Aug. 01--August in Atlantic City gets busy this weekend with a high-volume Comedy Central comic, a pop-metal double bill that includes a band of 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and the second of two free massive country-pop concerts on the beach.
The comedian in question is Lewis Black, the confrontational shouter who has been a regular guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart since 1996. Black's "Back in Black" segments, with AC/DC intro music, are typically vituperative rants that build to a sarcastic crescendo on an ever renewable theme: just how maddeningly, frustratingly, offensively stupid and disappointing the world is.
Black's act is to work himself into such a state that it seems like his head might pop off in the middle of one of his hyper-aggravated routines. There are two chances this weekend to see if that might actually happen in A.C., when Black plays the Music Box at the Borgata on Friday and Saturday at 9.
The populist wave at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year saw Philadelphia soul-pop duo Daryl Hall and John Oates inducted after a long waiting period, but also another band that achieved mass success in the 1970s but were derided by critics during their heyday: Kiss.
The spandex-and-leather-clad greasepaint rockers didn't perform at the Rock Hall gala due to a dispute over which members of the band were inducted, but they were praised wildly by Rage Against the Machine and E Street Band guitarist Tom Morello, who claimed that the band met the three basic criteria for entry into the Hall: "Impact, influence, and awesomeness. Kiss have all three in spades."
Post-induction, Kiss, fronted by Gene "The Demon" Simmons and Paul "Starchild" Stanley, are back on the road. On Saturday, they'll bring their "rock and roll all night, and party every day" ethos to Boardwalk Hall. They share a bill with another over-the-top band that specialized in pop metal anthems ("Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Rock of Ages") in Def Leppard. With Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987) -- both produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- the Sheffield, England quartet fronted by Joe Elliott and featuring famously one-armed drummer Rick Allen are one of just five rock bands with two albums that sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. (Give up on the others in the exclusive club? The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd.)
Kiss and Def Leppard are also playing at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on Sunday.
On Sunday night, there's a band playing Atlantic City that, these days, is considerably more popular than either of those long-in-the-tooth pop-rock titans. That would be Lady Antebellum, the pop-country trio of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. Lady A. will perform for free on the beach between the Pier at Caesars at Arkansas Avenue and Central Pier at St. James Place.
Taking a page out of the playbook of Kenny Chesney, who played the Wildwood beach in 2012, the band's "Take Me Downtown" tour stop is the second of two Live Nation-produced mega-country shows on the ocean in A.C. The Voice star Blake Shelton got the action started on Thursday night. For both concerts, fans got their gratis ducats through Ticketmaster. If you're hoping to gain admittance to see the Nashville lite-country ensemble, you'll have to go looking on sites like Craigslist. StubHub is not offering them for sale.
If You Go
Lewis Black at the Music Box at the Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $75-$85. Information: 866-692-6742, theborgata.com.
Kiss and Def Leppard at Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $47.50-$751.30. Information: 609-348-7000, www.ticketmaster.com.
Lady Antebellum on the beach, at 6 p.m. Sunday. Free, but sold out. Information: www.ticketmaster.com.
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