Old Priests Of The Temples: I shouldn’t have to tell you to hop into your cherry-red muscle car and rush to see Rush at the MGM Grand on June 24 ($86-$167). The Canadian rock trio, best known for the majority of songs that played on album rock radio from 1977 to 1985, is pouring a career’s worth of material into this tour—a telltale sign of a band that’s given at least a passing thought of getting off the road for good. The Time Machine tour set list reportedly features hits from every phase of the band’s career, from their prog-rock insurgency (“2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx”) to their commercial heyday (“Tom Sawyer,” “The Spirit of Radio”) to their critically maligned “pop” period (“Presto,” “Time Stands Still”). Fans and critics seem to like what they’re hearing: “There’s life in the old ladies,” wrote Raoul Hernandez in The Austin Chronicle after the band’s June 12 show in Texas. “[The] three-headed classic rock monster matched its own arena pyrotechnics.”
Skate Punks Eff Off. The Vans Warped Tour, a festival of mostly punk bands sponsored by a sneaker company, lands in the parking lot of the Plaza on June 30 ($28). Against Me! (pictured), Less Than Jake, Unwritten Law and dozens of others are scheduled to perform, and since ours is only the fifth date on the tour, we have a good chance of actually seeing all those bands before they get into fights with each other and begin leaving the tour early. See “Band Conflicts” under the Warped Tour’s Wikipedia entry.
Now On Sale. Speaking of controversies, Tracy Morgan is performing at The Joint on Sept. 4 ($38.50 and up). I’m no psychic, but I confidently predict he’s not going to do much in the way of gay jokes. A few weeks later at the same venue, Styx and REO Speedwagon are teaming up for a Sept. 24 show ($38.50-75.50). REO has most of its original members; Styx, less so.