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 April 8:
The Cult – April 8 at The Electric Factory
The Cult are currently enjoying their third go round and it might very well be the most satisfying. Having hit big in the 80s with hits like “Rain” and “Fire Woman,” a 90s hiatus stemmed from the ever fragile relationship between band core of front man Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy while another in the early aughts happened when Astbury channeled his inner Jim Morrison by fronting The Doors. But since 2006, it’s been smooth sailing with the release of three albums, including February’s stellar Hidden City. I talked to Duffy last week and he confirmed things are well. “I’m not, as you know, the happy clapper guy, so when I say it’s good, lo, it’s good,” he said.
Fear Factory – April 8 at Reverb
It’s easy to dismiss Fear Factory as another castoff from the unfortunate nu-metal era of the late 90s. But they’ve transcended that with a history that stretches over seven full-fledged studio albums and two remix EP’s, not only selling hundreds of thousands of records but they have also gone on to alter the DNA of mainstream and underground hard rock and metal with an ever evolving sound. Mainstream popularity may prove evasive these days, but the Factory is still churning out the music.
The Smashing Pumpkins – April 8 at The Tower Theater
The Smashing Pumpkins made some news recently when original guitarist James Iha rejoined the band for the first time in 16 years over a period of consecutive shows in Los Angeles. Seeing three quarters of the outfit’s classic mid-90s lineup was mind-blowing for many fans, but for now it looks like it was relegated to the West Coast. Still, Billy Corgan and his band of merry music makers still bring the goods live, and look to deliver a career spanning set at the Tower.
They Might Be Giants – April 10 at The Theatre of Living Arts
They Might Be Giants delivered their 19th studio album, Phone Power, one month ago, continuing a long career begun when they formed in 1982. Emerging out of NYC’s East Village performance scene with a singular take on art-pop, the dynamic duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell would break big at the dawn of the 1990’s with their platinum LP Flood, one of the most beloved alternative rock albums of all time. The fan base runs deep, and TMBG are anything but a “90s band,” still viable on today’s landscape as ever.
The Kills – April 11 at Union Transfer
The entirely too long wait for a new record from The Kills since 2011’s Blood Pressures is almost over; Ash & Ice is set for release June 3. The current tour has the duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hotel set to showcase some of the upcoming material, along with some of the more popular songs from their four previous works. It’s amazing how big of a sound the two manage to invoke in the live setting, with Union Transfer the ideal venue for it to reverberate through the night.
Diana Ross – April 13 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Legend. That’s the best word to describe the fabulous Miss Diana Ross. From her days as one of Motown’s darling artists, first with The Supremes and later while carving out a hit filled solo career, Ross created the diva ideal and still reigns at the top of the heap. Her show is an absolute greatest hits merry-go-round with constant outfit changes and an audience made up of young and old who no doubt can sing along to every single word Ross belts out.
The Subways – April 13 at Milkboy
UK trio The Subways were poised to break big in the States with their 2006 debut album Young for Eternity. The hard-edged punk was catchy without being too poppy or abrasive, featuring moments of quiet introspection and perhaps the most potent weapon, the vocal trading off between Charlotte Cooper and Billy Lunn. Unfortunately, as is the case with many bands from across the pond, they just weren’t able to crack the mainstream here. Having just dropped their fourth, self-titled album, the band is revved up and ready to give it another go, touring these shores for the first time in eight years.