by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
No Seattle summer is complete without a dip in Lake Washington, a barbecue, a Mariners game, and a live show (indoors or out). Here are 10 upcoming performances that concertgoers will be talking about in the days and weeks ahead.
THE GO-GO's & THE B-52s
So, you haven't thrown out your Izod cardigan and penny loafers? Good, they'll come in handy for this show. Two of pop music's most successful bands from the '80s are sharing the same stage. The Go-Go's, a female four-piece who landed several hits on the charts - 'Our Lips Are Sealed,' 'We Got the Beat,' 'Vacation' - are reunited again (they've been on and off for many years), but this time bassist Kathy Valentine is out of the lineup. The B-52s, meanwhile, are minus one member as well: Keith Strickland is no longer touring with the group due to personal reasons but is still personally close to bandmates Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson. The B-52s have a strong collection of animated, eccentric pop tunes in their catalog, including 'Rock Lobster,' 'Love Shack,' 'Roam,' and 'Pump.' Tickets available at www.tulalipcasino.com.
THE POSTAL SERVICE
Talk about a hiatus! Pop-electro duo The Postal Service allowed 10 years to go by before reuniting for a tour. The pair - Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello - released just one album, 2003's Give Up, which to date has sold over a million copies (RIAA platinum certified). The Postal Service recently performed at the Sasquatch Music Festival and are continuing their tour with concerts around the U.S. and Canada, including a Seattle stop at Key Arena. Tickets available at www.livenation.com.
July 19 (sold out)
Make way for British rock royalty. In his first outdoor Seattle appearance, and the first time any major concert has taken place at Safeco Field, Sir Paul will undoubtedly bring fans to the brink of excitement when he plays a loaded set list of favorites (he played 35 songs in Brooklyn) at the baseball stadium. McCartney's song roster will pull from the Beatles catalog and his solo career, so we're likely to hear 'Yesterday,' 'Let It Be,' 'Eleanor Rigby,' 'And I Love Her,' and 'Band on the Run.' I'm crossing my fingers for 'No More Lonely Nights.'
CHATEAU STE MICHELLE
Dixie Chicks frontwoman Maines has branched off, for now, by herself and released her debut solo album a month ago. She doesn't disappoint. Although she co-wrote just three songs for it, it's the departure from country and venture into roots-rock that is most impressive because she's done it with such ease. The album also contains thorough interpretations of Eddie Vedder's 'Without You,' Jeff Buckley's 'Lover, You Should've Come Over,' Pink Floyd's 'Mother' (the title track), and Patty Griffin's 'Silver Bell.' Maines is guaranteed to include some of these, and probably a few Chicks tunes, in her solo performance at the Woodinville winery. Tickets at Ticketmaster.
Say what you will about Love's personal troubles, but her musical resume isn't too shabby. Live Through This, Hole's breakthrough album from 1994, is certainly one of that decade's best works, and the follow-up, 1998's Celebrity Skin, is a credible rock record all-around. Love is said to be performing songs from both releases at her upcoming Seattle show, plus 2010's low-profile Nobody's Daughter. If she sticks to the music and avoids the drama, we're in for a great show. Otherwise, make note of the exit signs. Tickets are available at www.stgpresents.org
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
THE SHOWBOX SODO
One of the year's breakout stars is this SoCal pop outfit, who opened for Hall and Oates at Bumbershoot in 2011. Since then, they've really taken off with sold out gigs around the country, a string of hit singles, and select tour dates with Bruno Mars. Their sound is retro, like those great '80s pop/new-wave bands, and their live shows are playful, energetic, and dance-crazed, making Fitz and company's concert at The Showbox SoDo a must. Tickets available at www.showboxonline.com.
WOODLAND PARK ZOO
Celtic new-wave artist McKennitt rarely tours, making her Woodland Park Zoo appearance extra special. Her latest effort, 2012's live concert CD Troubadors on the Rhine, earned her a Grammy nomination in December, though mainstream audiences are likely more familiar with 1997's Book of Secrets, which contained the hauntingly beautiful track 'The Mummers Dance.' McKennitt's blend of dramatic Celtic-infused music, complete with (I hope) violins, cello, tabla, and light percussion under an evening sky is definitely a show to look forward to. Tickets available at www.zoo.org/zootunes.
WOODLAND PARK ZOO
August 22-23 (both sold out)
As many times as you may have seen local singer-songwriter Carlile, she's worth another go. I'm still in awe over last year's Bear Creek recording, one of my Top Ten Albums of 2012 - listen to the opening track, 'Hard Way Home,' and you'll also be hooked. Carlile, who interviewed with SGN 12 months ago, will appear in a familiar setting, surrounded by the natural scenery of Woodland Park Zoo, which is sure to compliment her organic folk sound and mesmerizing voice.
August 31 (sold out)
Country sweetheart Swift has sold more than 26 million albums and 75 million digital downloads worldwide - all before the age of 23. This explains the fascination that follows her. To her credit, she writes her own material, plays guitar (even a banjo), and sings pretty darn well. Her singles are megahits, from 'You Belong With Me' to 'Mine' to 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,' and her music videos rack up viewers by the millions. Swift, love her or not, is a phenomenon - and she's filling every seat in the house when she plays the T-Dome on Labor Day weekend.
August 31-September 2
Now here's a lineup to get excited about. Heart, Death Cab for Cutie, fun., MGMT, Kendrick Lamar, Tegan and Sara, Alt-J, Bassnectar, Allen Stone, The Breeders - the list goes on and on. Bumbershoot not only climaxes summer for many folks, it brings thousands of them together under the Space Needle for three days - rain or shine - of great music, performance art, comedy, film, and food. It's vintage Seattle, and it's not to be missed if you're in town. Info at http://bumbershoot.org.
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