The best-selling female artists of the ‘90s, a punk rocker-turned-MTV-pop-icon, a legendary ‘70s glam rock band, a low-rent Radiohead, the self-anointed “Jesus of Cool,” a founding member of Pink Floyd, rock’s premiere poetess, and the unofficial founder of the one-name celebrity club are some of the big acts hitting the concert stage in April.
The Emancipation of Mimi
Mariah Carey, April 2, Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston.
A little over a decade ago, Albert Einstein and Elvis Presley, Time’s “Person of the (20th) Century” and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, respectively, must have been spinning in their graves over pop diva Mariah Carey’s “E=MC2.” Besides reducing Einstein’s theory of relativity to a cheeky album title, the lead-off single, “Touch My Body,” became Carey’s 18th No. 1, surpassing Elvis’ 17. Yikes! Then again, who ever said that pop music was rocket science … or even rock ‘n’ roll for that matter? While she has a stunning five-octave voice when she uses it, Carey, more often than not, seems comfortable with delivering safe, sanitized pop drivel. Carey’s latest concert trek is called the “Caution World Tour.” Personally, I would rather commit hara-kiri than see Mariah Carey in concert but that’s me. The tour moniker is not a warning, mind you, but the name of her latest album, “Caution.” Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Ready steady go
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, April 3, Lynn Auditorium, Lynn.
Chances are, if you were conscious and alert in the ‘80s, there was a time in your life that you were dancing to the tunes of Billy Idol. And why not? Whether as the front-man of Generation X or as a soloist, Idol had some great tunes, including “White Wedding,” “Dancing With Myself,” “Rebel Yell” and his cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Mony, Mony.” Gee, it seems like only yesterday when the leather-clad, lip-curling, fist-pumping, peroxide-blond-dyed rocker played a sold-out show at E.M. Loew’s in downtown Worcester (back in Jan. 23, 1984) and back-to-back nights at The Worcester Centrum (on April 15-16, 1987). Idol, alongside his longtime guitarist Steve Stevens, is performing as part of “Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged,” a mini-tour promising deeper album cuts, stories behind the songs, and, of course, plenty of hits. With a rebel yell, who could ask for anything more, more, more?
All the (not so) young dudes
Mott the Hoople ’74, April 9, Orpheum Theatre, Boston.
Mott the Hoople, aka, the latest rock ‘n’ roll relic to be taken out of mothballs, will tour the U.S. for the first time in 45 years. The tour features core ’74 members Ian Hunter, 79, guitarist Ariel Bender, 72, and keyboardist Morgan Fisher, 69 (who’s just a kid). From those who don’t remember, Mott the Hoople are the short-lived but beloved glam rockers from England best remembered in America for the David Bowie-penned hit “All The Young Dudes,” which the Thin White Duke gave to the band in an effort to keep them from breaking up. Despite “All the Young Dudes” becoming Mott the Hoople’s biggest hit, Hunter left the group a few years later in 1975 and the band briefly limped on as Mott before calling it quits in 1980.
Paranoia is in bloom
Muse, April 10, TD Garden, Boston.
England’s prog-rock power trio Muse has gone from doing an updated, musical version of George Orwell’s classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (on 2009’s “Resistance”) to paying homage to 1980s pop culture with their latest, synth-driven musical foray, “Simulation Theory.” From its neon cover art designed by “Stranger Things” artist Kyle Lambert and its music videos that give a nod to “Back to the Future,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Gremlins,” “Ghostbusters” and, even, “Teen Wolf,” one would expect a cameo on “Simulation Theory” from psychokinetic nose-bleeder Eleven and Upside Down Will at any second. Despite its retro sci-fi themes, Muse’s singer-songwriter-guitarist-pianist and resident conspiracy theorist Mark Bellamy is still taking themes of government oppression and mind control and turning them into symphonic rockers. If you like your Orwellian paranoia served piping hot and multilayered orchestration overcooked, this might be the show for you. If not, you might want to wait for the next time Thom Yorke and Radiohead go on tour.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Great Songwriting
Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue starring Los Straightjackets, April 11, The Wilbur, Boston.
