Los Lonely Boys
Friday, Nov. 3, Orpheum Theatre, 8 p.m.
Admit it: There are times when a song comes upon your iPod or Walkman or portable Victrola and it just...fits. The right song, at the right time, and it seems as if the tune were written knowing just whom you'd pass, the shade of the trees overhead, even the temperature of the wind on your face. It's as if someone had contracted Los Lonely Boys to write the soundtrack for your specific Tuesday afternoon walk to Ian's Pizza.
I mention Los Lonely Boys because, for me, they fill that role better than most. You likely remember 'Heaven,' their radio-ready hit that was a bit too ubiquitous a few summers ago. But also on their eponymous first album was the gem 'Onda,' a jam-filled ramble of a song that vibrates with the potential to have sitcom-length transcendental solos.
The Texican trio of brothers, whose guitar work recalls Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan as much as their singing recalls the Everly Brothers or Ritchie Valens, are a new band with a short set list. But the result fills an evening remarkably well.
Friday, Nov. 3, Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 7:30 p.m.
Godsmack: Nu metal trailblazers or Alice in Chains cover band that just happens to play original songs? America is divided.
Truly this is the pettiest rock controversy ever. But let's look at the evidence. 'Godsmack' is also the name of one of grunge superstars Alice in Chain's better songs; Godsmack cite the band as an influence; and even their logo looks similar. They share both the gravelly croon and the hook-heavy instrumentals, and Godsmack are even following a similar track toward acoustic efforts.
Now, I liked Alice in Chains ' there are times when you really want some loud, overwrought metal. And with them gone, Boston's Godsmack fills the role well, especially if you're a creative director looking for music to fill your U.S. Navy recruitment commercial.
But oddly, Godsmack deny the Alice in Chains connection. In fact, they say they chose the name Godsmack after one band member razzed another for a heinous cold sore, only to get a similar cold sore himself the next day. Thus he was 'smacked' by God.
Normally I would side with those who see Godsmack as talented Alice in Chains fans inexplicably trying to separate themselves from their muse. But anytime people freely cite herpes as an excuse for anything, I've gotta believe them.