STORY 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 Feb. 26:
Driftwood – Feb. 21 at The Fire: From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette; but the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely, drawing on aspects of everything from old-time recordings to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs.
Naughty By Nature – Feb. 26 at Reverb and Feb. 28 at The Theatre of Living Arts: Has it really be 25 years since the Grammy Award winning, platinum-album selling, New Jersey trio, Naughty By Nature hit the scene? Indeed, and now the outfit is celebrating their hits and party anthems that have become the soundtrack to so many lives at the onset of the 90s. Their music has smashed through mainstream barriers all while remaining true to the sound, message and grit of the hood. The three kings of the hip-hop anthem “O.P.P.” have formally claimed their titles and named their forthcoming reunion album, “Anthem Inc.”
Anders Osborne – Feb. 27 at The Ardmore Music Hall: Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans’ singer/songwriter Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Since the release of his 2010 Alligator Records debut, American Patchwork, his 2012 follow-up, Black Eye Galaxy, and his critically acclaimed 2013 EP, “Three Free Amigos,” Osborne has earned hordes of new fans. He has toured virtually non-stop, either with his road-tested trio – who will be in tow at the Ardmore Music Hall – as a solo artist, or as a guest with his countless musical admirers. Expect some fresh material to get some play, especially the excellent new single “Lafayette.”
Flux Capacitor – Feb. 27 at Reverb: Fresh after last month’s announcement they would be playing this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, West Reading’s Flux Capacitor is in the midst of gigs to warm up for the exciting event. The band of brothers consistently inspires and evokes a new and wildly addicting sound resonating with elements of rock, improvisation and electronica. They redefine musicality with positive prophetic vocals, complex guitar work, innovative keys/synths/bass stylings, with syncopated drum rhythms. Flux Capacitor concerts are filled with improvisation, musical segues, spontaneous covers, and teases creating a unique, one of a kind experience at every performance. The essence of the music is fueled by their dedicated practice of meditation and lucid dreaming which keeps them fueled by a higher power. Their electric vibe transcends the stage and extends into the crowd creating a magical musical ambience.
Los Lobos – Feb. 27 at Sellersville Theater 1894: If you only know Los Lobos for their 1987 hit cover of the Ritchie Valens’ classic “La Bamba” for the film of the same name, then you’re sorely missing out. Nearly three decades and thousands of rollicking performances across the globe later, the East L.A. staples are surviving quite well — and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that garage in 1973. As a testament to their history, the band was nominated to be in the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2016, but unfortunately didn’t get in. So they’ll just keep rocking and rolling in spite of it.
Adam Lambert – Feb. 28 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center: Superstar front man Adam Lambert proves that coming in second doesn’t mean a thing. Despite finishing as runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol in 2009, he’s become a Billboard chart topping, multi-award winning, multi-platinum-selling-singer-songwriter and performer. Known for his soaring voice and unique blend of theatrical flair and glam-rock sensibilities, the pop singer has played in front of sold out crowds worldwide, not only as a solo artist, but with legendary rock group Queen. Nobody can fill the shoes of that band’s legendary frontman Freddie Mercury, but no one has come closer than Lambert.
Slayer – March 3 at The Fillmore: While bands like Metallica went radio friendly for a period, their musical peers in Slayer have remained the long-reigning titans of thrash, evident in the release of last September’s Repentless, their uncompromising 12th album and first without founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013. It’s a headbanger’s dream, but then again, when it comes to Slayer, that’s what the fans have come to expect; nothing more and certainly nothing less.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.