and 2012 respectively with Faith No More dropping Sol Invictus and Refused delivering Freedom, brand new LPs that have received heaps of praise. It’s rare that such critically acclaimed artists get a chance at a second act, let alone tour together to celebrate it. But that’s exactly what’s happening here.
Super Freestyle Explosion – Aug. 1 at the Wells Fargo Center
Forget “Throwback Thursday,” Saturday is “Throwback 30 Years” as the biggest names in mid-to-late 80s freestyle music, Taylor Dayne, The King of Freestyle Stevie B. and The Queen of Freestyle Lisa Lisa collaborate to perform popular rhythmic dance hits during the “Super Freestyle Explosion” at Wells Fargo Center. The tour also includes pop group Exposé, R&B groups Nu Shooz and J.J. Fad and freestyle artists Shannon, Debbie Deb, George Lamond, Johnny O and Cynthia.
KMFDM – Aug. 2 at Union Transfer
Spawned in Germany during 1984, KMFDM pioneered the crossover between techno/dance and heavy metal with their signature industrial sound. Moving to Chicago in the mid-80’s KMFDM was the pride of WaxTrax! Records during the influential label’s peak. Rapidly evolving year by year through intense experimentation and touring; the band was determined to redefine themselves with each new release. Last year saw the release of the 19th KMFDM album, Our Time Will Come, and while having relocated back to Germany, still have a devoted fanbase in the States.
Radio 104.5 Block Party – Aug. 2 at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
It’s the second to the last of Radio 104.5’s series of block parties at Penn’s Landing for the year. The shows have been free and featuring top quality artists, with Sunday’s being no different. This time around it’s Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, Wolf Alice and Saint Motel. To get tickets, go to www.radio1045.com for information on upcoming ticket raids and giveaways.
The Smashing Pumpkins with Marilyn Manson – Aug. 2 at Susquehanna Bank Center
The End of Times Tour brings The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson to our region. The Pumpkins have always been consistent in putting out music, even if the lineups have been ever-changing. But the big story on this tour is Manson, who early this year put out The Pale Emperor, which is easily one of the shock rockers best efforts, if not a career highlight. Tracks like “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge” and “Deep Six” are familiar enough to fit elsewhere in his catalog yet groundbreaking in a way that proves he’s still a viable talent.
Rob Thomas – Aug. 4 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Rob Thomas is one of those rare artists who have been able to step outside the long shadow of a multi-platinum selling, commercially successful acts, in this case Matchbox Twenty, and have a solid run with his solo work. His 1999 collaboration with Santana on the global hit “Smooth” set the stage for a solo career that has been both unexpectedly prolific and popular. A new album, The Great Unknown, comes out later this month, with the first single “Trust You” already developing a further anticipation.
Listen to these tunes:
Miguel – “All I Want Is You”
Faith No More – “Superhero”
Refused – “Elektra”
Taylor Dayne – “Tell It To My Heart”
KMFDM – “Megalomaniac”
Wolf Alice – “Giant Peach”
Marilyn Manson – “Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”
Rob Thomas – “Trust You”
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” music column appears weekly in Ticket. For more, check www.tickettoentertainment.com