Bumbershoot and Dave Matthews' Gorge Amphitheatre shows are fading fast in the rearview mirror. The summer outdoor concert season is almost over.
But a gang of chart-topping rockers, crooners and country stars are headed to the Puyallup Fair & Events Center grandstand for the home stretch. Here’s who’s on tap this year:
Bret Michaels (9 p.m. today): It’s been a tumultuous year for the Poison front man and reality TV star who nearly died after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage in April. But he bounced back and released a new album, “Custom Built,” featuring the controversial, sexy lead single, “Nothin’ to Lose,” that he recorded with underage pop star Miley Cyrus. Michaels will go on after the Puyallup Rodeo. Concert-only tickets are available, with prices ranging from $30 to $50.
Kenny Rogers with the Tacoma Symphony (7:30 p.m. Monday): Last year, the Tacoma Symphony teamed up Wynonna Judd. This year, it will help Rogers give his own country hits – “The Gambler,” “Lady,” maybe some “Coward of the County” – a lush, orchestral makeover; tickets are $20 to $55.
John Legend (7:30 p.m. Tuesday): Listen up for new material from “Wake Up,” Legend’s forthcoming protest-covers CD with hip-hop heavyweights the Roots. Opener Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will up the ante significantly with gritty, old-school soul from their fourth CD “I Learned the Hard Way.” Tickets are $35 to $75.
We the Kings (6 p.m. Wednesday): Could Puyallup be the backdrop for this power-pop band’s online reality shorts series “The King’s Carriage?” Forever the Sickest Kids, A Rocket to the Moon and the Ready Set also are on the bill. Tickets are $25.
Willie Nelson (7:30 p.m. Thursday): On this tour, the 77-year-old country legend has been serving up his own classics – a little “On the Road Again,” some “Always on My Mind” – along with covers of material by Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams and the like. Tickets are $25 to $50.
Chris Botti and Natalie Cole (7:30 p.m. Sept. 17): Jazz trumpeter Botti, a native of Portland, has been one of America’s biggest-selling instrumental artists since his 2004 hit CD “When I Fall In Love.” Grammy winner Cole will pull from decades of chart-topping hits, including “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable” and “Our Love” likely to be on the set list. Tickets are $25 to $60.
Dierks Bentley (7:30 p.m. Sept. 18): The country superstar will lead a charity motorcycle ride that will depart from Destination Harley-Davidson, 2302 Pacific Highway E., in Fife at 5:30 p.m. before he takes the grandstand stage for a little “Feel That Fire” and “Free and Easy” action. It’s part of his Miles and Music for Kids series. Concert and ride packages range from $65 to $300, with proceeds benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Fiestas Patrias (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 19): The most heavily attended single-day grandstand event draws more than 30,000 attendees to celebrate Mexican culture with music, dancing and culinary delights. This event is free.
Queensryche (7:15 p.m. Sept. 20): Washington’s prog-metal kings recently announced they’d signed with Roadrunner Records with plans to put out a new album next year. Tesla has been tapped to open. Grab tickets for $25 to $40.
Adam Lambert with Allison Iraheta (7:30 p.m .Sept. 21): Lambert turned to his “American Idol” homie Iraheta to replace previously scheduled opener Orianthi. Sadly, Iraheta recently told us no Foghat duets have been rehearsed for this show. Boooo! But tickets are $25 to $45.
Hall & Oates (7:30 p.m. Sept. 22): Darryl Hall and John Oates were monsters of ’80s pop with a string of smash hits such as “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.” Tickets are $25 to $65.
MercyMe (7:30 p.m. Sept. 23): The popular Christian rock band makes its second local stop this year, following the Rock and Worship Road Show at the Tacoma Dome in March. Jeremy Camp will warm the crowd up. Get tickets for $20 to $50.
Billy Currington (7:30 p.m Sept. 24): The rising country star is known for “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right,” “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” and other hits. Rap-rocker Unkle Kracker will open. Tickets are $25 to $50.
Heart (7:30 p.m. Sept. 25): Last year, Seattle rock legends Ann and Nancy Wilson rocked the grandstand with “Barracuda” and “Magic Man,” with a cameo from Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez as icing on the cake. This time around, they’ll have a brand, spankin’ new album, “Red Velvet Car.” Tickets are $25 to $60.
Kid Rock (7:30 p.m. Sept. 26): Rapper turned nu metal-head turned country-rocker Bob Ritchie has been a commercial force since his 1998 breakthrough “Devil Without a Cause.” He was a big hit when he last headlined the grandstand in ’08. Tickets are $40 to $85 this time around.
Ernest Jasmin: 253-274-7389, firstname.lastname@example.org, blog.thenewstribune.com/tacomarockcity