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 April 9:
Air Supply – April 9 at Keswick Theatre
Soft rock ballads with a syrupy veneer were all the rage in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, and no outfit epitomized it more than Air Supply. The core of the group remains Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, who met in the mid ‘70s and bonded over a love of singing and a minor pop band out of the UK called the Beatles. The Australians had hit after hit with songs like “Lost In Love,” “All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love” – sensing a theme here? Sunday night they’ll be pulling out all the hits for the longtime, ardent devotees.
The Rumjacks – April 9 at Voltage Lounge
Also hailing from Down Under, but with a completely different sound are the Rumjacks, punk/celtic rockers out of Sydney. Since the group’s inception in 2008, they’ve come to embrace the oddball world they’ve found themselves in, drawing from a solid base and pushing, stretching, bullying it to their every whim, creating something of their own. Comparisons have been made to The Pogues, Billy Bragg and the Dropkick Murphys, and while that’s at times spot on, the Rumjacks have something unique about them, which could be their Australian sensibilities. Either way, it’s worth checking out.
John 5 – April 10 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Guitarist John 5 has worked with an incredibly varied range of artists, performing for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world such as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, as well as playing session with Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. He has written music for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Garbage and Ricky Martin. Last month, he dropped his eight solo effort, Season Of The Witch, an all instrumental release that has received rave reviews. The artist formerly known as John Lowery shreds like so few others out there, and it’s a rarity to find a six-string king so compelling both on wax and in a live setting.
Jain – April 10 at The Foundry
It takes just a few seconds of listening to Jain to know that you’ve stumbled on someone special. Pick any song from the Parisian’s glorious 2015 debut album, Zanaka, and the effect will be felt. Success in her homeland and much of Europe has come fast, but Jain’s joyous, sun-soaked, rhythm-driven sound had been brewing for years, collecting influences from multiple countries and a myriad of musical genres like Arabic percussion, African rhythms, electro, reggae, soul and hip hop.
Gwar – April 13 at Reverb
Having taken the blood spattering, make-up and overall theatrics of Kiss and then taking it to another level completely, Gwar has spent the past three decades plus sickening and enthralling audiences with their unique brand of shock rock. One simple suggestion for rookies attending a show by Virginia natives looking to get close to the stage: do not wear your good clothing. In fact, find something that has missed the hamper entirely and was forgotten about. You may never be able to wear it again after all the (fake) blood, (fake) guts and (real) grandiose grotesque spews forth from the band.
The Decemberists – April 14 at The Fillmore
Having successfully returned s couple years back from a hiatus that began in 2011, the Decemberists are fully into the swing of things again, and that break helped it enormously. There was no schedule or deadline to meet, so the indie rock band from Portland, Oregon were able to see all the songs on 2015’s What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World matriculate into a satisfying, final form. The record is a distillation of the best things about the band, all stemming from a new way of working, leading its members to renewed excitement about the next chapter for the Decemberists.
Flux Pavilion – April 15 at The Foundry
Flux Pavilion, an Englishman who sometimes goes by the name Joshua Steele, has always been influenced by hard-hitting dance music in everything that he does. It was only a matter of time before he found his own sound in the dance industry. In early 2008, dubstep lit this internal fuse and he hasn’t been the same man since. A one-man orchestra with the ability to sing and play a large variety of instruments, music comes naturally to Steele. Influenced by the likes of the Prodigy, Basement Jaxx and dubstep pioneer Rusko, he loved the high-energy madness dance music was capable of and set about making some of his own. What started off as a bit of experimentation soon became clear that Steele has definitely landed on his feet with the dubstep sound.