by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
I know what you're doing this summer. Going to some amazing concerts. And you'd be wise to already have tickets for these shows, or plan on buying them soon, because they're going to be spectacular. Among the many, many live performances happening in the coming weeks, these are 10 that stand way out.
When he isn't on stage front and center with Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas is jamming alone as a successful solo act with two albums under his belt and a third about to be released in a matter of months, or weeks. 'Trust You' is the singer-songwriter's newest single and he'll almost certainly introduce it to fans at the Paramount Theatre, where he'll probably also perform 'Lonely No More,' 'This is How a Heart Breaks,' '...Something to Be,' and possibly 'Smooth,' his award-winning collaboration with Carlos Santana. Read an interview with Rob Thomas in this week's issue of Seattle Gay News. For tickets and information, go to livenation.com.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
The vast majority of people were alerted to Harry Connick, Jr.'s vocal talent when he helmed 1989's When Harry Met Sally... soundtrack, but it was the jazz singer's previous album, 1988's Grammy-winning We Are in Love that put him on the music map. A crooner, an actor (well known for his role on 'Will & Grace'), and judge on 'American Idol,' Connick is a multi-gifted performer and showman who will shine at the Woodinville winery in July. For tickets and information, go to livenation.com.
In 2016, John Mellencamp will celebrate 40 years as a recording musician. 40 years!! The Indiana native had minor hits for the first few years of his career, including 'Ain't Even Done With the Night,' but in 1982 he struck gold with back-to-back mega singles, 'Hurts So Good' and 'Jack & Diane,' followed quickly by a string of Top 10 smashes, from 'Crumblin' Down' to 'Pink Houses' to 'R.O.C.K. in the USA (A Salute to 60s Rock)'. He'll surely play some of these familiar favorites when he brings his 'Plain Spoken Tour' to Benaroya Hall next month. For tickets and information, go to axs.com.
Melissa Etheridge & Blondie
Woodland Park Zoo
The unusual pairing of legendary pop band Blondie, fronted by the brilliant Debbie Harry, and Grammy and Academy Award-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge might just prove to be epic, especially if they duet on a song or two during their performance at Woodland Park Zoo. From Blondie, expect the group to play a great selection of hits, like 'Heart of Glass,' 'Call Me,' and 'One Way or Another,' and Etheridge's set list will probably feature 'Come to My Window,' 'Like the Way I Do,' 'Bring Me Some Water,' and 'I'm the Only One.' For tickets and information, go to zoo.org.
Barring no illnesses or family obligations, which have forced him to cancel gigs and entire tours in the past, Morrissey's concert at Benaroya Hall will be magical. The Smiths lead singer and established solo artist has a diehard fan base, some who travel hundreds and thousands of miles to see him, so don't be surprised if you sit next to someone who just flew in from his native England, or somebody who drove up from San Francisco for the performance. And, if he sings 'Ask,' you'll see me faint. For tickets and information, go to stgpresents.org.
Broadway star, TV actress, and recording artist Idina Menzel, aka Adele Dazeem, is headed to Seattle twice this year, in November as part of the If/Then national tour and in early August for her own headlining appearance. The 'Let It Go' singer released a holiday record in 2014, but prior to that she put out three albums dating back to 1998. A Tony Award winner, Super Bowl National Anthem vocalist, Oscars ceremony performer, and recurring guest star on 'Glee' are all on Menzel's impressive resume. Don't miss her solo show at the Paramount! For tickets and information, go to stgpresents.org.
Like her or not, you have to appreciate how quickly Taylor Swift has become a global superstar. I love that she sticks to the music and hasn't felt the need to start a clothing line, launch a perfume, or endorse an acne product; she's invested her time and energy into writing songs that have matured from album to album; her latest, 1989, transitioned her from Nashville darling to pop queen. At CenturyLink Field, expect everything from 'Shake It Off' to 'Mean' to 'I Knew You Were Trouble' to be on her set list. And beware of 65,000 Taylor Swift fans filing in and out of the stadium come August 8. For tickets, go to axs.com.
Only a handful of American Idol winners achieved stardom after besting their competition on the reality show, which will end its 15-season run in 2016. Among them is the series' inaugural champ, Kelly Clarkson, who has steadily gained critical praise and commercial strength with a string of Top 40 hits, such as 'Since U Been Gone,' 'Because of You,' 'My Life Would Suck Without You,' and 'Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You),' all of which could get playtime at Key Arena when the native Texan comes to Seattle in August. For tickets and information, go to livenation.com.
Daryl Hall and John Oates
70s and 80s power-pop duo Daryl Hall and John Oates closed out Bumbershoot a few years ago to a large, admiring crowd, and this summer the Philly pair is going to pack em' into the Paramount Theatre. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are responsible for a trunk load of hits, including 'Maneater,' 'Kiss on My List,, 'Out of Touch,' 'Adult Education,' 'Private Eyes,' 'She's Gone,' 'I Can't Go For That (No Can Do),' 'Rich Girl,' and 'You Make My Dreams.' This is going to be a really, really fun concert! For tickets and information, go to livenation.com.
Normally, I don't want to even think about Bumbershoot this early because it unofficially wraps up summer on Labor Day weekend. But I'm actually counting down the days already because the 2015 musical lineup is the most exciting in years. Hozier, Zedd, Kacey Musgraves, Neko Case, Ellie Goulding, Fitz and the Tantrums, Brandon Flowers, Faith No More, The Weeknd, Minus the Bear, Peaches, Jhene Aiko, and The Cave Singers are just some of the performers scheduled to appear over the three-day event at Seattle Center. I can't even! For tickets and information, go to bumbershoot.com.
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