Nick Lowe is not only an underrated musical legend. He’s the self-anointed “Jesus of Cool.” How cool you ask? Well, he did write one of Elvis Costello’s signature songs, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” and wrote and recorded “Cruel to Be Kind,” inspired by a line in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Pretty cool, right? On top of that, the sophisticated popster helped shape punk rock by producing the Damned’s “New Rose” (widely considered the first U.K. punk single) and helped shape new wave by producing Elvis Costello’s first five albums (all classics). Not too shabby. And his latest foray in music, Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue Starring Los Straitjackets sounds like an absolute hoot. Not only are Los Straitjackets “the leading practitioners of the lost art of the guitar instrumental,” they perform in Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks. What could go wrong?
One of these days, Roger Waters, POW!!! Right in the kisser!
Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, April 13, Orpheum Theatre.
Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason has gotten tired of waiting around for a proper Pink Floyd reunion and has taken it upon himself to recreate the band’s music between Syd Barrett’s helmed “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and before 1973’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Mason is joined by guitarist Lee Harris, singer Gary Kemp (of Spandau Ballet fame), and bassist Guy Pratt. Expect to hear psychedelic rock classics including “Interstellar Overdrive,” “Lucifer Sam,” “Obscured by Clouds,” “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” “See Emily Play,” “One of These Days” and “A Saucerful of Secrets” and absolutely no songs from the period when Roger Waters took over control of Pink Floyd.
Patti Smith, April 26, Orpheum Theatre.
Patti Smith will never be mistaken for Ariana Grande. She will never compete head-to-head with Cardi B for the top of the pop charts. And, at 72, it is unlikely that Smith will ever become a video vixen, pop pinup or soft drink spokesperson anytime soon. Smith is not pretty in the commercial sense. She’s certainly not pop-friendly. She’s not a lot of things. What she is is a poet, artist and rock ‘n’ roll goddess who is still worth her weight in gold. With a style that is closer to Beat poetry than to today’s bubble gum pop, Smith is truly an artist whose vision is only made stronger through rock ‘n’ roll music. She has certainly graced her fans with plenty of divine inspiration, great tunes and food for thought over the years and here’s a rare chance to see her live. And, I don’t want to start any rumors, but, who knows, Bruce Springsteen, who seems bored and restless (and spotted a few times in Boston in recent months) since the closing of “Springsteen on Broadway” might pop up and sing “Because the Night” with her. Just saying.
Cher and Cher alike
Cher, April 28, TD Garden, and April 30 Massmutual Center, Springfield
With a colorful career that spans six decades, it seems almost silly for Cher to still be singing “If I Could Turn Back Time” ever again, especially since the laws of relativity, pop mortality, reality and, certainly, gravity don’t seem to apply to this ageless icon and deliciously tacky dance-pop diva. Nearly 16 years since selling out the Centrum during one of her stops on her first farewell tour, the Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-winning actress is still one of the most distinctive voices and personalities on the planet.
And the rest:
Cradle of Filth, April 1, The Paradise Rock Club, Boston.
Jess Glynne, April 1, House of Blues, Boston.
Japanese Breakfast, April 1, Royale, Boston.
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet Of Wonders W/ Steve Almond, Abbie Barrett, Chris Collingwood, Juliana Hatfield, Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, Robert Pinsky & Barrence Whitfield, April 1, City Winery, Boston.
Fleetwood Mac, April 2, TD Garden.
Tori Kelly, April 2, House of Blues.
2 Cellos, April 2, Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.
Earl Sweatshirt and friends, April 2, The Paradise Rock Club.
Soja, April 2, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, N.H.
DMX, April 3, House of Blues.
YOB and Voivod, April 3, Royale.
Bobby Collins, April 3, City Winery.
Il Divo, April 4, Orpheum Theatre.
The Plot in You, April 4, The Palladium, Worcester.
Rodney Crowell, April 4, Narrow Center for the Arts, Fall River.
Zomboy, April 4, House of Blues.
Beats Antique, April 4, Royale.
