BLOODLESS TIGER: I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for the 15th annual Tiger Jam at Mandalay Bay, this one featuring Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker, on May 18 ($61-$134). The Tiger Woods Foundation is a fine charity; it sends underserved youth to college—who, these days, seem to be the only youth who actually want to go to college. And the shows are always big tickets; past Jams have featured everyone from No Doubt to Sting to Bon Jovi. And that’s part of the problem: There’s no cohesive thread running through the shows and nothing to get the performers fired up. The musicians play full and usually energetic sets, and legions of celebrities come out and wave to the crowd—and yet I’m unmoved by the whole affair, and I can’t tell you why. I can say this of Kid Rock, though—he puts on a fun live show, one that fully engages the audience. That almost makes up for the fact that I like next to none of his music. Oh well. I guess we have to make compromises for the kids.
CARD SHARP: On May 16, Yellowcard plays poolside at the Cosmopolitan ($20). Here, now, are some fun facts relating to the indomitable pop-punk band. One: They hail from Jacksonville, Florida, making them one of the few things to come from that Southern state that doesn’t fly in the face of every American value we hold dear. (The others: Tom Petty, bits of Miami and my wonderful parents, who retired there last year.) Two: They are, to my knowledge, the only pop-punk band with a violinist. And three: I kinda like what Yellowcard does, in spite of the fact that there’s no such thing as “pop-punk” and I really wish you’d stop saying that there is.
NOW ON SALE: Now we’re talking. A mostly reunited Black Sabbath, featuring Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne (Bill Ward abandoned the reunion in February of last year, citing a breakdown in contract negotiations) blitzing into the MGM Grand on September 1 ($40-$130)? You can sign me up for that one twice. They’re even touring behind a new Rick Rubin-produced album (13, set for release June 10), and with Rubin behind the boards, there’s a good chance these old Iron Men have awakened.