After Soundgarden closed their reunion tour at the Gorge last Saturday , we thought it'd be fun to take a look at a few more


The Top 11 Bands We Never Expected to Hit the Road Again in 2011

After Soundgarden closed their reunion tour at the Gorge last Saturday, we thought it'd be fun to take a look at a few more upcoming concerts that made us scratch our heads and wonder if somehow we'd tripped back in time. They've been off the radar for years, but if you still hold a candle for bands like the Gin Blossoms and the B-52's, a time-warpin' season of fun awaits you in the months ahead. Say hi to Doc Brown for us on the way!

11. Phish, at the Gorge, 8/5 & 8/6. This zany jam band hit their stride in the mid-90s with a handful of beloved cult albums, and called it quits in 2004. It was only a matter of time, of course, before their massive, devoted following--and the band's unique chemistry--put them back on the road.

10. Slayer/Rob Zombie, the "Hell on Earth" Tour at the WaMu Theater, Saturday, 8/6. If Soundgarden and Eddie Vedder can etch their way back into the mainstream, why not the '80s thrash metal of Slayer and the death-soaked tunes of Rob Zombie?

9. If you like your shows free--of alcohol, drugs, and an admission price--there's a veritable band time capsule landing at Arlington's Festival of the River the weekend of August 13-14. Native singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and '60s throwback groups Canned Heat and Big Brother and the Holding Company perform Friday, followed on Saturday by the Gin Blossoms and The English Beat at this weekend cultural celebration.

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8. Sing along to "Undone (The Sweater Song)" when Weezer plays the WaMu Theater with the Thermals on Friday, 8/19. Or, if you're a non-fan, consider sending a donation to the Weezer break-up fund to get them to disband. Either way, there's some Weezer-related fun happening here soon.

7. Huey Lewis and the News. Long before the band's thematic role in American Psycho, they somehow made it cool for a saxophone solo to suddenly appear in a pop-rock song--see them do it all over again Friday, 8/26 at Chateau St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville.

6. Hot on the '80s trail at Chateau St. Michelle are the ever-bopping B-52's and new-wave band Human League, who play Friday, 9/2.

5. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool for most bands on this list. None more than for Hall and Oates, who play Bumbershoot, Saturday, 9/3. You'll probably be able to hear the synchronized crowd hand-claps of "Private Eyes" clear up to Everett.

4. Geek ambassador Weird Al plays the Puyallup Fair on Thursday, 9/15, sure to present cuts from his new album, Alpocalypse, some dorky dance moves, and maybe a polka tune or two.

3. Recently reunited mid-'90s rockers Bush play the Neptune on Thursday, 9/15. The group has a new album dropping in September called The Sea of Memories, and from the gritty, grungy sounds of single "All My Life," might just be awash in them.

2. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, aka OMD, hit the Showbox Sodo, Thursday, 9/29. Now all we need is a little Depeche Mode and Duran Duran to complete the synth-pop revival!

1. Erasure plays Thursday, 10/6 at the Moore. Did I just say Depeche Mode? Erasure's Vince Clarke is one half of that band anyhow, and of all his synth-pop bands (including Depeche Mode and Yaz), Erasure sure knows how to rock a dobro--backwards! On top of a skyscraper! If you go, here's hoping you glimpse a little keytar action, too.

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