Concert Previews

It's the sweet '70s again: Michael McDonald, left , and Boz Scaggs perform at Longwood Gardens' Open Air Theatre Tuesday. AP; Getty Images
It's the sweet '70s again: Michael McDonald, left , and Boz Scaggs perform at Longwood Gardens' Open Air Theatre Tuesday. AP; Getty Images
Posted: July 06, 2013

Belle & Sebastian/ Yo La Tengo

Two indie pop legends for the price of one. Of the two, the appearance by Belle & Sebastian, the Scottish collective led by Stuart Murdoch, is the rarer one. B&S, still most celebrated for 1990s albums like If You're Feeling Sinister and The Boy With the Arab Strap, were last through town in 2010 behind the precious-as-always yet sturdily melodic Write About Love, but their visits have been infrequent through the years. More reliably regular are Yo La Tengo, the Hoboken, N.J., trio led by husband-and-wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, and featuring James McNew. On this year's Fade, the threesome prove themselves again to be masters of moving from delicately beautiful near-lullabies to raging, rocked-out drones. This show is at the Mann Center's Skyline Stage, so it ought to be a special night.

- Dan DeLuca


Belle & Sebastian and Yo La Tengo play 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Skyline Stage, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. Tickets: $39.50. Information: 215-546-7900, www.manncenter.org.

Skylar Grey


 Singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Skylar Grey didn't start her career in hip-hop, but it sure seems as if that's where she has taken her greatest inspiration, had the most impact, and enjoyed strongest sales. Starting professional life as piano-playing, Tori Amos-meets-Joni Mitchell-like singer Holly Brook, she changed her name and sound in 2010 and found a home in hip- hop with Eminem. Famously, Grey copenned the abuse-drama rap ballad "Love the Way You Lie" and the sweetly sinister "I Need a Doctor," both with Slim Shady, the latter featuring her mighty vocal prowess. She has since made hits with and for Lupe Fiasco, Benny Benassi, Cee Lo Green, and Diddy, and her own solo album is now hotly anticipated. Don't Look Down comes out Tuesday, finally, and features not only her catty, cool vocals and hip-hop groove ("C'mon Let Me Ride," featuring Eminem), but also the highly emotive sound with which Grey started her career. "Wear Me Out" and "White Suburban" are decidedly different takes on the piano-playing pop princess, one more theatrical than the other. Between those tunes and the funkier, franker Don't Look Down, Skylar Grey's proving to be one unstoppable force, whether it's rap or pop she's playing.

- A.D. Amorosi


Skylar Grey and TeamMate play 8 p.m. Wednesday at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Tickets: $15, $23. Information: 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.

Michael McDonald/Boz Scaggs


 For '70s people, this twin bill is your Big Chill: the sweet soundtrack of your lives. Both McDonald and Scaggs have enormous catalogs of hits to pull from. McDonald, the soulful St. Louis native, usually visits his legacy with the Doobie Brothers for perennials like "It Keeps You Runnin' " and "What a Fool Believes." You can also expect a sampler of his lustrous Motown covers, from Marvin ("Heard It Through the Grapevine") to Stevie ("Living for the City"). The bluesier Scaggs can range from 1969's "Loan Me a Dime" to this year's cover of the Mink DeVille song "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl." Here's hoping he'll pull some favorites from his classic 1976 album Silk Degrees, a loving homage to the Sound of Philadelphia. Can't tell you who will open, since they seem to take turns. But does it really matter?

- David Hiltbrand


Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs play 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Longwood Gardens' Open Air Theatre, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square. Tickets: $59-$97. Sold out. Information: 610-388-1000, longwoodgardens.org/SummerPerformances.html.

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