BoDeans, April 4, Bull Run, Shirley.
Mindi Abair And The Boneshakers, April 4, City Winery.
Ruben Studdard, April 5, Cabot Theatre, Beverly.
Amos Lee, April 5, Orpheum Theatre.
BoDeans, April 5, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Hatebreed, April 5, The Palladium.
Black Violin, April 5, The Wilbur.
Tobe Nwigwe, April 5, The Paradise Rock Club.
Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind, April 5, Bull Run.
Fatoumata Diawara, April 5, City Winery.
Under The Streetlamp, April 6, Cabot Theatre.
The Secret Sisters, April 6, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Baroness and Deafheaven, April 6, The Palladium.
Japanese Breakfast, April 6, Royale.
Balance & Composure, April 6, The Paradise Rock Club.
Rust Never Sleeps, April 6, Bull Run.
Jackopierce, April 6, City Winery.
One Night of Queen, April 6, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Bad Bunny, April 7, Mohegan Sun Arena.
Yacht Rock Revue, April 7, House of Blues.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, April 7, Royale.
Balance & Composure, April 7, The Paradise Rock Club.
Eric Gale, April 7, Bull Run.
Jon B., April 7, City Winery.
Yo Yo Ma, April 7, Mechanics Hall, Worcester.
Celtic Women, April 7, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, Worcester.
Dream Theater, April 8, Orpheum Theatre.
Jon B., April 8, City Winery.
Jamey Johnson, April 9, House of Blues.
Epik High, April 9, The Paradise Rock Club.
Ghosts of the Forest, April 10, Orpheum Theatre.
Lil Baby, April 10, House of Blues.
Tyler Rich, Travis Denning And Abby Anderson, April 10, City Winery.
Rodney Atkins, April 11, Cabot Theatre.
The Suitcase Junket, April 11, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Kathy Mattea, April 11, Center for Arts, Natick.
A Boogie with Da Hoodie, April 11, House of Blues.
Somo, April 11, The Paradise Rock Club.
Sophie B. Hawkins, April 11, Bull Run.
Robert Glasper Trio Featuring Chris Dave & Derrick Hodge, April 11, City Winery.
Sonu Nigam and Neha Kakkar, April 12, DCU Center, Worcester.
Justin Timberlake, April 12, Mohegan Sun Arena.
Blue Oyster Cult, April 12, Cabot Theatre.
Masters of the Telecaster featuring G.E. Smith, Jim Weider and Jon Herington, April 12, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, April 12, Center for Arts.
Jai Wolf, April 12, House of Blues.
SWMRS, April 12, The Paradise Rock Club.
Ryan Montbleau Band, April 12, The Palladium.
The Sugary Rayford Band, April 12, Bull Run.
Bob Schneider, April 12, City Winery.
Frankie Valli and The Four Season, April 12, Chevalier Theatre, Medford.
Eddie Money, April 12, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Aaron Neville, April 13, Fox Theater at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Conn.
Justin Timberlake, April 13, Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Allman Betts Band, April 13, Cabot Theatre.
Tommy Castro and The Painkillers, April 13, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Polyphia, April 13, The Palladium.
Touche Amore with Pianos Become the Teeth, April 13, The Palladium.
The Bruce Marshall Group, April 13, Bull Run.
Grace Kelly, April 13, City Winery.
Frankie Valli and The Four Season, April 13, Chevalier Theatre.
Twiddle, April 13, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Spiritualized, April 14, The Wilbur.
The Claypool Lennon Delirium, April 14, House of Blues.
Dance Gavin Dance, April 14, The Palladium.
Broods, April 14, The Paradise Rock Club.
Denny Laine and the Moody Wing Band, April 14, Bull Run.
Damn the Torpedoes, April 14, City Winery.
Frankie Valli and The Four Season, April 14, Chevalier Theatre.
Buckethead, April 15, The Wilbur.
Lil Baby, April 15, House of Blues.
One Night of Queen, April 16, The Wilbur.
Tesla, April 16, House of Blues.
Los Lonely Boys, April 16, City Winery.
