Gym Class Heroes on the Warped tour, way back in 2008
  • Gym Class Heroes on the Warped tour, way back in 2008
  • By Megan Westerby [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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Ritenour, Grusin, and East — jazz stars shine in Temecula

Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin & Nathan East

  • Sunday, June 10, 2018, 4 p.m.
  • Thornton Winery, 32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula
  • $75 - $150

For the last few years, after over a decade of nearly-annual Humphreys appearances (and a couple of side trips to the long-gone Anthology), smooth jazz cat Lee Ritenour has been staging most of his local sets at Temecula’s Thornton Winery, where he returns June 10 with Dave Grusin and locally bred bassist Nathan East in tow. The participation of the 83-year-old Grusin is a rare occurrence on the lower left coast, although the ten-time Grammy winning composer has been recording with Ritenour since the mid-1970s, appearing on pivotal albums like 1977’s Captain Fingers. Ritenour’s guitar has been heard in over 3000 sessions, and his own songs have earned him well over two dozen contemporary chart hits. His most recent album, A Twist of Rit, spawned a top five hit on the U.S. Smooth Jazz chart, “A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That.” Star bassist Nathan East attended Crawford High before going on to play with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bublé, Quincy Jones, Kenny Loggins, Rod Stewart, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Michael Jackson, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, and many others (he also co-wrote the 1984 Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey hit “Easy Lover”). This will be the first – and quite possibly the last – time the trio performs together in Temecula.

Never Ending Summer tour keeps it going

311 and the Offspring

The Never-Ending Summer Tour is aptly named when you consider that co-headliners 311 and the Offspring pretty much made their bones on the festival circuit, playing in broad daylight on sunlit stages surrounded by steaming parking lot pavement. It’s both a measure of a band’s talent and its perseverance when it can come out of that gauntlet of hot mics and hurled debris and still want to get out there with likeminded music-makers for yet another go ‘round. When it comes to putting together a setlist, 311 has nearly 30 years’ of hit singles to choose from, including three chart toppers, and the Offspring have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. If you need a reason to see both bands co-headline Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on July 29 that isn’t soured at the thought of listening to countless songs you were already sick of hearing on the radio back in the Stone’s age, consider opening act Gym Class Heroes. Travie McCoy’s darkly humorous alt-pop hip-hop project, which still includes original drummer Matt McGinley, just keeps getting stronger since The Papercut Chronicles dropped back in 2005, highlighted by the still fresh-sounding hit single “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America.” They, too, first came up via festivals like Bamboozle and Warped, but they’ve been laying pretty low over the past few years with very little touring, so this is one of those shows where you’re probably a lot better off arriving early than staying late.

5 Seconds of Summer don't need hype

5 Seconds of Summer

  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
  • Open Air Theatre, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego
  • $19.50 - $69.50

Their April 26 House of Blues concert is sold out, but you’ll have another chance to see 5 Seconds of Summer on October 2 at SDSU’s Open Air Theatre, as they prepare to beat the drums for their upcoming album on Capitol Records, Youngblood, due near the end of June. Not that they need much of a hype machine, with multiple number one albums and enough awards to melt down and build a tour bus with. They just played their new single, “Want You Back,” on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, bumping the track up to over 60 million streams and a number one slot on several iTunes charts. There’s also an acoustic version of the song out there, as well as a video directed by James Larese (Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy). Each ticket purchased for the Meet You There Tour comes with a free copy of their upcoming album.

System of a Down — Still in the singles game

System of a Down and At the Drive In

A co-headlining bill featuring System of a Down and At the Drive-In hits Valley View Casino Center on October 17. Formed in 1994, System of a Down took a few years off from each other, and haven’t released a full-length in over a dozen years, but they’ve kept in the game with various singles featuring the founding trio (Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian ) backed by their drummer since 1997, John Dolmayan. At the Drive-In made its debut the same year, 1994, having split and reunited multiple times, and currently features only one founding member, singer Cedric Bixler, though four of the five other players currently backing him have been aboard since 1996. The bill includes Athens, Ohio metal band Skeletonwitch, currently working on a new album, their first release since the 2016 EP The Apothic Gloom (their last full-length was 2013’s Serpents Unleashed).

Goo Goo Dolls — Reliving 1998 in 2018

Goo Goo Dolls

  • Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
  • House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

If you still think old-school alt rules, there’s yet another 91-X alum mounting a 20th anniversary tour later this year, with Goo Goo Dolls hitting the road to relive their 1998 album Dizzy Up the Girl. The tour kicks off at the end of September, arriving at House of Blues on November 8, where the band promises to perform two sets, the first featuring the entire album and a second full of “favorites and surprises.” One can safely assume the former to include radio hits from their self-titled 1987 debut and 1995’s A Boy Named Goo, while head-turners and jaw-droppers will hopefully include deep cuts from their mostly overlooked 2013 full-length Magnetic and 2016’s Boxes. You might not even be aware the band had new albums that recently, but the good news is that they’re still fronted by the main two of their three founders, singer-guitarist John Rzeznik and singer-bassist Robby Takac. So even if all you’re looking for is that hit ‘45 that you already know oh-so-well and can sing-a-long with like it was your own musical mantra, rest assured it will at least sound like the same guys are still playing it.

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