By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Twenty summer shows that should be fun—or at least, fun to make fun of
Huntington Beach’s the Offspring apparently have made some sort of Faustian pact that allows them an endless string of huge radio hits—last year, “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” spent 11 weeks (!) on top of Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, a good 14 years after “Come Out and Play” and 24 years after the band formed. Makes the rest of us look pretty lame. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, June 5. $10.67-$49.50.
Billy Ray Cyrus
Say what you want about the guy, but he really showed all of those people who thought he’d disappear after “Achy Breaky Heart.” Will the crowd be mainly fans of his music (those exist, right?) or Hannah Montana devotees? Suspense! House of Blues, June 13. $27.50-$32.50.
Tour Des Artistes
This year, the annual Long Beach cultural festival will feature Thinking Aloud, Deep Sea Diver, Summer Darling, Eugene & the 1914, and Ryan Bradley Affair, along with live art installations, gallery exhibitions and museum tours. Oh, and hipsters, too. Just a hunch. East Village Arts District, Long Beach, June 13. Free.
Yeah, Girl Talk performances are always pretty rad—fans dancing onstage as Gregg Gillis plays his piecemeal compositions—but the really noteworthy thing here is the admission price: 36 empty Squirt cans. (Really.) How many people have drunk 36 cans of Squirt in their entire lives?The Grove of Anaheim, June 19.
The original lineup—J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph—have been reunited for a few years, and their ninth studio album (and second in two years), Farm, is due out just three days after this gig. Sounds “vastly influential”-licious. Detroit Bar, June 20. $25.
Their new record, out June 30, is called Wilco (The Album). The opening track is titled “Wilco (The Song).” This is Wilco (The Pomona Tour Date), and it’s (sold out). Fox Theater, June 20.
For the third year in a row, the Warped Tour kicks off in Pomona, with its usual somewhat-awkward blend of punk-rock oldsters and teen-skewing hardcore/emo acts: TSOL, Less Than Jake, Dear and the Headlights, Meg and Dia, Anti-Flag, the Devil Wears Prada, the Maine, and a bunch more. Pomona Fairplex, June 26. $33.
Why settle for being an Academy Award-winning actor, when you can also be a mediocre R&B singer? Especially if you can get away with charging $85 to $100 for tickets. The Grove of Anaheim, July 2.
Greasers galore! This year’s festival stars the Reverend Horton Heat, Los Lobos, Horrorpops, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Nekromantix, playing their first Orange County show with new drummer Lux (from Anaheim’s now-defunct Mystery Hangup). Oak Canyon Ranch, July 4. $29.50-$75.
New Kids On the Block
A Phoenix show scheduled two days after this one was moved from the 20,000-capacity Cricket Wireless Pavilion to the 5,000-capacity Dodge Theater, allegedly so fans could see them in a more “intimate setting.” Nope, definitely not because they didn’t sell enough tickets. Will this show suffer the same fate? Stay tuned! Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, July 10. $10-$99.50.
The summer’s best bet for outfit changes, elaborate dance numbers and ridiculously blown-out stage productions—and isn’t that what music’s really about? Before this stateside leg of the tour, Beyoncé will have trekked through Croatia, France, Germany, Spain and the U.K.—she is Sasha Fierce, indeed. Honda Center, July 11. $20.75-$125.75.
Really, just one of many ’80s acts playing the Pacific Amphitheater this summer: Heart (July 10), Rick Springfield (July 12), Joan Jett (July 16), Tears for Fears (July 17), The B-52s (July 19), X (July 24), Pat Benatar and Blondie (July 26), Huey Lewis and the News (July 30), Judas Priest and Whitesnake (Aug. 5). It’s like the jukebox of your nightmares come to life. Pacific Amphitheater, July 11. Prices vary.
Returning to Orange County after last November’s Honda Center show, Coldplay serve up live shows that are really nowhere near as wussy as you might expect. As an added bonus, they’re giving away their new live CD, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, at every remaining show of this tour. You also could download it right now from their website, but that’s like opening your presents before Christmas. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, July 19. $24.75-$97.50.
The Fray, Jack’s Mannequin
Grey’s Anatomy plots may be getting increasingly bizarre (that season finale—WTF, right?), but the Fray, a band the show helped to make famous, remain consistent with hit singles such as “You Found Me.” This is also the Orange County return for Dana Point’s Andrew McMahon, the lead singer/pianist/main creative force of Jack’s Mannequin. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, July 29. $26.75-$68.50.
No Doubt’s first tour in five years merits four shows in their native Orange County. During their hiatus, guitarist Tom Dumont produced an album by Huntington Beach’s Matt Costa, bassist Tony Kanal worked with Pink, drummer Adrian Young played with Unwritten Law, and lead singer Gwen Stefani toiled in quiet obscurity. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, July 31, Aug. 1, 2 & 4. $25-$90.
The Black Eyed Peas
The latest BEP hit, “Boom Boom Pow,” proves once again their uncanny ability to take total inanity and turn it into the biggest song in the world. They just played Orange County last month as part of KISS-FM’s Wango Tango; so did Kelly Clarkson, who plays the Pacific Amphitheater two weeks before. Pacific Amphitheater. Black Eyed Peas, Aug. 7, $39.50-$75; Kelly Clarkson, July 23, $45.
How do you follow a nightclub fire, caused by your pyrotechnics, that killed 100 people, including your own drummer? Why, with a new album and tour, of course! Touring behind this year’s Rising, the veteran hard-rock band will do their best to make fans forget about that horrific 2003 night in Rhode Island. Good luck. Coach House, Aug. 13. $25.
Here’s what you need to know about Depeche Mode in concert: Dave Gahan is in really good shape for a man in his late 40s, and he knows it. So expect lots of tight pants, vests with no shirts, shaking his butt and close-ups on the video screens of said butt-shaking. Okay, there will also be plenty of classic tunes from their nearly 30-year career. But the butt close-ups are what you’ll be thinking of during your drive home. Honda Center, Aug. 19. $49-$99.
The Dead Weather
Jack White’s latest project—also featuring Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of the Greenhornes and the Raconteurs—has attracted a massive amount of blogosphere buzz simply by existing. So imagine the novelty of actually seeing them perform! The Glass House, Aug. 27. $30.
Def Leppard, Poison, Cheap Trick
Imagine, if you will, the kind of person who pays $625.50 for the “Poison ‘Nothin But a Good Time’ Package,” including, among other treats, “exclusive velvet-rope side-stage seating during Poison’s performance” and an “official Poison VIP laminate.” Obsessive Rock of Love runner-ups? Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Aug. 30. $24.75-$625.50.