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Friday, August 22 Nine Inch Nails and Sound Garden Verizon Wireless Amphitheater One way to get an epic showdown of two '90s rock powerhouses is to put them on a co-headlining tour. Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden are currently touring the country, playing a neck-breakingly constant stream of shows through the end of August. Interestingly, twenty years ago, both groups released their (arguably) best albums on exactly the same day (March 8, 1994). Now, each band has a legacy to uphold--and neither wants to be outdone by the other. With a heavy emphasis on the classics, so to speak, both NIN and Soundgarden pull from their '90s repertoire, peppering the setlist with just enough new music to keep fans' appetites satiated. Consider this two incredible rock concerts for the ticket price of one. (Erin DeWitt)
Rock N Blues Fest: A Tribute to Johnny Winter City National Grove of Anaheim Named No. 63 on Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," Johnny Winter was preparing to set out on an American tour last month. But his untimely and unexpected passing just weeks before his first tour date made the blues world to stop to a grinding halt. Still mourning the loss of a legend, members of the blues musician community, led by Winter's brother Edgar, decided that the show must go on--and are performing his tour dates in his honor. Musicians Edgar Winter, Vanilla Fudge, Peter Rivera (formerly of Rare Earth) and Kim Simmonds (of Savoy Brown) perform a mix of their own original music and many famed Johnny Winter songs. Truly a deeply sentimental event--absolutely not to be missed. (Erin DeWitt)
The Naked Famous The Observatory Jet-black clothing, high-fashion good looks and a hell of a light show seem to be the staples of a build-an-indie-pop-band kit in 2014. While eyes may roll at that short list, The Naked And Famous, the buzzing electro-rock band from New Zealand that now calls L.A. home, were doing it long before it was a musical requisite. After two critically acclaimed records and countless tour dates, the songwriting core of vocalist Alisa Xayalith, guitarist Thom Powers and keyboardist Aaron Short, supplemented by drummer David Beadle and drummer Jesse Wood, has sharpened both their writing and their live act to a razor's edge, all while adhering to their motif. (K.C. Libman)
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Saturday, August 23 The Blank Tapes The Wayfarer Chinese Wax Job are a relatively new local band, but their music should quickly build them an audience for its familiar strains of rock and roll and surf rock. The trio, who come from Newport Beach and are named after a surfing term, play upbeat surf rock informed by a '60s garage rock sensibility. A little bit of The Yardbirds, a little Johnny Cash and The Cramps thrown in as far as musical influences go, and you've got a sound that could easily inspire listeners into a dance frenzy. They perform tonight at The Wayfarer with fellow rock stars The Blank Tapes, Joel Jerome and Gantez. (Aimee Murillo)
FYF Fest Los Angeles Sports Arena and Exposition Park Entering its second decade, FYF Fest moves to a new indoor/outdoor location at the L.A. Sports Arena and Exposition Park. With more stages and more food options, the not-so-little-festival-that-could rivals Coachella at the local level. The indie-centric FYF is where newly reformed shoegaze pioneers Slowdive are making their dreamy SoCal appearance. The Strokes headline the second day and appear as Julian Casablancas + The Voidz on the first day. Also appearing twice is Dan Snaith, better known in his electro-experimental guise Caribou on Saturday and his dark, after-hours guise Daphni on Sunday. Hipster favorite DJ Harvey's eclectic, disco-driven selections on day one will be contending with Jamie xx's futuristic set on day two. More Los Angeles than Paris, Phoenix take their usual festival-headlining spot with post-punkers Interpol and the dynamic Little Dragon on Saturday. On Sunday, homegrown folk-pop sisters Haim and the multidimensional Flying Lotus round out the sold-out weekend. (Lily Moayeri)