Music News

Future Shock: Lyle Lovett, Melissa Etheridge, and more

By Niki D'Andrea

Here are some of the concerts that were announced this week.

”Music Builds” Tour Featuring Third Day, Switchfoot, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and Jars of Clay Thursday, September 25, 6 p.m. $25-$125 www.livenation.com

Fans of charity and uplifting Christian rock can groove out and feed their consciences by purchasing a ticket to see four of the most popular non-secular music acts around. There are six Grammys between Third Day and Jars of Clay alone, and several multi-platinum sales amongst all the acts. Proceeds from the tour benefit Habitat For Humanity.

Random band fact: The members of Switchfoot consider themselves Christians, but shun the “Christian band” label. "For us, it's a faith, not a genre,” frontman Jon Foreman told The Boston Globe in August, 2006.

Below: Third Day performs "Mountain of God" on the TBS STORYline Soundstage.:

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Lyle Lovett With Shawn Colvin Wednesday, August 6, 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$75 www.livenation.com

While people have often picked on Lovett for his looks (they’re just jealous they didn’t have a brief marriage to Julia Roberts), you can’t really argue with Lovett’s merits as a performer -- the man’s released 13 albums, won four Grammy Awards, and appeared in more than a dozen films. And with Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin opening the show, we’re guaranteed to get “Sunny Came Home” stuck in our heads -- again -- for the next several weeks.

Random band fact: While attending Texas A&M University in the 1970s, Lovett lived next door to country-fusion musician Robert Earl Keen.

Below: Lyle Lovett performs “L.A. County” on A&E’s Live By Request:

Joe Bonamassa Thursday, June 26, 7:30 p.m. Tempe Center for the Arts $32.50 www.livenation.com

Acclaimed blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa has been blazing a path in music since B.B. King first discovered the six-string slinger when he was 12 and took him on the road as his opening act. He’s been featured on the cover of Guitar World, Guitar Player, and Guitarist; he continues to play more than 225 shows a year and has shared stages with artists like Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, and Gregg Allman; and and his latest album, Sloe Gin, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart and stayed there for ten weeks straight.

Random band fact: Bonamassa is the spokesperson for the National Blues Foundation’s “Blues in the Schools” program.

Below: Bonamassa performs “Sloe Gin” at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland:

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Melissa Etheridge Monday, August 18, 8 p.m. Dodge Theatre $35-$100 Tickets on-sale Monday, May 19, at noon. www.ticketmaster.com

Melissa Etheridge’s latest album, The Awakening, chronicles the singer/songwriter’s battle with cancer, her love for God, and her perspectives on religion and politics. But while the album debuted at #14 on the Billboard Hot 200 Charts, sold 48,000 copies its first week, and came in at #20 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “Top 50 Albums of 2007,” Etheridge has never been a “studio performer.” Her records are successful and impactful, but anybody who’s seen Etheridge perform live knows that the real fire -- the real goose-bump inducing moments -- lies in Etheridge’s live show. She’s one of the few performers that can maintain an intimate rapport with her audience, whether she’s playing a small club or a massive amphitheatre.

Random band fact: In her book, The Truth Is…My Life in Love and Music, Etheridge mentions that her former partner, actress Julie Cypher, had an alleged affair with k.d. lang.

Below: Etheridge’s video for “I Want to Be in Love,” featuring Jennifer Aniston and Etheridge’s partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels:

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea