AROUND, ABOUT: I get pissy when a band replaces its vocalist with a farm-league sound-alike. Journey with a Steve Perry sound-alike is not Journey; a Freddie Mercury-less Queen is no Queen. But I?m not bothered by Jon Davison replacing Jon Anderson in Yes, the prog-rock stalwart that comes to the Pearl on July 12 ($53-$89). Maybe it?s because they?re both Jons?hey, these things count if you look at the tour poster without your glasses on?but really, it?s more a lack of personal investment in Yes, both mine and their own. So many people have passed through the revolving door of this band since 1968?the ?former members? section of the band?s Wikipedia page features more than a dozen names?that it seems churlish on my part to harp on one of them, and obviously Yes itself isn?t hampered by Anderson?s absence. Even my colleague Sean DeFrank had kind words for the new guy in his Vegas Seven review of Yes?s August 2012 show: ?If you closed your eyes and simply listened, you couldn?t say no to the new voice of Yes,? he wrote. You heard the man.
WIDESPREAD SPECULATION: Even when a band is not to my taste, as Widespread Panic, for example, I can applaud the lengths they?ll go to satisfy their fans. According to Wikipedia (which, in turn, gathered the information from one of the band?s own concert DVDs), the Athens, Georgia-based jam band, scheduled to play shows at The Joint on July 12-13 ($46-$56), comes up with a different playlist for every single gig?a setlist that features entirely different songs from one night to the next. I gotta say, that?s legitimately cool. And also legitimately diabolical, because if you?re a hardcore fan who wants to hear a specific group of songs, it means you?ve got to pony up for both nights. Genius.
NOW ON SALE: I can?t live with my mistakes/Get out of bed or face this day/But I need to, goes ?I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl? by Wavves. That kind of sums up the sound of the San Diego band?a strain of surf rock that doesn?t want to give a fuck but gives it anyway, and with something approaching joy. The band plays poolside at the Cosmopolitan on August 29 ($15), and I will roll my ass outta bed to check them out.