Top 5 Concerts
U2 & The Lumineers: Gillette Stadium│Foxborough, MA│June 25th
U2 and The Lumineers continue this tour lineup segment at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium. The Lumineers continue on their tour until June 29th, ending at MetLife Stadium. U2 then travels across the pond to the U.K.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers & Chris Stapleton: Wrigley Field│Chicago, IL│June 29th
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers begin an epic segment of their tour at famous baseball stadiums with Chris Stapleton as the opener. Wrigley Field, the home of the 2016 World Series winners the Chicago Cubs, is a baseball venue only rivaled by the Boston Red Sox‘s Fenway Park in iconic status.
Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood: Cajundome│Lafayette, LA│June 24th
Rammstein: Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater│Wantagh, NY│June 25th
Rammstein has a select few shows left in 2017 including one at the gorgeous Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater. The venue partially hangs over the water, creating an ideal backdrop for a summer show.
Tool: Glen Helen Amphitheater│San Bernardino, CA│June 24th
Tool is finishing up their 2017 tour with California shows. San Bernardino is their last tour stop, and fans will just have to hope that that elusive next album is coming soon after.
What’s In Tune: New Music
♥ = you’ll play it on repeat
⊗ = stay away
DJ Khaled’s new album Grateful dropped today, following up Major Key in 2016 that was nominated for a Grammy. However, Grateful is not only just an album with some of the biggest stars in the game. No, no, no… it’s a headphones line (Grateful Beats) and a sneaker collection (‘Grateful 3’ Jordan Sneaker Collection). It’s a Snapchat empire and a hip-hop/life-coach mantra. For god’s sake, DJ Khaled turned his young son Asahd into a branch of the brand. His Grateful album cover shows the adorable baby sitting in a hot tub, playing off of the babies-pretending-to-adult trend that’s become popular in animated movies, commercials, and more. What’s funnier and cuter than a baby is a baby acting like someone older. DJ Khaled’s love for his son and fatherly reputation aside, he’s not dumb when it comes to maintaining his brand.
Im so inspired 🙏🏽 #GRATEFUL
— DJ KHALED (@djkhaled) June 22, 2017
And this isn’t even a diss at the DJ or a call-out of a marketing ploy. Instead, it’s confusion mixed with admiration. Though I don’t believe DJ Khaled is an artist (his actions speak moreso of that of a producer), his ability to bring together everyone, from the characters in the biggest hip-hop dogfights to his fan base, is immeasurable. His solo talent is weak, but his ability to accentuate others’ artistic abilities and weave them together allows DJ Khaled to pull the strings behind projects like Grateful.
Even at his recent disastrous performance at Electric Daisy Carnival, he calmly explained the technological issues in a radio Q&A and admitted that he would rather show his face to his fans than just leave the festival like he “should’ve” due to the circumstances. Basically, Khaled “threw his performance reputation on the sword” in order to “show up” for the fans. If there’s one thing DJ Khaled really, really wants you to know, it’s that he’s grateful for you.
You can call it a facade or an image, and it’s probably some of both. I always wonder what beloved artists such as Khaled, whose lifestyles keep them away from home, are really like as parental counterparts to their children’s mothers. The irony is, in regards to their careers, it doesn’t matter. DJ Khaled’s ability to grow his brand throughout his “everybody’s friend” image is exactly why he settles at the top of the game. Who else could somehow maintain peaceful relationships between both Birdman and Lil Wayne, and all the other label artists involved, during their splits from Cash Money?
In a time when the news vomits hate speech and controversy, DJ Khaled steps forward with his feel-good catchphrase book. “Anotha one,” “Stay away from ‘they,'” and “We da best” are just a few examples of his muddled-yet-positive mantras he displays in interviews and in his music.
Grateful is no exception, as the beginning fifteen seconds of “I’m the One,” this summer’s biggest hit, includes two out of three of those phrases. Khaled yells, faded out in the background, “WE DA BEST MUSIC” before stepping in with “Anotha one.” And let’s not forget the subtle “D… J… KHALED.” Justin Bieber cleanly picks up the hook shortly after, and Khaled is forgotten about. Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne all bite off verses. The bright, light background beat is perfect for a warm, summer-day drive. It has every ingredient to make a No. 1 hit.
“To the Max” was a little less successful, as Drake can invent better on his own. However, the cover of Asahd in a onesie with “23” (either for his dad’s album release date or Lebron’s jersey number, as the song was released during NBA Finals season) was so gosh-darn cute. “Wild Thoughts” followed with an inventive Santana sample featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller for a zesty single.
Furthermore, these three all follow “Shining” that dropped months earlier featuring the biggest music couple in the industry: Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Though “Shining” wasn’t ideal for either’s talent range, it’s tough to beat a pregnant Bey on a song with her husband post-Lemonade.
The Rest of the Album
The most surprising dislike off of Khaled’s new work is “I Love You So Much” with Chance The Rapper. Everything Chance touches turns into hip-hop’s new-age royalty, but Khaled’s rap tone and repetitive recording of “I love you so much” hindered the track more than helped. Chance’s magic touch partially revives it but not enough to lean this track into the favorites category. An overall disappointment.
