COLUMN WRITTEN 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 8:
Van Warped Tour – July 8 at BB&T Pavilion
While most music festivals have opted to go financially safe by becoming destination festivals, the Vans Warped Tour has been going strong for two decades as a touring event focused on the youth, punk rock and skate culture. It brings together a diverse lineup of artists, stemming from every genre, for the summer, with alum like No Doubt and Eminem having first been introduced to the masses via the fest. This year’s edition includes such diverse artists as New Found Glory, I See Stars, Yellowcard and Less Than Jake.
Nothing – July 8 at Union Transfer
People often wonder why Philadelphia’s homegrown Nothing are so darn loud. In the case of many artists, the volume stems from a preoccupation with negativity, cynicism and the human condition. But while the rock band’s attitude lines up with these ideas; their personality isn’t one that the band picked from a list of clichés. Instead, it’s one that’s been molded by their own collective experiences, from family troubles and personal tragedy to a string of bad luck that Murphy’s Law would think cruel. The volume then, rather than a selling point, is the only way the band has been able to translate the difficulty of real-life events into musical form.
Will Kimbrough – July 8 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Think of Will Kimbrough as the Sherlock Holmes of singer/songwriters. He’s a sharp-eyed observer of humanity who notes every detail and spares nothing in his analysis. His last case study is Sideshow Love, came out in 2014 and featured a dozen songs that play out like a collection of smartly crafted short stories, laden with melodies and arrangements that balance virtuoso playing with just the right amount of space to let each of the characters within them breathe. The theme, love, is a familiar one, but what’s novel is the telling. Kimbrough’s perspective shifts effortlessly between sharp- and misty-eyed, from laughter to tears, as he weaves an arc through the stages of a romance over his eighth solo release’s course.
House of Hamill – July 8 at Steel City Coffeehouse
Whether local duo House of Hamill is covering one of their favorite songs in a new way or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels, their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. Spend an hour listening and you’ll leave with tired feet, a huge smile, and a new appreciation for the versatility of folk instruments in a modern context. The band features Brian Buchanan from the Celtic rock band Enter The Haggis and Rose Baldino, bandleader of Burning Bridget Cleary. Friday’s show at the recently reopened Steel City Coffeehouse will have the two previewing new material from their upcoming debut release, “Wide Awake.”
Billy Joel – July 9 at Citizens Bank Park
Very few non-sports figures get to have a banner hung in a Philadelphia sports venue — especially when they’re from New York. But such is the popularity of Billy Joel, who has one hanging alongside Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam at the Wells Fargo Center for his number of sold-out shows in the region, sitting right around 50. Since signing his first record contract in 1972, the Piano Man has sold 100 million records with 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations with more than a half dozen wins. This weekend’s show is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as in recent gigs he’s been playing it loose, dropping covers like AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and delivering all the fan favorites.
John Carpenter – July 9 at the Keswick Theatre
John Carpenter is best known for scaring the pants off of viewers with films like “Halloween,” “The Fog and Christine,” along with directing cult classics like “Escape from New York,” “Big Trouble in Little China” and “They Live.” But he’s also been a composer of the music for most of those films; who can ever forget the creepy theme to “Halloween”? In February of last year, Carpenter released his first solo record of non-soundtrack music, “Lost Themes,” on the awesomely-named Sacred Bones Records to overwhelming critical success. Recorded with his son and godson, the Horror Master proved that not only could he perfectly score his own films, he could also score the movies in your mind. The Keswick show is one of just a handful of live dates he’s doing.
Paul McCartney – July 12 at Citizens Bank Park
You know it’s a crazy good week in the area when Paul McCartney shows up on the end of the list. And this week’s Seven in Seven didn’t even get to Bob Dylan at the Mann on Tuesday July 13 or Guns N’ Roses the next night at the Linc. But Macca is a must see, as he’s been touring the “One On One Tour” at his leisure, featuring a brand new production and utilizing state of the art audio and video technology to ensure an unforgettable experience from every seat in the park. Add that to three hours of classics from the last 50 years of music and it has the makings for a pretty perfect evening.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears regularly in Ticket.