COLUMN 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. 12:
Blink-182 – Aug. 12 at BB&T Pavilion
Blink-182 once asked “What’s My Age Again?,” and though that was a decade and a half plus ago, it’s clear they will always have a bit of immaturity driving the music. Still, the San Diego punk-pop trio has had to ask themselves some very adult questions in recent years, such as whether to continue without the services of founding guitarist singer Tom DeLonge, who seems to have outgrown the band and split under a cloud of confusion for the second time in the group’s history early last year. Blink have decided to forge ahead with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba taking over for DeLonge and released a new record to mixed reviews last month. The interest in this tour will be crucial in seeing how the fans respond to the change.
Darius Rucker – Aug. 13 at BB&T Pavilion
Second chances don’t come around too often in pop music – or any genre for that matter – but somehow singer Darius Rucker managed to not only find success post-Hootie & the Blowfish, but he’s done it as a country artist. Since re-introducing himself to the world in 2008 with Learn to Live, he has released four consecutive albums that topped the Billboard Country albums chart and earned a whole new legion of fans. And good news for Hootie fans; the group never officially broke up, and Rucker has said they would reconvene again on a larger scale once he established himself as a country act. Don’t be surprised then at this time next year, we’re talking about him being in the same venue with his old bandmates.
Junior Brown – Aug. 14 at Ardmore Music Hall
With his unique voice, unique song writing, and even more unique double-necked “Guit-Steel” guitar, there has absolutely never been anyone like Junior Brown; he’s a true American original. Born in 1952 in
Cottonwood, Arizona, He displayed an affinity for country music at an early age when the family moved to a rural area of Indiana. With his writing coming together by the mid-‘80s, he upgraded his gear in a way that no artist had ever done; struggling through each show, going back and forth plugging and unplugging guitar to steel guitar while singing, he had a dream one night about the two instruments mysteriously melding into one. The result was Brown’s unique invention, the “Guit-Steel,” a double necked instrument combining standard guitar with steel guitar. Like I said … the guy is an original. This fall will see the release of a new album, Brown’s 11th, so expect some of the material to be road-tested Sunday.
Shawn Mendes – Aug. 14 at Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Less than three years ago, Canadian singer songwriter Shawn Mendes posted his first cover to Vine. With only a 6-second clip of him singing, guitar in hand, the video took off like wildfire. He continued posting, and his following grew by the thousands. Now just 18 years old, Mendes has become one of the most buzzed about young artists in music, especially after landing a coveted spot opening up for Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour. Following the success of his debut, last year’s Handwritten, he’s preparing the release of his second album, Illuminate, late next month, with the lead single “Treat You Better” already landing in the top 20 on the charts.
X – Aug. 14 at Underground Arts
Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in LA’s flourishing first wave punk scene. Featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake, their debut 45 was released on the seminal Dangerhouse label in 1978. While those songs were later re-recorded for their second album, the trait that stands out to this day was the band’s raw talent, sincere songwriting and stripped-down rock n’ roll. Today, while many of their contemporaries have faded by the wayside, X are still going strong.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic – Aug. 17 at Ardmore Music Hall
Recording both as Parliament and Funkadelic, George Clinton revolutionized R&B during the ’70s, twisting soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-’60s acid heroes like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Sly Stone. The Parliament/Funkadelicmachine captured over 40 R&B hit singles – including three number ones – and recorded three platinum albums. Now with both Parliament and Funkadelic combined under one roof, the funk returns again.
Glenn Hughes – Aug. 16 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Singer and bassist Glenn Hughes has had an incredibly storied career in performing with some of the biggest legends in hard rock, eventually becoming one of them himself. He played in the Mark III lineup of Deep Purple along with singer David Coverdale for the landmark albums Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band. In 1986, he paired up with guitarist Tony Iommi for what eventually became the Black Sabbath album Seventh Star. Hughes has also been a member of Trapeze, Voodoo Hill and Black Country Communion, the latter featuring drummer Jason Bonham. Interestingly, this marks his first ever tour of the States under his own name.
Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” column appears weekly in Ticket.