Keen-eared GO! Magazine readers and KPOV listeners may have heard a certain music reporter bumbling around on “Center Stage” with host Rick Miller last Saturday. The topic: The upcoming summer concert season in Central Oregon, a subject that could have filled three two-hour radio blocks (as Miller mentioned on Saturday’s show).
With June on our doorstep, I’ve decided to extend the fun in this week’s column. While we tried to pack in everything noteworthy coming up this summer on “Center Stage,” this will be a look at my personal five most anticipated shows in Bend and beyond.
June 15 — The Roots (live hip-hop), Les Schwab Amphitheater, Bend, bendconcerts.com.
The Philadelphia band led by drummer extraordinaire Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and rapper Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter is practically synonymous with the concept of a live hip-hop band in mainstream circles. Since 2009, the nine-piece group has served as house band for Jimmy Fallon, first on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and then on “The Tonight Show” starting in 2014. Thanks to its late-night duties, the band doesn’t tour much anymore, so this show is a must-see.
June 29 — The Claypool Lennon Delirium (avant-rock legends), Midtown Ballroom, Bend, midtownbend.com.
Les Claypool is best known for his rubbery, breakneck bass work in Primus and his numerous side projects; Sean Lennon is of course the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Combine them and you get The Claypool Lennon Delirium, which pretty much sounds exactly what you’d expect these two to sound like together. Primus played Les Schwab Amphitheater last year, but this is arguably the most exciting music Claypool (not to mention Lennon) has been involved with in years.
July 26-28 — Tal Wilkenfeld at the Newberry Event Music & Arts Festival to Defeat MS (rock/funk/soul/more), DiamondStone Guest Lodges, La Pine, newberryevent.com.
Here’s one we didn’t get around to mentioning on “Center Stage,” but should have. At just 32, Australian bass prodigy Wilkenfeld has recorded with Jeff Beck, Jackson Browne, Macy Gray, Herbie Hancock, Todd Rundgren, Toto and too many more to mention. This year, she emerged as a powerful singer-songwriter in her own right with debut album “Love Remains.” She joins a stacked lineup for the seventh annual Newberry Event, which as always will benefit the Oregon chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Aug. 9 — George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, with Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk, Miss Velvet and The Blue Wolf (funk), Oregon Spirit Distillers, Bend, bendticket.com.
Clinton helped define funk for a generation, injecting psychedelia and science fiction into the music’s slinky rhythms and creating a cult of personality through the many permutations of his flagship bands, Parliament and Funkadelic. After more than 60 years, Clinton will allegedly retire after the One Nation Under a Groove tour, which includes this Bend stop. If you haven’t experienced Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in person, this is your chance.
Aug. 10 — The B-52s, with OMD, Berlin (new wave), Les Schwab Amphitheater, Bend, bendconcerts.com.
Never mind narwhals, bikini whales and rock lobsters; here comes The B-52s. Athens, Georgia’s favorite new-wavers emerged in the mid-’70s, combining surf guitar and keyboards with deadpan call-and-response vocals and an obsession with ’50s and ’60s pop culture on hits such as “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire” and “Love Shack.” The group will lead an ’80s throwback bill featuring OMD (“If You Leave”) and Berlin (“Take My Breath Away”).