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Music

Garth Brooks performs at the Allstate Arena on September 4, 2014, in Rosemont, Ill. The performance in Rosemont marks the end of Brooks' 13-year tour hiatus. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Garth Brooks Brings It

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rosemont, Ill. — Four songs into Garth Brooks’ opening-night show of his first world tour in 17 years, the country superstar screamed at about 17,500 fans packed into the sold-out Allstate Arena outside Chicago. “You came back!” he shouted, then repeated: “You came back!” “I’ve waited a long, long, long time for this,” he added as fans roared back at …

Young Guy ‘Takes Over’

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Give me a reason O, I see no reason To fall in love with you — from Reason, by Noah Kahan Hanover — In his head, Dave Clark gave the kid five minutes to sing and play the music he said he’d written himself, maybe 10. Out loud during open-mic night at Shepard’s …

Ariana Grande Takes Big Step Forward

Sunday, September 7, 2014

From Meet Miley Cyrus to Bangerz in less than a year — that was Ariana Grande’s path. In-your-face production. Cameos from high-profile rappers. A lead single about how, lingering attraction (and proper grammar) be damned, she’d have “one less problem without you.” There’s lots of newfound swagger on Ariana Grande’s My Everything, released …

How Concerts Became Spectacles

Sunday, June 1, 2014

In the beginning, there was Alice Cooper. By the late ’60s, rock bands had been tinkering with rudimentary special effects, like the oily projections the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane used as psychedelic backdrops. Cooper, however, was a …

The Black Keys Adjust To Bumpy Life at the Top

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. — Patrick Carney is reconsidering his very non-pop star policy on openness and honesty. The Black Keys drummer feels he’s had a tough run in the press recently, and for the first time in his career …

A Blues Master Swings Through

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grammy Award-winning harmonica master James “Superharp” Cotton brings his James Cotton Blues Band to the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth, N.H., on Friday night at 7:30. Cotton began his career playing for the Muddy …

‘Stairway’ Outrage Misplaced

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The big news in the music world these days has been the Stairway to Heaven lawsuit. The people who run the estate of Randy California, the phenomenal guitarist and songwriter from the phenomenal band Spirit, announced they are …

Carlene Carter Continues Legacy

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Los Angeles — Aspiring artists face few challenges more daunting than escaping the shadow of a family member who has established a reputation in the same field. That goes double for Carlene Carter. The veteran singer and songwriter not only is the daughter of one of the most …

‘Now’ Music Series Reaches 50

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. — Like many music fans, Taylor Swift’s relationship with the Now That’s What I Call Music series stretches back more than a decade. She and her brother would listen to the series when they were children …

The Time Is Finally Right for the Flamin’ Groovies’ ‘Action’

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chicago — Time rarely has been in sync with the Flamin’ Groovies. Thrashing through ’50s-style rock ’n’ roll, the San Francisco-formed band’s nascent late-’60s/early-’70s efforts came across as retro while anticipating punk, even as the bluesy raunch of 1971’s Teenage Head drew comparisons, some favorable, to the Rolling …

NBC Does a Victory Lap, Showcases New Season’s Offerings

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New York — After a season in which it’s poised to finish No. 1 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic for the first time since the end of Friends 10 years ago, NBC ran a triumphant victory lap at its annual upfront presentation before an audience of advertisers and …

‘Love’ Reminds Us of Michael Jackson’s Best

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Here’s something unexpected: The new Michael Jackson single rules. When Epic Records announced in March that it would release a posthumous album from the pop superstar who died in 2009 — another posthumous album, that is — there seemed little reason to get excited. In 2010, the label’s …

When Music Came to Main Street in Hanover

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Canoe Club, in its decade on Hanover’s Main Street, has hosted somewhere around 3,600 nights of live music, often jazzy and Americana guitarists and pianists playing to an audience of restaurant-goers. It’s an atmosphere that has been …