—Fall 2005 concert preview— Alison Krauss, Slipknot make stops in Rockford

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11273292655642.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.alisonkrauss.com’, ‘Alison Krauss of Alison Krauss and Union Station performs with Sarah McLachlan at the 2004 Grammy Awards.’);

There are few things better than seeing your favorite bands in concert. This autumn is shaping up to be one of the busiest and most anticipated musical times of the year. And as experienced music fans know, if seeking shelter from the falling leaves, there are few places better to find shelter than in front of a stage at a local venue.

A variety of locations and artists are listed below. Some bands are playing right here in Rockford, while many others won’t quite make it this far. Still, each of the shows listed is located within two hours’ driving distance of the Forest City. And while no one likes the high price of gas, it’s still hard not to be excited about a road trip.

Judas Priest/Anthrax

Appearing: Wed., Sept. 28, MetroCentre, Rockford; Sat., Oct. 1, U.S. Cellular Arena, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: Judas Priest all but defined metal for an entire generation. Besides, when a show this big comes into your back yard, you don’t miss it.

Hotel Café Tour with Butch Walker/Imogen Heap/Cary Brothers

Appearing: Thurs., Sept. 29, Park West, Chicago

Why should I care?: A night of acoustic-based music from a range of artists. Butch Walker by himself makes this ticket worth the 20 bucks.

Nintendo Fusion Tour feat. Fall Out Boy/Starting Line/Motion City Soundtrack

Appearing: Fri., Sept. 30, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago; Wed., Nov. 16, Rave, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: Video games and punk rock? What could possibly go wrong? If you think all pop-punk bands sound the same, check out this tour—they are as diverse as any you’ll find in any single venue this fall.

Weezer/Foo Fighters

Appearing: Mon., Oct. 3, AllState Arena, Rosemont; Tues., Oct. 4, Assembly Hall, Champaign

Why should I care?: If you long for the return of the mid-’90s, this may feel like Christmas. If not, it is still impossible to know what to expect when two of the most influential bands of the last decade get together in the same room.

Nine Inch Nails

Appearing: Fri., Oct. 7, AllState Arena, Rosemont; Thurs., Oct. 13, Alliant Energy Center, Madison

Why should I care?: If you want to hear industrial metal, a NIN show is one of the few places left to do it. Credited with creating the genre, Trent Reznor adds to his well-deserved reputation for excellence every time he steps on stage.

Mike Jones/Twista

Appearing: Sat., Oct. 8, Rave, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: As of press time, this was the only tour date scheduled for the MTV Video Music Award show performer. And for anyone asking “Who is Mike Jones?” rest assured he’s not as average as his name suggests.

Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas

Appearing: Sat., Oct. 8, MetroCentre, Rockford; Sat., Oct. 22, Milwaukee Theatre, Milwaukee; Sun., Oct. 23, Alliant Energy Center, Madison

Why should I care?: Alison Krauss is the front half of a pair of country music bookends being set up in Rockford during the second week of October. A noted performer, few fans ever leave her shows disappointed.

Death Cab For Cutie

Appearing: Wed., Oct. 12, Riviera Theatre, Chicago

Why should I care?: A band that has the potential to be considered among the most highly regarded of this decade, the rockers make their only area stop at the legendary Riviera Theatre.

David Gray

Appearing: Wed., Oct. 12, Chicago Theatre, Chicago

Why should I care?: David Gray’s folk-based acoustic stylings have won him fans across the globe. He is only touring in a handful of U.S. cities this fall. Thankfully, we’re close enough to the Windy City to see him up close and personal.

Bruce Springsteen

Appearing: Thurs., Oct. 13, United Center, Chicago; Sat., Oct. 15, Alliant Energy Center, Madison

Why should I care?: A year ago at this time, Bruce Springsteen was hard on the campaign trail for Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry. This tour should shed some light on whether “the boss” has mellowed on his anti-Bush stance.

Joan Baez

Appearing: Thurs., Oct. 13, Barrymore Theatre, Madison; Fri., Oct. 14, Vic Theatre, Chicago

Why should I care?: She’s one of the few performers from her generation still playing full-blown tours. Every show is bound to be a trip. Pun only partly intended.

Brad Paisley/Sara Evans/Sugarland

Appearing: Fri., Oct. 14, MetroCentre, Rockford

Why should I care?: When three country performers of this caliber gather together in one place, it’s never wise to fiddle around.


Appearing: Tues., Oct. 18 and Wed., Oct. 19, Congress Theatre, Chicago; Fri., Oct. 21, Mark Of The Quad Cities, Moline; Sat., Nov. 12, MetroCentre, Rockford; Tues., Nov. 15, Rave, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: With five appearances within two hours of Rockford, Slipknot is clearly a band that wants to be heard in this area. With enough members to start a baseball team, Slipknot proves over and over again that the jump suit never goes out of style.

Kanye West

Appearing: Wed., Oct. 19, Assembly Hall, Champaign; Sat., Nov. 12, Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont; Mon., Nov. 14, Northwestern University, Evanston

Why should I care?: A well-dressed staple of MTV, Kanye West has turned heads with lyrics that are far from groundbreaking, but are delivered in such a creative manner that hip-hop fans across the country have taken notice.

Gwen Stefani/Black Eyed Peas

Appearing: Fri., Oct. 28, AllState Arena, Rosemont; Sun., Nov. 13, Bradley Center, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: Gwen Stefani has turned from ska princess to a one-woman fashion commercial. If you love her radio hits, seeing her with the Black Eyed Peas will drive you B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Simple Plan/Straylight Run/Plain White T’s

Appearing: Fri., Oct. 28, Rave, Milwaukee; Sun., Nov. 13, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago

Why should I care?: Straylight Run and the Plain White T’s will add a streak of dignity to a night otherwise filled with 14-year-old girls clad from head to toe in black and pink.

Bon Jovi

Appearing: Fri., Nov. 4, United Center, Chicago; Wed., Nov. 16, Kohl Center, Madison

Why should I care?: Admit it, every time you hear “Livin’ on a Prayer” on a bar jukebox, you and everyone around you starts singing. Now imagine the bar filled with 20,000 people when the jukebox comes alive. Enough said.

Saves the Day/Senses Fail/The Early November/Say Anything

Appearing: Sun., Nov. 6, House of Blues, Chicago; Wed., Nov. 9, Rave, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: If you can’t get enough emo rock, this is the tour for you. Any one of these four bands could headline their own shows—having them in one place should make for a festive situation.

MXPX/Relient K

Appearing: Tues., Nov. 8, Rave, Milwaukee

Why should I care?: If you didn’t know they were Christian, you might never guess it. While many punks prefer secular music, MXPX and Relient K are proof that songs with only three chords can effectively fuse rock and religion.

From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue

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