What an inspired pairing of headliners for the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Two groundbreaking heavy music acts, Jane’s Addiction and Alice in Chains, will claim the top slots, while a broad and diverse roster of younger, bubbling under or cult-level artists will fill the rest of the day’s program. More than simply a concert, this year’s Uproar feels more like a mini-Lollapalooza, which is fitting since Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell is the man who conceived of Lollapalooza.
Jane’s Addiction is clearly the leading light of the late 1980s Los Angeles music scene that found new hybrids of funk, hard rock, psychedelia and alternative music blending in service of a new vision.
Though the band was plagued by drug issues and ultimately disbanded after a mere three albums, since re-forming with three of its original four members for the 2001 album “Strays,” the group has regained its stature as a mighty live act and a purveyor of a timeless funky/trippy hard rock aesthetic. That point was driven home by last year’s “The Great Escape Artist” album and tour, the latter of which included a stop at Artpark that was one of the most impressive shows of the 2012 summer concert season.
Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins remain at the top of their game, all these years after the release of 1988’s “Nothing’s Shocking,” the album that, for my money, sounded the death-knell for the hair-metal-happy ’80s, and heralded the arrival of the alternative music movement that would dominate the first half of the ’90s.
Like Jane’s Addiction, Alice in Chains struggled with substance issues, ultimately losing its charismatic and deeply talented singer Layne Staley to a heroin overdose. When the group re-formed in 2006 with new singer William Duvall, it did so without sacrificing its vocal harmony-heavy metallic muscle. The band’s last two albums, “Black Gives Way To Blue” and the recent “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” have been stuffed to the brim with epic alternative metal.
The event also will feature performances from progressive alternative outfit Coheed & Cambria, alt-prog-punk outfit Circa Survive, punk/eletronica trio New Politics, alt-rock duo Middle Class Rut, the Chuck Shaffer Picture Show (described on rockstaruproar.com as “Incubus meets Chevelle”) and Walking Papers, the new Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N Roses)/Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) “supergroup.”
Tickets are $29 to $85 for reserved seats, $20 for the lawn.
Mickey Hart has never been your average, run-of-the-mill drummer. As one of two timekeepers throughout most of the history of the Grateful Dead, Hart – along with his partner in time, Billy Kreutzmann – brought a polyrhythmic, worldly and world beat-inspired percussionist’s approach to rock drumming in a manner that broke new ground, often on a nightly basis.
Since the dissolution of the Dead, Hart has been involved in a variety of projects, many but not all of them related to carrying on the work of the Dead. The most recent of these is the aptly named Mickey Hart Band, a lithe and multigenre-encompassing outfit comprising Hart, percussionist Sikiru Adepoju, singers Crystal Monee Hall and Joe Bagale, drummer Greg Schutte, guitarist Gawain Matthews, erstwhile Tea Leaf Green bassist Reed Mathis, and keyboardist Jonah Sharp. This particular ensemble will release its second collection of new music, “Superorganism,” on Tuesday. On that same day, Hart & Co. arrive for a show at 8 p.m. in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.).
Hart will perform part of the evening with an EEG cap on his head, in keeping with “Superorganism’s” overarching concept of melding music, biology and science. “This time we journey into the micro, the hidden worlds of rhythm within us, within our bodies,” says Hart in a press release for the tour. “My brain wave signals are reimagined in sound using a cap with electrodes that can read the throbs and signals of the brain.”
Tickets are $30 advance, $40 day of show (box office, Tickets.com). Learn more at www.mickeyhart.net.
Tonight, shock-rockers Gwar with guests Well-Worn Boot and the Long Cold Dark take over the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $24 (box office, Tickets.com).
Gritty glam-rockers Buckcherry bring the noise at 7 p.m. Monday to Braun’s Concert Cove (11891 Main St., Akron). Suckerpunch will open. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show (Tickets.com).
The “Heavy MTL South of the Border Tour,” featuring All Shall Perish, Oceano, Within the Ruins, Reflections and Betrayal, comes to the Waiting Room (343 Delaware Ave.) beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $16 (www.ticketfly.com or www.waitingroombuffalo.com).
Continental, a band from former Dropkick Murphys member Rick Barton, plays the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) at 8 p.m. Friday. The Barksdales will open. Tickets are $12 (box office, Ticketmaster).
At 9 tonight, Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.), welcomes “Boognish Bash 2: A Tribute to Ween,” featuring Slip Madigan and others. Admission will be $5 at the door. On Friday, the club welcomes a triple bill headlined by Irving Klaws, and also featuring Afterbirth Tycoon and Small Smalls. It’s $5 to get you in the door.