Welcome to Seven in Seven, where we look at shows coming to the region over the next week. As always, whether your musical tastes are rock ’n’ roll, jazz, heavy metal, R&B, singer-songwriter or indie, there will always be something to check out.
Here are seven of the best on the docket for the week of Dec. 8:
Squirrel Nut Zippers — Friday at Miller Center for the Arts
The Squirrel Nut Zippers bring their joyous and raucous Holiday Caravan Tour back to Reading Area Community College’s Miller Center, and this year they’re performing all the hits from Christmas past. The set will feature songs from their “Christmas Caravan” and “Mardi Gras for Christmas” albums as well as other SNZ favorites. From heartwarming ballads to boisterous dance tunes, the band conjures an atmosphere nestled somewhere between the wondrous lights of Christmas and the backroom din of a speakeasy down in New Orleans.
Local H — Friday at Phantom Power
Chicago-based post-grunge duo Local H comes to Millersville this Friday with nothing to promote other than a catalog chock full of hard-rocking anthems. Best known for ’90s singles like “Bound for the Floor” and “Eddie Vedder,” the pair have been cranking out a solid collection of LPs, covers EPs and everything in between ever since, proving to be one of the more reliable acts out there. No frills, loud guitars, powerful vocals and straight-ahead rawk; it’s quite possibly the best way to start the weekend. Don’t miss the openers, Reading’s own Anthrophobia.
Spafford — Friday and Saturday at Ardmore Music Hall
Each Spafford show is a sonic pilgrimage, the journey of a team of musicians so in tune with each other that a single note communicates intent and purpose. With its members coming from all corners of the U.S., from New Jersey to Arizona to Massachusetts, the group is one of the most creative and hard-traveling jam bands on the contemporary scene of the genre, performing countless sold-out headline dates along with high profile festival sets at Bonnaroo, Firefly and more. The two-night stand at Ardmore Music Hall this weekend has tickets available for both nights together or individually.
Naturally 7 — Wednesday, Dec. 13, at City Winery Main Stage
Performing holiday classics and seasonal originals, Naturally 7 brings the magic of the holidays through the magic of “vocal play,” their one-of-a-kind musical style where they create every sound imaginable using only their voices. The group is more than a tightly orchestrated collection of great singers, though, as they transform their voices into actual human instruments, effortlessly producing music of any genre.
Meshuggah — Thursday, Dec. 14, at Wind Creek Event Center
Full of surprises and yet instantly recognizable as the work of metal’s most idiosyncratic force, Meshuggah’s most recent LP, “Immutable,” redefined and redesigned the extreme metal band’s sound across more than an hour of the most stimulating and engaging music they’ve recorded. As the band’s ninth studio album and follow-up to their Grammy-nominated full-length “The Violent Sleep of Reason,” it showcases just how far ahead of the metal pack the band continues to be. Live is much of the same, and as the Swedish outfit winds down their 2023 touring schedule, expect them to leave it all on the stage.
Dogstar — Thursday, Dec. 14, at Underground Arts
Los Angeles-based band Dogstar released their first album in more than two decades, “Somewhere Between the Power Lines and Palm Trees,” in early October. Born in 1991 as a few friends who came together in a garage in Southern California and simply dreamed of playing music together and making a little noise, the indie rock trio are best known for having A-list actor Keanu Reeves on bass. Yet beyond that, they’re actually a solid unit with some good to great songs. So, while seeing John Wick in the lineup might be the primary reason most people show up at Underground Arts next week, they’ll be treated to a decent soundtrack as well.
Bask — Thursday, Dec. 14, at Kung Fu Necktie
Hailing from the mountains of North Carolina, Bask was conceived in fall 2013 when guitarist Ray Worth, drummer Scott Middleton, bassist Jesse Van Note and guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp joined forces. Delivering a soulful juxtaposition of Americana with lots of prog and psychedelic elements, the group is celebrating its 10th anniversary, as good a reason as any to be on the road. It’s also dubbed “Part I” of the run, though it’s best not to bank on whatever the second part has in store to be coming to the region, too.
• Squirrel Nut Zippers: “Carolina Christmas”
• Local H: “Hold That Thought”
• Spafford: “Doghouse”
• Naturally 7: “Christmas in Hollis”
• Meshuggah: “Light the Shortening Fuse”
• Dogstar: “Everything Turns Around”
• Bask : “New Dominion”
Source: Berkshire mont