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 May 6:
Brian Jonestown Massacre – May 6 at Union Transfer
Led by the wildly prolific Anton Newcombe, the Brian Jonestown Massacre has a sound which is interesting as their name. Built upon the foundation of the hazy sounds of 60’s psychedelic scene and infused with new wave and shoegaze. Known for their starring appearance in the incredible documentary Dig!, the BJM are so much more than controversy and legend; and the music overshadows both with ease.
Local H – May 6 at Underground Arts
For longtime fans of Local H, the post-grunge duo out of Chicago, this is the tour that they’ve been waiting on; it’s the first time in 16 years that original drummer Joe Daniels has returned to the fold. The reason is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band’s breakthrough LP As Good As Dead, which spawned the hits “Bound for the Floor” and “Eddie Vedder.” Daniels and frontman/guitarist Scott Lucas will be performing the album in full. Newer fans have no reason to fret, as new drummer Ryan Harding will be taking part in the proceedings as well, handling the post-Dead set. And there might even be a jam with both hard-hitting stickmen for an encore.
Babymetal – May 7 at The Electric Factory
It’s a unique trend that isn’t going to last by any stretch of the imagination, but it is definitely one that needs to be checked out live and in person. Babymetal is a girl group put together by managers and producers much in the way of Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls of the 90s, except for one major difference: they perform heavy metal. Well, they don’t actually perform metal, there’s a band of metal musicians backing the trio from Japan, who are all teenagers and perform Japanese pop, or J-Pop, at the forefront of the songs. It’s as bizarre as it sounds, and one of the coolest mash-ups to come down the road in a long time.
Pat Benatar – May 7 at The Keswick Theatre
Pat Benatar is one of those artists who came to prominence in the 80s but doesn’t really seem to get the recognition of her contemporaries. All it takes is one look at the litany of hits she has, and it’s clear that the audience is in for quite the rocking show. “We Belong,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Heartbreaker” and “All Fired Up” are some of the most energetic songs to sing along to on a Saturday night.
Lamb of God, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity – May 8 at Santander Arena
This lineup is an early favorite for the hard rock package of the year, with heavyweights Lamb of God leading the way. But it’s the other two acts on the bill that shouldn’t be overlooked. Maryland’s Clutch is one of the consistently solid bands around with the straight ahead four to the floor rock and roll. Corrosion of Conformity have been rejoined by frontman Pepper Keenan – who has been busy with the metal supergroup Down – something which has given them a shot of energy that they can hopefully bring into the studio with them at some point in the coming year.
Sixx: A.M. – May 9 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
With the Mötley Crüe “Final Tour” over with and that band for all intents and purposes in the grave, co-founder and main songwriter Nikki Sixx is now free to focus all of his effort on Sixx: A.M. At the tail end of last month, the trio released its fourth album, Prayers for the Damned Volume 1, with a second part slated to come later this year. The Crüe is a tough act to follow, but Sixx has shown his determination to make it work and be more than just a side-project. The alternative metal slant might just be the sound needed to get them over the mountain to that broad level of appeal.
Cage the Elephant – May 11 at The Mann Center for Performing Arts
When Cage the Elephant released their self-titled debut in 2009, they were heralded as saviors of slacker funk-punk thanks to their hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” That pressure would decimate a lesser band, but not only did Cage meet it head on, they kept evolving and followed their own musical path. December saw the release of their fourth album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, and it’s got that garage rock sound that’s so infectious and has carried them to the forefront of the always shifting definition of alternative rock.