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Concerts: Badu, Beyonce and Mayhem Arrive in Silicon Valley

In Music

The South Bay’s summer music lineup heats up this week with the arrival of the interesting mix of one of pop music’s biggest divas, tripped-out R&B and eardrum-blasting metal.

June 26: Erykah Badu at Mountain Winery
Inspired by hip hop, R&B and jazz, iconoclast Erykah Badu helped launch the neo-soul movement with her debut in 1997. The eccentric balladeer, with her Billie Holiday-textured voice and self-chosen surname inspired by her favorite scatting sound, has been redefining modern soul and her image ever since.

The four-time Grammy award-winner comes to the Mountain Winery in Saratoga this month just after a critically acclaimed collaboration with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and just before heading to SoCal to perform at BET Experience at L.A. Live.

Since releasing her fifth studio album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), a couple years ago, the Dallas native has teamed up with other artists, including Flying Lotus, Rocketjuice and the Moon, Bonobo and Tyler the Creator for collaborations.

Judging by reviews from her shows earlier this spring, expect a lot of throwback Badu favorites, like “Tyrone,” and “On and On,” but also freestyling and psychedelic jams with her electro-funk band the Cannabinoids.

June 30: Mayhem Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre
A legion of metalheads will flock to the Shoreline for the second stop of the Mayhem Festival 2013, a hard-and-heavy rock event whose main draws this year include Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastadon and Amon Amarth.

Rob Zombie is the biggest draw this year, riding the high from the April debut of his fifth solo studio album, “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor,” which landed at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 albums chart the first week of it’s release.

Event sponsor Rockstar energy drink will fuel up the crowd for a long day of headbanging by passing out free samples of the caffeine soda while setting up meet-and-greets with some of the 18-band lineup, which also includes Children of Bodom, Shores of Acheron, Attika 7 and Thrown Into Exile.

June 2: Beyonce at HP Pavilion
After a jaunt across Europe where she stunned the world with sequin-splashed golden-nippled costumes and explosive pyrotechnics, Queen Bey comes full circle back to Cali this summer to kick off the North American part of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Beyonce touches down at San Jose’s HP Pavilion July 2–an already sold-out show–in her fourth global concert tour.

Critics have praised the Carter show for its mash-up of old-world grandiloquence (ermine-trimmed capes, caged skirts and other Louis XVI-style attire), Broadway-style dance numbers, big-budget special effects and a whole lot of ass shaking. All the focus on areola-accentuating get-ups and elaborate fireworks displays has overshadowed any mention of the pop queen’s voice, a less-miasmic but no less commanding counterpart to a lot of leading R&B divas.

A second Beyoncé show was scheduled at HP Pavilion for December 2 to meet demand. Tickets go on sale July 1 at 10am.

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