News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper.
Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.

August 22-28, 2007

home | metro silicon valley index | music & nightlife | fall preview

2007 Fall Arts Issue:
Intro | Body Worlds | Music | Stage | Performing Arts | Visual Art | Classical | Film | Festivals


Beyoncé chops it like it's hot on Aug. 31 at the Oracle Arena.

2007 Fall Arts Issue

Music: J.T. leads off with a redux, Beyoncé doubles with Robin Thicke, J-Lo brings up the rear

By Mike Connor

FALL, SCHMALL. Structurally speaking, the lineup for concerts in the fall doesn't look much different from the summer lineup. Both are full of festivals, one-offs and throwbacks—oh my! But with the summer tours come and gone, now is a good time to regroup and plan your attack on the biggest and best concerts coming to the South Bay this fall.

The Monster Shows

These are the popular shows that need no introduction, like this: Beyoncé on Aug. 31 at the Oracle Arena. And this: Justin Timberlake (Sept. 12 at the HP Pavilion), who, it bears noting, sold out the venue earlier this year and could probably do it again before the year is it out if he wanted, the greedy little sexpot.

What else? The Dave Matthews Band with Stephen Marley on Sept. 29 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, followed by Toby Keith the very next night (Sept. 30 at Shoreline), who you may not know well enough to remember which angry, gun-slinging, flag-waving, jingoistic country ballad he sings (a lot of them, including the thoroughly titled "Courtesy of Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)").

The next one is a bit iffy, but let's try: Daddy Yankee on Oct. 5 at Shoreline Amphitheatre? (Hint: reggaeton megahit "Gasolina"). Lastly, Jennifer Lopez and her latest husband, Marc Anthony, at the HP Pavilion on Oct. 17.

The Festivals

Because fall is the new summer, there are still plenty of festival-style shows to keep your inner ADD child sufficiently stimulated, starting with one drably named and two plain misnamed tours. The Songwriter Festival at Montalvo on Aug. 26 sounds painfully boring, but it should be exciting news for anyone who loves a clever turn of phrase and a bit of twang—something that performers like James McMurtry and Kelly Joe Phelps can do in their sleep.

Despite its hardcore name, Screamfest, coming to the HP Pavilion on Aug. 31, is actually full of hip-hop and R&B acts, including Ciara, Lloyd, T-Pain, T.I. and Young Joc. For something entirely different, try the 35th Annual Banjo Music Concert, presented by the Peninsula Banjo Band. Even the Tokyo Banjo Stompers will be there. It twangs off Sept. 12, noon–5pm, at the Holiday Inn Hotel in San Jose.

The benevolent-sounding Family Values Tour, on the other hand, teaches lessons in post-hardcore to the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Sept. 1, leading off with Evanescence, which brings as much drama to hard rock as Meatloaf brought to '80s pop rock, to equally tragic effect. Dispensing with the tears, Korn and Hellyeah and whip out newfangled cock-rock with masculine aggression, which is, as Martha Stewart wouldn't say, "a good thing."

Nostalgia abounds on Sept. 22, when the Doobie Brothers, the Steve Miller Band, Greg Kihn Band and Big Brother and the Holding Company come together for the Summer Send-Off show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre.

On a more contemporary note, the Download Festival stops at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Oct. 6 with the Cure in the headlining spot, accompanied by A.F.I., Kings of Leon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, She Wants Revenge, Metro, the Black Angels, 65Daysofstatic and Vau de Vire Society.

But all pale in comparison to the 2007 San Jose International Mariachi Festival and Workshops on Sept. 26–30. In addition to a slew of workshops, classes and showcases, the event features two huge shows. On Sept. 29, the Noche de Serenata Gala Concert at the San Jose State Event Center welcomes Los Lobos and Linda Ronstadt performing together, along with Mariachi Cobre, while Latin pop star Marco Antonio Solis headlines, with Mariachi Sol de Mexico, at the Sept. 30 show, Mostly Mariachi, at the HP Pavilion.

The festival also includes two outdoor shows. On Sept. 29–30, 11am–7pm, on the Arena Green, Ozomatli, Maraca, Incendio and more rock the crowd; the outdoor performers on Sept. 30 (starting at 9am and running all day) include Los Lupenos, Mariachi la Reina, Mariachi Cielo de Mexico and many more. The festival gets an early start on Sept. 23 with a special Mariachi Day for kids, all day outside the Children's Discovery Museum.


