Summer, sadly, is coming to an end. And so, too, is the summer concert season, a profitable time for show promoters and a nadir for music fans. Like the big-budget, small-minded Hollywood sequels that drop like glittery turds into national cinemas every July, summer arena concerts are designed for maximum entertainment and minimum contemplation. This week, the season goes out with a big, dumb bang while snobs (like us!) await the slightly more dignified fall arts season.
Tonight: American Idols Live! at Verizon Center
Season 10 is over. We already know that country guy won. Can’t we just move on?
Saturday: Lynyrd Skynyrd at Aberdeen Proving Ground
Lynyrd Skynyrd is the reason people scream “Free Bird” at concerts. But the worst part about a Skynyrd concert is that people scream “Free Bird”—and then the band actually plays “Free Bird.”
Saturday: DC Fest at Patriot Center
Christian music gets a lot of crap, and that’s unfair. There’s nothing wrong with Christian music—gospel and spiritual folk music, for example, can be deeply moving. But how much inspiration can be dredged from the Goo Goo Dolls–lite stylings of Big Daddy Weave, Kutless, and Michael W. Smith?
Sunday: Ke$ha at Patriot Center
Ke$ha really made sense in the golden age of Hollywood starlet trainwrecks (aka 2009). Now it’s just weird she’s still around. Named after one of her sassy singles, this jaunt is called the Get $leazy Tour, though it’s doubtful Ke$ha needed another excuse to do that.
Monday: Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow at Jiffy Lube Live
Kid Rock has cleaned up his act since “Bawitdaba,” and he’s using Sheryl Crow’s blandness to cement his eternal placement on adult contemporary airwaves. Crow is probably just excited to be associated with someone who’s kind of grimy. The result? Sappy cryin’-into-my-wine-cooler music.
Tuesday: Buckethead at Rams Head Live
Buckethead facts: (1) He’s a guitar virtuoso. (2) He’s collaborated with great musicians in the past (excluding Axl Rose). (3) He’s a 42-year-old man who wears a bucket on his head. The bucket—along with his obsession with chickens, robots, and Disney—is considered intriguing by his fans, but it’s also what’s kept this shredder from transcending novelty status.
Illustration by Brooke Hatfield