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 April 1:
Gregg Allman – April 1 at The Tower Theater
If there was only one word to describe Greg Allman, it would have to be “survivor.” As a co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band, he watched the bluesy Southern rock band out of Macon, Georgia face the motorcycle deaths of both his brother Duane and bassist Berry Oakley in a one-year period between 1971-1972. Gregg then launched a successful solo career, regrouped under the Allman Brothers banner a few times, entered and exited a half dozen marriages and somehow made it through the throes of debilitating drug addiction. Now 68, he’s come full circle, and last summer released Back to Macon, GA on CD and DVD, celebrating a rocky past and hopefully long future.
Halestorm with Lita Ford – April 1 at The Santander Arena
While it’s always exciting when Pennsylvania hard rockers return to their native state, the big story here isn’t Halestorm, but rather part of the excitement of welcoming back legendary guitarist and singer Lita Ford back to the region. Having been a part of the hugely influential all-girl act The Runaways, Ford had the most success in the 80s as part of the hair-metal movement and the hit duet ballad “Close My Eyes Forever” with Ozzy Osbourne. Earlier this year, she released her autobiography, “Living Like a Runaway,” and in recent years has been recognized as a trailblazer for female musicians in rock and roll.
Wolf Alice – April 1 at Union Transfer
Wolf Alice released their debut album entitled “My Love Is Cool” just as summer hit last year. The album racked up acclaim across the globe with catchy songs like “Giant Peach” and “Moaning Lisa Smile” leading it to land on best of lists from their native UK throughout the United States. And while it’s always been notoriously difficult for rock bands out of England to break big in the States, Wolf Alice seem to be on their way with a relentless touring schedule that has seen them roll through here multiple times to the get the word out.
Rihanna – April 3 at The Wells Fargo Center
While a tabloid favorite and no stranger to posting controversial images on her Instagram page, Rihanna wouldn’t be anything without her true talent as a singer, songwriter and performer that has put her into the upper echelon of pop music over the past several years. Oddly though, it’s just been in recent times where she has seemed the most comfortable in her own skin, which has pushed her already brimming with confidence personality to another level. The only question about this week’s show is whether the Wells Fargo Center will be able to contain her performance.
Duran Duran – April 5 at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Coming up on nearly four decades of making music together, it’s a true testament to their dedication and love for music that Duran Duran has been around for so long. Sure, they had their biggest commercial peak in the height of the MTV-era in the 80s with hits like “Rio,” “Girls on Film” and “The Reflex,” but take a listen to their most recent album, the acclaimed top 10 release “Paper Gods,” and you’ll realize why they’ve had such staying power.
Joe Satriani – April 6 at the Keswick Theatre
One of the most influential and respected instrumental rock guitarists to emerge in the past three decades, Joe Satriani is that rare “musician’s musician” who’s crossed over into the mainstream with music sublime and complex, appealing to a wide variety of tastes. Last summer, he put out his fifteenth studio album, Shockwave Supernova, a record that has him still, incredibly, pushing the boundaries of his guitar playing. How he’s been able to keep it interesting is to continue to be so versatile without excluding the masses who just want to hear a good song. If you’re into the guitar heroics, catch Satch now, and rumors have his Chickenfoot project with Sammy Hagar possibly the next on his agenda.
Cloud Cult – April 7 at The Foundry
Cloud Cult developed in 1995 as a solo studio project of Craig Minowa with his first full length album, “The Shade Project,” attracting the interest of a few small independent labels who urged him to consider performing the songs live. He worked the next four years on a new studio project which would be the first official Cloud Cult album, Who Killed Puck? Then, tragedy struck with the unexpected death of his two-year-old son, leaving Minowa to turn to his art for solace, where he wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss. “They Live on the Sun” went to top the charts on college radio stations across the country. Since that album, Cloud Cult’s music has been strongly inspired by the “big picture” issues of life like who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go. Minowa seems in constant pursuit of the light at the end of the tunnel. The latest Cloud Cult album, “The Seeker,” came out in February.
Listen to these tracks from each artist: