WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday 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. 26:
Bonnie Raitt – Aug. 26 at Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Bonnie Raitt’s release of her 20th studio album this past February proved one thing: she’s still got it, 45 years into a storied career. Dig in Deep not only topped the Billboard folk and blues charts, but it was a hit with fans and critics as well. Friday will see Raitt joined by her longtime touring band made up of bassist
James “Hutch” Hutchinson, drummer Ricky Fataar, and guitarist George Marinelli, along with Mike Finnigan on keyboards.
Rod Stewart – Aug. 26 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Following a spring and early summer jaunt across Europe this year, Rod Stewart is finally visiting some cities outside of Las Vegas, where he’s had a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for much of August. The tour is dubbed, “From Gasoline Alley to Another Country,” or, more simply, “The Hits 2016,” and as the title states, the longtime rock and roller is revisiting some of his classics like, “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” “Maggie May” and “Hot Legs.” This is only one of three dates outside of Vegas Stewart has scheduled, and hopefully that’s because he’s planning on that long-awaited Faces reunion with Ronnie Wood.
Keith Urban – Aug. 26 at BB&T Pavilion
Keith Urban had a pretty good year in 2015. His eighth studio album, Ripcord, not only set an historic country radio mark for the highest one-week spin count, it extended Urban’s lead as the artist with the most consecutive top 10 songs on Billboard’s Country chart, a streak that started way back in August of 2000. Last year’s CMA Awards brought Urban his fourth win for Vocal Event of the Year for the song “Raise ‘Em Up” featuring Eric Church, marking the first time in history that any artist has received the award in three consecutive years. Camden is his second to last date before heading to Canada and then Australia before he swings back through on another North American leg in the fall.
Jimmy Buffett – Aug. 27 at BB&T Pavilion
Very few artists can tour nearly every summer and have audiences not only not tire of them, but left wanting even more. Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer band have somehow made it happen, it’s the party nearly everyone wants to be a part of, as the 70 year-old singer brings Margaritaville up from the South for his legions of Parrotheads to get a night away from their troubles. The dedication from fans is something to be witnessed, and every music fan should experience Buffett at least once in their concert-going life.
Monolord – Aug. 28 at Voltage Lounge
Swedish doom rockers Monolord came out of a side project to play heavier songs than the boogie rock Thomas Jäger and Esben Willems were in called Marulk they added Mika Häkki and knew they had something special between the three of them. Jäger had not sung in a band before but you’d never know it with the release of their 2014 debut Empress Rising. That set the stage – and expectations – for last year’s follow-up, Vænir, which many considered to be a masterwork in a genre that stemmed from the earliest days of Black Sabbath and got a bit of a revival with the supergroup Down in the mid-90s and now is all the rage.
KISS – Sept. 1 at Allentown Fairgrounds
Grease-painted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Kiss have been bringing their “Freedom to Rock” tour to towns they haven’t visited in 10 years or more. This show will be the first by the band in the Lehigh Valley area in 24 years. Back then, they were kicking off the North American leg of the Revenge tour with new drummer Eric Singer. These days, Singer is playing the part of Peter Criss as the group is back with the makeup. Tommy Thayer is playing Ace Frehley with co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley still on board. Despite protests from purists who would love to have all the originals, the four still put on a wildly entertaining show.
The Suitcase Junket – Sept. 1 at Musikfest Café at ArtsQuest Center
Vermont’s Matt Lorenz tours as The Suitcase Junket playing wherever he can; on festival stages and street corners, in concert halls and dive bars, in living rooms and listening rooms. For this show, he’ll be opening up for Dave and Phil Alvin as a support act you definitely don’t want to miss. The Suitcase Junket’s sound isn’t easy to pin into a genre and has Lorenz often compared to Tom Waits, The Black Keys and Andrew Bird. His songwriting draws from the deep well of the American musical traditions of folk, rock, blues and storytelling, all sharpened with a keen pop sensibility.