By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
Battle Acts for week of September 29 through October 5
Battle Act: Green Day
Where & When: Wednesday, October 5, America West Arena, $37 to $42.50
Strongest Selling Point: They've scored a career milestone by claiming American Idiot is "the first punk rock opera." Somewhere, Meat Loaf is furiously mopping his brow!
Disclaimer: "Don't wanna be an American idiot" goes a long way to explaining Billie Joe Armstrong's still phony British accent. Oi!
Hot-Selling Merch Item: "Jesus of Suburbia" ringtone (goes on for nine minutes)
Possible Grand Finale: Green Day does that Live 8 version of "We Are the Champions" -- this time on-key!
Battle Act: Seal
Where & When: Tuesday, October 4, Mesa Arts Center, $48 to $80
Strongest Selling Point: He hasn't had a real big hit since "Kiss From a Rose." Unless you want to count bagging supermodel Heidi Klum.
Disclaimer: His facial abrasions were not caused by ritual scarification, a motorcycle accident or getting punched while wearing glasses. Most fans enjoy the "getting bitten in the face by a wolf" story, though.
Hot-Selling Merch Item: "Seal Face Spackle" (also comes in "Bryan Adams Peach")
Possible Grand Finale: Seal acts out "Kiss From a Rose." First it snows, then his eyes become large screens so the light that you shine can be seen. You get the idea.
Battle Act: Trisha Yearwood
Where & When: Thursday, September 29, Mesa Arts Center, $47 to $77
Strongest Selling Point: This is her first concert appearance since Garth Brooks proposed to her in front of 7,000 people. Maybe he'll show up tonight and ask if she'll go for a three-way.
Disclaimer: Legitimizing an alleged extramarital affair by getting married? That just ain't new country! Marrying and getting annulled in four months is more like it!
Hot-Selling Merch Item: Beer watered down to taste just like "Georgia Rain"
Possible Grand Finale: Good-hearted Trisha actually distributes Kleenex to the folks in the nosebleed seats.
Battle Act: Mötley Crüe
Where & When: Wednesday, October 5, Glendale Arena, $39.50 to $69.50
Strongest Selling Point: People who look fat and old in spandex and bandannas have somewhere inconspicuous to go. Unless their name is Vince Neil.
Disclaimer: White-faced midget jumping out of a box at start of the show is not Mick Mars. And Vince's reality-TV makeover doesn't rule out choking prostitutes.
Hot-Selling Merch Item: "Mick Mars Colostomy Bag" (doubles as hands-free beer pouch!)