Old rock stars rise again: Is it just us, or does this fall music line-up sound a lot like 1988?

Old rock stars rise again: Is it just us, or does this fall music line-up sound a lot like 1988?

Welcome to the fall concert season, where the schedule is chock full of indie bands, established acts and groups you thought didn’t exist anymore (ZZ Top at the Pavilion, anyone?).

Here’s a list of what’s coming to town. It’s not a complete list, mainly because there are too many to mention, and Heart fans don’t need to be reminded when their favorite band is in town. They can just sense it.       

 So fill up the gas tank, hit the ATM and remember the immortal advice of Jeremy Piven from the movie “PCU”: “You’re wearing the shirt of the band you’re going to see? Don’t be that guy.”


The Stars Come Out: By far, the biggest news this fall is the reunion of Genesis (TD Banknorth Garden, Sept. 11, $57-$227), even though it’s sans Peter Gabriel. Either way it’s nice to see Phil Collins back on the stage. Don’t forget Jimmy Buffet (Gillette Stadium, Sept. 8, $43.50-$128.50) and Aerosmith (Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 14, $49-$125). Or if you need raucous, in-you-face, country music, there’s Toby Keith (Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 22, $36-$72).

For the Hip Crowd: Both the Editors (Paradise Rock Club, Sept. 6, $16.50) and Kings of Leon (Orpheum Theatre, Sept. 28, TBA) released fantastic albums this year, so definitely try to catch these rock shows. Though, if you’d rather have a low-key, lo-fi evening, then calm down with either the soft indie-rock sounds of Iron & Wine (Orpheum Theatre, Sept. 27, $22-$30) or the soulful, acoustic guitar stylings of Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals (Orpheum Theatre, Sept. 23, $35-$50). Want to see an old friend? Suzanne Vega (Somerville Theatre, Sept. 20, $35-$40) released “Beauty & Crime” this past June. She sang “Tom’s Diner,” which is the song you play on your iPod when you’re people-watching on a rainy day.

Do You Know Who I Am?: Okkervil River (Middle East, Sept. 25, $10) is a rare find in the music industry because their lyrics are like short stories English majors would read, but they do it with a sound that is melodic, catchy and engaging.

Hmmmm: Travel back in time to hear what rock sounded like in 1994 when Live, Collective Soul (Bank of America Pavilion, Sept. 21, $25-$40) and Hootie and the Blowfish (Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, Sept. 15, $39.50) take the stage. Oh, and I keep forgettin’ about Michael McDonald (Bank of American Pavilion, Sept. 22, $23.50-$60) so it’s good that he pops up from time to time.


The Stars Come Out: Maroon 5 (TD Banknorth Garden, Oct. 15, $38-$48) continues to give us infectious alt-pop tunes that you love for a week and then hate after the radio overplays them. Shooter Jennings (Paradise Rock Club, Oct. 14, $15) had one infectious country tune in “4th of July,” but the rest of his music is more of the outlaw country kind.

For the Hip Crowd: Get your tickets for The National (Roxy, Oct. 6, $18) now. This band released the best album of the year with “Boxer” and will probably be playing bigger venues in the future. Alt-country artist and “Grey’s Anatomy” enthusiast Brandi Carlile (Orpheum Theatre, Oct. 5, $21.50-$25) returns to Boston for the third time this year while and Spoon (Roxy, Oct. 17, $20) will make the hipsters dance with their rhythmic, atmospheric rock. And watching hipsters dance is entertainment in itself. 

Do You Know Who I Am?: Rather see hipsters scared? Check out Queens of the Stone Age (Orpheum Theatre, Oct. 12, $35), one of the only true hard rock bands left with their chest thumping bass and their ear-ringing guitars.

Hmmmm: Please, do NOT expect the reincarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins (Orpheum Theatre, Oct 13, 15-16, $39.50-$59.50) to play your old favorites. They released a new album “Zeitgeist” and only Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin are back. Also returning to the stage to ignore her old hits is Sinead O’Connor (Orpheum Theatre, Oct. 22, TBA), which is both surprising and scary, especially since the tour will be backing her new album “Theology.”


The Stars Come Out: Twice just isn’t enough for the tantric Sting and company since The Police (TD Banknorth Garden, Nov. 11, $55-$375) will be returning after two Fenway shows in the summer. For those who think the Police are those guys who stop you for speeding, there’s American Idol finalist Elliot Yamin (Roxy, Nov. 24, $22). But seriously, do yourself a favor and get a Police album, if you haven’t.

For the Hip Crowd: Another group that keeps going is Tegan and Sara (Berklee Performance Center, Nov. 21, $25), Canadian identical twins who have been recording and touring since 1995. Though you may need to hit eBay or Craigslist for tickets since this show may already be sold out. If you’re a fan, you know why.

Do You Know Who I Am?: The self-conscious irony of rock outfit Electric Six (Middle East, Nov. 14, $12) is immediately likable and almost impossible to describe. This band puts just as much effort into their live show as they do to their album

Hmmmm: Battles (Paradise Rock Club, Nov. 11, TBA) is a UK indie-rock band that emerged this year thanks to their atmospheric, post-punk sound that seemed to take everyone by surprise. It’s instrumental music with minimal, but intelligent lyrics.