Do you prefer Babyface or Bad Religion?
Your answer to that question will go a long way to deciding which of the two big Bay Area radio station shows to attend on Sunday.
Those who dig Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds should score tickets for KBLX-FM's "Hot Summer Night" at the Concord Pavilion. The multiplatinum crooner-producer, who has nabbed 10 Grammy Awards to date, headlines the R&B/soul showcase. Other top acts on the bill include Blackstreet with Teddy Riley (featuring Dave Hollister), Jagged Edge, 112, Dru Hill and Next. Sounds like a very smooth way to spend a Sunday.
Show time is 4 p.m. and tickets are $31-$134, www.livenation.com.
Those looking for something a bit more, well, abrasive should consider Live 105's intriguing "Punk Rock Picnic" at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. Bad Religion is the best bet on the all-old-school bill, which also features headliners The Offspring, Pennywise, The Vandals, The Story So Far and Stiff Little Fingers.
Wow, that's a good lineup. (Note: Do yourself a favor and definitely show up early enough to see legendary Belfast band Stiff Little Fingers.)
Show time is 3:30 p.m., and tickets are $26, www.livenation.com.
PRIEST RETURNS: It's about to get heavy.
Judas Priest, one of the top heavy metal bands of all time, has announced plans to perform at the City National Civic of San Jose.
The date is Nov. 15 and tickets are $55-$70, www.ticketmaster.com.
The band is touring in support of the brand new "Redeemer of Souls," which is its 17th studio album and its first since 2008's "Nostradamus."
Priest, of course, is a powerful live act. And bandleader Rob Halford is certainly one of the genre's best vocalists. Plus, it's hard to beat Priest's signature twin-guitar attack, which is currently being served up by longtime hero Glenn Tipton and relative newcomer Richie Faulkner. (Yes, Priest aficionados, I also still miss original ax man K.K. Downing.)
Yet what makes this concert extra special is the setting.
Most fans are probably accustomed to seeing Priest perform at major arenas and amphitheaters, not a comparatively intimate venue like the 3,000-capacity City National (formerly the San Jose Civic Auditorium).
Priest will rock that place to its foundation.
Steel Panther, the goofy, great glam-metal band from Los Angeles, opens the show.
MORE METAL: Like Led Zeppelin? Enjoy the symphony? Then you might want to nab tickets for "The Music of Led Zeppelin" on Sept. 20 at the City National Civic.
The intriguing production promises to bridge "the gulf between rock 'n' roll and classical music." It features high-flying vocalist Randy Jackson of Zebra, the popular New Orleans metal act that has sold more than 2 million records during a career that has now spanned five decades, as well as a full rock band and the Silicon Valley Symphony.
And, of course, the music is all Led Zep -- yet done in a way that most fans have never experienced before.
"My concept for 'The Music of Led Zeppelin' was to take the music as close to the originals as we could and then add some colors to enhance what Zep had done," says show creator Brent Havens, who will also be guest conducting the symphony. "The wonderful thing with an orchestra is that you have an entire palette to call upon. The band is reproducing what Led Zeppelin did on the albums, verbatim, and then having an orchestra behind the band gives the music a richness, a whole different feel, a whole different sense of power."
The program will likely include such fan favorites as "Heartbreaker," "Black Dog," "Kashmir," "All of My Love," "Immigrant Song" and "Stairway to Heaven." Sounds like a great time for Led Zep fans.
Tickets are $35-$62, www.ticketmaster.com.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN: I'm a sucker for bagpipe bands. Plus, I love a good caber toss.
Thus, I'm always interested in attending the annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games in Pleasanton.
Another reason to visit this fine family event, now in its 149th year, is its great lineup of traditional and contemporary Celtic music acts. The top names on the bill include Celtica, 1916, Wicked Tinkers, and the Browne Sisters and George Cavanaugh.
The Scottish Highland Gathering and Games runs Saturday-Sunday at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. For details, go to www.thescottishgames.com.