Summer is supposed to be the big music season, full of festivals, big concert tours and the biggest songs of the year.
Fall is normally just the season that follows, but this year, it comes packed with big concerts, small (but very cool) club shows and some of the most anticipated album releases of the year.
We scoured CD schedules and concert press releases and talked to our readers to to find out what they’re most excited about.
Rodney Atkins — Oct. 19 @ Ralston Arena
Country singer Rodney Atkins will christen the brand-new Ralston Arena with a show that will feature his No. 1 hits such as “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows),” “These Are My People” and “Take a Back Road.”
The Wallflowers — Oct. 25 @ Slowdown
After ending their hiatus, The Wallflowers released a new album, “Glad All Over,” earlier this week. Bandleader Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan, reunited with members of the Wallflowers from the band’s most popular era.
Red Hot Chili Peppers — Oct. 28 @ CenturyLink Center Omaha
With a newish album, “I’m With You,” and a new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, the longtime funky rock band will be back to Omaha for the first time since 2003, when it played the Civic Auditorium.
Wiz Khalifa — Oct. 28 @ Civic Auditorium
The last time Wiz Khalifa played Omaha, it was in a little club. With songs such as “Black and Yellow” and his most recent single, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” Khalifa has made an upgrade. Expect to hear a good selection from the rapper’s new album, “O.N.I.F.C.,” which hits stores on Dec. 4.
OFF! — Oct. 30 @ The Waiting Room Lounge
Hardcore punk might not be your thing, but if it is, you need to be at the Waiting Room on this night. Former Circle Jerks and Black Flag frontman Keith Morris will lead OFF! during the show, which also serves as a 30th anniversary party for Omaha record store Drastic Plastic.
Morrissey — Nov. 1 @ Rococo Theatre
There’s always rumors that The Smiths will reunite, but don’t wait. Go see Morrissey solo for some bleak, baritone pop and a lot of people not sure whether to squeal in delight at Morrissey or cry into their drinks at his songs.
Dropkick Murphys — Nov. 1 @ Sokol Auditorium
Mosh, sing along and raise your beer in the air for Dropkick Murphys, whose Celtic-style punk will make you have a good time. The band will release its new album, “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” early next year. In concert, the band will play new tunes such as “The Shark,” “Rose Tattoo” and “The Boys are Back.”
Bob Dylan — Nov. 3 @ CenturyLink Center Omaha
You never know what Bob Dylan will play when you see him live. The folk and rock troubadour tours almost constantly and likes to change things up to keep it fresh. Still, he has a new album, “The Tempest,” which is getting great reviews. Rolling Stone said, “Dylan is at the top of his game, joking around, dropping wordplay and allegories that evade pat readings and quoting other folks’ words like a freestyle rapper on fire.”
Jackson Browne — Nov. 12 @ Orpheum Theatre
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is known for such songs as “The Pretender,” “Running On Empty,” “Doctor My Eyes,” and “Somebody’s Baby.” His latest album was 2008’s “Time the Conqueror,” and he performed here shortly after in 2009.
Bruce Springsteen — Nov. 15 @ CenturyLink Center Omaha
The Boss is back! One of the most anticipated tours of the year will finally hit Omaha, where Springsteen last played in 2008. Springsteen’s latest, “Wrecking Ball,” is being called his angriest yet. The album’s songs have a big sound — it masks some of the angry lyrics — and will feel right at home in a big arena. It’s also the 30th anniversary of Springsteen’s “Nebraska” record, so it’s possible you’ll hear a song from that. You also never know if you’ll see some guest appearances. Last time Springsteen played here, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes hopped on stage for a song.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra — Nov. 15 @ Mid-America Center
Get your Christmas celebration started early with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s performance, which kicks off its tour in Council Bluffs once again. The band will play its acclaimed rock opera, “The Lost Christmas Eve,” for the first time in concert.
Straight No Chaser — Nov. 16 @ Omaha Music Hall
Some college friends who sang together formed this a cappella group, and now they have a major label contract. The band’s known for doing covers of beloved songs such as “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Joy to the World” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
Zappa Plays Zappa — Dec. 9 @ Whiskey Roadhouse
You can’t go see Frank Zappa any more, so check out the next best thing: his son, Dweezil Zappa, performing Frank Zappa tunes in his tribute band Zappa Plays Zappa. The band also includes people who played with Zappa’s band before his death.
The Faint — Dec. 14 @ Sokol Auditorium
They broke up a few years ago, but reunited with a pair of shows recently in Omaha. They sold out. Now, the band is re-releasing its excellent dance-rock album “Danse Macabre” on the album’s 10-year anniversary. They’ll finish the tour with a triumphant homecoming show here in Omaha.
Green Day — Feb. 4 @ CenturyLink Center Omaha
Though the band has been having some personal troubles (public rants and a trip to rehab), it’s releasing a trilogy of albums — “°UNO!,” “°DOS!” and “°TR…!” — that are being called a return to the group’s poppy, punky efforts like the mega-popular “Dookie.”
Ben Gibbard, “Former Lives” — The Death Cab For Cutie frontman is releasing his first solo full-length.
Jason Aldean, “Night Train” — If you listen to country radio, you’ve probably already heard “Take a Little Ride,” the album’s first single. If you also drive a Chevy truck, you’ve probably cranked the song really loud.
Taylor Swift, “Red” — All Taylor Swift does is sell records, sell out stadiums and win Grammys. If you think that “Red” will be any different, you’re probably wrong.
Titus Andronicus, “Local Business” — While the brash New Jersey band releases its third album, we’ll have been rocking out to the first single, “In a Big City,” for more than a month.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Psychedelic Pill” — One album wasn’t enough for 2012, so Neil Young and Crazy Horse are putting out a second. The first, “Americana,” was all traditional songs while “Psychedelic Pill” is all new music.
The Faint, “Danse Macabre” — The Omaha band is remastering its dancey album and re-releasing it through Saddle Creek. In celebration, we will rock out, naturally.
Aerosmith, “Music From Another Dimension” — Steven Tyler skipped out on “American Idol” to get back together with his longtime band.
Christina Aguilera, “Lotus” — Aguilera, best known of late as a judge on “The Voice,” is putting out her first album in two years. The first single, “Your Body,” is a bit racy, but it’s been popular.
Green Day, “°DOS!” — The second album in Green Day’s new trilogy is supposed to be grungier than other efforts and closer to garage rock.
Soundgarden, “King Animal” — The band reunited in 2010, released a few new songs and now, finally, a new full-length album. Grunge fans rejoice.
Rolling Stones, “GRRR!” — It’s not a full new album from the Stones, but it’s a greatest-hits album that does include two new songs, “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot.” Now if we could only get them to tour ...
Pitbull, “Global Warming” — The album’s lead single, “Get it Started,” is a dance pop tune that’s proving pretty popular, especially with the featured artist, Shakira.
Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire” — The R&B singer released three separate versions of the title track, asking fans to choose their favorites. We’ve had a hard time choosing between the stripped-down version and the “Inferno” remix with Nicki Minaj.
Ke$ha, “Warrior” — Ke$ha’s back, but this time she’s moving away from pop and more toward guitar-heavy rock. We bet we’ll still be able to play these songs and get people to dance.
Green Day, “°TR…!” — The details for the band’s third album in its trilogy are scant, but it seems like the band had fun with this record, if we’re to believe the short preview trailer.
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