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If you consider Toledo and Detroit as one big music market -- and many promoters do -- then the wildly diverse schedule over the next four or five months could drive an obsessive concert completist completely batty with choices.
Looking for cutting-edge buzz bands and purveyors of slightly skewed takes on modern pop? Sleigh Bells will be in Bowling Green at the Clazel Theater on Oct. 1, Gotye hits Detroit's Fox Theatre Tuesday, and Regina Spektor will be at the Motor City's Fillmore on Oct. 13.
How about big productions from artists like Madonna, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga? Madge plays the Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 8, Biebs hits the Palace of Auburn Hills on Nov. 21 (expect the ear-piercing screams of his tween fans to still be echoing days later), and Lady Gaga takes over the Palace on Feb. 16.
Looking for great R&B and soul? Of course you are, and the first full week of November is for you: John Legend plays the Fox Theatre Nov. 4 and the great Betty LaVette is at The Ark in Ann Arbor on Nov. 7.
Classic rock aficionado? Your calendar runneth over and here are just a few of the dates you need to remember: Peter Gabriel brings his combination of high art and world music to the Palace on Sept. 26; Neil Young and Crazy Horse are just across the border in Windsor on Oct. 3; Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson performs a solo show at the Fillmore on Nov. 3; the Who reprise the seminal "Quadrophenia" album on Nov. 24 at the Joe Louis Arena; the J. Geils Band brings its down and dirty blues revival to the Fillmore on Dec. 7.
Fans of older alternative bands that are still slugging it out and producing great music are in luck too. Post grunge rockers Dinosaur Jr. will be at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit on Sept. 27; always reliable for a ferocious rock show are the Drive-By Truckers, who hit St. Andrews on Oct. 24, and '90s-era soul/rock burners Afghan Whigs play St. Andrews a day later.
And for folks who might not want to drive too far away, there's an eclectic and cool batch of artists coming to within a few dozen miles of Toledo.
Perhaps the most intriguing is Los Angeles rockers Los Lobos, playing the La-Z-Boy Center in Monroe on Feb. 9. Given the band's status as purveyors of blues, rock, and Latin music, their long history, critical standing, and impressively consistent run of excellent music, the chance to see them in a 500-seat theater means this one will likely sell out pretty quickly once people realize that Los Lobos really is playing in Monroe.
Mickey Finn's Pub in Toledo on Lagrange Street continues its run of bringing fresh artists to Toledo who might otherwise skip the city with a show by former Minutemen and fIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt on Oct. 9. He'll be with his Missingmen band along and will play his latest disc, "Hyphenated-Man" in its entirety. (And look for an interview of Watt in The Blade on Oct. 5.) Mickey Finn's will also host punk rock raconteurs The Smoking Popes on Oct. 18 and the band will play its debut album "Born To Quit" in its entirety.
Country music is always popular in these parts and the selections range from arena country band Rascal Flatts at the downtown Toledo Huntington Center on Oct. 4, Martina McBride at the Stranahan Theater on Oct. 27, Kathy Mattea at the La-Z-Boy Center on Jan. 18, and Kellie Pickler at the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin on April 27.
The great Gordon Lightfoot (he's so great Bob Dylan looks up to him) will be at the Stranahan Tuesday night and bluesman Joe Bonamassa plays the theater on Nov. 13.
Returning to the Huntington Center this fall are regulars the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with two shows on Nov. 18, and Christian rocker Toby Mac on Dec. 6.
The Osmonds, an iteration of the singing brothers, will do a holiday show on Dec. 13 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in Van Wert. Grammy-nominated a capella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock will be at the Valentine Theatre on Jan. 29.
Contact Rod Lockwood at: email@example.com or 419-724-6159.
TUESDAY: Gordon Lightfoot, 8 p.m., Stranahan Theater; Rush, 7:30 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills; Gotye, 7 p.m., the Fox Theatre.
FRIDAY: Rusted Root, 9:30 p.m., the Shops at Fallen Timbers for an autism fund-raiser.
SATURDAY: Kevin Hart "Let Me Explain" tour, 8 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills; Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, 7 p.m., the Fillmore.
WEDNESDAY: Texas Tenors, 3 p.m., Stranahan Theater.
SEPT. 26: Peter Gabriel Back to Front, 8 p.m,, The Palace of Auburn Hills.
SEPT. 27: Dinosaur Jr., 7 p.m., St. Andrews Hall; Joe Jackson and the Bigger Band, 8:30 p.m., Michigan Theater.
OCT. 1: Sleigh Bells, 7 p.m., Clazel Theater.
OCT. 2: Ben Folds Five, 6:30 p.m., the Fillmore.
OCT. 3: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 7:30 p.m., Windsor Family Credit Union Centre.
OCT. 4: Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Eli Young Band, Edens Edge, 7 p.m., Huntington Center.
OCT. 6: Anjelah Johnson & Jo Koy, 8 p.m., the Fillmore.
OCT. 9: Mike Watt and the Missingmen, 8 p.m., Mickey Finn's; Motion City Soundtrack, 7 p.m., Clazel Theater.
OCT. 12: Twins of Evil Tour: Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson, 7 p.m., DTE Energy Music Theatre.
OCT. 13: Regina Spektor, 8 p.m., the Fillmore.
OCT. 18: The Smoking Popes, 8 p.m., Mickey Finn's; Trey Anastasio Band, 6:30 p.m., the Fillmore.
OCT. 19: Brandi Carlile, 7 p.m., the Fillmore.
OCT. 20: Red Wanting Blue, 8 p.m., Mickey Finn's; Seether, 6 p.m., the Fillmore; Jackson Browne, 8 p.m., Music Hall Center; moe., 8 p.m., St. Andrews Hall.
OCT. 23: Drive-By Truckers, 7 p.m., St. Andrews Hall.
OCT. 24: Afghan Whigs, 7 p.m., St. Andrews Hall.
OCT. 27: Martina McBride, 8 p.m., Stranahan Theater.
NOV. 3: Ian Anderson, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre; Dick Wagner and the Jim Cummings Band, 7:30 p.m., La-Z-Boy Center.
NOV. 4: John Legend, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre.
NOV. 7: Bettye LaVette, 8 pm., The Ark.
NOV 8: Madonna, 8 p.m., Joe Louis Arena.
NOV. 11: Sonny Landreth, 7:30 p.m., The Ark.
NOV. 13: Joe Bonamassa, 8 p.m., Stranahan Theater.
NOV. 16: Lewis Black, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre.
NOV. 18: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Huntington Center.
NOV. 21: Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jespen, 5:30 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills.
NOV. 24: The Who, 7:30 p.m,, Joe Louis Arena.
NOV. 25: Carrie Underwood, 7:30 p.m., The Palace of Auburn Hills.
NOV. 26: Leonard Cohen, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre
DEC. 4: Moody Blues, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre.
DEC. 6: Toby Mac, 7 p.m., the Huntington Center.
DEC. 7: J. Geils Band, 7 p.m., the Fillmore.
DEC. 12: The Lettermen, 3 p.m., Valentine Theatre.
DEC. 13: The Osmond Family, 7:30 p.m., the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.
JAN. 18: Kathy Mattea, 7:30 p.m., La-Z-Boy center.
FEB. 9: Los Lobos, 7:30 p.m., La-Z-Boy Center.
FEB. 16: Lady Gaga, time to be determined, The Palace of Auburn Hills.
APRIL 27: Kellie Pickler, 7:30 p.m., Ritz Theatre.