By John Benson
Special to The Gazette
This summer weâ€™re going to party like itâ€™s 1999 (sorry, no Prince but we do have Stone Temple Pilots) with a slew of veteran bands hoping to turn back the clock and turn up the volume.
Whereas 2007 was the year of unexpected reunions (The Police, Van Halen, etc.), the 2008 concert season doesnâ€™t feature too many surprises but plenty of familiar names.
From tweeners screaming their head off (The Jonas Brothers) to metal lovers banging their heads (Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, etc.), the summer concert season has a little bit of everything for everyone.
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o James Taylor, 8 p.m. June 3, $20 to $69.50. Five-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor is prepping the release of his upcoming fall covers album, which features material from Chuck Berry, Junior Walker and more.
o Iron Maiden, 7 p.m. June 12, $20 to $69.50. British heavy metal act Iron Maiden is taking its skeleton mascot Eddie out of mothballs again for a summer tour.
o Brooks & Dunn with Rodney Atkins, 7 p.m. June 15, $27.50 to $55. After partying all last summer on Kenny Chesneyâ€™s stadium bill, rockinâ€™ country duo Brooks & Dunn returns to its roots with latest album â€œCowboy Townâ€ and upcoming amphitheater tour.
o Jack Johnson with Mason Jennings and Money Mark, 7 p.m. June 17, $30 to $45. Laidback and cool, Hawaiian-born musician, filmmaker and surfer Jack Johnson tours his latest album â€œSleep Through the Static,â€ which recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.
o Garrison Keillor, 5:45 p.m. June 21, $26 to $60. NPRâ€™s Garrison Keillor brings his radio show-turned-stage show â€œA Prairie Home Companionâ€ back to Northeast Ohio.
o Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Steve Winwood, 7:30 p.m. June 22, $29.50 to $95. After three decades and one Super Bowl of pumping out classic rock hits, Petty and company have earned their stripes as Americaâ€™s favorite feel-good, sing-along band.
o Tim McGraw with Jason Aldean and Halfway to Hazard, 7:30 p.m. July 2, $25 to $55. After touring the past few years with wife Faith Hill, country superstar Tim McGraw is hitting the road with the boys for his â€œâ€™08 Live Your Voice Tour.â€
o 3 Doors Down with Staind and Hinder, 6:30 p.m. July 11, $19 to $69. Itâ€™s a night of bombastic arena rock when 3 Doors Down comes to Northeast Ohio with rock radio favorites Staind and Hinder as openers.
o John Mayer with Colbie Caillat and Brett Dennen, 7 p.m. July 17, $30 to $55. Pop rock musician-turned-respected bluesman John Mayer is back on the road this summer. A new live DVD â€œWhere the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angelesâ€ is expected later this year.
o Dave Matthews Band, 7 p.m. July 30, $40 to $70. Seriously, who needs a new album to tour 20,000-seat amphitheaters every summer? Not the Dave Matthews Band, which supposedly is working on its next studio album.
o Radiohead with Grizzly Bear, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4, $30 to $50. After putting another nail into the music industry coffin last year by offering its latest album â€œIn Rainbowsâ€ as initially an Internet-only release, the coolest indie rock/alternative act is touring again.
o Rod Stewart with Bryan Adams, 8 p.m. Aug. 9, $35 to $250. Having fully explored (or exploited) the Great American Song-book during the past few years, Rod Stewart is officially returning to his roots with a summer tour that will rock more than it swings, baby.
o Poison with Dokken and Sebastian Bach, 7 p.m. Aug. 14, $15 to $59.50. Want to feel old? Itâ€™s been more than 20 years since Poison released â€œTalk Dirty to Me.â€ Want to feel embarrassed? Twenty years later, we still care.
o Projekt Revolution 2008 featuring Linkin Park with Chris Cornell, The Bravery, Ashes Divide, Atreyu, Hawthorne Heights and 10 Years, 2 p.m. Aug. 19, $24.75 to $70.75. Linkin Park has once again booked its own version of Lollapalooza with an eclectic bill of rock, punk and metal acts.
o CrÃ¼e Fest 2008 featuring MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx:A.M. and Trapt; 5 p.m. Aug. 20, $29.50 to $95.
