TRUTH IN ADVERTISING: It’s always fun to see a band poolside at the Cosmopolitan—but when that band is actually called Fun., the mind boggles. Best known for their monster hit single “We Are Young”—a mousy little emo ballad that Hulks out for its sing-along chorus—Fun. is a weird throwback. Although their sound evokes the pop-rock sounds of the late ’70s/early ’80s, it’s not directly based on that era. Rather, Fun. seems enamored of the 1990s bands (Semisonic, Third Eye Blind, etc.) who mined that sound first. As a result, Fun. doesn’t suffer from the self-doubt that plagued those other bands; they just produce their refined, giddy power pop, and they’ll be dousing the Cosmo’s Boulevard Pool in the stuff on Aug. 16 ($31).
GENERATION TWANG: I can’t properly judge Hank Williams Jr., the son of country music legend and ramblin’ man Hank Williams. I don’t play guitar and have never written a song that was used as the theme to Monday Night Football. But my gut instinct tells me that Hank Williams’ soul skipped a generation and landed in the body of his grandson Hank III, who plays the House of Blues on Aug. 18 ($23). Hank III is a honky-tonk troubadour with his roots in punk rock but his heart in the Grand Ole Opry. His shows are schizophrenic affairs, running the gamut from Hank Sr.-style twang to balls-out metal, but they always come back to the same thing: a ramblin’ man, standing defiant at the mic, pouring out soul.
NOW ON SALE: Rush won’t be around forever. Retirement comes to everyone, even “the priests of the temples of Syrinx.” If you’d like to see one of the most commercially successful progressive rock bands ever performing at what critics are calling a late-career peak, you’d better get to the MGM Grand on Nov. 23 ($68-$171).