COLUMN WRITTEN 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 Aug. 5:
Snoop Dogg – Aug. 5 at BB&T Pavilion
Snoop Doggy Dogg kicked off his summer in the right way by dropping his 14th LP, Coolaid, on July 1. One of his guests on the well-received album was fellow hip-hop superstar Wiz Khalifa, who put out his own record back in February, and will be co-headlining the trek, slyly dubbed the “High Road Summer Tour.” The duo will take the stage for the first time together in a one-of-a-kind joint performance, ripping back-to-back through all their hits, new songs, and smash collaborations like “You and Your Friends” and the Grammy-nominated anthem “Young, Wild and Free.”
Boris – Aug. 6 at Union Transfer
If there was ever a heavy band that was impossible to categorize, it’s Japanese hard rock trio Boris. “Avant-garde” has been the genre thrown around most, but that’s also a term used when a reviewer doesn’t know what the heck else to try to pigeonhole something. Last year saw the band release their 20th, 21st and 22nd albums. They typically run four to five songs in length with each of the tracks having a running time of anywhere from four to 20 minutes. It’s not a “jam,” it’s sometimes conceptual, it’s often puzzling, but one aspect that remains: it’s loud. All the members are virtuosic, bringing an even more intense element to the proceedings.
Coldplay – Aug. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field
The era of stadium bands is pretty much over if you ask most music experts, and other than a few country artists who tend to have flashes of fanbases that will only fit into a 50,000 plus capacity venue, the authorities are spot on. But there are those who push the envelope, and manage to succeed in venturing into stadiums. Coldplay is one of those acts. Last year’s release, A Head Full of Dreams, received great reviews, an accomplishment for a seventh album when many thought they had peaked with album number two. It might be a surprise that the UK band can still capture the positive words of critics, but it’s less and less shocking they can bring out the fans.
I Love the ‘90s Tour – Aug. 5 at BB&T Pavilion
There’s 90s nostalgia and then there’s nostalgia that toes the line to a change in the scene at the dawn of a new decade, which is what the “I Love the ‘90s” tour represents. While grunge was ramping up in Seattle, rap and R&B infused hip-hop were becoming mainstream friendly, and the year 1990 represented the start of that in many ways. Those changes were led by Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa and Color Me Badd. Adding to the bill the likes of Kid N Play, Coolio and Young MC and you’re going to have a bunch of old school grown-ups singing along to a bunch of songs they know better than the back of their hand.
Bush – Aug. 7 at The Fillmore
Speaking of the 90s, here’s a band that came of age in the wake of grunge and has managed to last all these years. Led by frontman Gavin Rossdale, Bush will actually be in town twice this week, once for this date at the Fillmore, and then again next Thursday for Musikfest in Bethlehem. While most of their contemporaries are either playing the club circuit or have long ago broken up, Bush managed to soldier on, weathering a spate of hiatuses. The best part is the music that keeps coming out doesn’t sound tired or dated, and neither do their classics from days of yore.
The Struts – Aug. 7 Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
It’s beginning to feel like the Struts are coming to town every month, that’s how relentlessly they’ve been touring to build up a devoted audience in America. This time around, the UK sensation are headlining one of the Radio 104.5 Summer Block Parties, and supporting their debut full-length, which finally got a proper release in the States this past March having been available in their home country since the summer 2014. The U.S. version has five new tracks and the others are now remastered. And if there’s any worry they might be tired, one only need look at footage from their first ever Lollapalooza appearance last weekend where they absolutely killed it.
Phillip Phillips – Aug. 9 at the Mann Center for Performing Arts
It should be a really happy time for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips; he’s still riding high on the success of his second album, 2014’s Behind the Light, and he’s touring with Matt Nathanson, who’s already bringing an impassioned legion of devotees out to the shows. Unfortunately, he’s mired in a deep legal battle with Idol producers, one that threatens to uproot his career financially, claiming he was manipulated by them into doing certain events. Instead of getting into a war of words through the press, Phillips is putting his head down and moving forward, prepping his highly anticipated third album, songs from which he’ll be previewing at the Mann.