by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Writer
This year, don't forget yourself on the gift list. And if you're a music fan, the following live shows in December are a great way to reward yourself for a long 12 months of work or school.
December 5-6, Paramount Theatre
Sting stripped. Completely bare. In the raw, in the flesh. Unfortunately, I'm talking about his music. The British pop-rock star embarks on his 'Back to Bass' tour, an intimate theater venture with a set list of greatest hits from both his solo career and time with The Police. Fan-favorites like 'Englishman in New York,' 'Roxanne,' 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You,' 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,' 'Brand New Day,' 'Fortress Around Your Heart,' 'Every Breath You Take,' 'Fields of Gold,' and 'Desert Rose' are some of the songs you'll hear at the Paramount Theatre, on either of Sting's two nights in Seattle. Joining Sting on stage will be longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, second guitarist Rufus Miller, electric fiddle player Peter Tickell, vocalist Jo Lawry, and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Holiday bonus cash = tickets to see Sting up close and personal.
107.7's 'DECK THE HALL BALL'
December 7, Key Arena - SOLD OUT
Despite the raging hormones of thousands of teenagers who flood these mini radio festivals each year, the truth is that watching multiple acts perform on the same stage on the same night is a good bang for your buck. This year's installment of 107.7 The End's 'Deck The Hall Ball' welcomes Mumford & Sons, Death Cab for Cutie, Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, Young the Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, and Grouplove. The first few acts will likely play a 30- to 45-minute set, while the headlining performers will jam for between an hour and 90 minutes. 'Deck The Hall Ball' is already sold out, but the radio station is giving away tickets to listeners between now and the big show - tune in at 107.7FM.
103.7's 'WINTER WARMTH'
December 8, WaMu Theater - SOLD OUT
Another sold-out concert? What recession? 103.7 The Mountain's holiday bash, similar to that of its sister station The End, is always well-attended and looked forward to by loyal listeners. The 2011 lineup includes Florence + the Machine, The Head and the Heart, and Mat Kearney. The night's headliner, Florence Welch, just released a whopper of a sophomore album, the highly anticipated Ceremonials, and you've gotta be wondering how 'Only If For a Night' and 'Spectrum' will sound live. Guess we'll have to wait. One thing's for sure, 'Dog Days Are Over' is most definitely on the set list. All tickets are gone, but 103.7FM will be giving some away on the air from now through the concert date.
December 14, Paramount Theatre
Interview alert: December 9 issue
Wherever Tori Amos goes, you'll find Gay men - lots of them. One of her strongest fan bases is non-hetero men of all ages, primarily those in their 30s and 40s who began listening to the alternative music diva early on, circa Little Earthquakes or Under the Pink. Amos' songs are journeys, poetic passages that at times have dealt with delicate issues from suicide to abuse. Many call her a genius, and I won't dispute that, because she has an extraordinary way of bridging compelling lyrics and intricate pop, rock, and classical compositions together. Amos opened her last tour here in Seattle, a brilliant performance at WaMu Theater where her set list included 'Siren,' 'Cornflake Girl,' 'Baker Baker,' 'Crucify,' and 'Precious Things.' She's got so many great songs and just one night booked at the Paramount Theatre - what she'll play is surely on the minds of her Seattle fans. Look for an interview with Amos, her second time speaking with Seattle Gay News, in two weeks.
December 19, Tacoma Dome
Bucket list alert: Prince is coming! The Purple One's last visit to the Seattle area was seven years ago at Key Arena. A sporadic tour performer, Prince scratched Saskatchewan off his December itinerary and added Tacoma (thank you, Santa!). He's released six albums since his last appearance, though not all of them contain original material - still, it pads his already heavy catalog that spans four decades. Fans attending the mid-December date at the T-Dome are sure to hear favorites that could include 'When Doves Cry,' 'Erotic City,' 'Little Red Corvette,' '1999,' 'Let's Go Crazy,' 'Purple Rain,' and 'Raspberry Beret.' A long shot, but certainly on my wish list, is 'Around the World in a Day.' No supporting act has been announced yet, though Prince likes to hand-pick them - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Cee-Lo Green, Cassandra Wilson, Janelle Monae, and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding were all opening acts for his most recent string of tour dates. At press time, tickets were still available for the concert at all Ticketmaster locations. Prince coming here a week before the holidays? Merry Christmas to us!
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