It looks like the ’90s have spawned classic rock this weekend, particularly with a double bill of Counting Crows and Live (pictured) that arrives Friday at Mansfield’s Xfinity Center and Saturday at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Guilford, N.H. Thankfully, 25 years and counting since those bands hatched their best-known hits (“Round Here” and “Mr. Jones” for the Crows and “I Alone” and “Lightning Crashes” for Live), the groups still sport original members, respectively led by singers Adam Duritz and Ed Kowalczyk. Speaking of ’90s hits (“Where Have All the Cowboys Gone,” “I Don’t Want to Wait”), singer/songwriter Paula Cole returns to her Rockport home at Shalin Liu Performance Center on Friday, and other options that night include Louisiana blues singer/pianist Marcia Ball at City Winery and an avant-edged local bill of Count Zero (with Peter Moore), the Trinary System (led by Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller) and guitarist Chris Brokaw at Somerville’s Thunder Road.
Vermont’s vaulted jam-rockers Phish had to cancel Curveball, one of its periodic three-day festivals at Watkins Glen, N.Y., due to severe flooding and unsafe drinking water in upstate New York. But the weekend’s big event in town will be WERS’ free Wicked Good Festival on Saturday at Boston Common, featuring Bleachers (led by Jack Antonoff of Fun and Taylor Swift fame) plus our own venerable Buffalo Tom and Juliana Hatfield (who both likewise made their greatest imprint in the early ’90s) as well as Air Traffic Controller, Anjimile (local winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Top contest, featured among 10 rising acts in the Improper’s July music issue) and Jahriffe & Jah-N-I Roots Movement. Here’s the Wicked Good Festival schedule. And there’s another free fest in the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival at Salem Willows both on Saturday (headlined by Big Sam’s Funky Nation) and on Sunday. Here’s the Salem lineup. Other Saturday options include Needtobreathe and Johnnyswim (two church-reared acts who don’t like spaces in their names) at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, punk-rockers the Alkaline Trio at House of Blues, and Blues Traveler (who joined Phish in heading their first joint festival H.O.R.D.E. in – once again — the early ’90s) at Lowell Summer Music at Boarding House Park.
Sunday also offers two notable shows. Texas country/rock/Tex-Mex icons Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely team up for a song swap at City Winery, while jazz-pop guitar hero Larry Carlton (known for his slick licks on Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell albums before surviving an ’80s shooting that left him temporarily paralyzed) warrants another trip to Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center.