by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
If you love music and travel, combine the two and treat yourself to a musical vacay. There are numerous festivals and special concerts happening around the world, even within a couple of hours of Seattle by plane. Here are four events and destinations to consider.
David Bowie Is
September 23-January 4
Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago
The exceptional work of David Bowie, influential to many artists from Lady GaGa to Janelle Monae, is celebrated with the first retrospective of his career spanning nearly 50 years. Over 400 objects, including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, rare performance material, album artwork, set designs, and other personal items are on display now through early January exclusively at Chicago's MCA. The Windy City is the only U.S. stop for 'David Bowie Is' and just one of four world destinations for the exhibit; Paris, Melbourne, and Groningen (The Netherlands) are the other three.
Bowie is an alternative music pioneer, helping to shape a genre that has become popular in mainstream culture today, though he flirted with pop in the mid to late '80s with the hits 'Let's Dance,' 'China Girl,' 'Modern Love,' and his brilliant duet with the late Freddie Mercury, 'Under Pressure.' The Thompson Hotel in Chicago is partnering with MCA on a special package called 'Day and Night with David Bowie' that includes accommodations, two VIP tickets for 'David Bowie Is' with museum concierge meet and greet, continental breakfast for two, and a build-your-own Ziggy Stardust cocktail kit; prices start at $279 per night. For more information, go to www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/thompson-chicago, and for details on the exhibit, visit www.mcachicago.org. Several airlines - Alaska, United, Southwest - fly non-stop from Sea-Tac Airport.
Multiple venues, Reykjavik
Iceland Airwaves has truly blossomed into a premiere electronic music festival, featuring an impressive list of Icelandic performers and acts from around the planet, mainly representing the underground EDM scene. This year's artist lineup includes Caribou, Future Islands, Son Lux, East India Youth, Eskimo, and Grammy-winning headliners The Flaming Lips, who will likely sell out Vodafone Hall on the climaxing evening. Their live shows are nothing short of interesting and they have lots of material to pull from with a catalog that stretches back to 1986. Icelandair (www.icelandair.us) flies between Seattle and Reykjavic daily, and for more festival information log onto www.icelandairwaves.us.
Terminal 5, New York City
Erasure always gives a great performance, usually selling out the Moore or Paramount Theatres when they swing through these parts. The duo - Andy Bell, Vince Clarke - who've interviewed twice with Seattle Gay News have chosen New York City to ring in 2015, playing back-to-back concerts on the last two nights of this year. Responsible for many '80s dance/club smashes, from 'Chains of Love' to 'Oh L'amour' to 'Love to Hate You,' Erasure has been one of the most successful acts in the pop-EDM genre. Should you feel the desire to indulge on a Big Apple getaway for New Year's Eve, book your flights now - Alaska, American, Jet Blue, Delta, and United all fly non-stop from Seattle to either JFK or Newark airports.
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
All good things must come to a close. Timberlake's well-reviewed '20/20 Experience World Tour,' which has played to crowds across North America, Europe, even in Iceland, begins its final leg next month in Portland (November 20, Moda Center). The show includes the pop singer's biggest hits, including 'Mirrors,' 'Rock Your Body,' 'SexyBack,' 'My Love,' and 'Like I Love You.' The tour finally winds down at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, a regular sponsor of LGBT events in Sin City, on January 1 and 2. If you didn't see this concert at Key Arena back in January, this will be your very last chance to 'experience' it. Flights from Seattle to Las Vegas are just over two hours long. For tickets, rooms, and packages, go to www.mgmgrand.com/entertainment/grand-garden-arena.
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