Tour Buzz

COWPOKE CONVERGENCE: Helldorado is over, and the National Finals Rodeo is months down the road—so what’s with all the cowboys riding into town? On June 4, Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play an acoustic set at Green Valley Ranch ($22.50-$52.50), and on June 7, Tim McGraw performs at The Joint ($63.50-$95.50). Of the three, McGraw will probably wear the biggest hat—you don’t sell 40 million albums and come out onstage in a beanie—but the Hiatt/Lovett show looks more interesting. There probably won’t be any hat sightings—I imagine Lovett doesn’t want to mess up his architecturally perfect hair—but you will see two longtime friends playing guitars, swapping stories and, oh yeah, performing some of the best-written Americana ever to rise from the Heartland. In a review of their Jan. 15 show, writer Marc Hirsh described the Hiatt/Lovett partnership as “two singers, each with an acoustic guitar and a quarter century of material behind him,” displaying “a charm that never faltered.” For that, I’ll get on my donkey and ride to Green Valley.

EVERYTHING OLD IS GOO AGAIN: It’s tempting to smack-talk the Goo Goo Dolls, who are playing the Red Rock Resort on June 3 ($30). They look awkward in photos; they have one of the worst band names ever; and their hit “Iris” is the reason adult contemporary radio exists. But the fact is they deliver a fun live show, owning the stage like a 20-something bar band that doesn’t know that it’s middle-aged and arena-sized. Looking at Ticketmaster’s fan review page, it’s tough to get a full sense of how the band sounds on this tour: One concertgoer described an April 12 show in Youngstown, Ohio, as “amazing” and “awesome,” while another described the same show as “disappointing” and complained that lead singer John Rzeznik “seemed either high, drunk or sick.” Guess we’ll find out which Dolls we’re getting when they show up and plug in.

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No words were needed May 19 as instrumental bands Dinner Music for the Gods and Thee Swank Bastards performed at the Gypsy Den’s Fashion Night Out fundraiser. DMFTG played on the wagon stage first. The sweeping melodies and powerful guitar chords (reminiscent of an ’80s metal band) were energetic enough to liven up the crowd without overwhelming it. The 45-minute set was a refreshing showcase of rock, Latin and jazz influences mixed together with precision.



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