by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
It's almost 2013, and the first few months of the New Year are loaded with live concerts by some of the industry's biggest and most acclaimed performers. I could've easily made a list of 25 great artists coming to Seattle between now and early April, but alas, my editor says there's only room for 10. So here are my picks:
Tacoma Dome, January 14
At the start of 2012, Lady Gaga announced plans for a huge show she'd be taking around the world. She wasn't kidding. It's a giant production that includes a live horse, a Gothic castle, and a smoke-filled stage - and that's just the opening number. The 'Born This Way Ball' has already circled most of the planet and finally lands at the Tacoma Dome in two weeks. 'Bad Romance,' 'Judas,' 'Just Dance,' 'Poker Face,' and 'Alejandro' are among the 23 songs on the set list. Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster locations, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Rickie Lee Jones
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, January 18-20
Veteran jazz singer Rickie Lee Jones is widely recognized for her 1979 international hit single 'Chuck E.'s in Love,' but there's a lot more where that came from. She's an incredibly gifted vocalist, as anyone who's witnessed her live performances can attest. The Chicago-born musician has booked a three-night stay at Jazz Alley in mid-January, giving us an opportunity to see her in a classy venue with a nice glass of Merlot, or a full dinner. Opening for Jones is Jesse Dee. For reservations, visit www.jazzalley.com or call (206) 441-9729.
Key Arena, February 1
When I first saw Muse, at Neumos, they just about blew the roof off the place and I knew they'd be playing larger venues from that day forward. I was right. Key Arena is the site of the three-piece unit's upcoming concert, at the start of February, to support their latest album, The 2nd Law. Their set list will probably feature 'Hysteria,' 'Knights of Cydonia,' 'Supermassive Black Hole,' and 'Map of the Problematique.' Muse received a Grammy nomination for The 2nd Law in the category of Best Rock Album, an award they've previously won, and lead singer Matthew Bellamy earned a nod for penning the track 'Madness' (Best Rock Song). Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster locations, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Paramount Theatre, February 5
Twenty-twelve was a breakthrough year for New York trio fun., and they look to expand on their success in the months ahead with the possibility of a few Grammy wins. The group, often compared to Queen, has been nominated for six awards that include nods in all four major categories: Album, Record and Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. They're scheduled to perform at the Paramount Theatre in early February. Tickets are sold out, but visit www.stgpresents.org closer to the show date for any last-minute possibilities.
Benaroya Hall, February 5
Suzanne Vega was no one-hit wonder. Though 'Luka' put her on the map back in the '80s, she's released a string of acclaimed albums, including the Grammy-winning Days of Open Hand. She always tells interesting stories with her music, most evident on her recording Nine Objects of Desire, in which each song is inspired by a person or thing. The folk singer-songwriter returns to the Emerald City for an intimate performance at Nordstrom Recital Hall (inside Benaroya) on February 5. Visit www.seattlesymphony.org for ticket information.
Paramount Theatre, February 7-8
Reunited, and it feels so good. Seattle rock icons Soundgarden have re-teamed for a new album and tour, which includes back-to-back hometown concerts in early February. The band's four principal members - Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd - are all on board for the 2013 outing, which supports the recently released King Animal. You can expect some of their bigger hits, like 'Black Hole Sun,' 'Spoonman,' and 'Outshined,' to appear on either of their Paramount Theatre set lists. Tickets are sold out, but visit www.stgpresents.org closer to the show date for any last-minute possibilities.
Paramount Theatre, March 3
One of five acts up for Best New Artist at this year's Grammys, this soulful blues-rock ensemble has only been making music together for three years. Their high-praised debut, Boys & Girls, is being mentioned on hundreds of year-end music lists, including SGN's own 'Best of Music 2012' (see last week's issue). I just love the voice of lead singer Brittany Howard and how it melts into the band's effortless retro sound, and I also can't wait for them to appear live at the Paramount Theatre the first week of March. Tickets are still available at www.stgpresents.org, or at either the Paramount or Moore box offices.
Moore Theatre, March 6
It's on - let's hope. Morrissey's entire North American tour was scrapped earlier this year when his mother took ill. But the British singer-songwriter and frontman of legendary group The Smiths has fortunately rescheduled all dates and is now slated to appear March 6 at the Moore. His set lists vary and are as unpredictable as his moods, but I'll scream if/when he touches a Smiths song ('Ask,' pretty please!). Tickets are still available at www.stgpresents.org, or at either the Paramount or Moore box offices.
Key Arena, March 11
Sadly, they don't make Adam Levine blow-up dolls, or I would've wrapped one up for myself as a Christmas gift. On the bright side, the Maroon 5 hottie and the rest of his band are headed to Seattle in mid-March to further expose the Grammy-nominated album Overexposed. They'll likely dip into earlier material for their show, such as 'This Love,' 'Misery,' 'Makes Me Wonder,' and, if we're lucky, 'Payphone.' Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster locations, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Key Arena, April 3
Rihanna owes us big time. The global superstar was supposed to launch the North American leg of 2010's 'Last Girl on Earth Tour' at White River Amphitheatre, but due to 'production changes' she canceled the performance and never came back - she neither rescheduled that date nor brought her 'Loud Tour' through the Seattle area. Needless to say, her April 3 date at Key Arena is being eagerly anticipated. I expect everything from 'Diamonds' to 'We Found Love' to 'Don't Stop the Music' to pop up on the set list. Tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster locations, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
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