With the new year and new semester comes a host of just-announced arts and music events around town. There are no guarantees that your studies or work will go better if you take time out to investigate, but it surely won’t hurt, and will make your Boston area experience richer.
Let’s start off with the hot-ticket events. Music’s longest-running soap opera, Fleetwood Mac, made headlines again last year when it abruptly sacked guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, whose relationship with long-ago-ex-romantic partner Stevie Nicks has always been dicey. The band replaced him with two heavy hitters in ex-Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and guitarist Mike Campbell, formerly lead guitarist and second banana in Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers. Based on recent tapes (don’t ask where we found them), the result sounds good, mixing C.H. and Petty songs (Nicks gets to sing “Free Fallin’”) with the obligatory hits and Buckingham songs like “Go Your Own Way.” The tour hits the Garden on March 31 and April 2. (For his part, Buckingham played a fine show at the tiny Wilbur Theatre in December.)
Then there’s the greatest (maybe) and most expensive (definitely) rock band in the world, the Rolling Stones, who are hitting the road again and playing Gillette Stadium on June 8. Considering these guys were the butt of old-age jokes 30 years ago, you have to hand it to them for still looking and sounding just like the Stones. Mick Jagger is still prancing about like a man one-third his age, and Keith Richards is, amazingly enough, still alive.
If there were any justice in the world, Bob Mould would be playing to crowds just as big. As leader of the seminal bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar, he created a sound that was intense both sonically and emotionally; you can hear it echoed by big-timers like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters today. Meanwhile Mould is still playing impassioned shows in small clubs, the latest of which happens at the Paradise on Feb. 16. And yes, he’s a bit happier nowadays; the title of his new album, “Sunshine Rock,” is not (completely) ironic.