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.

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."

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."

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."

Photos: A Decade of Soundgarden
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Tour Kick-Offs: Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, Warped, More

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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