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Latest Best of LA

Best Concerts To Look Forward To In Los Angeles In 2013

December 29, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)


L.A. has long been known and appreciated as a place to see some of the biggest recording artists perform live on stage for little, if any, cost. This happens most often during the dryer months when world-class artisans attract huge audiences to places such as the Hollywood Bowl, Ford Amphitheatre, Pershing Square, Hollywood & Highland, Santa Monica Pier, Marina del Rey and The Grove. In the meantime, as these under-the-stars venues line up their musical series for the third quarter of the 2013 season, two of L.A.’s largest indoor structures have already booked some of the hottest Grammy-winning solo artists and history-making touring bands circling the globe. With an upcoming calendar of musical events now locked and loaded, expect L.A. to welcome the new year with enough high drama, emotional edginess, soothing sensuality, sterling jazz, rhythmic funk, wholesome goodness and country sweetness to leave tongues wagging about this “Born this Way” metropolis for a mighty long time.

(credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

Lady Gaga

Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 742-7326
Date: Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Price: $88 and up
www.staplescenter.com

In support of her second studio album, “Born This Way,” pop superstar and humanitarian Lady Gaga brings an extravaganza to the home of the L.A. Lakers in a two-day, highly anticipated engagement that marks the Grammy winner’s third concert tour. The “Born This Way Ball” is an over-the-top performance that is divided into five distinct acts and designed to deliver in-your-face political and socially relevant messages. The Matrix-type spectacle, which includes a creative dramatization of childbirth, received critical acclaim from live performance critics during its first-leg engagements abroad. Gaga describes her controversial show as “electro metal pop-opera” and an inventive tale of the beginning of time and how she believes human existence may end. The innovative presentation, replete with histrionic special effects, is set in and around a medieval castle, which rotates and maneuvers to the spectators’ delight. Behind the macabre, exploding bras, meat grinders and other displays of adult content also stands an accomplished lady — influenced by David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Queen — who can sing exceedingly well and knows how to give her high-ticket patrons their money’s worth by producing lavish entertainment.

(credit: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Pink
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 742-7326
Date: Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
Price: $60 and up
www.staplescenter.com

Multi-Grammy-winner singer, songwriter, musician and actress Pink brings her well-received world tour to the second most populous city in the country to promote “The Truth About Love,” her sixth studio album that debuted last September at No. 1 in the U.S. and several countries overseas. The new millennium has been a fruitful one for the megastar. Since the release of her debut album, “There You Go,” in 2000, this vocalist, guitarist, pianist and keyboardist has sold more than 40 million albums and more than 70 million singles worldwide, ranking the superwoman in the category of one of the best-selling musical artists in history. An entertainer and philanthropist noted for helping to change the scope of pop music, Pink brings to the stage the emotional rawness of Janis Joplin and the rock-style rebellion of Madonna, her two main influences. Although Pink regularly goes off the radar from time to time, this iconic package of stratospheric aptitude seems to always know the right time and place to escape from obscurity. Within a couple of hours after announcing her Australian tour last October, more than 320,000 tickets were sold. In 2012, VH1 placed Pink, whose talent helped mold the styles of Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Rihanna, high on its distinguished list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Herbie Hancock
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 850-2000
Date: April 23, 8 p.m.
Price: $48.50 and up
www.laphil.com

One of the music industry’s key architects of the 1960s post-bop sound will take the stage at the splendid home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to the late jazz musician Miles Davis. Considered a musical prodigy, Herbie Hancock started studying classical music at age 7. When the future bandleader was 11 years old, he performed the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although this beautiful mind never enjoyed the benefits of a jazz instructor during his formative years, the self-taught jazz artist developed a keen ear for the genre by listening intently to The Hi-Lo’s, a 1950s a cappella quartet known for its extreme vocal ranges. It was Hancock’s debut solo album, “Takin’ Off,” that attracted Davis’ attention. In 1963, the then-23-year-old became a member of Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet, an experimental rhythm section considered one of the finest jazz ensembles ever assembled. To date, this prolific recording artist and multi-Grammy-winner will be joined in concert by fellow Davis alums, Grammy-winning bassist and film score composer Marcus Miller and celebrated Grammy-winning saxophonist Wayne Shorter. At 72, the forever-youthful and energetic Hancock, who serves as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s creative chair for jazz, remains an undisputed master of jazz-funk, R&B, electro funk and hard bop. Those fortunate enough to see this awe-inspiring performer work his magic will bear witness to a living legend just doing his thing.

Related: A Guide To The Walt Disney Concert Hall

(credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images)

One Direction
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 742-7326
Date: Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Price: $79 and up
www.staplescenter.com

Even though this power pop group finished third in the seventh series of the 2010 British television music competition, X-Factor, One Direction rocketed to international fame, following the 2011 release of its debut studio album, “Up All Night.” The pop music album, which speaks of being young, overcoming peer pressure and taking charge of one’s destiny, received glorious reviews from both contemporary music critics and an expanding teenage fan base. One Direction, slated for a three-night live performance in L.A., achieved success in the U.S. by becoming the first British group to have a debut album clinch the commercially vital No. 1 position on the Billboard Top 200 list. The band — comprised of humanitarians Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson — represents a new British invasion and one that fills a wholesome, clean-cut void in America’s harmonious landscape. One Direction has been described by music aficionados as sparking a resurgence of the boy-band concept, made famous by such groups as The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, The Monkees, New Edition and Boyz II Men. In addition to helping fund children’s charities, One Direction contributes to the California Earthquake Authority, a privately-funded group that provides affordable insurance coverage to property owners. This group’s exemplary style is not only represented by its boy-next-door looks and salubrious talent; One Direction is a force of humanity that keeps on giving.

(credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevin Kane/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 742-7326
Date: Aug. 19 and 20, 7 p.m.
Price: $109 and up
www.staplescenter.com

This singer-songwriter was only 14 when she decided to delve into the country music business, becoming the youngest artist ever hired by the Sony/ATV Music Publishing company. While her debut album, aptly titled “Taylor Swift,” established the teenager as a country music star, it was her single, “Our Song,” that made the then-17-year-old the youngest person to write and perform a No. 1 song on a country chart. Like her last name, her second album, “Fearless,” was swift to attract a crossover pop audience, earning four Grammy awards in 2010 with Swift herself becoming the youngest ever Album of the Year winner. Known for her catchy, narrative songs about growing up, Swift brings her mastery of pop conventions to L.A. in a two-night concert. She shares the marquee with English singer-songwriter, rapper and beatboxer Ed Sheeran, who, in 2012, won two BRIT Awards for “Best British Male Solo Artist” and “British Breakthrough of the Year.” After collaborating with Swift on a track for her fourth studio album, “Red,” released in 2012, he and Swift have since teamed up for a 2013 seven-month tour of North America. Swift, who made her acting debut in a 2009 episode of CBS’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and has since appeared in several film productions, is a staunch supporter of arts education. In the wake of her countless number of charitable endeavors, this 22-year-old continues to make a difference in the world around her, redefining the true definition of what it means to wear the proverbial crown of America’s sweetheart.

Related: 2012 Grammy Winners

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers the glittering nightlife and bustling music scene in Los Angeles, among other topics of social interest. Some of her contributions to the entertainment industry have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Samples of her unique writing style can be found on Examiner.com.

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