Big names past and present make up this week’s best bets.
Right now, Justin Timberlake is probably the biggest male pop singer in the country.
With side jobs as an actor in hit movies, as a regular guest host on “Saturday Night Live” and among the first guests on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” his music career often gets put on the back burner.
That’s why he has only issued three solo albums since 2002 (and since his exit from the band ’N Sync).
Now, Timberlake will be showcasing his 2013 CD “The 20/20 Experience” at his show Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center at 3601 Broad St. in Philadelphia,
The artist, his album and its songs combined for seven Grammy nominations this year and three wins — one for Best Music Video (“Suit & Tie”), another for Best R&B Song (“Pusher Love Girl”) and the third for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“Holy Grail”).
“The 20/20 Experience” also was the top-selling album of 2013, topping the charts and spawning the hit singles “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors.”
Although I am usually a fan of Timberlake’s, I found the album plodding and directionless, with a lack of melodies.
The good news for people like me is Timberlake will be performing some 31 songs covering all three albums, while intermixing tasty covers of songs made famous by Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Kool & the Gang and Bell Biv DeVoe.
Among the tunes concertgoers should hear are “SexyBack,” “Summer Love,” “Rock Your Body,” “Cry Me a River” and “LoveStoned.”
Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $49.50 to $175. Information: 800-298-4200.
Michael Bolton was the No. 10 artist of the 1990s, according to Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles” book of Billboard’s charts.
Beyond that, he sort of disappeared from view. But so did Elton John, Celine Dion, Boyz II Men and a lot of other top acts of that decade, due to radio’s subsequent reliance on oldies rather than new singles.
So when Bolton takes the stage Wednesday at the Grand Opera House at 818 N. Market St. in Wilmington, Del., he may be recognized more for his Christmas automobile sales advertisements on TV than for his big hit songs “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and “Love is a Wonderful Thing.”
The good thing is he has a sense of humor about himself and his career, and recently showed it by appearing on albums by William Shatner and Andy Samberg.
For his own recorded output, Bolton has concentrated on oldies for most of the last two decades. Like most song interpreters, he has released collections of 1960s hits, Tin Pan Alley standards and Frank Sinatra covers.
Last year, he finally got around to covering Motown music (Michael McDonald released two such discs 10 years ago) when he issued “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville U.S.A.”
Unlike McDonald, Bolton chose to stay faithful to the originals, toning down his usually soaring vocals on songs like “Nowhere to Run,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “What’s Going On,” “The Tracks of My Tears” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
This is a new leg to Bolton’s tour, so no one knows what he’ll sing during his show. I would expect a helping of Motown songs plus his hits, a song or two from his 2009 originals album “One World One Love” and a classical tune.
Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $52 to $63. Information: 800-37-GRAND.
At one time, Vince Gill was “The Man” in popular music.
Not only was he one of the biggest names in country music, he was the go-to guy for hosting the Grammys and other awards shows. His pleasant demeanor and easygoing style appealed to everyone.
His hits started in the mid-1980s and peaked in the early-1990s with 10 consecutive Top 10 country singles, including “I Still Believe in You,” “The Heart Won’t Lie” and “One More Last Chance.”
But Gill wasn’t done there.
After a No. 42 chart single, he notched 13 consecutive Top 20 singles from 1994 through 1997. Since then, he has more than doubled his total number of chart hits from that time.
So what’s Gill up to now? He’s still experimenting with styles in and around country music.
His latest disc is 2013’s “Bakersfield,” a collaboration with pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin. The album covers songs made famous by country legends Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and features the songs “Foolin’ Around,” “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down,” “Nobody’s Fool But Yours” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me.”
And if you have Gill pegged as a country artist, think again. His 2011 CD “Guitar Slinger” raised some eyebrows, and last year, he appeared at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads benefit concert, alongside fellow guitarists Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Earl Klugh, Keith Urban and Robert Randolph.
You can check out Gill’s new show Thursday at the American Music Theatre at 2425 Lincoln Highway East in Lancaster.
Show time: 8 p.m. Tickets: $75. Information: 800-648-4102.
‘THE SING-OFF’ /
‘AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’
For those who like reality TV competitions, “The Sing-Off” makes a stop Saturday at the American Music Theatre.
This year’s winner of the a cappella competition was Home Free, an all-male professional singing troupe. It will headline the show with Filharmonic, a Filipino male group that specializes in 1990s R&B music, and Voice Play, a theme park act that added a female lead singer for the show.
The concert will feature individual sets, group numbers and sing-offs, plus some surprises.
Show time is 8. Tickets are $49.
The biggest reality show of the summer kicks off in North Jersey this week when “America’s Got Talent” begins its elimination auditions at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center at 1 Center St. in Newark.
Shows are scheduled at noon and 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and all tickets are free. Check the venue’s website to get on the waiting list for seats.
ALSO APPEARING THIS WEEK
Thursday: Disco Biscuits, Electric Factory, 8:30 p.m., $35; Crawdaddies, Sellersville Theater, 8 p.m., $19.50; Infected Mushroom, Starland Ballroom, 7:30 p.m., $25; Unlikely Candidates, Theatre of Living Arts, 8 p.m., $10.45; Matt Nathanson (Musicians on Call benefit show), World Café Live, 7:30 p.m., $25 to $100.
Friday: Foreigner, American Music Theatre, 8 p.m., $75; Disco Biscuits, Electric Factory, 8:30 p.m., $35; Eilen Jewell, Sellersville, 8 p.m., $21.50 to $30; Joel Roberts, Tin Angel, 8:30 p.m., $10; Emblem3, Tower Theater, 7 p.m., $47; Buckcherry, Trocadero, 7:30 p.m., $29.50 to $32; Delta Rae, World Café Live, 8 p.m., sold out.
Saturday: Kanye West, Boardwalk Hall Casino, 8 p.m., $49 to $199; Disco Biscuits, Electric Factory, 8:30 p.m., $35; Reminders, Grand Opera House’s Baby Grand, 8 p.m., $21; Take 6, McCarter Theatre, 8 p.m., $20 to $55; Buckcherry, Starland Ballroom, 7 p.m., $27.50 to $60; Savoy, TLA, 8:30 p.m., $15; Rust (Neil Young tribute), 8 p.m., $15; Stone, World Café Live, 7:45 p.m., $15.
Sunday: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, American Music Theatre, 7 p.m., $85 to $125; Kiss It! (KISS tribute), The Ozzman Cometh (Ozzy Osbourne tribute), TLA, 6 p.m., sold out; Suede, Tin Angel, 7 p.m., $28; Street Corner Symphony, World Café Live, 8 p.m., $14 to $16.
Monday: Flogging Molly, Electric Factory, 7:30 p.m., $33.50.
Wednesday: Tab Benoit, Tommy Malone, Sellersville, 8 p.m., $33; Bring Me the Horizon, Starland Ballroom, 6 p.m., sold out; Young the Giant, Tower Theater, 8 p.m., $39.50; Aaron Camper & Friends, World Café Live, 8 p.m., $12.50 to $17.50.