NEEDTOBREATHE Bayou Music Center, April 28
Without a whole lot of fanfare, South Carolina's NEEDTOBREATHE is probably the first band since Switchfoot to fully cross over from contemporary Christian music into the mainstream; beyond even that, they've become one of the biggest rock groups of the 21st century, period. Since their debut, 2006's Daylight, the group steered by brothers Bear and Bryant Rinehart has watched the audience for their acoustic-driven anthems and positive messages swell, winning accolades aplenty and courting secular fans by touring with Collective Soul and even Taylor Swift. Last year's fifth studio LP, the soulful and uplifting Rivers In the Wasteland, went on to become their most successful to date; earlier this month, the band released the companion album Live From the Woods.
Jimbo Mathus Under the Volcano, April 29
Once part of the popular '90s "swing revival" group Squirrel Nut Zippers Jimbo Mathus has also knocked around the Memphis punk scene, appeared on a couple of Andrew Bird records and cut an album of Charley Patton songs to benefit the Mississippi country-blues progenitor's daughter Rosetta, supposedly once his childhood nanny. Now based back in his home state of Mississippi, Mathus has taken everything he's absorbed and channeled it into recent albums Confederate Buddha, White Buffalo and now the brand-new Blue Healer, which revels in ragged garage-rock, Southern country-soul and the tortured tone-poems of Tom Waits.
Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts Warehouse Live, April 29 (free show)
Scott Weiland is the modern-rock equivalent of a stubborn penny: he just keeps turning up. Critics may have turned a cold shoulder to his latest band the Wildabouts' new album, Blaster, but the singer's life is seldom dull. Last month his sullen behavior at a Boston meet-and-greet led to a Facebook apology shortly thereafter; he's also been feuding in the media with Filter's Richard Patrick and dealing with the March 30 death of Wildabouts guitarist Jeremy Brown.
Nevertheless, all those Stone Temple Pilots songs (and maybe a few by Velvet Revolver) have really left an impression on fans. So much so that Weiland also seems to have a knack for inspiring impersonators whose behavior sometimes mirrors their idol's; "Related Headlines" on the same page as the above Rolling Stone article include "Fake Scott Weiland Poses as Singer After Drug Arrest" and "Scott Weiland Imposter Played In an STP Tribute Band." He must really be trying to make nice, because Wednesday's show at Warehouse Live is 100 percent free.
More shows on the next page.
The Who Toyota Center, April 29
Only a handful of other bands can touch The Who in terms of catalogue or influence, and their overarching message -- see me, feel me -- has long since come to embody rock and roll itself. Born of London's style-obsessed mod culture in the mid-1960s, the early Who had the audacity to speak up for their generation and found the role of rock prophets came so naturally to them they took it all the way to the realm of opera, where with Tommy and (to a lesser extent) Quadrophenia they really started rewriting the rules.
The latter-day Who is diminished in terms of personnel (RIP Keith Moon and the Ox) and physical prowess (no more windmills from Pete Townshend), but that matters little in the face of the kind of goosebumps they're still able to raise with the epic chords of "Baba O'Riley" or Roger Daltrey's earth-shattering scream on "Won't Get Fooled Again." With Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
Walk the Moon House of Blues, April 30
Cincinnati's Walk the Moon have so much '80s in them that if Netflix ever wants to do an original series styled after the John Hughes oeuvre, this is the band to do the soundtrack. Alongside other contemporary retro-revivalists like Neon Trees, the Killers and Bad Suns, the quartet has helped modern-rock radio programmers shake their post-grunge blues while increasingly drawing attention from Top 40 stations; after two albums and near-misses with "Anna Sun" and "Tightrope," they finally broke into the Top 10 earlier this year with the inescapable "Shut Up and Dance." Walk the Moon is also fond of covering Talking Heads in concert, so listen for "Burning Down the House" or "Naive Melody." With the Griswolds.
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