Music roundup for June 5-11, 2014

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tony Bennett 7 p.m. Friday, June 6, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $56-$101. Call 414-286-3663.

At 86 years old, Tony Bennett still croons with the best of them. The legendary singer and performer has managed to churn out gold records for seven decades, riding the waves of fickle musical tastes and new genres.

Bennett is a New York City native who scored his first hit with 1951’s “Because of You.” He evolved into one of the best jazz singers ever, covering standards and new material along the way. Bennett continued to work during the birth of rock n’ roll and subsequent decades, but he didn’t achieve mainstream success again until the 1990s. Several smart moves, such as performing for MTV’s popular “Unplugged” series, helped Bennett reach a new generation of fans.

He has won 17 Grammy Awards and two Emmys, sold more than 50 million records and received the Kennedy Center Honor. Bennett also found success in painting and founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.

Cher at 8 p.m. Friday, June 6, BMO Harris Bradley Center, 1001 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $25.50-$105.50. Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

If you could turn back time, you’d hear a Cher song on the radio every year since 1965. Cherilyn Sarkisian—that’s Cher’s full name—is also the only artist to have a No. 1 hit in each of the past six decades.

She owes a lot of her success to a chameleon-like ability to change with the times.

While it might be easy to dismiss Cher because of her outlandish outfits, the numbers don’t lie. She has sold more than 140 million records and has won a bevy of awards, including an Oscar for acting in the movie “Moonstruck,” a Grammy, an Emmy, three Golden Globes and the Cannes Film Festival best actress award.

Cher started performing with her husband, Sonny Bono, in 1965 as the duo Sonny & Cher. She also released solo albums with such early hits as “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” and “Half-Breed.” She and Bono eventually divorced, but she continued as a solo artist.

Her megahit albums in the 1980s and 1990s included the popular singles “Heart of Stone,” “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “I Found Someone.” Last year, she released “Closer to the Truth,” which is her highest-charting album to date.

Cher has had two successful runs as a performer in Las Vegas and enjoyed a lucrative television career with the 1970s variety show “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.” She also starred in several critically acclaimed movies. Not bad for a 68-year-old.

The only question now is, what will she do next?

Needtobreathe at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 8, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $30-$35. Call 414-286-3663.

The Christian indie rock stars in Needtobreathe are taking a much-needed breath themselves.

The young band from South Carolina, led by brothers Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart, has been busy carving a niche for itself since releasing its 2006 debut, “Daylight.”

The band was practically an overnight sensation with the hit single “You Are Here.” Another song, “Washed by Water,” from the 2007 follow-up album, “The Heat,” earned a Dove Award for best rock song of the year. That prompted Rolling Stone magazine to call Needtobreathe “one of Christian rock’s most successful newcomers.”

The band has released three more albums, including this year’s “Rivers in the Wasteland,” which was born during a time of turmoil in which drummer Joe Stillwell left the band and was replaced by Seth Bolt.

Things have settled down considerably, and the band is feeling refreshed and re-energized on tour, Bo Rineheart told Download.com.

Needtobreathe has been nominated for 13 Dove Awards, winning 10.

Elvis Costello at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, The Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $44.50-$60. Call 414-286-3663.

Elvis lives! OK, maybe not THAT Elvis, but Elvis Costello still counts.

The 59-year-old British rocker has made waves and good music since his 1976 debut album, “My Aim is True.” Two years later, his sophomore record, “This Year’s Model,” was hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the best of the last 20 years.

Costello’s early years as a punk rocker influence his work as a solo artist—although now he’s better known as a talented, quirky lyricist with a penchant for witty hooks and phrases.

He has released more than 25 studio albums, including last year’s collaboration with The Roots, “Wise Up Ghost.”

Costello has won a Grammy Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his backing band, The Attractions, in 2003. He’s No. 80 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

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