Tonight: Black Whales at Chop Suey, Delta Spirit at Neumos, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the Gorge

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Black Whales, with Slender Means, Derby. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $10. Despite the band's ominous name, Black Whales make sweet-sounding

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Tonight: Black Whales at Chop Suey, Delta Spirit at Neumos, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the Gorge

  • Tonight: Black Whales at Chop Suey, Delta Spirit at Neumos, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the Gorge

  • ">

    black_whales resize.jpg
    Black Whales, with Slender Means, Derby. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $10. Despite the band's ominous name, Black Whales make sweet-sounding music. "Young Blood," one of seven tracks on 2009's Origins EP, combines sprawling folk with 60s-style pop. (At times, Black Whales sound like an electrified, sped-up version of the Cave Singers.) The result is a song with foot-tapping rhythm and head-nodding lyrics about wanting a different, more charmed life: "Last night I remembered how/ we used to talk about/ getting out of here," sings vocalist Alex Robert. There's a sadness and darkness between the handclaps and swirling guitars, revealed in longing lyrics and Robert's occasionally wailing voice. These songs float and bounce; they're easy to get lost in. PAIGE RICHMOND

    Delta Spirit, with Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, The Romany Rye. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $12. No one pairs vintage soul and Americana with the fiery heart of punk rock better than Delta Spirit. Singer Matt Vasquez writes songs from the perspective of an observant traveler who's seen his share of back alley drama, sketchy characters and fellow road-worn travelers. Delta Spirit's working class soul won't ever make them hit parade material, but that's just part of the band's humble charm. Musically, they swing and sway through warm folk and reverb-tinged rave-ups, but Vasquez's buttery voice is the stuff that goosebumps are made of; when he leans back and lets out a ragged howl, it's painfully raw and yet beautiful enough to make the world stop moving for just a split second. GREGORY FRANKLIN

    Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, with Joe Cocker. Gorge Amphitheater, 754 Silica Rd. N.W.; Quincy, 628-0888. 7:30 p.m. $49 GA/$131 reserved seating. There are a few things certain about Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' weekend residency at The Gorge: They will play "American Girl," they will play "Free Fallin'" they will play "Here Comes My Girl," and they will play just about every other Tom Petty hit you love and several others you forgot existed. If you're lucky, you'll hear some other gems - "Wildflowers" perhaps?--and you're sure to hear at least one track from June 15th new release, Mojo. But the lion's share of the songs you're gonna hear are going to be the hits. 'Cause Mr. Petty is nothing if not one to indulge his audience, and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" ain't comin' till the old man drops. CHRIS KORNELIS

     
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