However, Khaled finds success within his accentuation of Atlanta trap, as stars like Migos and Future glimmer on their plethora of tracks as well as other Southern-state icons such as Rick Ross. The album diverges in its second half to become a slightly trap album; something that heavily contrasts the beginning half with Alicia Keys, Drake, and Beyoncé as major artists. Therefore, there is a lack of cohesion, which is not a new flaw for the DJ on past albums.
However, this doesn’t delineate from his ability to find artists’ strengths and enhance them. No matter if it’s the Khaled charm or his production talent, he somehow manages to wrangle together brilliance in the studio. Grateful might be a solid ten tracks too long. But if it was condensed and made perfect sense, it wouldn’t really be a DJ Khaled album.
Grateful Tracklist and Feature Artists:
“Pop Hip-Hop Section”
1. “(Intro) I’m So Grateful” feat. Sizzla
2. “Shining” feat. Beyoncé, Jay Z
3. ⊗ “To the Max” feat. Drake
4. ♥ “Wild Thoughts” feat. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller
5. ♥ “I’m the One” feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne
6. ♥ “On Everything” feat. Travis Scott, Rick Ross, Big Sean
7. ⊗ “It’s Secured” feat. Nas, Travis Scott
8. “Interlude (Hallelujah)” feat. Betty Wright
9. ♥ “Nobody” feat. Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj
10. ⊗ “I Love You So Much” feat. Chance The Rapper
11. “Don’t Quit” feat. Calvin Harris, Travis Scott, Jeremih
“Trap Hip-Hop Section”
12. “I Can’t Even Lie” feat. Future, Nicki Minaj
13. “Down For Life” feat. PartyNextDoor, Future, Travis Scott, Rick Ross, Kodak Black
14. ♥ “Major Bag Alert” feat. Migos
15. “Good Man” feat. Pusha T, Jadakiss
16. ♥ “Billy Ocean” feat. Fat Joe, Raekwon
17. “Pull a Caper” feat. Kodak Black, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross
18. “That Range Rover Came With Steps” feat. Future, Yo Gotti
19. “Iced Out My Arms” feat. Future, 21 Savage, Migos, T.I.
20. ⊗ “Whatever” feat. Future, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Rick Ross
21. “Interlude” feat. Belly
22. “Unchanging Love” feat. Mavado
23. ⊗ “Asahd Talk (Thank You Asahd)”
Lead singer Dan Reynolds reached a breaking point by the end of Imagine Dragons’ “Smoke + Mirrors Tour.” Extensive, intense, and draining, Reynolds decided to take a year off afterwards to focus on his demons. 2012 Night Visions‘ hit song “Demons” includes the chorus, “When you feel my heat / Look into my eyes / It’s where my demons hide.” Reynolds’ demons, in addition to his bandmates’, erupted with fame much like anyone who must rapidly become acquainted with celebrity status.
His depression, something he had been wrestling with since childhood, came to a front. Reynolds went to therapy, began yoga and meditation, and changed his diet. The holistic changes and therapy treatment created Evolve in its purest form. Furthermore, fans see many celebrities take time away from the spotlight to reset in order to maintain their sanity. Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and many other celebrities find themselves in a place of discontent and turmoil that is healed through time away.
In the album’s artwork, a man is being lifted from a dark space to a space of light and color. This metaphorically represents Imagine Dragons’ progression since Smoke + Mirrors, an album of aggression and angst. Fans might see a transition similar to Drake’s from Views to More Life. Drake separated from an angrier version of himself to create his new music before taking a break. Evolve led with singles “Whatever It Takes” about fighting through demons, “Thunder” about celebrating success when everyone doubted, “Believer” about pushing through pain, and “Walking the Wire” about being in love. In essence, these first four singles demonstrate an album focused on challenge and growth.
1. “I Don’t Know Why”
2. “Whatever It Takes”
4. “Walking the Wire”
5. “Rise Up”
6. “I’ll Make It Up To You”
8. “Mouth of the River”
10. “Start Over”
11. “Dancing In the Dark”
What’s In Tune: Television Appearances
Pharrell Williams has been quieter in the past few years, focusing on soundtracks for movies instead of touring. His latest release is for Despicable Me 3 out in theaters June 30th. “There’s Something Special” also has a music video filled with the adorable minions that the world fell in love with. Williams also features on the new track “Feels” with DJ Khaled, Katy Perry, and Big Sean.
Sheryl Crow│The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon│June 27th
Sheryl Crow dropped her new album Be Myself in April is selectively touring throughout the summer.
James Blunt│Late Night with Seth Meyers│June 26th
James Blunt begins his international tour legs through Europe and Asia at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. His new album The Afterlove dropped in late March of 2017.
The Lumineers│Late Night with Seth Meyers│June 27th
The Lumineers are opening for U2 until the end of June. Then, they have a few Colorado shows in August after finishing up their “Cleopatra World Tour” earlier this year.
50 Cent is performing at Summertime In The LBC in August but does not have any other scheduled tour dates between now and then. His new album Street King Immortal is to be released, but the exact date is unknown.
James Blunt│Live with Kelly and Ryan│June 27th
Blunt continues his talk show route with Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Dua Lipa│Live with Kelly and Ryan│June 28th
Dua Lipa dropped her self-titled debut album this year and will follow the album release with a European tour.Then, early 2018 sees Dua Lipa opening for Bruno Mars’ New Zealand tour leg.