Candlebox, April 17, The Wilbur.
Kodak Black, April 17, House of Blues.
Children of Bodom, April 17, Royale.
The Quebe Sisters, April 17, City Winery.
Chicago, April 18, Orpheum Theatre.
Neither Wolk and Nor Dog, April 18, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Adrian Belew, April 18, Center for Arts.
Get The Led Out, April18, The Wilbur.
Adventure Club, April 18, House of Blues.
Kodak Black, April 18, The Grand Theater at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, Conn.
Sylar, April 18, The Palladium.
Rival Sons, April 18, Royale.
We Came As Romans and Crown the Empire, April 18, The Paradise Rock Club.
Los Lonely Boys, April 18, Bull Run.
El Septeto Santiaguero, April 18, City Winery.
Migos, 21 Savage and Flipp Dinero, April 19, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, R.I.
Adrian Belew, April 19, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Kris Kristofferson and The Strangers, April 19, Chevalier Theatre.
Amanda Palmer, April 19, Orpheum Theatre.
Walter Trout, April 19, Center for Arts.
Foals, April 19, House of Blues.
Whitechapel, April 19, The Palladium.
La Dispute, April 19, Royale.
Ryan Hurd, April 19, The Paradise Rock Club.
Dwight & Nicole, April 19, Bull Run.
Candice Guardino, April 19, City Winery.
Tesla, April 19, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Get the Led Out, April 20, The Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
Copley James Piccolo, April 20, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Blue October, April 20, House of Blues.
Robyn Hitchcock, April 20, Center for Arts.
38 Special, April 20, Twin River Casino, Lincoln, R.I.
Veil of Maya and Intervals, April 20, The Palladium.
Bad Suns, April 20, Royale.
Turkuaz, April 20, The Paradise Rock Club.
Antje Duvekot, April 20, Bull Run.
Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore with the Guilty Ones, April 20, Bull Run.
Seaway, April 21, The Palladium.
Vicente Garcia, April 21, The Paradise Rock Club.
Liv Warfield, April 21, City Winery.
Girlpool, April 23, Royale.
Leon and Morgan Saint, April 23, The Paradise Rock Club.
Squirrel Nut Zippers, April 23, City Winery.
Gunna, April 24, House of Blues.
Lisa Loeb, April 24, City Winery.
Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers, April 25, The Wilbur.
High South, April 25, Center for Arts.
Big Boi and Goodie Mob, April 25, House of Blues.
Blueface, April 25, The Palladium.
Pup, April 25, Royale.
Cassadee Pope, Clare Dunn and Hanna Ellis, April 25, The Paradise Rock Club.
Carbon Leaf, April 25, City Winery.
Alabama, April 26, Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Barak, April 26, Lynn Auditorium.
The Official Blues Brothers Revue, April 26, Cabot Theatre.
Red Molly, April 26, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Ryan Montbleau Band, April 26, The Paradise Rock Club.
Wishbone Ash, April 26, Bull Run.
Don McLean, April 26, City Winery.
Dark Desert Eagles, April 26, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Jason Derulo, April 27, The Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
David Bromberg Quintet, April 27, Narrow Center for the Arts.
Pousette-Dart Band, April 27, Center for Arts.
Maren Morris, April 27, House of Blues.
Clozee and Charles The First, April 27, The Palladium.
Foxing and Now, Now, April 27, Royale.
Jack & Jack, April 27, The Paradise Rock Club.
Way Up South and Grin Whistle, April 27, Bull Run.
XLO presents Awesome ‘80s Prom featuring Young MC, April 27, Mechanics Hall..
Get the Led Out, April 27, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
ARRIVAL from Sweden: The Music of ABBA, April 28, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Chick Corea and Bela Fleck Duet, April 28, Cabot Theatre.
The Carol Campbell Conert for Charity, April 28, Narrow Center for the Arts.
The Mountain Goats, April 28, The Wilbur.
Snow Patrol, April 29, Orpheum Theatre.
Eels, April 30, The Wilbur.
Le Vent Du Nord, April 30, City Winery.