THE MAN FROM MICHIGAN: We critics need to lay off Bob Seger. He’s been called a Bruce Springsteen knockoff more times than I can count. But while Seger and his Silver Bullet Band—scheduled to perform at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 30 ($86-$138)—may not pack as much critical clout as Springsteen and his E Street Band, the hits speak for themselves: “Night Moves,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Old Time Rock and Roll,” etc. A good swath of the Americas freakin’ love this guy, and with good reason. As for this upcoming show: Seger is reportedly working on a new album, but a look at his recent set lists indicates we’re getting a greatest hits show. Don’t pretend you don’t know the songs.
FUN AND GAMES: Guns N’ Roses is playing at The Joint on Dec. 30-31 ($81-$96). I hate to be the jerk with the spoilers, but as a sort of consumer advocate I feel obliged to tell you two things based on the reviews I’ve read of this current tour. Firstly: The band is playing the old shit (the Dec. 4 Nashville show even included “Civil War”), so you can go secure in the knowledge that you’ll get “November Rain” and “Paradise City.” And secondly: The tour reviews are solid. Michael Hamad of CT.com (Hartford, Conn.) said Axl Rose’s performance was worthy of a soon-to-be “Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.” Omaha.com’s Kevin Coffey said that, contrary to recent reports, Rose was “svelte and incredibly active” and that his voice was “sharp, strong and surprising.” In other words, G N’ fucking R is back, and not a minute too soon.
NOW ON SALE: I’d all but forgotten The Darkness, to be honest with you. All I ever knew of the band was their big hit (“I Believe in a Thing Called Love”), and that frontman Justin Hawkins’ stomach tattoos made it appear as if his pubes were on fire. Plainly I need to get a better sense of this band, and perhaps I’ll do that when The Darkness plays the House of Blues on Feb. 17 ($26).