By Michael Christopher
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week we take 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 15:
Journey and The Doobie Brothers – July 15 at BB&T Pavilion: It’ll be two Bay Area bands who helped to define the “San Francisco Sound” over in Camden this week with the Doobie Brothers opening up for Journey. Both bands have gone through a number of lineup changes, with the latter the most high profile since Steve Perry exited in 1997. But for a Friday night there’ll still be some solid musicianship providing the Doobies’ “China Grove” and “Listen to the Music,” along with Journey’s endless hit parade featuring “Stone in Love,” “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” to name a few.
Raw Fabrics – July 15 at Theater of Living Arts: LA-based alternative artist Raw Fabrics – aka Jack Bruno – returned earlier this year with the single “Get Me the Hell Out of Here,” which struts with an outspoken confidence punctuated by sharp percussion and piercing guitar chords climaxing with an anthemic chorus. It introduced the next chapter of Raw Fabrics and addresses Bruno’s descent into drug and alcohol addiction and the healing process he’s gone through. After completing treatment, he headed out the road with just a live drummer in tow and the resulting shows were unpredictable, carrying over to the studio and now back on another tour, this time opening for She Wants Revenge.
Dramarama – July 16 at Milkboy: Sporting three of the original four members of Dramarama, the band is having more fun than ever with the continued popularity of 80s nostalgia. The alt-rock meets power pop band prides itself on making every show different, with no formula, no setlist, no backing tracks, etc. The gigs are talented guys having a great time on stage and sharing that experience with the audience, kinda the way it’s supposed to be in the first place, but something too many bands forget about.
Dawes – July 16 at The Electric Factory: Just over a year ago, folk-rockers Dawes released their fourth LP, All Your Favorite Bands, and managed to transcend their well-documented Southern California influences to establish their own sound and themes, which range from the glass half full optimism of the first single, “Things Happen” to the the epic, Dylan-esque set piece, “Now That It’s Too Late, Maria.” Dawes recorded the songs after they had already been road-tested in front of live audiences in intimate venues from Sonoma to Santa Barbara in their home state of California. Now, with the songs all polished and toured on, expect things to be a bit more relaxed this time around.
Brand New and Modest Mouse – July 16 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts: It’s been just about seven too-long years since Brand New released a, ahem, new album, and the fans are getting restless. Like, really, really restless. Add the wait to the fact that frontman Jesse Lacey has hinted the punk pop outfit may break up in the not too distant future, and the anxiety hasn’t been diminished by his attempts to clarify. Good news is there is a new record on the horizon, with this year on the docket for its release. The bad news is the backdrop for recent shows has been a banner reading “Brand New 2009 – 2018,” and T-shirts being sold say the same thing, which can’t be making the emo kids any happier.
Alice in Chains – July 20 at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center: Out of all the bands to come out in one big wave during the grunge explosion, Alice in Chains remain the darkest and possibly the ones with the most diverse and solid catalog. There’s unabashed heaviness along with a pair of perfectly chill acoustic EPs, SAP and Jar of Flies. Having resurfaced in 2008 with new vocalist William DuVall following the 2002 passing of Layne Staley, AIC continues to move forward, stay relevant and draw in new fans curious to see what all the fuss is about. They’ve spent some of the summer opening for a reunited Guns N’ Roses, but the full live experience comes during one of their stellar performances.
Summerland Tour – July 20 at Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks: Forget 80s nostalgia, it’s high time for 90s nostalgia. This year’s Summerland Tour features four of the alternative rock parties who came to be when cargo pants and wide-with corduroy were “in.” Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit and Sponge lead the way, respectively, with “Every Morning,” “Santa Monica,” “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Plowed.” And for the people who might think it’s too soon to look back on the 90s, just make sure you pay the sitter and go easy on the tailgating.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears weekly in Ticket. For more columns, check www.tickettoentertainment.com.