[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
Sept. 15 - 22, 2000

[Heavy Dates]

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Heavy Dates


Consumer alert: don't be fooled by the club ads you've been seeing around the region. The band Me First who are showing up in New England this weekend are not the Fat Wreck Chords punk-rock pick-up band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who perform loud-fast-rules versions of songs by James Taylor, Paul Simon, Elton John, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, and John Denver. Instead, it's a different Me First (no Gimmes): these guys have been plying garage punk on Sympathy for the Record Industry for the past five or six years. Which means they might still be good -- but probably nowhere near as much fun as those other Me Firsts -- when they play Lilli's, (617) 591-1661, in Somerville, on Wednesday and the Green Room, (401) 351-7665, in Providence, next Thursday (September 21). At least the house band at Lilli's, a band called Rock Bottom, play Gimmes-style sets of '70s hits. But the main gig of Rock Bottom's rhythm section is the Upper Crust, the aristocratic trust-fund brats who do the minuet to Ramones- and AC/DC-style hard rock. The Crust are out in force this month with some regal rocking at Lilli's on Friday and the Green Room on Saturday.

Worcester's Locobazooka was catering to nü-metal tastes several years before it was popular for MTV and "alternative" radio stations to do so, so the festival has been ahead of the game in booking the genre's major artists -- regular attendees of the annual day-long festival have been treated to Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Godsmack before they were famous. This year Locobazooka's got another of metal's breakout acts in P.O.D., whose major-label debut, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown (Atlantic), taught everyone how to say "Christian Rage Against the Machine." Also on the bill: returning scrunge heroes Days of the New, a complete set of new-crop industro-metal bands (Apartment 26, Dope, Ultraspank, Disturbed), Fred Durst signees Cold (who look like Manson and sport a singer who really, really sounds like Gavin Rossdale), Brit rap-metalers One Minute Silence, and a small army of New England 'burb-rock hopefuls. (Perennial 'bazooka local-stagers Gangsta Bitch Barbie, however, won't be on the bill this year -- they're on the West Coast recording their debut for the Beastie Boys' label, Grand Royal.) That's at Green Hill Park, (508) 423-6398, in Worcester, this Sunday. (See feature in this week's issue.) The Palladium hosts an after party that night with Eastcide and Colepitz; it'll also have a Saturday-night warm-up gig with corpse-painted newcomers Mudvayne, Nothingface, Amen, Relative Ash, and Factory 81.

Neo-country's top-billed superstar hubby-and-wife team, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, bring Nashville family values to a sold-out Worcester Centrum, (617) 931-2000, on Sunday; Tina Turner (in what's been billed as her final New England appearance) and Joe Cocker bring old-fashioned gutbucket rock and soul to a sold-out FleetCenter (617) 931-2000, in Boston, on Wednesday; and mmmboppin' teens Hanson, who've traded commercial success for a modicum of critical respect, play a sold-out Orpheum Theatre, (617) 931-2000, in Boston, on September 21.

-- Carly Carioli

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