Initiated by indie-rockers like Sonic Youth, Slint and Built to Spill at mid-2000s festivals - UK/U.S. hopover All Tomorrow's Parties and its various tie-ins being the most prominent - playing a beloved LP front to back in concert is now the hottest thing going on the classic-rock circuit. Within the next month, Houstonians can see Aerosmith revisit 1976's Toys In the Attic (The Woodlands, July 17), Judas Priest do 1980's British Steel (Verizon, July 24) and Motley Crue gas up 1989's Dr. Feelgood (The Woodlands, August 7). But there are lots of other artists coming to town Rocks Off would like to see try this, so we picked a Top 10. Here's the first half, in reverse order. 10. Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson/John Mellencamp (The Woodlands, August 2): This save-the-heartland tripleheader, scheduled to begin about 5 p.m. on an August Sunday afternoon, needs a sideways shift. Give Dylan Willie's discombobulated 1973 divorce album Phases and Stages ("Bloody Mary Morning"), let the Red Headed Stranger rain "Blood on the Scarecrow" and the rest of Mellencamp's 1985 LP, and serve up one of Bob's shorter '60s classics like Highway 61 Revisited or Nashville Skyline - though 1989's nearly forgotten Oh Mercy would be a much savvier choice - for John.
9. The Pogues (House of Blues, October 29) Album: Rum, Sodomy & the Lash (Warner Bros. UK, 1985) Because House of Blues is going to be packed to the rafters with hundreds of Boondock Saints wannabes, and just as many legit sons and daughters of Erin. But however much Irish blood we've got, we're all going to be piss-drunk ("The Sickbed of Cuchulainn") and singing along to every last bloody word ("Dirty Old Town," "Sally Maclennane"). 8. Kings of Leon (Toyota Center, October 6) Album: Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA, 2003) There'll be plenty of room for "Use Somebody" and the rest of Only by the Night later on during the Kings' first headlining U.S. sports-arena tour. However, the brothers (and cousin) Followill's debut is still their rawest rock and roll record to date and an almost confounding reminder of how far they've come in a very short time.
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7. George Strait (Reliant Stadium, August 8) Album: Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (MCA, 1984) A silver anniversary that shines brightly indeed in the firmament of post-1980 honky-tonk. The title track remains one of country's great unanswered questions, while Strait and his studio-live Ace in the Hole Band Western swing up a storm on "Any Old Time." "The Cowboy Rides Away" hasn't aged a day, and if things get too hot, you can always call on "The Fireman." 6. Coldplay (The Woodlands, July 22, sold out) Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol, 2002) Before they started overtly trying to be U2 on 2005's X&Y, Chris Martin and crew were still trying to be Coldplay on this 2002 blockbuster (heard "Clocks" recently?). Heartbreaker "The Scientist" could melt glass, and "Politik" and "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" stir up a first-rate angst-rock racket.