Future Shock: Tom Waits, Tina Turner, Coldplay, and more

By Niki D’Andrea

This might be our most exciting Future Shock yet, as several big-name shows and rare concert opportunities came down the wire. Rather than sit and gush about how awesome it is that Phoenix is one of only 17 cities on Tina Turner’s tour, or that Tom Waits is playing two nights here, let’s just get on with the roll call of radness.

Tom Waits Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17 and 18, 7:30 p.m. Orpheum Theatre $90 (www.livenation.com) Tickets go on-sale Friday, May 16, at noon

The gravelly-voiced, avant garde king of indescribable booze-jazz/art rock/blues-folk/dissident cabaret is making his first appearance in the Valley in 30 years. Waits’ song characters -- whether it’s a hooker in Minneapolis sending a postcard or a lonely kid sitting in Napoleone's Pizza House afterhours -- have endured with as much emblematic clarity for his fans as any major movie or television characters. Waits’ body of bluesy, piano-driven work stands alone as that of an artist’s artist, and he’s managed to maintain his integrity in an age where licensing deals have become one of the most lucrative avenues a musician can take. Adamantly opposed to having his music used in advertisements, Waits has filed lawsuits (and won) against companies like Frito Lay, Audi, and Levis, for using his music (or something too similar to it) in their commercials.

Random band fact: Artists who have recorded covers of Tom Waits’ songs include Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (“Heartattack and Vine”), The Eagles (“Ol’ 55”), and Rod Stewart (“Downtown Train”). Waits was also the voice of “Tommy the Cat” on the Primus song of the same name, from its Sailing the Seas of Cheese album.

Below: Tom Waits’ bizarre press conference announcing his tour -- currently the #1 featured video on YouTube:


Tina Turner Friday, October 24, 8 p.m. Jobing.com Arena $54.30-$150 (www.ticketmaster.com) Tickets go on-sale Monday, May 12, at 10 a.m.

To quote Shania Twain (since nobody does these days), “If you’ve never seen Tina Turner live, you must see Tina Turner live.” And since we’ve seen Tina Turner live (twice), we’ll second that. The 68-year-old phemon dances around the stage with energy of women half her age, and puts on a multi-media show that includes vintage footage, pyrotechnics, giant digital effects screens, moving stage parts, backup dancers, multiple costume changes, and a “career retrospective” set that ensures everyone in the audience gets to hear their favorite Tina Turner song, from whatever-era, including the Ike & Tina days.

Random band fact: Tina Turner has sold more concert tickets than any other solo artist.

Below: Beyonce’s performance with Tina Turner at the 2008 Grammy Awards, which Turner said inspired her to tour again:


Coldplay Saturday, July 12 Jobing.com Arena $49.50-$97.50 (www.livenation.com) Tickets go on-sale Saturday, May 17, at noon

Chris Martin and company return to the road in support of their latest album, Viva La Vida, their follow-up to the #1, 10x platinum album X&Y. Critics are already commenting on the album’s “harder edge,” but concertgoers can still expect to hear Coldplay’s earlier, mellow tunes, along with faves like “Speed of Sound” and “Talk.”

Random band fact: Tim Rice-Oxley of the band Keane was offered the keyboard position when Coldplay first formed, but refused because of his commitment to Keane.

Below: A candid clip of Coldplay talking about the new single “Violet Hill” on World Premier Radio1:

Vampire Weekend Wednesday, September 24, 7 p.m. Marquee Theatre $19 (www.luckymanonline.com)

The latest indie-pop darlings of the blogosphere, Vampire Weekend’s been on a lightning trajectory since releasing an incredibly catchy EP in 2007, laden with African music elements. After being labeled “The Year’s Best New Band” by Spin in March, playing a handful of much-hyped, packed-to-capacity shows at SxSW, and appearing on Saturday Night Live, they’re launching a full tour in support of their self-titled, full-length album.

Random band fact: Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio is the nephew of actor Scott Baio.

Below: The video for Vampire Weekend’s song “A-Punk”:

Too $hort With Greedy Entertainment Friday, June 27, 6:30 p.m. Marquee Theatre $27.50-$32.50 (www.luckymanonline.com)

Rapper Too $hort’s subject matter hasn’t changed much over the past 28 years. His first album, 1983’s Don’t Stop Rappin’, included songs celebrating big booties, himself, and rap. His 17th studio album, 2007’s Get Off the Stage, includes songs celebrating sex, rap, and himself, with a bit of a harder edge (i.e., “Broke Bitch,” “Shittin’ on ‘Em,” “F.U.C.K. Y.O.U.,” “Gangstas & Strippers”). But the fact that Too $hort influenced some of the most influential rappers in the game today (he’s collaborated with Diddy, Scarface, UGK, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg, among others) can’t be denied.

Random band fact: Too $hort played Lew-Loc in the Hughes brothers’ film Menace II Society.

Below: An “old school” Too $hort video, “Life Is…Too Short”:

Judas Priest With Heaven & Hell, Motörhead, and Testament Thursday, August 28, 5:30 p.m. Cricket Wireless Pavilion $31-$131 (www.livenation.com) Tickets go on-sale Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m.

Metal legends Judas Priest are back with a concept album called Nostradamus, and plans to split its set list into two parts, to accommodate both the new material as well as old Priest favorites. They’re joined by Heaven & Hell, which is basically Black Sabbath fronted by Ronnie James Dio, and Testament, whose lead singer, Chuck Billy, is one of the seminal screamers of the metal genre. Add the biker metal blitzkrieg of Motörhead, and you’ve got the hottest heavy metal tour of the summer, hands down.

Random band fact: Judas Priest was originally managed by IMA, a company owned by Black Sabbath guitarist Tommy Iommi.

Below: Judas Priest performing “Breaking the Law” at a 1982 show:

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