Intersection, Grand Rapids
April 8, 5:30 p.m.; $15
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
When you look at the list of bands that have performed on the AP tours in the past, you see some of the biggest names in post-hardcore and alternative. Whether the tour is giving them their major break, or they are already veterans on the scene, with AP tour alumni like Bring Me The Horizon, 3OH!3 and August Burns Red, if AP puts its name on it, you know it's going to be good. This year is no exception. Co-headliners Black Veil Brides and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are both becoming big names in the alternative scene, and on April 8, they will show you why. Co-headliners Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are a relatively new band, but its members are have been touring in other post-hardcore bands for the past several years. Vocalist Craig Owens formed the band after being fired from Chiodos. The AP Tour is rounded out with support from electro-pop-punk band I See Stars, and newcomers VersaEmerge and Conditions.
DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids
April 21, 7:30 p.m.
devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500
Visionary, living legend, inspirational folk hero whose work inspired an entire generation. These labels are... well, they don't exactly scream out for the original, do they? We've heard these things and more like them spray-painted and stamped onto every sort of wave-maker, from John Lennon to Eminem, but somehow, when speaking of the gentile, contemporary rock dooode Jackson Browne, they just seem so naturally applicable, it's hard not to leap off on a cliché. Here we have pleasantly uplifting, hopelessly infectious and catchy hits like "Somebody's Baby" and "Running on Empty" — a lush, soulful blend of summery, laid-back jams as only the Brownester could produce. (To prep yourself for the latest and greatest from Jackson, check out JacksonBrowne.com to hear live tracks and selections from his most recent recorded work.) And since we can already safely determine you have a loud-and-proud penchant for Dad Rock, why not spring the couple extra bucks to bring Pops along for an early Father's Day gift? Trust us: this is way, way better than 400 disc "Hits of the ‘50s" collection you were considering.
Ra Ra Riot
Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland
April 11, 8 p.m.
$15 public, $7 with Hope I.D.
hope.edu/student/life/concerts, (616) 395-7890
The Hope College Concert Series has been on a roll lately — following hard on the heels of a successful show with the Soil & the Sun and My Brightest Diamond at the beginning of February, the Series has lined up alt-pop indie rockers Ra Ra Riot to play at the Knickerbocker Theatre on April 11. Since its formation in 2006, the band has released two albums, 2008's The Rhumb Line and 2010's The Orchard, and has been noted for its great live appearances, as well as having had the distinction of performing at the South by Southwest music festival multiple times. With influences like U2, The Police, Phil Collins and an amalgamation of all of the band members' personal music tastes, it's hard to pinpoint Ra Ra Riot's genre — the band features driving string harmonies, which gives it a soft, smooth feel, but with a raw vocal edge to it all. Is it too much to call it symphonic indie rock? Perhaps, but maybe the unclassifiable, label-defying nature of the music is what gives the band its soothing charm.
Sugarland wsg Little Big Town
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids
March 17, 7:30 p.m.
vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600
Country music isn't always about sad songs and twang. The genre's spiciest duo, Sugarland, is headed to Grand Rapids this month for a night anything but traditional. Always pushing the country music envelope, the only consistency from singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush is the catchy, innovative music they put out album after album. This time around, the funky duo will awe the crowd with their steampunk-inspired tour, The Incredible Machine. The tour is sure to feature songs from their latest album, donned with the same name, as well as fan favorites from past albums. Coming back to Grand Rapids as the opening act is Little Big Town. Known for its four part-part harmonies, the group has made a name for itself frequenting the Billboard Hot Country Chart with songs like "Little White Church" and "Boondocks."