Reviews: Pearl Jam, J. Cole, Kenny Chesney, Shakira & More

Pearl Jam
John Davisson
– Pearl Jam
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Pearl Jam in Chicago; J. Cole in Phoenix; Kenny Chesney in East Rutherford, N.J.; Shakira in Houston; Avett Brothers in Bethlehem, Pa.; and Rainbow Kitten Surprise in Santa Fe, N.M.
Pearl Jam @ Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 18 – “Pearl Jam shows remain some of the most unpredictable and eclectic live performances. The band’s nightly set list changes have led to a series of bootlegs that fill up a dedicated Sirius XM channel. But the curveballs served up during night one of a two-night stand in Chicago were unexpected, even by Pearl Jam standards.” – Selena Fragassi / Chicago Sun Times

J. Cole @ Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 21 – “Even though it was the ‘KOD’ tour, Cole performed an onslaught of fan favorites. The audience felt like his own personal crew of hypemen who didn’t just sing along. Fans screamed every single word and showed no signs of slowing down.” – Melissa Fossum / AZ Central

Kenny Chesney @ MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Aug. 18 – “The Tennessee superstar, who has made something of a home at the Meadowlands, having now played New Jersey’s largest venue six times in the past eight years, again packed MetLife with 55,000 damp supporters as he jammed Saturday night on a sprawling stage that comprised the most thinly veiled brand integration ploy I’ve ever seen at a concert.” – Bobby Olivier / NJ Advance Media

John Davisson
– Shakira
at the Amway Arena, Orlando, Fla.

Shakira @ Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Aug. 22 – “The stage show came complete with several outfit changes, energetic dancing, multiple confetti showers, lasers and pyrotechnics, but it was Shak’s incomparable dance moves that were the highlight.” – Jack Gorman / Houston Press

The Avett Brothers @ Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pa., Aug. 17 – “While all of its performance was marked by energy, different songs brought different vitality.” – John J. Moser / The Morning Call

Rainbow Kitten Surprise @ The Bridge @ Santa Fe Brewing Company in Santa Fe, N.M., Aug. 19 – “The band continues to defy classification of their music in their newest album which carries lyrical nuggets of wisdom on how to treat others and yourself.” – Yana Apostalon /