Double bills rule the summer, but blockbuster triple bills are rare and Blue Hills Bank Pavilion has a doozy for classic rock fans with Friday’s Stars Align Tour. With the sonic swoop of each crisp, vibrato-shaped note he conjures, Jeff Beck remains one of our greatest guitarists — arguably even ranking above his once-Yardbirds brethren Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page as a pure player. One of rock’s major voices, Paul Rodgers has been mining not only his Bad Company hits but digging deep into the catalog of his first big band Free (a prospect that sounds alright now). And while fans may want to hear Ann Wilson sing more songs by her on-hiatus band Heart, her current trip of interpreting tunes by late, great singers from Chris Cornell to David Bowie to Amy Winehouse should also offer a treat. Elsewhere on Friday, the New York jam-rockers God Street Wine celebrate their 30th anniversary at (aptly named for the night) City Winery, the rootsy Revivalists lift Lowell Summer Music at Boarding House Park and the Berkshires rock with Blondie and Northampton’s cool And the Kids at North Adams’ MASS MoCA field.
Down in Rhode Island, Fort Adams State Park comes alive again this weekend with the Newport Jazz Festival, which continues its creative resurgence of recent years, now curated by bassist Christian McBride, who plays Saturday with performance artist Laurie Anderson. Sax guru Charles Lloyd, appears all three days: Friday with his Sangam trio with tabla master Zakir Hussain, Saturday with his New Quartet featuring pianist Jason Moran and Sunday with Friends including roots-rocker Lucinda Williams, who graces Lloyd’s stellar new Vanished Gardens. Other Friday highlights include all-star groups Still Dreaming (including saxman Joshua Redman and drummer Brian Blades) and R+R=NOW (led by pianist Robert Glasper), power-rockers Living Colour and Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, paying homage to jazz great Art Blakey (and also playing City Winery on Saturday). Saturday also looks heavy with guitar icon Pat Metheny (who also plays an indoor Newport show on Friday and Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H., on Sunday), pianist Jon Batiste (off a hot Newport Folk slot), local sax favorite Grace Kelly and super singers Andra Day and Charenee Wade. And Sunday also showcases George Clinton and his current Parliament Funkadelic (coming off a Saturday jag at the Cabot in Beverly), sax ace James Carter and singers Jazzmeia Horn (pictured above), Cecile McLorin Salvant (with Anat Cohen in Artemis) and Gregory Porter. Here’s the whole Newport Jazz Festival rundown.
If you can’t make it to Newport, other Saturday options would include New Orleans sparkplug Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Boston’s own harbor and YouTube-boosted singer Kina Grannis at the Sinclair. Sunday brings folk-rockers Lord Huron to House of Blues, a nostalgia combo of Chicago and REO Speedwagon at Mansfield’s Xfinity Center and Lyle Lovett & his Large Band at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. But the weekend’s biggest pop event comes Sunday in the power-couple therapy of Jay-Z and Beyonce at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium on the On the Run II Tour. Expect a voyeuristic jaunt through their separate and joint catalogs with plenty of bling and zing.