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A Whole Lolla Touring Goin' On

Beck
Alison Dyer

Beck to the Future: On a roll with his new album, "Odelay," the original loser headlines at Kamp KOME Aug. 1.

The musical tour buses of summer unpack in the valley for a weekend whirl

By Todd S. Inoue

AT MY first Day on the Green megaconcert, the guy I went with nodded off during the headliner's set. It wasn't because the show was boring (the fact the band was Journey may have played a small part), but because we had left San Jose extra early (right after Saturday Night Live, as I remember) to snag a prime spot in line. We had sacrificed alertness to get the fullest concert experience, and he wasn't even awake to enjoy it.

Ulterior forces must be at work when three major tours (four, if you count the Cure at the San Jose Arena on Aug. 5) are slated to crush the South Bay within hours of each other. This weekend Kamp KOME, Lollapalooza and Summer Jam usher in the meatiest summer of music to hit our region in recent years.

It wasn't always like this. Local music fans regularly cursed when the latest on-sale news came out, because Oakland and San Francisco got all the big acts. It meant more miles in the car than in the crowd, and showing up bleary-eyed, ears still ringing, at your job the following day. There's no need to throw more numbers on the odometer. Three huge shows are a quick jaunt away, leaving ample time to catch the headliner and get home in time for the 11pm newscast. Relish this time, there's no saying when the tide will swing back.

Kamp KOME
Aug. 1; 4pm; Shoreline Amphitheater; $20/$12.50.

Magnapop, Goldfinger, Goo Goo Dolls, Dishwalla, Seven Mary Three, 311, No Doubt, Filter, Beck and Local H. headline--in no particular order. KOME, shrouding itself in mystery, has stated that it doesn't want the order of appearance published. "We want everyone to get there at 4pm because some of the big acts do go on early," according to promotions director Robin Rockwell. The second-stage acts are Smashmouth, Soda, Salmon, Poe, Sprung Monkey, No Use for a Name and Gravity Kills.

Beck has the best current CD and usually delivers an enjoyable, if unpredictable, live show. Elevating itself out of the alternative-rock pack is 311, with a rejuvenating rap-rock.

Too bad there is so much chaff with less-than-zero staying power. With luck, let's hope the station's on-air DJs introduce the acts with a bit more class than they demonstrated at the Almost Acoustic Christmas show.

Lollapalooza '96
Aug. 2; 1pm; San Jose State University Spartan Stadium; $36.

Some intriguing possibilities present themselves for Lollapalooza's foray into the valley. Look for Devo's return to whip metalheads into shape, while the Shaolin Kungfu Monks of China perform their incredible feats of strength. Soul Coughing did a one-off show recently in San Jose for a private I-World party that rocked my world.

Rancid's ska-punk racket will be enhanced by trombonist King Django and organist Paul Jackson, formerly of Stiff Richards and the Uptones. The big names on the main stage (starting at 1pm, with the last act scheduled for 8:30pm) are Psychotica, Screaming Trees, the Shaolin monks, Rancid, Ramones, Devo, Soundgarden and Metallica.

Things get a bit more eclectic on the second stage--the Melvins (see interview on page 42), Soul Coughing, Sponge, Satchel, Johnny Polonsky and Fireside--and the indie stage--Crumb, Varnaline, Thirty Ought Six, Long Fin Killie, Cows.

Let's hope that San Jose City Attorney Joan Gallo doesn't appoint a special force to apprehend Metallica for criminal charges stemming from the June 12 free concert at Tower Records, or the whole affair could end too early.

KMEL Summer Jam
Aug. 3; 11am; Shoreline; $40/$32.50.

Run-D.M.C., De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest deliver top-dollar shows for the inflated ticket price, but the real sleeper may well be the return of Digital Underground to the live arena. Special guests--one rumored to be Toni Braxton--should enliven the proceedings. The remainder of the lineup reads: SWV, LL Cool J, Azz Yet, Immature, Color Me Badd (a good time to take a break), Keith Sweat, Jocelyn Enriquez and the Quad City DJs.

Proceeds from a Summer Jam ticket benefit Bay Area nonprofits, but there is a price. Be prepared to spend hours throwing one's hands in the air, waving them like you just don't care, and being asked upteen times, "How y'all feeling?" It's time someone constructed a sign that responds, "We're feeling fine! And yourself?"

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From the August 1-7, 1996 issue of Metro

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