The Bank of American Pavilion, Boston’s favorite outdoor amphitheater, is hosting at least 30 of the summer’s hottest rock acts, ranging from original classic bands like Meatloaf and the Doobie Brothers to alternative’s newer additions, Vampire Weekend and MGMT. While the month of July is set to host the original rock bands that dominated the charts in the ‘60s, ‘70s and the ‘80s: kicking off the month with Ringo Starr and his All Starr band, the Doobie Brothers and Chicago, Squeeze and Cheap Trick, Chris Isaak, Band Company and Heart.
July finishes off with the Black Keys, a band that puts a modern spin on a classic bluesy sound, with heavily distorted vocals and raw, seductive guitar solos. Reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, the Keys’ lyrics are accessible and vintage. Their music can easily take listeners to another era, one that screams Woodstock. The Black Key’s 2010 release, Brothers, remains consistent with this antiquated sound. Wrapping up July’s concert calendar, the Black Key’s will hit the stage at the Bank of America Pavilion with the Morning Benders on July 31st.
Arcade Fire kicks off the month of August on the 1st by playing a sold out show as part of their first headlining US tour in three years. Fronted by Canadian husband and wife duo Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Arcade Fire recently revealed the title of their highly anticipated upcoming album, named The Suburbs, due out August 3rd. They also leaked two tracks, “We Used to Wait” and “Ready to Start” which incorporate the band’s distinguished use of amplified organs with the lessening of all other elements for a more comprehensible outcome. The band is highly recognized for their multi-instrumentalist band members and uplifting, larger-than-life musical arrangements.
In promotion of their second album Congratulations, released this April, MGMT has been on tour since April and plans to stay on the road for another six months, wrapping up their international headlining tour in Portugal. MGMT’s latest album is the highly anticipated follow up to their 2008’s Oracular Spectacular, which spawned the year’s anthems “Time to Pretend” and “Kids”. Calling the latest album “something of a reactionary statement dismissing the rapid rise to fame that the band experienced”, the critics found the album less listenable with no singles. But what came of the single-less recipe was a modern pysch rock masterpiece: including “Congratulations”, a wistful self-reflection on their sudden celebrity status and dedications to their musical inspirations (“Brian Eno” and “A Song for Dan Treacy”). While the album was well-received by fans of Oracular Spectacular as a whole, those looking for a danceable “Electric Feel” follow-up came up short. MGMT’s last appearance in Boston was opening for admitted fan Paul McCartney in August of 2009 and this year marks the band’s first headlining slot in Boston.
Vampire Weekend will headline the Bank of America Pavilion September 12th towing Beach House and the Dum Dum Girls along for the ride. Boston ought to be a memorable venue for the band that so frequently throws punches at the boarding-school prep lifestyle of Harvard scholars, with references to lavish weekend excursions to Cape Cod and run-ins with cougars of Cambridge. Vampire Weekend’s latest album, January’s Contra is a consistent follow-up to their debut, with “Giving Up the Gun”, the telling of a washed up character living the tennis-playing, fraternity life they ponder and in turn criticize (with a video featuring cameos of Jake Gyllenhaal and Joe Jonas). A show taking place in the city the band’s sung about so blissfully, “I’ve held dreams of Boston all of my life”, will be the cherry on top of a summer-long promotional tour, for the band and fans alike. This summer lineup at Bank of America Pavilion is an alternative rock listener’s heaven, with a range of classic rock acts to the modern bands they inspired.