From Three Dog Night to the B-52’s to Matchbox Twenty – this week adds up to a bumper crop of oldies acts coming to Southern California.
The wave of nostalgia begins on Wednesday when the Gibson Amphitheater welcomes the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty (but please get there early enough to catch the talented Kate Earl). Two punk pioneers (although for different reasons and styles) are paired up at the Pacific Amphitheatre but these two groups X and the B-52’s should still deliver the goods. Not sure what to make of the new Adam Ant tour, which stops in at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Friday. Will it be a case of better left to watching the old videos? And why isn’t he at either the Gibson or Pacific Amphitheaters like these other bands? Well, one reason is that Friday night is Sixties night at the Pacific Amp with the Grass Roots and Three Dog Night performing. “Shambala!” I say. I still enjoy listening to some good old Three Dog Night hits every now and again (although I’ve heard “Joy To The World” enough).
The soon-to-be-retired Gibson probably needs a day to prep for the Saturday’s big “The LP Tour” concert, which features The Wailers, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Soul Asylum and Matthew Sweet. This is worth attending just because Sweet is playing his Girlfriend LP and the Wailers will do their hits. Unfortunately, Soul Asylum will be doing Grave Dancers Union and not Hang Time or one of their Twin/Tone releases (and say, why aren’t the Goo Goo Dolls on this bill?). It’s back down to the Pacific Amphitheatre where the Counting Crows and the Wallflowers duke it out to see how patient the crowd will be before they play “Mr. Jones” and “One Headlight,” respectively.
I will say that I am not immune to lures of reliving the music of my youth. I went recently with friends to the Greek to see the Steve Miller Band and the Doobie Brothers. The Doobies, led by founders Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, put on a quite rockin’ show, I will freely admit. Miller, who looked a bit like Randy Newman, didn’t have a particularly strong stage presence as he ran through his hits (which I will say sound much more lightweight nowadays especially if you look past his fine guitar playing).