STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where 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 Feb. 5:
AFI – Feb. 6 at Union Transfer
Kicking off the year with their eponymous album number 10 – dubbed The Blood Album by fans – AFI has come back in a big way, with the record debuting on the charts last week at number five, their highest in a decade when Decemberunderground landed in the top spot. Mixing melodic pop, punk, and a decidedly post-hardcore sound, the Bay Area outfit remains one of the more resilient, rising up each time critics and detractors count them out. The Philly gig has them playing in a decidedly smaller venue than normal, so if you haven’t picked up tickets by now, get on it.
Dan Layus – Feb. 8 at World Café Live Downstairs
Augustana were one of the most-promising up and coming acts when they released their major-label debut in 2005 titled All the Stars and Boulevards. The single “Boston” made the obligatory rounds on shows aimed at the 18-35 demographic on the CW network, but for some reason, the group never turned the corner. A couple years ago, frontman Dan Layus found himself the sole original member when everyone else called it quits. It’s unclear whether Augustana even exists anymore, but Layus turned to the Nashville sound to influence his first solo album, last October’s Dangerous Things. His previous outfit always toed that country-pop line, so it’s not that much of a stretch, and we’ll see if Layus is able to make some waves in a fresh pond.
Skillet – Feb. 10 at The Electric Factory
Back in 2012, Skillet confounded the experts by seemingly coming from out of nowhere to deliver Awake; one of three rock albums to sell one million copies in a year when downloading had become the norm. They shared the achievement with the more establish Black Keys and Mumford & Sons, and were easily the biggest sellers in the coveted Christian metal/alternative rock markets. Last summer saw the release of their tenth album, Unleashed, which crossed them even further into the mainstream of America and beyond.
The Werks – Feb. 10 at The Foundry
The Werks have established themselves as a band who delivers an electrifying dance party to beloved fans across the musical gamut by fusing psychedelic shredding, a wailing organ and slap bass with synthesizers and modern dance beats. The seasoned jam-centric quartet from Ohio brings together a sonic mix of otherworldly explorations and revelatory lyrics. To help get the party started, the Werks have brought along Chicago jam band upstarts Mungion along for the ride.
Code Orange – Feb. 11 at First Unitarian Church
Having broken through to the masses with the excellent 2014 album I Am King, Pittsburgh’s Code Orange returned in the middle of last month with its follow-up, Forever. Chock full of hardcore riffs and a powerful spate of solos and energy, it should propel the foursome even further into the mainstream. By texturizing their music in such deliberate manners throughout Forever, Code Orange shows they aren’t content to paint by the genres numbers, putting themselves in a box with no walls.
John Oates – Feb. 11 at Sellersville Theater 1894
As one-half of the legendary duo and homespun favorites Hall & Oates, it’s not exactly a surprise that John Oates’ Sellersville Theater solo performance has sold out. Those attending will get to check him out in a setting where he really shines, apart from Daryl Hall, stepping from the shadows to captivate an audience on his own. Oates shows that while often considered the quiet of his better-known group, he’s got something to say.
Rick Astley – Feb. 11 at The Electric Factory
A phenomena nearly a decade old, “rick-rolling” remains as fresh today as ever. The trend, where someone clicks one hyperlink expecting, say, the upcoming tour dates for Metallica’s North American tour. Instead, they’ve been directed to a video of Rick Astley’s infectious 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It’s been done on scales both grand and small, and fully embraced by Astley himself, who will be performing the track along with others from his catalog, and sprinkling a few covers in as well.