Here are the Top 5 Concerts of the Coming Week
1. SIMPLE MINDS
By the mid-1980s, Scottish band Simple Minds already was a hit in the U.K., which at the time was far more attuned to the synthesized post-punk/art-rock music than was the U.S.
But the U.S. door swung open for Simple Minds with its song “Don’t You Forget About Me” from the teen-angst movie “Breakfast Club.” The song went to No. 1 and established Simple Minds’ sound (even though the song wasn’t written by the band). It had three more hits — “Alive and Kicking,” “Sanctify Yourself” and “All the Things She Said” — before new wave lost its flavor for U.S. audiences.
Simple Minds starts its first U.S. tour in 16 years at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, and still has that sound that made it a hit here.
Read an interview with Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr in Friday Go Guide.
7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 Sands Bethlehem Event Center, 77 Sands Blvd., Bethlehem. Tickets: $35-$59.50, $159 VIP with meet-and-greet and more. sandseventcenter.com, 800-745-3000.
2. JOAN BAEZ
Before there was Bob Dylan, Joan Baez was the prototypical protest singer. She marched on the front line of the civil rights movement and organized resistance to the Vietnam War. Baez helped introduce Dylan to the listening world, and he helped give her protests a voice.
Baez now is on her “Fare Thee Well” tour — an indication her voice, which has been heard almost 60 years, may go silent. But she’s going out with a shout: Her newest disc, “Whistle Down the Wind,” is her first in 10 years, and debuted at No. 18 on Billboard — her highest position since her 1975 masterpiece “Diamonds & Rust.”
The acclaim it has received has prompted her to extend her tour into spring.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Sold out, re-sale tickets available. kimmelcenter.org.
3. DRAKE BELL
A decade ago, Drake Bell was an A-list teen star. From 2004-07, he was on Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh,” and before that on the network’s “The Amanda Show.” He won three Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards as Favorite Male TV Actor, and starred in the TV movie “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh” and the films “Yours, Mine and Ours” and “Superhero Movie.” He also was a fledgling musician.
These days, Bell, 32, is concentrating more on his music. He released three albums, and his most recent disc, last year’s “Ready Steady Go!,” hit No. 50 on the Rock chart and No. 32 on the Indie chart.
Even musically, he’s best-known for writing and performing “Found a Way,” the opening “Drake & Josh” song.
5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 OneCentreSquare, 1 Centre Square, Easton. Tickets, $18; $100 VIP. www.onecentresquare.com.
4. REO SPEEDWAGON
REO Speedwagon was virtually the soundtrack to the story of radio rock and arena rock in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Not only did the band have more than a dozen gold and platinum albums and a run of chart-topping hits such as “Keep on Loving You,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Take It on the Run” and “Keep the Fire Burnin,” (the group’s landmark album “Hi Infidelity” spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot and has sold 10 times platinum), but it created the format for the power ballad that owned the charts and airwaves in those days.
Here’s the surprise: nearly 40 years later, a lot of those songs still hold up musically. And another surprise: REO still is able to deliver them.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, Penn’s Peak, 325 Maury Road, Penn Forest Township (near Jim Thorpe). Sold out, but resale tickets available, www.pennspeak.com, 866-605-PEAK.
5. KIM WILSON
Except for a rotating cast of exceptional guitarists, the Grammy Award-nominated group The Fabulous Thunderbirds has been a vehicle for the talents of Kim Wilson.
Wilson has been the group’s singer – including on its best-known 1980s hits “Wrap It Up” and “Tuff Enuf” – since the group’s start 45 years ago. Those two singles gave The Fabulous Thunderbirds a platinum album as well. He’s now its only original member.
He also is its harmonica player, and won a Blues Music Awards honor for that role. He’s also released seven solo discs.
He’s now on tour with his side project, Kim Wilson’s Blues Revue.
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, Godfrey Daniels, 7 E. 4th St., Bethlehem. Tickets: $50.50, www.godfreydaniels.org, 610-867-2390.
OTHERS TO CONSIDER:
THE VIBRATORS, 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, Gas House Dance Hall, 311 Front St., Catasauqua. Tickets: $12/door.
The Vibrators was among the first punk bands to have charting hits with songs such as “We Vibrate” and “Pogo Dancing.” The group was among those that came to prominence out of London’s Roxy Club, headlining there as early as January 1977. That same year, the group supported Iggy Pop on his British tour and ex-Mott the Hoople front man Ian Hunter.
The group also signed to Sire Records, the label of The Ramones, Talking Heads and Dead Boys, and it debut album, “Pure Mania,” reached the Top 50 of the UK Albums chart. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music included it among the 50 best punk albums of all time.
The group’s second disc, “V2,” charted in the UK Top 40 and produced the UK Top40 hit “Automatic Lover.”