ONE DOPE SHOW: When Marilyn Manson performed “Rock Is Dead” in ’99, he probably didn’t suspect that he’d someday be part of a package show that kind of proved his point. But Rock Vegas, a two-day festival of rawk at Mandalay Bay on Sept. 28-29, ($46-$90; two-day passes $89-$175), is a show of once-mighty headbangers whose thunder has been largely muted by current popular trends, from dubstep to downloading music without paying. Nevertheless, the thunder gods are coming: Godsmack, Staind, Adelitas Way, P.O.D. and others on the first night, and Rob Zombie, Buckcherry, Otherwise, All That Remains and the aforementioned Manson among those playing the second night. I don’t know if any of these guys have new music coming out. Hell, I don’t know if even half of them have recording contracts. But it doesn’t matter. Metal is a language, and we don’t get to converse in it nearly as often as we once did, so we’ll take our two nights and wish there were three. And goddamn it, “Rock Is Dead” is still pretty potent these 13 years on.
BUZZING PACKAGE: Meanwhile, across town and across genres, another great package show arrives on Oct. 1. Rise Against, Hot Water Music and The Gaslight Anthem are scheduled to perform at The Joint ($36-$76). While Chicago punk band Rise Against is ostensibly the headliner, this is one of those rare cases where it’s unclear which band is drawing more people. Rise Against is a crossover success that’s sold buckets of records; Hot Water Music is coming off a long hiatus that’s made their fans pretty much rabid for new material; and Gaslight Anthem’s Springsteen-like “let’s get outta this place” rock is drawing new fans by the day, including Springsteen himself.
NOW ON SALE: The phrase “living legend” is overused in the pop music lexicon, but the great Loretta Lynn—she of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Portland, Oregon,” and many other country standards—is exactly that. The 80-year-old First Lady of Country plays Texas Station on Oct. 19 ($41-$78).