Two Can’t-Miss Summer Concerts

To some, the 2011 contest victory of The Sheepdogs (Aug. 30, Malkin Bowl)-garnering 1.5 million votes to grace the cover of Rolling Stone-was a freakish fairy tale (the Vegas odds of a band releasing an album on a major label these days are pegged at 143:1), but the Saskatoon quartet’s solid, unpretentious boogie-rock smacks of lessons learned the hard way. After five years of touring and two independent discs, the shaggy retro-rockers were still playing weeknight shows at dead-end bars. “Shit was bleak,” singer Ewan Currie told Rolling Stone. Post-cover, their latest self-titled album debuted at No. 1 in Canada and went gold in March. The winding road to overnight success is well travelled. Daryl Hall had been playing music professionally for over 10 years (seven with university pal John Oates)-studying the masters, experimenting with genres, learning the art of crafting impeccable hooks-when the duo broke out in 1976 with its first No. 1 hit, “Rich Girl.” Still, four more years would pass before pop-soul icons Hall & Oates (Aug. 15, Queen Elizabeth) really began to own the charts, this time with a rapid succession of hits including the earworm epics “Kiss on My List” and “Private Eyes,” eventually earning the title of bestselling duo in music history.

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