Music News


After 1994's summer concert season (the most lucrative for promoters in recent memory), this year's announced dates seem modest by comparison. There are few multigenerational must-see performances--meaning that consumers will have to peruse the schedule more closely than ever to find those gigs that are right for them. In an effort to symplify that process, your friends at Backbeat have prepared this handy checklist:

The Eagles. May 5, Mile High Stadium.
Last good album: Hotel California (1976) had its moments.
Target audience: White men in their mid-forties who dream about screwing fourteen-year-olds in hot tubs while zonked on Thorazine.

Fun fact: In an upcoming Randy Newman album project, Don Henley provides the voice of Satan.

Watch for... the bandmembers to move at least once during the course of the concert.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters, with Ween and Freedy Johnston. May 18-19, Red Rocks.

Last good album: Well, they're still young.
Target audience: Self-proclaimed blues lovers who think that Howlin' Wolf was just released into the wild at Yellowstone.

Fun fact: Todd Park Mohr's head is actually smaller than O.J. Simpson's.
Watch for... shock and dismay among audience members when they hear Ween (the best band on this bill) for the first time.

Melissa Etheridge, with Joan Osborne. May 21, Fiddler's Green.
Last good album: Could be any time now.
Target audience: Janis Joplin worshipers and k.d. lang.

Fun fact: Lou Diamond Phillips, whose ex-wife is Etheridge's significant other, was so distraught by his romantic failures that he agreed to appear in Young Guns II.

Watch for... Etheridge to do a better Bruce Springsteen impression than Bruce Springsteen.

R.E.M., with Sonic Youth. May 24-25, Fiddler's Green.
Last good album: Life's Rich Pageant (1986), although last year's Monster wasn't all that bad.

Target audience: Collegiates more into VH-1 than MTV.
Fun fact: Kurt Cobain told an interviewer that Michael Stipe had handled his success like a saint. Then he killed himself.

Watch for... drummer Bill Berry, recovering from a brain aneurysm, to re-enact key sequences from Scanners.

Rock the Rockies, with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Charlie Daniels Band, Foreigner, Tanya Tucker, the Smithereens, Bad Company and more. May 28, Stapleton Airport.

Last good album: Skynyrd's Street Survivors (1977) had "That Smell" on it, right?

Target audience: Precancerous users of chewing tobacco (Skoal is a co-sponsor).
Fun fact: An early press release from the Smithereens' record company listed this show as taking place at "the New Denver Airport." Wouldn't it be cool if one of these bands was playing on a DIA runway when a 737 landed?

Watch for... the Buffalo Rose to be completely empty during this event.

KTCL's Big Adventure, with Adam Ant, the Samples, Pretty & Twisted, 311, Face to Face and twelve other groups. June 3, Fiddler's Green.

Last good album: The seventeen acts have four or five memorable discs among them.

Target audience: Radio listeners with antennas huge enough to actually tune in KTCL.

Fun fact: Surprisingly, Ant is not the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character of almost the same name.

Watch for... local groups on the bill, such as Lord of Word and the Disciples of Bass and the Hippie Werewolves, to kick their better-known peers' asses.

Yanni. June 9, Fiddler's Green.
Last good album: Maybe he owns some good ones.
Target audience: People who've been dead for several years but don't know it yet.

Fun fact: Videos of Yanni concerts are frequently aired during public-TV pledge drives. No wonder Newt Gingrich wants to cut federal subsidies to PBS.

Watch for... a giant, inflatable Linda Evans to float over the stage.

Pearl Jam. June 19-20, Red Rocks.
Last good album: Vitalogy could have been worse.
Target audience: Anyone who failed to sneak into the recent Mike Watt show.

Fun fact: A lifeguard in Australia recently prevented Eddie Vedder from drowning. Eddie didn't even buy the bloke a beer.

Watch for... Vedder to piss and moan about how miserable it is to be a rich and famous rock star.

Seal, with Des'ree. June 21, Red Rocks.
Last good album: It's hard to remember Seal's albums even while you're playing them.

Target audience:: Listeners who think rap music is nothing but noise.
Fun fact: Seal has never been asked to be a spokesperson for acne medication or skin lotion.

Watch for... Des'ree to announce that she's changing her name to "Whitney Houston."

Phish. June 9-10, Red Rocks.
Last good album: Workingman's Dead (1970). Or was that somebody else?
Target audience: The guys who sell flowers alongside the highway.

Fun fact: Drummer Jon Fishman's nickname, "Greasy Fizeek," is meant to be complimentary.

Watch for... a tie-dye concession the size of an airplane hangar.
Bonnie Raitt, with Ruth Brown and Charles Brown. July 5-6, Red Rocks.
Last good album: Luck of the Draw (1991), although her best remains Give It Up (1972).