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 March 4:
Jack & Jack – March 4 at The Theatre of Living Arts
Nebraska pop-rap duo Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson – known to their combined 14 social media followers as “Jack & Jack” – show the true power of the Internet. The 18 year olds first met in kindergarten, and became sensations on the video sharing service Vine the summer before their senior year in high school. Since then, and becoming more music-centric and less about comedy, almost all of their songs have hit the top of the iTunes charts. So is it a passing fad? That remains to be seen, as the two haven’t even put out a full album yet, though one is slated for release this summer.
Ra Ra Riot – March 5 at Union Transfer
Need Your Light, the fourth and latest full-length from Brooklyn’s Ra Ra Riot, is the sound of a band being reinvigorated by its own existence. Correspondingly, the album sees the band getting back to their house party roots without abandoning the headier soundscapes they explored with 2013’s Beta Love. The result is an album that’s celebratory and sees the group collectively mining its prior experiences in order to craft something that looks toward the future with an optimistic gaze. Initially, the group was going to take an extended break following the promotional cycle for Beta Love. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Excision – March 5 at The Electric Factory
Canadian dubstep DJ and producer Excision has a goal to make his shows a virtual apocalypse of twisting and morphing sounds turning audiences into a frenzy, as walls of bass are relentlessly impaled time and time again, assaulting their senses; true sensory overload would be another way to describe it. As founder of the Rottun label, a bass music conglomerate that has shaped the modern sound of the genre, Excision has created a vast roster of allies that has only bolstered his spot as a warrior of bass music. Armed with a library of filthy sounding beats and drops. Excision has time and time again tested the limits of electronic music with vastly different sets that encompass a full range of genres.
The Oak Ridge Boys – March 6 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Featuring one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry, The Oak Ridge Boys have been around since – no joke – the late 1940s, albeit in a much different form than these days. But the four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of the outfit have spawned dozens of country hits and a and a host of awards and accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and nearly 70 years of tradition, to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most enduring anywhere.
Blessthefall – March 7 at The Theatre of Living Arts
A leading force in the metalcore genre, Arizona quintet blessthefall have spent years taking their message globally, with each body of work more impressive than the last. Their last album 2015’s To Those Left Behind, has received rave reviews across the board from fans and critics alike. At five albums deep – when many in the genre burn out after half that – the future glows brighter and brighter in such a short period of time.
Brian Fallon – March 8 at The Electric Factory
Brian Fallon, known best as the singer and guitarist for the Gaslight Anthem, as well as such acclaimed side projects as The Horrible Crowes and Molly & The Zombies, has released his first solo album, Painkillers. Bursting at its seams with huge hooks, big choruses, and enormous heart, richly textured songs like “Long Drives” and the addictive title track encompass the great rush and flow of American music, fusing sonic hits of heartland country and folk with hardcore punk energy and classic rock ‘n’ roll swagger. Fans of his main outfit won’t be disappointed, but they will find nuanced differences in the music. Still, a record with Fallon on vocals is going to have that certain intangible, recognizable passion that he wears on his sleeve.
The Word Alive – March 9 at The Theatre of Living Arts
On their fourth full-length Dark Matter, The Word Alive have amplified every aspect of their signature sound. The lyrics are more personal, the melodies are more engaging, and the songs are bigger. The Phoenix heavy alternative quintet began transmitting their message in 2009 with the following year’s debut full-length Deceiver solidifying them as a fan favorite as they tirelessly toured alongside the likes of Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember and more — in addition to numerous stints on the Vans Warped Tour. Dark Matter doesn’t drop until later this month, but if songs like the raucous “Sellout” are any indication, it’s going to be a monster.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.