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Tour Kick-Offs: Soundgarden, Animal Collective, More

Key info on the shows you need to see starting this week

July 5, 2011 8:15 AM ET
Soundgarden kick off their reunion tour in Toronto, Canada.
Soundgarden kick off their reunion tour in Toronto, Canada.
Photograph by Michael Hurcomb

Check back every week for a rundown of summer festivals and tours kicking off in the coming days.

SOUNDGARDEN
July 6th-30th
Tickets: $29-$88
Singer Chris Cornell says the reunited grunge greats are "completely immersed" in cutting their first new studio LP since 1996, but their U.S. tour will be devoted to old-school jams. "We'll go all the way back to our first release, [1987's] Screaming Life," says Cornell, who also promises to bring back fan favorites like 1991's "Slaves & Bulldozers." "The band doesn't feel like something that's had its day and now it's nostalgic. Twenty years later, playing with these guys still feels fresh and vital."

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
July 7th-July 15th
Tickets: $30-$35
Animal Collective are bringing their trippiest visuals yet on the road this summer. "We're aware that we're not much to look at as a live band," says sample-tweaker Geologist. "We'd like to give people a little more." Current plans call for the mind-melting animations they debuted this spring at Coachella to return, along with other effects that they're still figuring out: "Hopefully we're going for cave vibes, and there might be some flying things." They're also planning to road-test about 10 new tunes. "Can't say for sure if they'll all appear on the next album," Geologist adds. "I'm feeling really good about the ones we have so far, though."

AVETT BROTHERS
July 9th – October 1st
Tickets: $30-$35
The harmony-soaked folk crew are getting looser than ever this summer, stretching tunes like 2009's "I And Love And You" into epic jams. "Like the Grateful Dead, we like to improve on our studio songs live," says singer Scott Avett. "When we were younger, playing bars, there was a bit of dishonesty in presenting yourself like a rock star. Now we're in the realm where it's okay to put on a big show."

Related
Photos: A Decade of Soundgarden
Photos: The Week's Hottest Live Shots
Tour Kick-Offs: Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, Warped, More

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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