BOXING MADONNA: OK, I’ve got three things to say about Candlebox, which plays at Vinyl on July 25 ($25). First: I liked the Seattle band’s 1993 breakout single “Far Behind,” and I still do. It’s the third-best recorded tribute to the late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, after Temple of the Dog’s “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and Alice in Chains’ “Would?”, and that’s not bad company to be in. Secondly: I like that it was signed by Madonna’s vanity label, Maverick, and that the band actually broke up to get out of that contract. Tough luck, Mags. Lastly: Candlebox has one of the stiffest Wikipedia pages I’ve ever read. Excerpt: “Some of their songs have strong references to blues, jazz, grunge, rock and even glam metal. Despite various aforementioned classic roots, their music is considered contemporary.” Yeah! Rock out with your aforementioned classic roots out!
MY FRIENDS GOO: Speaking of the 1990s—which we’ve been doing a lot, lately: Everclear and Live played Fremont Street last month, and Counting Crows and the Wallflowers play Mandalay Bay Beach on July 20—I’m gonna go on record, once more, and say that I like the Goo Goo Dolls. The meat-and-potatoes rock band, which plays Mandalay Bay Events Center with the appalling Matchbox Twenty on July 19 ($50-$100), once impressed me at a package show with No Doubt and Bush back in the day. They were the only band to play to the edge of the stage, the only band to fully acknowledge the fans (Bush’s Gavin Rossdale simply pointed at them, the self-involved douchebag), and the only band who made me feel like I was at a damn rock show. Don’t like many of their songs, but a connection was made, and I respect them for making it.
NOW ON SALE: The good news is that Toto is playing the Sandbar at Red Rock Resort on September 13 ($47-$69). The better news is that you’re fucking going with me. We’re gonna sing along with every note of “Rosanna,” “Hold the Line” and—why the hell not—the theme to Dune at the top of our lungs, because it’s Toto’s 35th anniversary this year and goddammit, they’ve earned our trust and respect. Bless them, and bless the rains down in Africa.