You want to go to Fenway Park this month.
True, I don’t know all of you. Yes, you have wildly different tastes. But I’m confident you’ll want to see something at the Park this month.
I freely admit I have been hard on Fenway’s booking choices in the past – always fun and profitable, rarely creative or inspired. But this August the landmark has a, well, landmark slate of events for arguably every fan. And now I will make that argument and let you know why you want to go to Fenway Park this month.
Mötley Crüe & Def Leppard & Poison & Joan Jett, Aug. 5 & 6
OK, let’s admit that some of the lead vocalists in this lineup don’t have the chops they once had. And maybe some members have lost a step. Oh, and Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is touring with broken ribs. But face it, if you fell in love to “Hysteria” or rushed home from school to watch “Home Sweet Home” on “Dial MTV” for a month straight or shouted at your mom about how Brett Michaels was cooler than Elvis, you are going to this show. Also, Joan Jett is amazing and “Bad Reputation” is better than anything by these old boys.
Bad Bunny, Aug. 18
Last Summer, Bad Bunny nearly had the Song of the Summer with “Yonaguni.” An impressive feat considering the Puerto Rican superstar, having already conquered Spanish and English speaking markets, dropped a verse in Japanese. His breezy reggaeton knows no boundaries. Also props to Fenway for expanding to reggaeton (next do hip hop and r&b, maybe Janelle Monae). Of course this isn’t a tough call with Bad Bunny. He’s a Top 10 star globally.
Lady Gaga, Aug. 19
Gaga’s Fenway gig comes more than two years late. During the wait, “Chromatica” has only gotten better. Gaga’s 2020 LP is a return to club killers (much like Madonna’s “Confessions on the Dance Floor” was). It’s a wonderful reminder that Stefani Joanne Germanotta does pure pop so well (that can get overlooked between her jazz standards, movies and meat dresses). Now Gaga gets to take the sonic spectacle of “Chromatica” and make it visual. Expect the performance to be delightfully over the top.
Imagine Dragons, Aug. 20
Speaking of spectacle … The big, big rock of Imagine Dragons works well on a grand stage. The show is also a homecoming of sorts. Three-quarters of the band came out of Berklee College of Music. Guitarist Wayne Sermon has fond memories of Boston the city. And fonder memories of Boston the band. “As a kid I would sneak into my dad’s study and listen to his Boston records,” Sermon told the Herald a few years ago ahead of a TD Garden show. “I fell in love with Tom Scholz’s guitar. His tone was perfect. Those songs were so amazing.”
Bill Burr, Aug. 21
Bill Burr is the definitive Boston comic. Get outta here with your Dane Cooks and Lenny Clarkes. The Canton-born, Emerson-educated Burr is the perfect pick to be the first comic to headline the ballpark. Go listen to him on “Conan” ranting about how he hates fair weather Sox fans and tell me I am wrong — “I like that they are winning, but I don’t need to sing campfire songs in the 7th inning. I don’t like mascots, I don’t like those songs, and Steve Jobs, I think he was a little overrated.”
Red Sox, basically half the month
Red Sox win a wild card spot. Beat the Yankees in the ALCS. ‘Nuf said.
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