Concert Previews

Rockers the Fray coheadline with Kelly Clarkson on Thursday at the Susquehanna Bank Center.
Rockers the Fray coheadline with Kelly Clarkson on Thursday at the Susquehanna Bank Center. (Live Nation)
Posted: August 10, 2012

Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc first emerged on his 2006 debut Shine Through as a hip-hip MC with a taste for genre experimentation, dabbling in salsa, soca, and merengue, as you might expect from an artist of Panamanian heritage whose given name is Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III. By the time 2010's Good Things came out, however, Blacc had remade himself as a retro funk-soul man of a more conventional bent, most effectively on "I Need a Dollar," his hit hard-times lament that was the theme song for the HBO series How to Make It in America. The album also includes a silky cover of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale" and a not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house piano ballad "Mama Hold My Hand." Blacc, who recently returned from a visit to Ghana with the British humanitarian organization Malaria No More UK, is a skilled, practiced showman, and he's stopping at the TLA on Saturday on a short summer tour as he takes a break from working on his third album.

- Dan DeLuca


Aloe Blacc at the Theater of Living Arts, 334 South St., 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $29. Information: 215-922-1011, www.livenation.com.

Jane's Addiction

Though their newest music may not have the same eerily ethereal blend of jazz, folk, and Middle Eastern twists as their earliest recorded efforts (to say nothing to their dramatic sexual tension), it's always thrilling to hear Jane's Addiction. The spiky combo of 1988's Nothing's Shocking and 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual defined a moment and a sound, an androgynous antidote to Guns N' Roses' similarly timed macho grumble. While post-punks, Goths, and glam elders related to its whip-smart femininity and glitter-rock aplomb, metal heads learned to love Jane's ardent guitar sound. Blame flashy singer Perry Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro for Jane's sensual theatricality and razor-sharp rock-out sensibilities. Jane's Addiction splintered, leaving Farrell to form Porn for Pyros (among other acts) and Navarro to join Red Hot Chili Peppers (among other stuff), and eventually reconnected. They never recovered the druggy ├ęclat of the past. But 2011's The Great Escape Artist is a solidly alluring and handily sleazy rock record, and their song "Superhero" made for one heck of an introductory theme song where Entourage was concerned.

- A.D. Amorosi


Jane's Addiction and Die Antwoord play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. Fairmount Park, Tickets: $55, $49.50, $39.50, $29.50. Information: 215-878-0400, www.manncenter.org.

Kelly Clarkson/The Fray

Singer/ American Idol prototype Kelly Clarkson and piano-driven rockers the Fray might not seem the most natural of concert pairings. But both acts - which have been trading off for the closing slot on their 30-city coheadlining tour - share a penchant for making passionate, catchy, utterly nonthreatening pop music. In the decade since Clarkson's Idol win, the 30-year-old Texan has toured relentlessly and released five massively successful albums, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. Her latest single, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," recently cracked the 3.5 million mark, making it the best-selling single by an Idol alum in the U.S. Despite the sultry posing on her concert merchandise, Clarkson is still America's sweetheart onstage, charming fans with her unpretentious manner and powerhouse vocals. The Fray, meanwhile, is touring to plug its third album, the Brendan O'Brien-produced Scars & Stories, which earned kudos for its more potent, rocking sound. Led by high school pals Isaac Slade (piano/vocals) and guitarist/singer Joe King, the band's anthemic power ballads get truly powered up in a live setting.

- Nicole Pensiero


Kelly Clarkson and the Fray with Carolina Liar play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden. Tickets: $25, $35, $45, $55, $65, $95. Information: 1-800-745-3000, www.livenation.com.

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