Weekend Ideas: August 20, 2015


You can celebrate the anniversary of Woodstock with the Workingman’s Band at Somerville’s Arts at the Armory on Friday or snatch a bit of that spirit throughout the weekend with Phish at its three-day Magnaball festival in Watkins Glen, N.Y., the band’s only Northeast appearance – and site of another historic show with bands including the Grateful Dead. Trey Anastasio and his Phish mates have been on fire this summer in the wake of his role in the Dead survivors’ Fare Thee Well stadium shows – and the Vermont group’s campouts always offer historic delights when it comes to both over-the-top music and art installations. Magnaball’s sold out as well as far away, but Phish’s also selling a live video webcast of the whole shebang in addition to its weekend-long free streaming (including the band’s several live sets) on temporary radio station the Bunny, both linked here.

If you’re ready for a stadium experience at another extreme, rock yourself silly with the return of AC/DC (above) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, alas without the group’s co-founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young (retired with dementia) and drummer Phil Rudd (retired at least temporarily on drug charges). At least the band has activated able replacements in nephew Stevie Young on second guitar and the imposing Chris Slade on drums, and it’s really all about Angus Young’s lead guitar shenanigans. The formula may be simple and repetitive, and the guys are getting older, but no band rocks like AC/DC.

Friday night also rocks with the hip-hop of mercurial rapper Earl Sweatshirt at the Paradise Rock Club and gender-blurring performance artist/rapper Mykki Blanco on the ICA’s outdoor deck. On Saturday afternoon, the annual Starlabfest hits Union Square with bands including Zip-Tie Handcuffs and the Novel Ideas, and if you’re Cape-bound, rock with the Sheila Divine and Dirty Bangs at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet that night. Country icon Loretta Lynn also makes a rare live appearance at Cohasset’s South Shore Music Circus on Saturday night, while blues legend Buddy Guy lets rip on his guitar at Webster’s Indian Ranch on Sunday afternoon.

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