Fall Arts | Music

Highlights from this season's concert scene

Sept. 28


Among rock drummers, Mick Fleetwood is one of the more colorful characters to come along in the rock era, and not just because of his well-documented partying days during Fleetwood Mac's cocaine-fueled heyday. The tall, lanky percussionist is a sight behind his kit, all flying elbows and knees while making insane facial expressions. Seeing him in a theater instead of an arena should be a treat, as the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band drops by for a show. One-time Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito provides the voice and some stunning six-string that helped earn the group a Grammy nomination for its Blue Again! live album a few years back. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, $43/$68/$78, 7:30 pm (DAN NAILEN)

Oct. 2


Hip-hop and R&B musicians like Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Coolio, Color Me Badd, Tone Lc and Young MC all achieved their moment in the spotlight in the late '80s and early '90s — and they won't let you forget it. This grouping of artists hits the Star Theater (the abbreviated version of the Spokane Arena) in October for a tour that celebrates the singles many remember dancing and jamming out to during their adolescence. Show up to this one in your best neon gear and parachute pants and get ready to relive songs like "Ice Ice Baby" and "Push It," with the real artists performing them. Star Theater at the Spokane Arena, $47.50-$87.50, 8 pm (LAURA JOHNSON)

Oct. 10


Just last week, the Head and the Heart released its third full-length album Signs of Light, which features the Seattle-based sextet moving in a mature and exciting direction, away from their folk-rock origins and closer to something that's very, shall we say... Fleetwood Mac-ish. Fear not, Head and the Heart fans — of which there are many in the Inland Northwest, packing shows at the Knitting Factory and the Festival at Sandpoint, respectively, in the band's past two appearances in the region — the band has not lost its penchant for thick melodies and catchy choruses. This show has them at the biggest venue they've played in the region, which is appropriate for an act that might look tame upon first sight, but can rock a room right. INB Performing Arts Center, $36-$53.50, 8 pm (MIKE BOOKEY)

Oct. 16


Ringo Starr is a Beatle. No one can ever take that away from him, but in comparison to the other three band members, Starr has never received the same amount of fan or critical reverence (and who can forget John Lennon's quip, "Ringo's not even the best drummer in the band"). Nevertheless, Starr's upcoming show at the Spokane Arena features a ton of musicians who, even if you've never heard of them, have helped create and play tunes that you should be familiar with. The All-Starr Band includes Todd Rundgren (of Utopia, who also helped produce albums for New York Dolls, the Band and more), Gregg Rolie (who co-founded Santana, Journey and Abraxas Pool), Steve Lukather (of Toto), Richard Page (of Mr. Mister), Warren Ham (who's toured with Kansas, Olivia Newton-John and Cher) and Gregg Bissonette (a long-standing studio drummer). Starr will certainly play his hits like "Yellow Submarine" and "Act Naturally" at the show, but expect each of his band members to get a moment in the spotlight as well. Spokane Arena, $40-$125, 8 pm (LJ)

Oct. 29


Did Ben Folds, with his mid-1990s breakthrough albums as the namesake of the ironically dubbed trio Ben Folds Five, make taking piano lessons cool? Well, he sure as hell tried. Folds is one of the more bombastic ivory-ticklers you'll see, and this tour, which features just Folds and his piano with no other distractions, should prove that he's a once-in-a-generation talent. He's perhaps known best for 2001's Rockin' the Suburbs, which he released as a solo artist, but it was 1997's Naked Baby Photos that bought Ben Folds Five a loyal and sizable following that has come along for all the songwriter's projects, even after the trio took a decade-long hiatus. If you've ever seen Folds out there with no accompaniment, you know this show is a treat. And for the hard-core fans out there, you can get a master class (no prior piano experience required) with Folds before the show if you get the $219 VIP ticket. Knitting Factory, $32.50-$219, 8 pm. (MB)

Nov. 9


With singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson's recent album A Sailor's Guide to Earth, he pens a guidebook of sorts to his newborn son documenting the ways of planet Earth. Not only did the album, his first on a major label, hit No. 3 on the Billboard charts, but the alt-country/Americana sensation has become one of the rising music stars of the year, attracting much attention from music critics of all stripes. All of this was achieved with little to no country radio support. One year after rolling through the Knitting Factory, Simpson triumphantly returns, along with openers the London Souls. Knitting Factory, $29.50, 8 pm (LJ)

Dec. 3


The glass-half-empty types will look at the massive lineup of '80s hair-metal bands joining Poison leader Bret Michaels for this show and note that none of them have the original lineup still intact. But — glass half-full — the show does feature (aside from RATT and Warrant) the lead singers most of us associate with the bands' biggest hits, so you can hunker down and enjoy Don Dokken leading his namesake band through "Dream Warriors" or Phil Lewis leading L.A. Guns through "The Ballad of Jayne." And in Michaels, you have the consummate frontman headlining the festivities. Spokane Arena, $39/$59, 3:30 pm (DN) ♦

Bass Canyon Music Festival @ Gorge Amphitheater

Fri., Aug. 19, 12 p.m., Sat., Aug. 20, 12 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 21, 12 p.m.
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