Music roundup for July 3, 2014

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Motley Crue at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 4, Marcus Amphitheater, Summerfest grounds, 200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee. Alice Cooper also performs. For tickets, visit summerfest.com.

This motley crew of renegade rockers is packing up its electric guitars. After more than 30 years together, Motley Crue has embarked on a worldwide farewell tour.

This iconic heavy metal band has sold more than 70 million records, earned several Grammy nods and American Music Award nominations, and has been hailed by MTV as one of the top 10 heavy metal bands in the music industry.

Band members Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil have embodied the stereotypical hard-living high life, but their vices shouldn’t obscure their musical genius. They’ve released just nine albums in 32 years, but many of those have been fantastic records, including “Dr. Feelgood” and “Theatre of Pain.”

Their final studio album, “Saints of Los Angeles,” was released six years ago and earned a Grammy nomination.

Usher at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 6, Marcus Amphitheater, Summerfest grounds, Milwaukee. For tickets, visit summerfest.com.

Usher’s a good reason to brave the summer humidity and hit Summerfest.

The 35-year-old entertainer has been burning up the airwaves for more than 15 years since his first breakaway song, “Nice & Slow.” The smooth-styled hip-hop artist has responded to his fans’ love by keeping the hits coming: “U Remind Me,” “My Boo,” “Love in This Club” and “Yeah!” He’s racked up a staggering resume, with more than 65 million records sold, eight Grammy Awards, nine No. 1 songs and more than 15 Top 100 hits.

Billboard named Usher the No. 2 artist of the 2000s, and his album “Confessions” was the No. 1 album of the decade. Billboard also called him one of the top 10 best hip-hop artists of the past 25 years.

Sarah McLachlan at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $49.50-$59.50. Call 414-286-3663.

Sarah McLachlan is a force to be reckoned with. The 46-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter is known for her haunting vocals, beautiful ballads and for founding the groundbreaking Lilith Fair concert tour, which showcases female artists. Lilith Fair ran from 1997 to 1999 and was restarted in 2010.

Lilith Fair was an extension of McLachlan’s successful solo career. Her breakthrough hit album was 1997’s “Surfacing,” which won two Grammy Awards and numerous other honors, including four Canadian Junos. It featured McLachlan’s biggest hit song, “Building A Mystery.”

McLachlan has contributed songs to several movie soundtracks. She has released four new albums since 1997, including this year’s effort, “Shine On.”

Catfish River Music Festival at Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6, Stoughton Opera House grounds, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Various artists, including Iris DeMent. Visit stoughtonoperahouse.ticketforce.com.

Folk musician Iris DeMent is one of several headliners for Stoughton’s Catfish River Music Festival.

The 53-year-old Arkansas native has made a name for herself writing songs and playing authentic grassroots folk. Her 1992 debut album, “Infamous Angel,” featured the single “Let the Mystery Be,” which has been covered by such groups as 10,000 Maniacs. It also can be heard in the movie “Little Buddha.”

DeMent’s 1994 sophomore album, “My Life,” was a beautiful masterpiece that earned her a Grammy nomination for best contemporary folk album.

DeMent has continued to build an impressive dossier of original songs and albums. Along the way, she has become a popular commodity for duets and appearances with other artists, including John Prine and Emmylou Harris.

She made her acting debut in the 2000 film “Songcatcher,” and her cover of the classic gospel hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” can be heard in the Coen Brothers’ remake of “True Grit.”

Her latest album is 2012's “Sing the Delta.”

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