Buzz Beach Ball
Livestrong Sporting Park
Concerts sponsored by radio stations make for odd bedfellows. The 2012 edition of the annual Buzz Beach Ball bash is no different. Radio station KRBZ, better known as “96.5 the Buzz,” promises full sets by Foster the People (above), the Shins and Sublime with Rome. “Pumped Up Kicks,” Los Angeles’ Foster the People’s hazy hit, was inescapable last year. The Shins, literate indie rockers from New Mexico, received a career boost from prominent placement in the 2004 film “Garden State.” Sublime, a ska and reggae-based act from Long Beach, is enjoying a revival with new front man Rome Ramirez. The eclectic bill also includes Flogging Molly, the Joy Formidable, Metric, the Kooks, the Dirty Heads, Kimbra and the Antlers. Tickets to the 3:30 p.m. show range from $20 to $75 in advance.
Friday Sprint Center
Long before his relationship with the late Whitney Houston made him fodder for tabloids, Bobby Brown was an enormously successful pop star. His rise to fame began with New Edition in the ’80s. The influential boy band’s formula — combining sweet ballads with credible hip-hop — was mimicked by the likes of the Backstreet Boys. Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Ronnie Devoe and Johnny Gill have reunited to perform massive hits like “Candy Girl” and “Cool It Now.” Nostalgic fans can also expect to hear hits from New Edition spinoffs like Bell Biv DeVoe and Brown’s solo career. And if Brown misbehaves while in Kansas City, well, the unpredictable star might suggest that such actions are “My Prerogative.”
Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $45.75, $59.75 and $79.75.
Friday-Saturday Berkley Riverfront Park
The notion that the rock ’n’ roll era is waning is given credence by Dancefestopia. Approximately 50 acts are slated to perform at the ambitious outdoor event, but beat-happy revelers will see and hear precious few guitars. Instead, festival organizers have booked an impressive array of hip-hop stars, dance music celebrities and regional rappers and DJs. Among the biggest names scheduled to appear are party-rapper Wiz Khalifa, breakout dance music vocalist Dev, reggae artist Matisyahu, Eminem-approved rapper Yelawolf, Wichita-based hip-hop phenom XV, dance goofballs 3OH!3 and old-school rappers 2 Live Crew.
Weekend passes are $129. Friday passes are $59. Saturday passes are $79. VIP packages and camping passes are also available at dancefestopia.com. Tickets to a “recovery party” at The Jones pool at noon Sunday are $30.
Balkan Beat Box
Most modern music crafted for dance floors is deliberately dumb. With an emphasis on the search for the perfect beat, dance music encourages escapism. The musicians in Balkan Beat Box, however, sound like bookworms. The band’s seamless mashups of sounds from around the world are an audio representation of Foreign Affairs magazine. Recorded in Tel Aviv, many of the songs on Balkan Beat Box’s new album “Give” were inspired by the Arab Spring. Supplemented by a horn section in its performances, appearances by Balkan Beat Box are true world parties.
Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $13 in advance.
Tuesday Sprint Center
The most maligned band in rock, Nickelback serves as a punching bag for critics and advocates of supposedly superior music. A significant portion of the bile directed at the Canadian band is undoubtedly motivated by jealousy. While Nickelback is decidedly unfashionable, it has retained its status as one of the most popular bands in the world for more than a decade. Much of its appeal is based in its energetic live shows. Nickelback’s concerts are entertaining spectacles loaded with pyrotechnics. Nickelback’s fans also receive a bonus in the form of three compelling opening acts — ’90s grunge hit-makers Bush, melodic Australian rockers Seether and Nickelback proteges My Darkest Days.
Tickets to the 6 p.m. show are $45, $60, $75 and $82.50.
Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink