COLUMN WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where 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 Aug. 14:
Bethlehem Musikfest – August 14-16
Here at Seven in Seven, we covered the bulk of Musikfest last week. But there are still a few days left to see some really great artists. Tonight Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker performs from his country catalog at the Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza. Tomorrow night, fresh off being nabbed in Italy with entirely too much undeclared cash in his luggage, hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg will take that stage, and grunge stalwarts Alice in Chains will do the same on Sunday to close out the 10-day festival. For a complete lineup of artists, set times and venues, visit www.musikfest.org.
Philadelphia Folk Festival – Aug. 14-16 at Old Pool Farm
The Philadelphia Folk Festival eases into its 54th year at Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township this weekend, with a lineup full of headliners, upstarts and hopefuls. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band are the top act, taking the stage Saturday. There’s also a 50th anniversary celebration of the folk classic “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie, film screenings and guitar jams. For the full schedule, visit www.pfs.org.
Failure – Aug. 14 at The Electric Factory
There are a handful of bands from the ’90s that those in the know will swear the mainstream missed out on. The Afghan Whigs, Archers of Loaf and Jawbreaker are some of the top names thrown about, as is Failure. The Los Angeles trio delivered the instant alt-rock classic Fantastic Planet in August of 1997 and broke up that November. Word quickly spread that if you missed seeing them live, you missed out. Thankfully, late 2013 saw a reunion announcement, and in late June of this year the band released an excellent new album, “The Heart is a Monster.”
Mötley Crüe – Aug. 14 at The Wells Fargo Center
Following decades of sex, drugs, death and rock ‘n’ roll – and not necessarily in that order — Mötley Crüe has decided to call it a day. No, seriously. The purveyors of Los Angeles sleaze rock swear that this is no publicity stunt. They’ve even gone so far as to sign a cessation of touring agreement, determined to avoid the same fate as acts like The Who and Kiss, both who famously announced farewell tours only to renege and return to the road in the name of the almighty dollar. And while nothing is a sure thing, this very well might be the final time to hear Crüe classics like “Kickstart My Heart,” “Shout at the Devil” and “Home Sweet Home.”
Social Distortion – Aug. 19 at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Social D is a band that has stuck around through passing fads and genres like punk, pop punk, alternative rock, garage rock, guitar rock — and was considered members of each at various points. By now they’re simply considered legends. This summer they’re on the road not in support of a new album, but one that turned 25 years old back in March — their 1990 eponymous classic that features the hits “Story of My Life,” “Ball and Chain” and a rousing cover of the Johnny Cash staple “Ring of Fire.” Come Wednesday, the SoCal outfit will be playing the album in full, and with not a weak song among the 10 tracks, that’s a setup for a pretty good night.
Lauryn Hill – Aug. 20 at Santander Performing Arts Center
Here are some facts about Lauryn Hill: She was in the band The Fugees, but the band broke up, reformed and are in all likelihood done for good. In the middle of all that drama, she dropped her first solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which is still regarded as one of the more brilliant releases of the ’90s. But then it all went off the rails. Hill gave a horrible “MTV Unplugged” performance and took on the role of being temperamental, erratic, undependable and constantly late to her own shows. Think an R&B and female version of Axl Rose. So why do we still care when she announces a concert? Because when there is a flash of yesteryear, it can leave us speechless. And maybe this will be the show where everything comes back together.
Jimmy Buffett – Aug. 20 at The Susquehanna Bank Center
It wouldn’t be summertime without Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band pulling out the smooth stylings of the hit “Margaritaville” for his legions of Parrotheads. Taking place on the shores of the Delaware River, Buffett’s show isn’t just for devoted fans, but anyone looking for a night of fun, dancing and the sound and feel of what encapsulates this time of year to a T.