by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
Now that Pride is behind us, it's time to focus our attention to other things deep in the middle of summer. Of the many concerts indoors and outdoors this month, here's what I recommend putting on your calendar:
Key Arena, July 3
Veteran rockers Green Day picked Seattle as the launch pad for their 2009 tour to promote their newest release, the well-praised 21st Century Breakdown, featuring the singles "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns." The Grammy-winning trio - Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tre Cool (drums) - attracted Gay alternative fans with earlier projects, Dookie and Nimrod, but it was the pro-liberal American Idiot that really drew support from the non-heteros. Tonight's show is the start of Green Day's entire slate of concerts this year, and combined with the Seattle International Beerfest also happening at Seattle Center's grounds over the weekend, the party scene will be beyond crazy. Look for a review of Green Day's performance in our July 10 issue.
American Idols Live
Tacoma Dome, July 7
Adam Lambert grabbed headlines weeks ago with his official Gay announcement, in which he also admitted a crush on the less-interesting Idol and eventual winner Kris Allen. His upcoming Tacoma appearance is the first time Northwest fans will get a glimpse of the mascara-smothered singer, who'll surely rise to star magnitude when he ushers out his debut album later this year or early 2010. If you're solely interested in Lambert, but not the entire Idols bunch, know that he'll have limited stage time as the show is built around an ensemble performance. Stay overnight in Tacoma at Hotel Murano (www.hotelmuranotacoma.com) if you don't feel like driving back to Seattle. So, are Lambert and Allen sharing a room together? For Allen's sake, let's hope so.
WaMu Theater, July 10
We love our Tori Amos, a longtime friend of the Gay community and adored big sis of queeny men on both sides of the pond. Her 10th and latest studio recording, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, is yet another stellar collection of original moving pieces that embody a bit of mystery, romance, inspiration, and positive oddity. Like Green Day, the alt rock diva is kicking off her 2009 itinerary in Seattle with a one-night performance at WaMu Theater. Amos will play music spanning her entire catalog, which means "God," "Cornflake Girl," and "A Sorta Fairytale" could be on the set list - buzzed newcomer One Eskimo will open the show, and I recommend arriving early to check them out. For more on Tori Amos, read her exclusive interview with Seattle Gay News online (www.sgn.org) in the June 26 issue. And drop by BOKA at Hotel 1000 for a pre-show party with Tori-inspired cocktails and anticipated fun - meet you there.
The Gorge, July 11
Yes, it's sold out, but if you can find tickets on eBay or Craigslist for Coldplay's forthcoming appearance at The Gorge, you will be glowing for weeks. The British supergroup will perform music from each of their four albums, including "Lovers in Japan," "The Hardest Part," "Lost," "The Scientist and "Fix You." I've already seen this show, and it's sensational - they'll play for two hours solid, the set design is cool, lighting is eye-popping, and you get to stare at Guy Berryman and Chris Martin for the whole night. The Gorge is located in Eastern Washington, and takes about two hours to get there by car - camping is available on a first come, first serve basis. You've gotta see this concert!
My only brush with Grammy-winning musician Jonny Lang was when he performed along the waterfront, as part of the long-gone Summer Nights at the Pier concert series - we exchanged greetings backstage, as he gloated over catching a fish that afternoon. Then a boy, now all grown-up and married, Lang has committed himself to a rather conservative lifestyle - he's a devout Christian. But onstage, he still plays an electrifying mix of rock and blues - his version of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" is awesome! Tulalip Casino & Resort, housing the amphitheatre, is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Seattle, and you can stay overnight if you've had one too many cosmos (www.tulalipcasino.com).
Death Cab for Cutie
Marymoor Park, July 18-19
DCFC has earned a coveted spot amongst Seattle music icons, a list that boasts Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Heart. The pop-rock quartet, known for their melancholy mid-tempo songs like "Soul Meets Body," "Long Division" and "Cath," have toured around the world to packed arenas and theaters, not to mention playing at some of the largest festivals in North America and Europe. DCFC has toured for almost an entire year non-stop, and diehard locals will squeeze in to see them again and again for this pair of outdoor shows - I heart you Ben, Chris, Nick and Jason, I really do. If you've never seen this Grammy-nominated foursome in concert, do it!
KUBE 93 Summer Jam
w/ Ludacris, Asher Roth,
Flo Rida, and more
White River Amphitheatre, July 25
Whenever KUBE 93 throws a bash, you know it's going to be off the hook. The station's annual summer concert takes place at White River Amphiteatre and features a knockout roster of acclaimed hip-hop and R&B performers, including Ludacris, Asher Roth, Flo Rida, Akon, Pitbull, Sean Paul, and Kid Cudi, to name a few. It's an all-day gig, so bring a blanket and sunscreen if you're going to park yourself on the lawn - those wanting more action and dance space, consider upgrading to the pit level. This an exciting lineup on one stage for Gay hip-hop/R&B followers, and keep your eyes pasted on pale-skinned newbie Asher Roth, likely to perform early in the day. Drive time from Seattle is about 40 minutes.
Woodland Park Zoo, July 26
Lesbian power duo the Indigo Girls are a heavy favorite on the American folk scene, known to many as simply Americana. Emily Saliers and Amy Ray are extremely talented, able to perform uptempo songs and more quiet fare to sold out crowds around the country; unsurprisingly, tickets for this show are bye-bye. Fortunate ticketholders will be introduced to the pair's freshest material from 2009's Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. Word to the wise, take your own food to the Zoo and get there super-early because the food lines are lengthy and the lawn fills up quick.
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