A major music and yoga tour coming to Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Friday – has it really come to this? Well, yes, it makes sense when you’re dealing with the guru-like Michael Franti and his band Spearhead. The singer, peace activist and avid yoga practitioner isn’t only bringing his uplifting blend of reggae, funk, pop and hip-hop to the tent that night on his Soulshine tour with guests like SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall. Franti also leads an afternoon yoga session for those who show up early with their mats to work out to the guitar-strumming pied piper. The weekend weather looks perfect to breathe in the harborside air.
Other cult-like parties include island-fun pirate Jimmy Buffett’s annual convention of Parrotheads at the Xfinity Center on Saturday and Barenaked Ladies’ good-humor sessions at Rhode Island’s Newport Yachting Center on Friday, Lowell’s Boarding House Park on Saturday and Webster’s Indian Ranch on Sunday. Sarah McLachlan should have her own worshippers on Saturday at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, where the Lilith Fair founder might get her howl on like this. And apart from N’Sync holdovers in the crowd, Justin Timberlake should transcend cultdom with his soulful, snappy song-and-dance extravaganza at TD Garden on Saturday.
At the other end of the spectrum on Saturday is Somerville’s daylong Starlabfest V of local bands headed by the surfy marauders Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion and garage-pop upstarts Blinders as well as the busy second day of ArtBeat 2014, which takes over Davis Square with other fine locals including art-rockers Guillermo Sexo and frisky Rumble co-finalists Petty Morals. Heavy-pop rocker Matthew Sweet also returns to the Paradise with a bagful of his great ’90s hits like “Girlfriend,” and smart support from compatible ’80s singer/songwriter Tommy Keene. And for a real blast from the past, the Tubes take over the Violet Jam at the Verve in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick. The San Francisco art-pop hitmakers still boasts originals members in guitarist Roger Steen, drummer Prairie Prince, bassist Rick Anderson and singer Fee Waybill, even if his “White Punk on Dope” shtick has gotten tame compared to the ’70s. Sunday rounds out the weekend with the beguiling, romantic Scottish pop-rockers Camera Obscura hitting the Paradise Rock Club behind their fine album Desire Lines.
Finally, for my Thursday throwback, with Adam Lambert fronting Queen at the TD Garden on Tuesday (as well as Mohegan Sun this Saturday), here’s a full-show flashback to the great Freddie Mercury on his final Queen tour in Budapest in 1986 — amazing quality to match the performance!