They may not be superstars or festivals, but these shows are worth checking out anyway, starting with jazz chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux performing on Aug. 26 at Mountain Winery. Her newest, Starbucks-approved album Half the Perfect World is good, but her cover songs on Careless Love are exceptional, as is her Billie Holiday-esque voice.

Even so, she'd have to clone herself a bunch of times to compete with the three- and five-part harmonies of the Blind Boys of Alabama (Aug. 31 at Montalvo's Garden Theater), a soulful gospel institution that's been singing Jesus' praises since 1939. Speaking of whom, Jesus is just all right with the Doobie Brothers, those local boys done good, who perform at Mountain Winery on Sept. 6.

For some secular (not to mention sexier) swinging action, allow me to recommend the Pink Martini at the Paramount Theatre on Sept. 11. This 12-piece act from Portland flirts with exotic sounds from around the world, emphasizing various Latin and lounge styles which it both honors and perverts with excellent musicianship and sassy humor.

Contemporary jazz nuts have probably snatched up most of the tickets for Medeski, Martin and Wood (Sept. 30 at Montalvo's Garden Theater), especially since the power trio incorporated guitarist John Scofield, which is kind of like taking a delicious hot fudge sundae and incorporating Count Chocula, making it almost excessively (but definitely more) delicious.

Beware the sticky-sweet, teenage pop-punk anthems of Brand New, which rocks rock the Event Center at SJSU on Nov. 2, because you might not want to blow your wad until Nov. 6, when Maroon 5 (plus the Hives) holes up at the HP Pavilion with a poppy swirl of modern rock and retro Stevie Wonder-esque soul. Which brings us to the next group ...


Stevie Wonder is probably the most impressive throwback act coming to the Mountain Winery this fall (Sept. 4), but he's definitely not the only one. Witness Huey Lewis & the News on Sept. 24, Chicago on Sept. 31, Peter Frampton on Sept. 10, Etta James on Sept. 11 and Foreigner on Sept. 13.

Apparently Genesis needs a bigger venue (HP Pavilion on Oct. 9) in which to fit Phil Collins' notoriously large ego or their big, flashy stage show, but in any case the trio is back together for another world tour.

Best of the Rest

Ziggy Marley Aug. 22, 7:30pm. Mountain Winery, Saratoga, 408.998.TIXS.

Matisyahu Jewish rapper. Aug. 25, 9pm. $35. Catalyst, Santa Cruz, 831.423.1338.

Crowded House Two nights with the band behind the '80s hits "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong." Aug. 29–30, 7:30pm. Mountain Winery, Saratoga, 408.998.TIXS.

Alejandro Fernandez Mexican traditional romantic, mariachi and ballad vocalist. Sept. 1, 8pm. SJSU Event Center, 408.998.TIXS.

Loudon Wainwright III American songwriter, folk singer, humorist and actor. Sept. 7, 8pm. Carriage House Theatre, Villa Montalvo, 408.998.TIXS.

Richard Thompson Band Member of Fairport Convention and crew. Sept. 8, 7:30pm. Mountain Winery, 408.998.TIXS.

Dredg Art rock grown in Los Gatos. Sept. 27, 7pm. $17. Catalyst, Santa Cruz, 831.423.1338.

Perry Farrell's Satellite Party Former Jane's Addiction frontman's newest band. Oct. 3, 7pm. $20–$25. Catalyst, Santa Cruz, 831.423.1338.

New Christy Minstrels Folk legends. Oct. 5. The Campbell Heritage Theatre.

San Jose Rocks With headliner Papa Doo Run Run. Oct. 19 at San Jose History Park.

Joan Sebastian With Pepe Aguilar and Jenni Rivera. Oct. 21, 7pm. $55–$120. HP Pavilion, San Jose, 408.998.TIXS.

Miley Cyrus Daughter of Billy Ray. Nov. 4, 4pm. HP Pavilion, San Jose. 408.998.TIXS

Sergio Mendez Nov. 10 at Campbell Heritage Theatre.

Vicente Hernandez Nov. 23 at 7pm. HP Pavilion, San Jose. 408.998.TIXS.

Van Halen with David Lee Roth Nov. 29 at HP Pavilion. 408.998.TIXS.

The Spice Girls Dec. 4 at HP Pavilion. 408.998.TIXS.

Send a letter to the editor about this story.