- Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$28 - $30
The sheer quantity of music on Ty Segall’s new album, Freedom’s Goblin, fills up four sides of its vinyl incarnation, a full 19 tracks due the same week he opens his 2018 tour at the Belly Up on January 24. Though no preview copy was available at this writing, I was able to check out several singles, including “The Main Pretender,” “Alta,” “Meaning,” “My Lady’s on Fire,” and “Every 1’s a Winner,” as well as his December 4 performances of the latter track and “Fanny Dog” on Conan O’Brien’s TV show.
That’d practically be a whole album from most people, but Segall has been on a creative roll ever since his self-titled full-length dropped in January. This time, the crunchy garage-rocker recorded at five different studios in L.A., Chicago, and Memphis, with a trio of engineers including Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, etc). The Conan performance found the eight-piece band (including horns) wearing matching white lab coats for “Fanny Dog,” with Segall announcing that the song was about his dog Fanny before launching into a somewhat breathless rendition that was followed by their hard-rock cover of Hot Chocolate’s 1978 disco hit “Every 1’s a Winner,” with Segall seeming particularly amused to be singing in falsetto. He’s come a long way since his first local appearances in 2010, at Bar Pink and then the Soda Bar, moving steadily up the venue ladder through the Hideout and the Casbah. The Belly Up show is his third appearance at the Solana Beach club, one of only a few dates he’s doing at the beginning of the year before returning to the road in April for a full U.S. tour of venues considerably larger than the Belly Up.
- Friday, March 9, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
$25 - $95
Released in October, the seventh studio album from Fozzy, Judas, brought the band one of the biggest hits of their nearly 20-year career with the title track, which spent five weeks atop Sirius/XM’s Octane channel “Big Uns Countdown.” A video for the tune has already earned over 11 million views, and the single scored their highest ever position on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart at number five.
Loudwire has already named Judas one of the year’s top 25 releases, calling it “their most polished and fully realized album, and [it] should be their most successful, as well.” When the Atlanta band plays downtown’s House of Blues on March 9, the lineup will feature three founding members, with singer/pianist Chris Jericho, guitarist Rich Ward, and drummer Frank Fontsere recently rejoined by former bassist Paul Di Leo (who was with the group from 2011 through 2014) and accompanied by their rhythm guitarist since 2010, Billy Grey. The bill includes Omaha hard-rockers Through Fire, whose debut full-length was released last year, and Finnish glam metal band Santa Cruz.
- Saturday, May 19, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
868 Fourth Avenue,
So far, 71-year-old singer-songwriter John Prine is being mysterious about his plans for the tour that brings him to the Balboa Theatre on May 19, supporting an album whose title and related details remain unannounced. All we know for sure is that this will be his first collection of original music in 13 years, and everyone who buys a ticket will get a copy of the CD. He’s already had a busy year, plugging his songbook John Prine Beyond Words, featuring photos, stories, and songs from throughout his nearly 50-year career.
We’ve seen Prine at local venues ranging from Spreckels Theatre to Humphreys, but this will be his first appearance at the Balboa, a venerable old downtown moviehouse outfitted perfectly for sonically plaintive acts like Prine, whose late-’90s throat surgery for squamous cell cancer forever deepened and scruffed up his voice. Just last year, he released For Better or Worse, scoring his highest ever rank on the U.S. Country chart at number two, as well as hitting number seven on the U.S. Indie chart and number five on the U.S. Folk chart. While enjoying his highest level of exposure in years, he also made a rare excursion into the field of music videos last year with “I’m Telling You,” featuring Hank Williams Jr.’s daughter, Holly Williams.
- Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
5500 Canyon Crest Drive,
$28 - $58
Colombian pop star Juanes is now the most-awarded performer in the history of the Latin Grammys, so being tapped as a support act for his upcoming U.S. tour is a big deal for Chilean alternative singer Mon Laferte and Mexican singer-songwriter Caloncho. Juanes’s most recent Latin Grammy was for his groundbreaking visual album Mis Planes Son Amarte, which was also nominated for a U.S. Grammy as Best Latin Pop Album, while Mon Laferte received five Latin Grammy nominations for her newest full-length, La Trenza, taking home the Best Alternative Song award for her duet with Juanes, “Amárrame.”
Oscar Alfonso Castro, aka Caloncho, grew up in Guadalajara, recording his first EP in 2011; Bálsamo, his latest, was released earlier this year. Juanes, Mon Laferte, and Caloncho appear together at Viejas Arena on May 16. If you miss them at SDSU, they’ll all be back a few days later at Pechanga Theater in Temecula on May 20, for the final date of the tour.
It’s hard to believe that FM hit machine Foreigner originally started off as a spinoff from Robert Fripp’s early progressive jazz-rock-proto-metal project King Crimson, seeing as how “21st Century Schizoid Man” doesn’t even sound like it came from the same planet that spawned “Dirty White Boys,” let alone several of the same band members.
It’s equally hard to fathom the fact that Deep Purple spinoff Whitesnake — a hair-metal act that one would think has tumbled out of favor in the rock world — scored one of their biggest hit records in 2015 (!). The Purple Album covers collection peaked at number 15 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart. Both bands will stage the penultimate date of their summer tour at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on July 31, with opening act Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, featuring the one-off Zeppelin drummer still cruising on the fumes of his December 2007 performance with his late father’s former bandmates.