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Spring concerts

There's something for everyone this spring

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It has become customary this time of year for me to celebrate the coming of spring by previewing shows and concerts the dawning season has to offer. If all goes according to plan, this will be the most comprehensive preview yet. In the past, after scouring piles of show listings and the schedules for all of the big time arenas and amphitheaters, I’ve singled out the events I’m most excited about. This year, however, I’ve decided to take a different approach. Instead of highlighting the shows I’m interested in, I’ve opted for a broader perspective. Fact is, not everyone shares my musical tastes. For this reason, I’ve broken this preview into three demographics.


Go Big or Go Home

Maybe you like things big. Maybe you drive an SUV because you can and have a television the size of Malaysia. Maybe money is no object to you.

If this sounds familiar, here’s how to plan your spring:

Undoubtedly, being a person of exquisite taste and fostering a slightly inflated self-image, Rod Stewart’s 1978 classic “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” is in constant rotation on your iPod when you’re doing hour-long stints on the elliptical machine at the gym. You’re in luck: Stewart plays KeyArena Monday, March 12. 

Ten days later, another Brit will be in town and have you back at KeyArena on Thursday, March 22 — this time $85 poorer. I’m speaking of god, of course, and by god I mean Eric Clapton — just like the wall said.

The Smithereens released Meet the Smithereens last month. In case you haven’t rushed out to buy it yet, the record is their rendition of the Beatles’ American debut Meet the Beatles. The band covers all 12 tracks. Of course, we already know the Smithereens, but hell, you have to admire their cajones. Better yet, admire them in person Saturday, March 24, at Jazzbones. Tickets run from $35 to $45.

By this time you’ll probably be antsy for a little warmth and sunshine, and since money is no object, hop a plane to Indio, Calif., for the Coachella Festival — April 27-29. Buy a three-day pass for a mere $249 and spend the whole festival living like a transient with a bunch of other folks who had $249 to drop on tickets. Catch the reunion of Rage Against the Machine along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Björk, Interpol, and more.

Finally, after three days of tough living at Coachella, surely you’ll be feeling a little emo, and perhaps even on the verge of suicide. Let My Chemical Romance save you Monday, May 21, at the WaMu Theater at Qwest Field Event Center. Gerard Way will offer his therapy for a paltry $30.25 … plus service charges.


Hey Look at Me! I Subscribe to Spin!

If the only thing you like more than reading about “The Next Big Thing” in Spin is people seeing you read about “The Next Big Thing” in Spin, here are some suggestions:

Bloc Party is set to release a follow-up to 2005s debut, Silent Alarm, titled A Weekend in the City. A couple of years ago Bloc Party was cooler than the other side of the pillow, but we all know recapturing the buzz of a breakthrough record is nearly impossible — thus the phrase “sophomore slump.” Bloc Party will play the Paramount Theatre Sunday, March 11.

Make your way to the Moore Theatre two weeks later for TV on the Radio. These guys were on the cover of Spin’s Best of ’06 issue. What more do you want?

On Wednesday, April 25, Kaiser Chiefs will rock The Showbox in Seattle. Like Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs will soon be unleashing a follow-up to a massively successful debut album — in their case 2005's Employment. After seeing Bloc Party and TV on the Radio, you’ll be ready for some real rock, and Kaiser Chiefs will deliver.

Last but not least, oyé Spin subscribers, Portland’s the Decemberists play the Paramount on Friday, May 4. Even though Colin Meloy is about as inspiring as Herman Melville when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll posturing, Melville’s dead. Meloy will have to do.


Cheapskate Route

If you’re like me, living hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck, you don’t really have the bankroll to shell out cash for Coachella or even Rod Stewart. These next shows should be some of the best spring has to offer; plus, they’re all under $20!

Tonight the Mountain Goats will play Neumo’s in Seattle. Get Lonely was one of the best albums of ’06. The Mountain Goats (basically, John Darnielle) can make you want to slit your wrists or squeal for joy, but usually it’s both.  Again, that’s tonight — Thursday, March 1.  So get in your car, tank up, and go north, young man.

Albert Hammond Jr. has a name that, for some reason, always makes me think of Harry Connick Jr. He’s better known as the guy from the Strokes with the afro. Hammond’s solo record, Yours to Keep, while not a huge departure from his Strokes riffage, holds water and should make his show Friday, March 2, at the Crocodile Café in Seattle pretty exciting.

The best show Tacoma has to offer this spring, at least in my humble opinion, is the Fucking Eagles’ CD release show with Girl Trouble, Ape City R&B, and Gold Teeth on Friday, April 20. Imagine the rock ‘n’ roll possibilities with the Fucking Eagles and Chris Trashcan of Gold Teeth in the same room. Then imagine K.P. Kendall thrown in and, naturally, taking off his shirt. Does it get any better?


Hopefully my comprehensive guide to this spring’s shows and concerts has been helpful. Whether you’re a go big type of guy, a Spin subscriber, or a cheapskate, there’s something for everyone this spring. 

Did I mention Foreigner’s playing the Emerald Queen Saturday?

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