But it's 2010, you say! Not this summer it's not.
The year is 2025. You’ve just seen your good friend and mentor “Doc” Emmett Brown gunned down. You’re being chased by a van of terrorists. Shit is intense . You quickly, and without looking, punch in a date to travel to in Doc’s time-traveling DeLorean (which he invented 40 years prior, but is now standard issue) that’s fueled by garbage and equipped with a Flux Capacitor. You slam down on the gas pedal, break past 88 miles-per-hour, and nearly crash into Pat’s King of Steaks (which you know as Subway’s King of Steaks) on the other side of breaking the space/time continuum into whatever year you’ve landed.
There’s garbage blowing everywhere, per usual, and this very page of PW blows onto your chest, sticks—a summer concert calendar. You look it over, scanning the names: The Breeders, Pavement, Faith No More, Puddle of Mudd, Tortoise, Sting, Hanson, Alice in Chains, Barenaked Ladies, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Aretha Franklin.
You’ve heard some of these bands played on the Oldies station. You recognize others from the class you took at Temple Community College (shit gets weird in the future)—Music of the ’90s: A Study of the Tastes of Two Very Different Types of White People. Still, you just can’t figure it out: What? Year? Is? It?
Slowly you glance to the bottom right hand corner of the page. Surprise! It’s 2010, motherfucker! All these bands are just reuniting, you see. Or have decided this is the year they’d gas back up after a long hiatus, though no one was really clamoring for them to. Here, we’ve rounded up the really good, the really bad, the reunions and the rejects for a summer roundup of live concerts. The band names are in bold. Sorry they couldn’t be in the 3-D you’re used to.
First, the good news: If you buy your tickets in June, Live Nation won’t charge you those pesky, exorbitant “service fees” for all shows at Susquehanna Bank Center, the Great Plaza and Festival Pier. At Great Plaza that means getting bluesy with Ohio duo the Black Keys on July 30 ($32-$35), who are touring with a full band this go around for their new, excellent album Brothers. At the beginning of the month, July 2, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward will try their best to put you to sleep as She & Him for the reasonable price of $26-$29.
Oh, whoa man! Did you just step in a pile of shit? No, it’s a Puddle of Mudd . But really, we’re just arguing symantics here. They bring their stylized brand of “Can You Believe Anyone Ever Liked This Terrible Schlock” to the Festival Pier alongside Chevelle and Sevendust on July 30 for the aptly titled “Carnival of Madness,” sponsored by WMMR ($39.50-$42.50). Earlier in the month, July 17, the Pier hosts Sublime with Rome and Matisyahu . Translation: Sublime with a new singer named Rome Ramirez sharing a bill with a Hasidic Jew Rapper ($39.50). Sounds awful? Actually, he’s pretty fly … for a white guy. Speaking of which, the Offspring keep the ’90s Train rolling at Festival Pier when they play there with 311 on July 13 ($49.50).
While we’re on the subject of white guys, let’s talk about the whitest of them all: Sting . He brings his tantric, Rainforest-y vibes to Susquehanna Bank Center on July 10 ($42.25-$157.25). Tim McGraw stops by the same venue the night before on his tour with Lady Antebellum ($30.75-$73.25, which means he’ll have to hear that “It’s a quarter after one…” chorus sung night in, night out for a good portion of the summer. Pray he doesn’t voluntarily eat a bullet.
From the Dapartment of Living Legends: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are set to break hearts at the Wachovia Center on July 31 and August 1 ($52.50-$128) and Sir Paul McCartney does the same on August 14 (price of a compact car). From the Department of Legends in their Own Minds: Lady Gaga ’s ego touches down September 14 and 15, also at Wachovia ($52.50-$178, show on 14 already sold out).
Kings of Leon play the SBC on Aug. 5. ($36.50-$61.50), the night after glad-they’re-Canadians Barenaked Ladies sacrifice Chickity China, the Chinese chicken live onstage ($49.50-$69.50). This all operating on the hope that the whole venue hasn’t been pulled into a giant Black Hole of Suck after Limp Bizkit reunite with opener Ice Cube (you read that right) at SBC on July 27 ($26.25-$55.75.) Other shows in jeopardy: Rihanna , with special guest Ke$ha (Aug. 18, $31-$106), Ozzfest (Aug. 22, $39.50-$155) and Alice in Chains with Deftones and Mastodon (Sept. 25, $45-$65). Oh, wait. Creed play Aug. 17 ($16.25-$26.25), so maybe ignore that last sentence.
Elsewhere outdoors you’ve got reunions aplenty at the Mann center, where Faith No More will be asking “What is it?!” on July 3 ($25-$49.50), and Pavement ask “What about the voice of Geddy Lee?” on Sept. 17 ($37.50). Also at the Mann, the Squeeze will be pulling mussels from the shell with some help from Cheap Trick on July 16 ($29.50-$53.50). Arcade Fire team up with Spoon at the Mann on Aug. 2 ($29.50-$49.50), after being shown how it’s done by the mightily righteous duo of Team WTF— Aretha Franklin and Condoleezza Rice —when they play with the Philadelphia Orchestra on July 27 ($24-$95).
If all of that still isn’t outdoorsy/summery enough for you, get your camping on while checking out the stellar lineup of Philadelphia Folk Fest this year, Aug. 20-22— Bonnie “Prince” Billy , A.A. Bondy , Jeff Tweedy , Taj Mahal and many, many more at folkfest.org. Or how about the Concerts Under the Stars out at the King of Prussia Summer Concert Series , starting on July 18 with Dala/Vance Gilbert and continuing July 25 with Francis Dunnery . The series ends with a bang Aug. 1 with Sonny Landreth . All shows are $10, unless you’re under 16 or over 62, then they’re free!
Now let’s get down with a lightning round! Femi Kuti will blow your mind in a good way (TLA, July 10, $25). Hanson and Rooney will blow it in a bad way (TLA, July 25, $30). Broken Social Scene with the Sea & the Cake will put it all back together again either way on Sept. 14 (TLA, $25). Unrest reunite at Johnny Brenda’s (July 6, $15). The Breeders do the same at First Unitarian Church (Sept. 3, $20). Hole join this reunion party too on June 22 at the Electric Factory ($35). We’re guessing they’ll be the last to leave.
Speaking of leaving, the terrorists have found you! Back in the DeLorean you go!
We’ve got hoards of lists here, spanning various topics of questionable importance, like outdoor boozing and other random rankings. Happy summer!
Roller girls, festivals, block parties, slam-dunk showdowns, skydiving and more.
PW's Music Issue 2014