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 Oct. 23:
Elvis Costello – Oct. 23 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Coming along with the Imposters in tow, Elvis Costello is returning to the region to perform what he’s calling “Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers,” a nod to his 1982 masterpiece Imperial Bedroom. In his nearly 40 years as a recording artist, Costello has cut a wide swath across the fabric of music from his home country of England to these shores and pretty much everywhere else in the world. With a deep and varied catalog to pull from, you never know what the bespectacled singer will play, but it’s sure to be something great.
Henry Rollins – Oct. 23 at The Trocadero
Legendary punk rock frontman Henry Rollins may have ditched the screaming guitars, pounding drums and anger-fueled vocals in recent years, but experiencing him in a live setting is no less intense. Relegating himself to spoken word shows, which he’s been doing for decades now, the onetime Black Flag singer approaches a variety of topics with dry wit, intelligence and with a thinking man’s passion. This being an election season, he’ll have no shortage of things to talk about. Also, note that this show is his second at the Troc; he’s also doing a show the night before, Oct. 22.
Switchfoot – Oct. 25 at The Fillmore
Earlier this year, alternative rockers Switchfoot released their 10th album, Where the Light Shines Through, to near universal acclaim, with many fans and critics hailing it as the band’s best work to date. The San Diego natives came together 17 years ago when brothers Jon and Tim Foreman – singer/guitarist and bassist respectively – met drummer Chad Butler on the SoCal surfing circuit. It’s no surprise then that waves, the sea and water have been a recurring theme in much of their material. Often pegged as a Christian rock outfit, Switchfoot manage to transcend that genre with a mainstream sound that appeals to lovers of all kinds of music. MORE ABOUT THE BAND, HERE
Skeletonwitch – Oct. 26 at Underground Arts
Going to the complete opposite side of the spectrum from Switchfoot, black metal group Skeletonwitch bring their “Curse of the Dead” tour to town next Wednesday. Back in August, the band released the four-track EP The Apothic Gloom, which is the first studio recording with new vocalist Adam Clemans, who replaced original singer Chance Garnette back in February. It’s always a true test to see how an act fares with a new singer, and there’s probably no better way to try it out than in front of diehard fans at Underground Arts.
The Pack A.D. – Oct. 26 at Kung Fu Necktie
These days, two piece rock bands are hardly a novelty, but Canada’s The Pack A.D., made up of singer/guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller have made a sound so gigantic, so fierce and raw and empowering, that it’s easy to forget there are just two people behind some brilliant, carefully constructed havoc. Shredding and pounding their way through every song, the twosome delivers a blend of heavy psych-pop/garage-rock. Their lyrics are complex, with darkly funny disclosures about depression, indictments of digital excess and grief-stricken fire bombast. Black and Miller are relentless and riveting, playing with the kind of freedom that makes everybody in the room vicarious rock stars, even if it’s just for the night.
Hatebreed – Oct. 27 at Reverb
To be honest, heavy metal has been in a bit of a rut over the past several years, with very few artists drawing in new fans, shaking the game up a bit or consistently bringing the goods. There are exceptions of course, and New Haven, Connecticut metalcore act Hatebreed is one of them. This past May, they dropped The Concrete Confessional, their seventh album and much like the six prior, it’s a solid slice of metal. Frontman Jamey Jasta is also one of the more exciting frontmen of the genre, and his dedication to metal overall is no secret as he fronts two other bands and runs the Jasta Show podcast where he routinely interviews some of music’s best known legends.
Steve Miller Band – Oct. 29 at Santander Arena
Each year it seems the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is fraught with some tension, if not outright controversy. This year it was the latter, and the focal part of it was Steve Miller, who, following his induction, railed against the entire process, including knocking The Black Keys, who begrudgingly inducted him. Some applauded his outspokenness while others called him ungrateful, but what’s in little doubt is the vast number of hits Miller has put out. Songs like “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Jet Airliner” are rites of passage for high school students discovering their parent’s music collections to this day. At Santander Arena, expect nothing less than a litany of familiar radio songs etched into the minds of listeners everywhere.