Pop/Rock

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Idina Menzel will sing in Holmdel, Atlantic City

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On a career high after voicing the character Elsa and singing “Let It Go” in the animated movie “Frozen” and starring in “If/Then” on Broadway (plus getting unexpected publicity at the Oscars after John Travolta mispronounced her name), Idina Menzel will play some of the biggest shows of her career next year. The North American leg of her tour, set to last from early summer to early fall, comes to the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City on July 10, and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel on July 12. Tickets — priced at $85 to $125 for Atlantic City, $35 to $135 for Holmdel — go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 5. There will also be pre-sales for American Express and Citi card members. Visit idinamenzel.com, livenation.com or citiprivatepass.com, as well as theborgata.com for the Atlantic City show. Continue Reading →

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Barry Manilow to bring farewell tour to Newark

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Barry Manilow will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark on June 14. And it’s unlikely he’ll ever be there again. He is calling his tour, which begins in February, “One Last Time!” In a press release, Manilow said “We hope to take everyone on an emotional roller coaster,” adding that the tour “is my way of thanking everyone for their years of support … one last time!”
While it is possible that he will add more legs to to the tour, it is currently scheduled to end in a fitting way: June 17, on his 72nd birthday, at the Barclays Center in his original hometown of Brooklyn. Other East Coast dates include the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Feb. Continue Reading →

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Southside, Bonds, others on bill for Hope Concert 7

Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds and other musicians familiar to Jersey rock fans have been confirmed for the Hope Concert 7, announced back in September and taking place at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Dec. 22. Marshall Crenshaw, Nicole Atkins and John Cafferty will also be on the bill of the show, which is being organized and directed by Bobby Bandiera, a longtime member of Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes and Bon Jovi’s touring lineup. Tickets, priced at $50 to $500, are on sale through countbasietheatre.org, the theater’s phone charge (732-842-9000), and the theater’s box office, at 99 Monmouth St. Proceeds will go to Horizons (a summer and after-school enrichment program for low-income children) and the Count Basie Theatre’s arts education and outreach programs. The highest-priced tickets include access to a pre-show reception, and a commemorative poster. Continue Reading →

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Bruce Springsteen launches archival music series

Bruce Springsteen fans have had today’s dated circled on their calendars for a while, since it’s the day his boxed set “Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection, Vol. 1, 1973-1984,” containing remastered versions of his first seven albums, comes out. He also has a surprise for them today, though: The first in a series of archival releases — a recording of his March 9, 2012 concert at the Apollo Theater in New York with the E Street Band. This was the first show of the Wrecking Ball Tour, as well as his first concert at the historic Harlem theater, and it was broadcast live on Sirius XM satellite radio. It is available now digitally, through live.brucespringsteen.net, and CD orders will ship the week of Dec. Continue Reading →

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James Maddock, Karyn Kuhl bring smart rock to Rent Party

“You’ve got to keep your dreams,” sang James Maddock in his grainy and rough-edged but appealingly real voice during “Keep Your Dreams,” the encore of his Friday night set at the Rent Party in Maplewood. He’s got some experience in this matter. The British roots-rock singer-songwriter was in several bands before landing in one, Wood, that had a small amount of mainstream success in the early 2000s but didn’t manage to break through to real stardom. Maddock moved to New York, went solo and, since then, has released a series of well received albums and built a modest but enthusiastic following. He’s now in his early 50s and seems to be on solid ground, professionally; sure, his new album, “The Green,” is fan-funded, but at least he’s got enough fans to make that sort of thing possible. Continue Reading →

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Taylor Swift adds second MetLife Stadium show

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Taylor Swift has added a second MetLife Stadium concert to her upcoming world tour rather, uh, swiftly. Tickets went on sale today for her July 11 show, and it has just been announced that she will also perform on July 10. Tickets for the added show go on sale Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. There will also be a pre-sale for American Express card members and TaylorSwift.com members, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m.

Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes will also perform on the tour, which begins May 5 in Tokyo and ends on Halloween in Tampa. Continue Reading →

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Single review: ‘Nirvana, If Only,’ Sean Kiely

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“Nirvana, If Only”
Sean Kiely

From: Jersey City. Here’s a theory, supported by absolutely nothing: The same obstacles that make Hudson County a challenging environment for electric rockers provide a comparative advantage for small acoustic combos. Or ought to. Options are limited for loud rockers in Jersey City —they can try to squeeze the act and the amplifiers into a corner bar, or turn down the volume to accommodate the crowd at a restaurant or gallery. A talented busker, on the other hand, can set up anywhere and entertain anybody. Continue Reading →

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Shows of the week: Usher, Johnny Marr, James Maddock, Randy Newman

On his 2010 tour, Usher indulged in a bit of hero worship that spoke volumes about his self-concept. The lights in the arena went down, and a pair of shoes that looked like they’d been taken straight from a Michael Jackson video arrived at center stage via conveyor belt. The star slipped them on and danced a tribute, mimicking many of MJ’s signature moves, including the moonwalk and the anti-gravity lean. Usher knows that there will never be another Michael Jackson. Yet as the most reliable male R&B hitmaker of the last 20 years, he believes it’s his responsibility to carry on tradition. It’s been a decade since the release of Confessions, Usher’s best album and biggest seller. Continue Reading →

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Light of Day expands to Montclair, Burlington

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More details have been announced about the North and South Jersey Light of Day concerts that will be held in January, joining the series of fundraising concerts that are held annually in Asbury Park. And some names that are very familiar to New Jersey rock fans are on the bills. Light of Day WinterFest 2015 – South Jersey will be held Jan. 9 at Hebe’s Music Lounge at Big Shots Bar and Grill in Burlington, and star Dramarama’s John Easdale, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, Stone Baby, the Peace Creeps (featuring Richard Bush of the A’s), Soraia and NYTROUS. Veteran DJ Michael Tearson, currently with Sirius XM satellite radio, will host. Continue Reading →

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Dionne Warwick ‘Feels So Good’ about new album

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Dionne Warwick reunites with one of her “That’s What Friends Are For” partners, Gladys Knight, on her new duets album, Feels So Good. But most of the contributors are newer friends, suggested by the album’s producer, Damon Elliott (Warwick’s son), who has worked with many of them. That includes Billy Ray Cyrus, who appears on the album’s standout track, “Hope Is Just Ahead,” which earnestly urges faith and prayer in the face of school shootings and other modern problems.

“It’s the kind of song that I’m basically known for,” says East Orange native Warwick. “It’s a song of hope, and joy, and possibilities.” While Cyrus wrote new “Hope Is Just Ahead” himself, most of the artists chose older songs to record with Warwick. Continue Reading →

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