COLUMN WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week we take 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 Jan. 29:
Breaking Benjamin – Jan. 29 at The Fillmore
Following a bit of a hiatus, alternative rock act Breaking Benjamin returned last June with its highly-anticipated fifth studio album, Dark Before Dawn. The first single, “Failure,” written and produced by founder Benjamin Burnley, skyrocketed to the top spot on the mainstream rock charts. It was the first original music from the platinum-selling band since the release of Dear Agony in 2009 and marked a new era for the group as Burnley is now the sole original member.
Indigenous – Jan. 29 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Indigenous front man Mato Nanji – along with his brother, sister and cousin – released the award winning debut album Things We Do in 1998. Almost two decades later, Mato is the sole remaining member of Indigenous, has been a member of the critically acclaimed Experience Hendrix Tour since 2002, playing alongside original Jimi Hendrix band members Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell, all of which is a true testament to his dedication to the blues and his abilities.
Chrome Sparks – Jan. 30 at Johnny Brenda’s
Chrome Sparks is the solo project of Jeremy Malvin, a Brooklyn transplant from Pittsburgh by way of Ann Arbor. In 2014, after having self-released a small handful of singles and two EPs on Bandcamp, Malvin signed to the taste making Sydney based label Future Classic. Under the new label, he rereleased Sparks EP, The Goddess EP and the three-track Parallelism. The synth driven instrumental music is energetic and chill at different points. Malvin’s latest release, dubbed the Moonraker EP, is only the title track remixed from three different perspectives. If anything, it’s the way to keep the demand for more way up.
Muse – Jan. 31 at Wells Fargo Center
There’s little argument that Muse one of the most exciting rock acts in recent memory. Whether exhibiting their love of Radiohead or Rage Against the Machine, the UK trio has continually pushed the boundaries both sonically and in their beyond impressive live setting. The current tour, in support of last year’s excellent Drones LP is said to be their most ambitious yet, which is quite the boast considering how electrifying they’ve been in the past. Yes, 2016 is incredibly young right now, but don’t be surprised if in 11 months people are calling this one of – if not the – show of the year.
Judy Collins – Jan. 31 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism four more than 60 years. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. Rarely does one have such a lengthy and successful career, but even last year’s duets album Strangers Again cracked the Top 100 on the charts, further cementing Collins’ legacy.
Greensky Bluegrass – Feb. 3 at Union Transfer
Despite the second half of their name, Greensky Bluegrass have forged a defiant, powerful sound that, while rooted in classic stringband Americana, extends outwards with a fearless, exploratory zeal. The tension and release tradition and innovation, prearranged songs and improvisation, acoustic tones and electric volume – is what makes them so thrillingly dynamic, in concert and on record. That their sound is so seamless, so organic, is testament to Greensky’s enduring vision and tireless dedication.
Grant-Lee Phillips – Feb. 4 at The Ardmore Music Hall
Indie-folkster Grant-Lee Phillips has had a consistent and enthusiastic following among fans and critics alike since first obtaining enjoyed notoriety as front man of the Americana/alt-rock hybrid Grant-Lee Buffalo at the dawn of the 90s. Ten years later he struck out on his own, again to much acclaim, restarted the Buffalo 10 years after that and today manages to balance both that and his solo career. This time around it’s a solo outing, and well worth checking out.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.