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By Andy Argyrakis
This Week's Picks:
Diamond Dave leads Van Halen and The Cranberries return to the studio
Monday, February 20, 2012
Diamond Dave leads Van Halen: With the gritty rock n' roll return of Van Halen on the brand new studio CD A Different Kind of Truth, hopes are high that the band's upcoming show will be equally incendiary. Led by David Lee Roth (whose vocals on this record mark his first since the '80s), the night will be split between the legends' first run and raucous current cuts, free from all fluff that came in between. Also along for this reunion of sorts is the iconic rhythm section comprised of guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen, plus relative newcomer (and Eddie's son) Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. Friday at United Center: www.ticketmaster.com.
A bigger venue for a burgeoning band: Young the Giant's stock continues to grow, so much so that its upcoming Chicago appearance was moved from Metro to the Riviera Theatre to accommodate demand. Those who check out the Irvine, California-bred players are sure to revel in a blend of indie and alternative rock that's thus far found the fivesome touring alongside Minus the Bear, The Futureheads, Neon Trees and Steel Train, amongst others. Thursday at Riviera Theatre: www.jamusa.com.
Frampton comes alive again: Peter Frampton's long locks may gone, but his guitar god status remains, as evidenced by this 35th anniversary tour behind "Frampton Comes Alive," one of the best selling live albums of all time. With a front to back treatment of the collection, he promises hits like "Baby, I Love Your Way," "Do You Feel Like We Do?" and "Show Me the Way," adorned with his signature talk box sound effects. Saturday at Chicago Theatre: www.thechicagotheatre.com.
Cranberries comeback: For the first time in just over ten years, The Cranberries turn in a studio album, and despite the time apart, sound just as sweet and sassy as before. Throughout Roses (Cooking Vinyl), the Irish foursome pretty much picks up where 2001's Wake Up and Smell the Coffee left off, but with a reinvigorated spirit and noticeable maturity. Front woman Dolores O'Riordan continues switching seamlessly between her aggressive and angelic sides across the eleven tracks, while the players remarkably well-oiled following 2010's reunion tour.
Turn up the fun: Very few bands can boast both a performance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (the preeminent hipster pilgrimage) and having one of its songs sung on the commercial smash TV show "Glee," but somehow fun. manages to impact both sides of current pop culture. On the artistic side of the argument, the trio from New York concocts a distinct myriad of baroque indie rock, theatrical pop and an increasingly noticeable hip-hop flavoring, though for those inclined exclusively towards Top 40 radio, there isn't a single song on its sophomore CD Some Nights (Fueled by Ramen) that isn't endlessly contagious.
An emotional McGraw: Tim McGraw refers to the new Emotional Traffic (Curb) as "my best album ever" and it certainly is a cornerstone in the country superstar's catalogue thanks to a blend of his primary genre, plus plenty of good old fashioned rock n' roll with pop sensibility. He grooves southern charm come "Right Back Atcha Babe" and rises from his own emotional ashes on the bluesy ballad "Better Than I Used To Be."
Feb. 13 - 19
Feb. 6 - 12
Jan. 30 - Feb. 5
Jan. 23 - 29
Jan. 16 - 22
Jan. 9 - 15
Jan. 2 - 8
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