STORY 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 Sept. 2:
Gallant – Sept. 2 at The Foundry
The push-and-pull that drives R&B sensation Gallant’s music is like a pendulum swinging back and forth between genres and influences. His combination of muscular vocal acrobatics and sonic unpredictability has attracted universal tastemaker praise and a growing fan base. In addition to performing at Coachella and SXSW this year, he collaborated live with Seal and Sufjan Stevens and sold out his first two New York and Los Angeles shows. April saw Gallant’s growth front and center with his full-length debut, Ology, which has been garnering rave reviews.
Mac Sabbath – Sept. 6 at Underground Arts
Parody bands are usually good for a laugh or two before inevitably fading away. That doesn’t mean they aren’t talented or worth checking out, you just have to catch them at the right time. When it comes to Mac Sabbath, right now is that time. While Black Sabbath winds down its farewell tour, this group — which mixes the music of the heavy metal godfathers and that of the fast-food industry — are just getting started. Led by Ronald Osbourne, guitarist Slayer MacCheeze, bassist Grimalice and drummer Catburgler use the imagery of a McDonalds fan’s greatest nightmare and set it to Sabbath inspired tracks like “Frying Pan” (“Iron Man”) and “Sweet Beef” (“Sweet Leaf”). It’s easily the must see show of the week, based solely on how bizarre the whole thing plays out live.
Rob Zombie with Korn – Sept. 2 at BB&T Pavilion
Dubbed the “Return of the Dreads” tour, the co-headlining jaunt featuring Rob Zombie and Korn is a win-win for fans of heavy metal and nu-metal from the mid-90s. Korn’s 12th album, The Serenity of Suffering, is due to hit shelves in the middle of October while Zombie’s sixth solo effort, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, came out this past April. The former White Zombie frontman is also gearing up to perform that band’s Astro Creep 2000 in full later this month at the Chicago edition of this year’s Riot Fest. He’s also been busy promoting the upcoming independent film 31, which he directed, hitting select theaters later this month.
Budweiser Made in America – Sept. 3 and 4 on the Ben Franklin Parkway
Most likely, if you’re planning on hitting up this year’s edition of Made in America festival, you’ve already got tickets and plans on getting down there. This is simply a reminder of who not to skip. If you missed Gallant the night before at the Foundry, catch him for sure on Saturday. Up and coming synthpop star Porches is another one for that day to get there early to see. Come Sunday, Gary Clark Jr. keeps getting bigger and bigger, but worth battling the crowds to see him perform. Early on the bill is Red Letter Day, out of Los Angeles, who take their cues from 60s and 70s rock and roll and blend it with a fresh, updated sound.
The Heavy – Sept. 6 at the Theatre of Living Arts
The Heavy are quite possibly the worst kept secret in music. They make blazing, urgent, infectious rock-soul with a strong dose of hip-hop. You’ve heard their songs in a lot of different places, and it’s likely that you loved them. Hailing from Bath, England, the outfit’s music have been heard everywhere from Super Bowl ads to films like Ted and The Fighter. This year, the Heavy released their fourth album, Hurt & the Merciless.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Sept. 7 and 9 at Citizens Bank Park
Bruce Springsteen is 66 years old. He should probably just take it easy these days and put on a nice and tidy 90-minute performance to satisfy the masses, right? Incredibly wrong. Last week, the pride of New Jersey played his longest show in the United States in his home state; with it clocking in at just shy of four hours. That broke the previous record set, when, in the 70s? The 80s? Hardly. Try two nights before! By the time you read this, he could very well have gone beyond even that, and may have topped his longest ever, which ran over four hours in Helsinki, Finland in 2012. If you’re a fan of the Boss, now is definitely not the time to say, “Eh, I’ll catch him again the next time ‘round.” Two nights at the ballpark could prove monumental.
Steven Tyler – Sept. 8 at The Academy of Music
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will tell anyone who’ll listen that his foray into country music is a natural extension from his time in the Boston-based rock and rollers. That may be so, but it’s rubbing some of his bandmates and fans the wrong way. Still, whether it’s good or bad is up to the audience to decide, so it’ll be interesting to see what the reaction next Thursday will be.