COLUMN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week 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 July 1:
Whitesnake – July 1 at Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City
Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale – and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with his former outfit Deep Purple – has hinted at retirement in recent years. He’s certainly got the legacy to warrant it, and with this being dubbed “The Greatest Hits Tour,” it’ll be on full display if you happen to be down the shore this weekend. From the hard rocking hits “Still of the Night” and “Love Ain’t No Stranger” to the ballads “The Deeper the Love” and “Is This Love,” the show is a veritable hit parade. And of course, you can expect one of the most popular karaoke songs of all-time; “Here I Go Again.”
Hollywood Vampires – July 1 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Supergroups are nothing new in rock and roll, but the sheer pedigree of Hollywood Vampires makes them extremely impressive. Alice Cooper leads the group he started out of tribute to his early 70s drinking club that included the likes of Jim Morrison, Keith Moon from The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Most of the members are dead and gone, but keeping the memory alive are Johnny Depp and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry on guitar, Ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots on bass. An extra special note for the Sands show; it’s the official kickoff to the Hollywood Vampires’ summer tour.
The Box Tops – July 2 at Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks
The Box Tops were a groundbreaking 60s group made up of five friends from Memphis, Tennessee, who first charted in 1967 with the hit song called “The Letter,” which made them the first Memphis artists to record in Memphis and have a number one record. Following the release of four albums, the band broke up in 1970, with singer Alex Chilton going on to form the critically acclaimed outfit Big Star. He returned to the band in the mid-90s, but after his death in 2010 it looked like the end of the group. Bassist Bill Cunningham and guitarist Gary Talley have recently reformed The Box Tops to pay tribute to its legacy.
Soul Asylum – July 2 at The Trocadero
For a period in the early 90s, Soul Asylum were one of the biggest acts around, fueled by hits like “Runaway Train,” “Black Gold” and “Misery.” Like many bands from that era, the Minneapolis punk rockers turned radio friendly fell off the radar but never really stopped making music and moving forward. Their latest album, Change of Fortune, is the eleventh in the group’s catalog and was three years in the making, recorded while the band toured non-stop, had a few line-up changes and some soul searching. No matter what though, that trademark ragged-but-right sound is still very much intact, mainly due to frontman Dave Pirner and his distinctive voice.
Wawa Welcome America! Concert – July 4 on The Ben Franklin Parkway
If you don’t get out of town for the Fourth of July weekend, it’s no surprise that in the Birthplace of Independence there’s a ton of things going on, which culminate with a fireworks display over the Art Museum. Right before that there’s the annual Wawa Welcome America! free concert, which this year features Leslie Odom, Jr. from Broadway’s Hamilton, Yazz the Greatest from the television show Empire and soul artist Leon Bridges. Philadelphia’s own Viva Mas and Brotherly Love also take the stage, with a special performance from the USO Show Troupe. And there will also be a tribute to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff celebrating The Sound of Philadelphia featuring The O’Jays, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes and The Intruders backed by The Sounds of Philadelphia Orchestra directed by Henri McMillian, Jr.
Weezer – July 5 at BB&T Pavilion
It’s been 15 years since Weezer made their much heralded comeback with the self-titled The Green Album, and in that time the geek-rock foursome has survived ups and downs in terms of the quality of music and popularity. This year saw the release of the fourth self-titled Weezer record, this one dubbed The White Album, and while there are surely doubters at this point because of the recent inconsistencies, it’s one of the best the band has done. Frontman Rivers Cuomo took many of the musical cues for the release from The Beach Boys, and what’s ended up is a classic summer album that coincides perfectly with a July tour.
Girlpool – July 6 at The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art
Born and raised in Los Angeles, introspective-punk duo Girlpool is made up of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad on guitar and bass respectively, who met at legendary Los Angeles DIY venue the Smell and quickly grew into a musical partnership. Their sound is raw, comprised only of a guitar, bass and vocal harmonies, using a stripped-down instrumentation to accentuate their vulnerable yet powerful lyrics. Before the World Was Big, their debut LP, explores the concepts of growth, friendship, and the interaction between identity and environment.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket. For more check, www.tickettoentertainment.com