Considering everyone else has their own tour, MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e gets a piece of the action with this loud rock fest.
o Jonas Brothers, 7 p.m. Aug. 22, $25 to $65. Parents beware, â€œThe Burning Up Tourâ€ could become Hannah Montana crazy by the time summer rolls around and the pop rock Jonas Brothers come to Northeast Ohio.
o Journey with Heart and Cheap Trick, 6 p.m. Sept. 6, $25 to $125. The â€œWheel in the Skyâ€ that is replacement singer for original Journey frontman Steve Perry keeps turning with Arnel Pineda named the new frontman. Invariably, this bill is a classic rock loverâ€™s dream come true.
>> HOUSE OF BLUES
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o The Breeders, 7 p.m. June 3, $18.50. Dayton native Kim Deal has restarted the â€™90s cannonball video band with a new album, â€œMountain Battles,â€ and tour.
o Dave Attell, 7:30 p.m. June 7, $27.50. New York City native comedian Dave Attell (think Comedy Centralâ€™s â€œInsomniacâ€) keeps it real with his latest rock club tour.
o Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, 7 p.m. June 8, $20. A decade after being featured prominently in feature film â€œSwingers,â€ Big Bad Voodoo Daddy remains busy with its latest show â€œCelebrating 100 Years of Cab Calloway.â€
o Peter Murphy, 8 p.m. June 21, $25. Old school goth music fans will find it hard to pass up an evening of former Bauhaus singer and current solo artist Peter Murphy, who scored a minor hit in the late â€™80s with â€œCut You Up.â€
o Todd Rundgren, 7:30 p.m. June 29, $29.50. The runt is back. While this â€™70s songwriting genius may be lost on todayâ€™s new millennium youth, there was a time when Todd Rundgren ruled the charts.
o Less Than Jake and Goldfinger with Suburban Legends and Big D and the Kids Table, 6 p.m. July 8. $23. Ska the night away with this mini-Vans Warped Tour-esque bill, which combines â€™90s punk with a new millennium vibe.
o The Black Crowes, 7 p.m. July 29 and 30, $42.50. Back on the hunt, Brothers Robinson take â€œWarpaintâ€ out on the road with some Allman Brothers Band-like impressive blues guitar jams.
o KT Tunstall, 7 p.m. Aug. 12, $22.50. Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall continues to attract a growing number of fans with her most recent effort â€œDrastic Fantastic.â€
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o Lyle Lovett, 8 p.m. July 9, $42.50 to $52.50. The Texas native, in support of his 2007 effort â€œItâ€™s Not Big Itâ€™s Large,â€ has booked a special â€œEvening with Lyle Lovettâ€ tour. The 50-year-old musician performed the title track from last yearâ€™s comedy feature film â€œWalk Hard.â€
>> PLAIN DEALER PAVILION
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o Death Cab for Cutie with opening act Rogue Wave, 8 p.m. June 13, $32.50. Pop-rock act Death Cab for Cutie explores an esoteric indie rock aesthetic on its seventh studio effort â€œNarrow Stairs.â€
o First Light, 8 p.m. June 21, $19.50 to $27.50. Who wants to know where reggae comes from? Legendary Cleveland band First Light is reuniting for a special show to celebrate the summer solstice.
o Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea, 8 p.m. June 24, $27.50 to $55. Chick Corea fans rejoice in the reunion of the influential jazz-rock fusion act Return to Forever.
o Chicago, 8 p.m. July 8, $25 to $65. Itâ€™s another summer of brass when classic rock outfit Chicago tours its vast catalog to diehard fans.
o Widespread Panic, 7 p.m. July 18, $33.50. You better believe there is no disco in this panic as the Georgia-based band breathes new life into the jam-band scene.
o Earth Wind & Fire, 8 p.m. July 26, $42.50 to $69.50. With more booty shaking songs than should be allowed, â€™70s band Earth Wind & Fire returns for another walk down a funky memory lane.
>> PLAYHOUSE SQUARE
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o Chris Botti with Nyee Moses, 7 p.m., June 17, $10 to $40. With the release of his latest effort â€œItalia,â€ crossover jazz saxophonist Chris Botti explores his Italian roots.
