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. 30:
The Darkness – Oct. 30 at The Theatre of Living Arts
There was a time when The Darkness was poised to be the next big thing in rock and roll. The year was 2003 and the outfit was riding high on the smash single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” led by frontman Justin Hawkins’ falsetto over a 70s glam metal sound. But like so many other bands who find success so quickly, the hard partying lifestyle saw any forward motion plateau. It got to the point where Hawkins even split the band for a period of five years. Now they’re back, pretty much at ground zero on these shores.
Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band – Oct. 30 at The Tower Theater
In recent years, it’s become a sort of summer tradition to see Ringo Starr and his rotating cast of All Starrs, which makes it a bit odd to be seeing him well into the fall – not that that’s a bad thing. Earlier this year, the former Beatle released a solid new solo album, “Postcards from Paradise,” but on the road is where he’s always shone best. Joining him this time around is local musician Todd Rundgren, making this stop on the jaunt extra special.
Joshua Radin – Oct. 31 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, so it takes someone with something really special to stand out from the pack. Joshua Radin is that something special. Since his first album, “We Were Here,” was released in 2006, he’s proven himself over and over in making music that’s emotional and truthful without coming off as whiny. Compelling lyrics, smart observations and a strong sense of what it takes to make the song complete without over thinking it has Radin as one of the more interesting in the genre.
Gary Clark Jr. – Nov. 1 at The Fillmore
When it comes to the most versatile artists out there, few can hold a candle to Gary Clark Jr. The blues rock musician is not only a fantastic guitarist; he’s also one of the most buzzed about acts who can pretty
much play with anyone. His resume reads like a top 10 chart; he’s played with the Rolling Stones opened for Foo Fighters and has appeared on tributes to The Beatles and Stevie Wonder. Clark’s latest album, “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim,” is getting rave reviews. Now on a solo tour, it’s the perfect time to see what the fuss is all about.
Steve Miller Band – Nov. 3 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center
A rite of passage for each generation is discovering the Steve Miller Band via his Greatest Hits 1974-78. The album has sold more than 13 million copies and rightfully remains a catalog best seller. It’s a nonstop sing-a-long with songs like “Rock’n Me,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Jet Airliner,” “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Jungle Love.” Expect not only those familiar tracks live, but also some dabbling into his blues past.
Craig Finn – Nov. 4 at Underground Arts
Frontman of indie-rockers The Hold Steady Craig Finn has released his second solo album, Faith in the Future. At times stark and spare, at other times vibrant and dynamic, it’s without a doubt Finn’s most compelling collection thus far; each song a powerfully alluring and subtly nuanced composition wedded to his distinctive short story narratives. Much of the material on the album was written after the passing of Finn’s mother, and while none of the songs directly address that loss, the themes of perseverance and finding redemption can be found throughout. It’s no downer either, and fans of Finn’s main band will no doubt love seeing these songs live.
Dead & Company – Nov. 5 at The Wells Fargo Center
Sure, some people are going to claim Dead & Company are making some bones on the Grateful Dead name, but there’s a wealth of musical talent making it worth the trip to South Philly. Featuring three of the four living core members of the Dead, the exciting thing about this particular tour is the addition of John Mayer who, love him or hate him, is an excellent guitarist and one whose style fits right in with what Bo Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have going for them.
Listen to these tunes:
The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
Ringo Starr – “Postcards from Paradise”
Joshua Radin – “Star Mile”
Gary Clark Jr. – “Bright Lights”
Steve Miller Band – “Rock’n Me”
Craig Finn – “Newmyer’s Roof”
Grateful Dead – “Truckin’”