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 Nov. 20:
Air Supply – Nov. 20 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Besides epitomizing the soft rock genre with hit after hit in the 80s, Air Supply has remained surprisingly relevant as they celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2015. In late September, the band landed in the top 40 for their single “I Want You” on the Dance Club Songs chart for Billboard. It just goes to show that if you stick around long enough, you can actually become sorta cool.
The Ocean Blue – Nov. 20 at World Cafe Live
Hershey indie popsters The Ocean Blue never truly gained the widespread notoriety they deserved. When they hit in 1989, most people assumed they were from the UK, but that was just their influences on display. In 2013, the band reunited after a seven year layoff, sparking a renewed interest from both devotees and fans who were just discovering them. This year, their first three albums — all on Sire records — were re-released on vinyl. To celebrate, the Blue decided to do a limited number of shows performing their eponymous debut and its follow up, “Cerulean,” in full. At press time the World Cafe Live gig hadn’t sold out, but New York and D.C. had.
Arlo Guthrie – Nov. 21 at The Keswick Theatre
Arlo Guthrie is best known for his track “Alice’s Restaurant,” an 18 and a half minute long spoken word folk tune that without fail crops up at this time of year on radio stations around the country. After all, it is about his experience on Thanksgiving in 1965 when he was arrested for littering, which then left him unable to be drafted for the Vietnam War. The song really has nothing to do with a restaurant, though he did have a friend named Alice at the time. Coincidentally, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the event — not the song’s release, which came two years later. It’s only fitting then that Guthrie would take to the road to celebrate the day with a series of commemorative shows.
Lee Ann Womack – No. 22 at Sellersville Theater 1894
As one of the initial country stars to experience mainstream crossover success in the most recent go round of the phenomenon, Lee Ann Womack´s 2000 hit “I Hope You Dance” had her poised for Shania Twain-like success. Things didn’t exactly turn out that way, but she still kept plugging away until 2008 when she began a series of fits and starts that didn’t lead to a new album until late last year. “The Way I’m Livin’” has received almost universal acclaim, and is considered Womack´s strongest record to date. Here’s hoping she sticks around this time.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Nov. 25 at The Santander Arena
Overplayed Christmas songs and annoying shoppers are just some of the things guaranteed to go down during the holiday season. That’s why it’s pretty amazing to get lost in another holiday season staple for a few hours with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who come to the Santander Arena for an afternoon and evening show (4 and 8 p.m.). The TSO grew out of the incredibly fertile mind of producer Paul O’Neill after he had written a series of rock operas with the prog-metal band Savatage. This year, the ensemble released a new album, “Letters from the Labyrinth,” and this tour will mark the live debut of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” a made-for-TV movie for which TSO provided the music.
King Diamond – Nov. 25 at The Fillmore
The grease painted heavy metal legend King Diamond has done something special for his current tour; he´s performing the hit concept album “Abigail” — his second as a solo artist — in its entirety. The former Mercyful Fate singer struck out on his own in 1985, he put out the well received Fatal Portrait, but it was the 1987 release of Abigail which launched him squarely into the hearts of metal fans everywhere. Combining 18th century horror with a wild theatrical production, this might even give Trans-Siberian Orchestra a run for its money when it comes to stunning visuals.
The Wonder Years – Nov. 25 at The Electric Factory
Lansdale pop punk outfit The Wonder Years have come a long way since their formation a decade ago. “No Closer to Heaven,” the band’s fifth album, came out this past September, and the praise heaped upon it has not only been extensive, but incredibly well-deserved. Catching them in a small venue the size of the Electric Factory may be a thing of the past by the time they come around next.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.