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 Oct. 2:
Frank Turner – Oct. 2 at The Fillmore
Hot on the heels of his early August release of “Positive Songs for Negative People,” his sixth studio effort, acoustic punk rocker Frank Turner returns to the region on Friday. His brand of folk songwriting, catchy melodies and punk passion had reached the ears of the CEO of US independent label Epitaph Records, Bad Religion’s legendary guitarist Brett Gurewitz back in 2007. Excited by what he had heard and seen when Frank headlined LA’s notorious Viper Room, Gurewitz got in contact and soon enough plans were formulated and a worldwide deal was inked. Since then, Turner has toured with the likes of Gaslight Anthem, but this time he’s headlining.
Grace Potter – Oct. 2 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Grace Potter’s epic musical journey reached a new milestone with the August arrival of her second solo album, “Midnight,” which is her first in over a decade. It’s an inspired work that is surprising, revelatory and wildly original. Known primarily for her work with The Nocturnals as her band, Potter enlisted producer Eric Valentine, whose own diverse discography, which ranges from Queens of the Stone Age to Nickel Creek, brought about openness to possibility. The core studio band consisted of Potter and Valentine on most of the instruments, with old habits hard to break as members of The Nocturnals chipped in as well.
Halestorm – Oct. 2 at Susquehanna Bank Center
As the biggest group to come out of York, Pa. – or Red Lion if you’re getting technical – since Live back in the early 90s, Halestorm wave the flag for good
old rock and roll with unwavering, reckless abandon. Fronted by Lzzy Hale, the band reach deep within and conjure their most engaging and eclectic songs to date on their latest effort, “Into the Wild Life.” The band are pushing their musical boundaries further than ever before, crafting songs that rise from a whisper to a scream and back again, defying limits to creativity. Yet as with most solid rock acts, live is where the true test comes into play, and Halestorm does everything in that sense – except disappoint.
Kraftwerk – Oct. 2 at The Electric Factory
Electronic pioneers Kraftwerk are bringing their critically lauded 3D tour to the Electric Factory, and if there’s a “can’t miss” to be found in this week’s Seven in Seven, this would be it. The German man machines have been doing their 3D tour for a couple years now, but this will be the first time in Philly. The band’s stage productions have always been a spectacle, and having influenced everyone from Blondie to Coldplay to U2 it’s time to see what the fuss is all about.
MS MR – Oct. 3 at Union Transfer
The mysterious New York City-based musical duo MS MR, made up of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow emerged to make their imprint on 2012 with “Hurricane,” an introspective alt-pop masterpiece heralding the arrival of a new band, a new sound and a new approach to pop. Proving that was no one hit wonder, the two have returned with this summer’s “How Does It Feel,” which runs the gamut from 80s sounding new wave to late 90s pop. It’s one of those things that’s both refreshing yet familiar.
Luna – Oct. 5 at The Trocadero
Luna was formed in 1991 by Dean Wareham after the breakup of his influential Galaxie 500. They released seven studio albums before playing their final concert at the Bowery Ballroom in their hometown of New York City on February 28, 2005. Last October, out of the blue, the experimental popsters announced they’d be reuniting for a brief run of shows … in Spain. Turns out that was just a tune up bit of dates, and the long-awaited Stateside jaunt kicks off this week with The Troc as the second date in. For something ethereal, chilled out and sonically gorgeous, this is the show you’re looking for.
Stevie Wonder – Oct. 7 at The Wells Fargo Center
Motown legends for the most part have either faded into retirement, passed away or, if a band, experienced both and are likely on the road as nothing more than a glorified revue. Then there’s Stevie Wonder, who continues to perform, perform and perform. Just last week, his landmark album “Songs in the Key of Life” celebrated its 39th anniversary, and at the Wells Fargo Center, you can expect hits from that release like “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” along with time-tested classics “Higher Ground” and “Superstition.”
Listen to these tunes:
Frank Turner – “Get Better”
Grace Potter – “Alive Tonight”
Halestorm – “Amen”
Kraftwerk – “The Robots”
MS MR – “Hurricane”
Luna – “California (All The Way)”
Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.