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o Coldplay, 7:30 p.m. July 6, $49.50 to $89.50. Chris Martin and company return to Northeast Ohio with new album â€œViva La Vida,â€ which includes lead single â€œViolet Hill.â€
o The Foo Fighters with Supergrass, 7:30 p.m. July 25, $27 to $47. The Dave Grohl-led act has finally added a Northeast Ohio date to its touring itinerary in support of latest album â€œEchoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.â€
o Neil Diamond, 8 p.m. Aug. 3, $55 to $120. Itâ€™ll be a hot August night indeed when Neil â€œSweet Carolineâ€ Diamond returns to Cleveland in support of his new Rick Rubin-produced album â€œHome Before Dark.â€
o Nine Inch Nails with opener Does It Offend You, Yeah?, 7 p.m. Aug. 22, $36.50 to $56.50. Next year marks 20 years since Trent Reznor unleashed his chaotic industrial din on the world with Nine Inch Nails debut effort â€œPretty Hate Machine.â€ The former Clevelander is now touring his most recent effort â€œGhosts I-IV.â€
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o Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, 7:30 p.m. July 15, $25 to $89.50. Led Zeppelin fans wait patiently for Robert Plant to finish this tour with Alison Krauss in support of their new Americana album â€œRaising Sandâ€ before a rumored fall reunion outing with old band mates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.
o Vans Warped Tour featuring Against Me!, Angels and Airwaves, The Academy Is…, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes and more, noon July 17, $37.25. Once again, the best ticket value around is the Vans Warped Tour, where dozens of band provide the emo kids with a summertime soundtrack.
o Wish You Were Here, 8:30 p.m. July 26, $19.50 to $27.50. After successfully recreating Pink Floydâ€™s 1977 Cleveland Municipal Stadium show a few years ago, popular cover band Wish You Were Here is tackling the Roger Waters/David Gilmour groupâ€™s monumental â€œThe Wallâ€ tour. The show will feature a giant wall, extra musicians and an eight-piece childrenâ€™s choir.
o Merle Haggard, 8 p.m. Aug. 6, $20 to $49.50. Country music fans turned off by todayâ€™s Nash Vegas pop country sound will rejoice with an evening of traditional music from this Bakersfield legend.
o O.A.R. with Ozomatli, 7 p.m. Aug. 16, $30. Roots and reggae-inspired O.A.R., made up of Ohio State University graduates, returns to its favorite Cleveland venue alongside the Cuyahoga River.
o Paramore, 7 p.m. Aug. 24, $27.50. During the past year, the Nashville-based act has quickly become the pop rock band on the rise.
o Michael Stanley & The Resonators (Taste of Cleveland), 9 p.m. Aug. 29, $7 to $25. Clevelandâ€™s favorite son Michael Stanley strikes up the band one more time.
o Squeeze with Blue King Brown (Taste of Cleveland), 9 p.m. Aug. 30, $7 to $30. Tempted out of obscurity, new wave act Squeeze reunites again.
o Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Taste of Cleveland), 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31, $7 to $25. â€™90s underground act Big Head Todd and the Monsters keeps on jamming in the new millennium.
o Los Lonely Boys (Taste of Cleveland), 9 p.m. Aug. 31, $7 to $25. Lonely no more, the platinum-selling rock act is supporting its newest album â€œForgiven.â€
o Southside Johnny and The Ashbury Jukes (Taste of Cleveland), 6 p.m. Sept. 1, $7 to $25. Still having a party after all of these decades, this New Jersey native remains a Cleveland favorite.
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o The Cure, 7 p.m. June 18, $47.50 to $57.50. Rumor has it Robert Smith plans on releasing a double disc album this fall. In the meantime, goth fans rejoice with a spring tour.
o â€œAmerican Idol Tourâ€ featuring Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Chikezie, David Archuleta, David Cook, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay and Syesha Mercado, 7 p.m. Sept. 4, $39.50 to $68.50. Itâ€™ll be interesting to see if ratings woes affect the popularity of the reality showâ€™s annual summer concert tour.
Benson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.