Tag Archives: XL Center

Tom Petty, Steve Winwood Heading To XL Center In Hartford

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers head to Hartford's XL Center on Sept. 13. (Mary Ellen Matthews Photo.)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers head to Hartford’s XL Center on Sept. 13. (Mary Ellen Matthews Photo.)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 2014 North American tour kicks off in San Diego, Calif. on Aug. 3 and includes a stop at Hartford’s XL Center on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m., according to a press release.

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Concert Review: Justin Timberlake at XL Center

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Justin Timberlake performs at the Hartford XL Center Thursday, Nov. 7 during The 20/20 Experience World Tour. (Alex Syphers Photo.)

Justin Timberlake performs at the XL Center in Hartford on Thursday, Nov. 7 during The 20/20 Experience World Tour. (Alex Syphers Photo.)

If there’s one thing a young performer can learn from 32-year-old industry vet Justin Timberlake, who performed to a near-sellout crowd Thursday night at the XL Center in Hartford, it’s how to work a room.

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Review: Phish at the XL Center in Hartford

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Phish played the XL Center in Hartford on Oct. 27, 2013. (Nick Caito Photo.)

Phish played the XL Center in Hartford on Oct. 27, 2013. (Nick Caito Photo.)

Phish and its fans are getting older (this is 30th anniversary year), and indoor shows in New England, where they’ve made countless memorable appearances over the years, seem to expose the soft, nostalgic underbellies of even the most jaded Northeast types.

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Phish Pre- and Post-Parties in Hartford

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Phish performs at the XL Center in Hartford on Oct. 27.

Phish performs at the XL Center in Hartford on Oct. 27.

Hordes of out-of-town (or out-of-state) Phish fans will roll into Hartford on Sunday, Oct. 27, when the band performs at the XL Center. Which raises a serious question: what should everyone do before and after the show?

A couple of suggestions: Arch Street Tavern (85 Arch St.) will host before and after parties, with Vermont-based Jerry Garcia Band tribute Cats Under The Stars launching into their Jerry thing early (5 p.m., 4 p.m. doors), and Dead Set (Cats Under The Stars plus special guests) jamming on Grateful Dead covers into the wee hours. Drummer Bill Carbone (Max Creek) and Colby Dix (of Touchpants, one of Phish drummer Jon Fishman’s other bands) will sit in. Maybe some unexpected guests will show up? (And do you really have to go to work on Monday?)

Phish tribute Seven Below, who recently won the Connecticut Music Award’s Best Cover/Tribute Band, will be at the Hartford Room at East Coast Dog (257 Asylum St., right across the street from the venue) from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday. (If you happen to be in town the night before, the Alchemystics are playing the same room.)

Of course, there are a ton of great restaurants and bars around town. (We’ve got a searchable database on our site.)

Conscientious objectors to Phish’s music could always head down to hear DJ Steve Aoki in Wallingford, but I imagine none of them have read this far.

Be safe, and have a blast. (Oh, and have you heard what they did down in Hampton yet?)

Nickelback Revels In Good Times During 90-Minute Set Friday In Hartford

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Chad Kroeger, left, and Daniel Adair of Nickelback performed Friday, April 27, at XL Center in Hartford. (Photo by Diana Guay Dixon/Special to CTNow.com))

Word that Bush was touring with Nickelback this spring seemed to prompt one of two reactions: “Really? Nickelback?” or “Bush — that’s still a thing?”

Yes, and yes.

Pairing Bush with Nickelback, though, makes sense, in that Nickelback is very much a stylistic descendant of Bush, which skipped over the commercial ambivalence of American grunge bands and aimed straight for mass-culture success. Nickelback is the latter-day equivalent, just streamlined, with bigger riffs and less subtlety. There was plenty of the former and little of the latter during Nickelback’s performance Friday at XL Center in Hartford, where the band treated a sizable crowd to 90 minutes’ worth of red-meat hard rock, and one unexpected cover. (See more photos here.)

The musicians radiated a regular-guy affability on stage, playing songs that were largely about having a good time: getting wasted on “Bottoms Up,” getting famous on “Rockstar” and getting laid on, well, plenty of others. Even on the darker songs, like opener “This Means War” or the domestic abuse tale “Never Again,” singer Chad Kroeger never seemed to take things personally — he had the confident air of someone who knows he’ll be back to having a good time in no time.

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Ashford Native Desireé Bassett On Tour With Cirque Du Soleil Tribute To Michael Jackson

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Ashford resident Desireé Bassett started playing guitar when she was 2. She performs May 2-3 in Hartford with Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour."

Desireé Bassett has played with some big names on some big stages, but it doesn’t get much bigger than Michael Jackson.

The Ashford resident isn’t playing with Jackson, of course — he died in 2009 — but Bassett, 19, is the lead guitarist for Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” playing the King of Pop’s songs as part of a huge production that mixes music, dance and Cirque’s trademark acrobatics.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Bassett says by phone before the show sets up in Hartford for performances Wednesday and Thursday. “This has been my first tour ever, so a lot of these things are brand new to me.”

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