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Live music picks: July 8-14


The Indigo Girls bring their harmonious folk to the Atlanta Botanical Garden this weekend. Staff photo.

Animal Collective

Everything Animal Collective does seems chaotic: the playful cacophony of voices, odd bits of nonmusical sounds, cascading guitars and pianos and rhythms that veer from marching to tribal abandon. They’ve been getting more and more accessible with each release, but it’s still weird as all get out. Strap on your seat belt, but it’s a breathtaking ride.
8 p.m. July 8. $30. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010,

Indigo Girls

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have spent more than a decade entertaining us — and making us think — with heart-touching songs and gorgeous harmonies. They began performing together as students at Decatur’s Shamrock High School (now a middle school). After many years on a major label, earning a Grammy and selling millions of albums, the duo is releasing music independently again.
8 p.m. July 8-9. $45. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. 404-876-5859,

Idina Menzel with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

One of Broadway’s brightest stars, Menzel was part of the original cast of “Rent” and won a Tony Award for her performance in “Wicked.” She reached a wider audience with a multi-episode guest spot on “Glee,” playing the leader of a rival vocal group (and —spoiler alert for those still way behind on viewing — Rachel’s birth mother). She brought a welcome dose of maturity to the show and she’ll bring her powerful voice to Chastain for a performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
8 p.m. July 9. $25-$75. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949,


This Guadalajara band is one of the most successful Latin rock combos going, having sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. This year saw the release of the quartet’s eighth album “Drama Y Luz ,” the group’s first collection of new material since 2006. The album’s two predecessors both won Grammys for best Latin rock or alternative album.
8 p.m. July 10. $53-$100. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500,


She’s one of the biggest pop stars of the moment and a reliable hitmaker. Her distinctive voice may not be the most powerful instrument in the business, but it’s instantly recognizable and it’s improved dramatically since she debuted. She has a catalog of ear candy — from “SOS” to “S&M” — that few of her peers can match.
7:30 p.m. July 12. $59.50-$139.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227,

Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald
Everyone of a certain age, if they’re honest, has a soft spot for Scaggs’ soul-tinged pop. He only had one Top 10 hit (“Lowdown”), but the album where that track appeared, “Silk Degrees,” is a winner from start to finish. McDonald is a little more polarizing, but even the haters know all the words to “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” or his 1979 smash with the Doobie Brothers “What a Fool Believes,” which took home the Grammy for Record of the Year.
8 p.m. July 13. $25-$75. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949,

Yes, Styx
It was popular to dismiss Yes for many years as pretentious twaddle, and some of the band’s catalog undoubtedly qualifies (“Tormato”  was just embarrassing). But when Yes was at its peak, progressive rock didn’t get much better. “Fragile” (1971) and “Close to the Edge” (1972) are flashy, complex, melodic and among the essential albums in the genre. When Yes went vocalist-shopping for a temporary replacement for the departed Jon Anderson, the band took a cue from fellow frontman seekers Judas Priest and Journey. Like those bands, the three remaining Yes-men recruited Benoit David from a tribute band. David had been singing in Montreal outfit Close to the Edge since 1994. For this tour, former keyboardist (and former Buggle, of “Video Killed the Radio Star” fame) Geoff Downes is back on board.
The rockers (guitarists Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young) vs. melodic showman (Dennis DeYoung, no longer with the band) dynamic that made Styx special also fueled a couple of decades full of tension. It made for a very entertaining, train-wreck-like episode of “Behind the Music,” though.
7 p.m. July 14. $19-$59. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010,

2 comments Add your comment


July 7th, 2011
11:59 am

I thought that was a picture of two old guys!


July 8th, 2011
10:03 am

Cheap shot Clay.

Where’s the local love? Couple of great local bands playing this weekend at the Earl.

Friday: Dead Confederate (from Athens)

Saturday: Noot d’ Noot