Live Music: Aerosmith, Meek Mill, Tears For Fears

This week's top Bay Area concert picks.

By Tamara Palmer
|  Monday, Jul 30, 2012  |  Updated 7:54 AM PDT
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Live Music: Aerosmith, Meek Mill

Getty Images/Mark Davis

Aerosmith and Cheap Trick hit the Oracle Arena on August 4.

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Steven Tyler recently announced his intention to stop trying to manufacture pop stars by booking it out of the American Idol asylum, where he's been trapped as a judge alongside Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson. This move means music fans can get back into Tyler's original role as lead singer of Aerosmith, appearing with fellow arena rockers Cheap Trick on August 4 at Oracle Arena. If the Bay Area doesn't let us down, this should be a concert where the people-watching is nearly as good as the pyrotechnics. Or at least the guitar licks, if the bands have mellowed too much for fireworks.

If your nostalgia swings in a kindler, gentler direction, Tears For Fears shall take care of that this week. The duo behind "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and many other even more astute and almost-as-catchy cuts perform at Nob Hill Masonic Center on August 2 and on August 5 at San Jose Civic.

The growing obsession with bass-heavy electronic dance music (now popularly known as EDM) was eerily foreshadowed almost two decades ago with the experimental knob-twiddlings of artists such as the UK's Squarepusher, who will eschew the lazy clichés that have come to define the current scene and instead test the local tolerance of provocative subsonic frequencies on August 2 at Regency Ballroom.

This week also brings several regional flavors of hip-hop to the live stage. Contact highs will be inevitable as Juicy J headlines the "Smoker's Club Tour" on August 1 at Regency Ballroom. The Memphis-bred artist is famous for receiving an Oscar with his group Three 6 Mafia for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" on the Hustle & Flow soundtrack, but approximately 99.99% of his woozy Southern tracks concern the subject of intoxication, so prepare to get woozy.

The Pharcyde brings its laidback Nineties flow up from Los Angeles, appearing at a club gig on August 3 at 1015 Folsom. Meanwhile, one of the East Coast's most promising new stars, Philadelphia's Meek Mill performs on August 4 at The Fillmore. While it's a possibility he'll share songs from his forthcoming debut album Dreams & Nightmares, it's very likely he'll take the house down when he unleashes his dramatic debut single "Tupac Back," an homage to the late rapper who got his professional start in the Bay Area.

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