By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
Combined, Aerosmith and Tom Petty have been playing rock ‘n’ roll for about 80 years.
This weekend, the Gorge Amphitheatre will give fans a chance to see what all that experience means, as the venue hosts both groups on different nights.
First up is Florida’s finest, Tom Petty &the Heartbreakers, which released its debut album in 1976. The group plays at 8 Friday night with opening act Steve Winwood.
The band, founded in Gainesville, Fla., has churned out tuneful bar room rock since the 1970s with a distinctive sound that has rarely if ever indulged in musical trends. Their iconic singles include “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin’” and “Into the Great Wide Open.”
Still productive, the group released “Hypnotic Eye” on July 28, earning both accolades and — somewhat amazingly — it’s very first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
Tickets are $64.85 to $155 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Then, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aerosmith brings the “Let Rock Rule” tour to the Gorge, with guitarist Slash opening the show.
The so-called Bad Boys from Boston released their own self-titled debut in 1973, hitting it big a few years later with the single “Sweet Emotion.” From then on Aerosmith remained hit-makers, with iconic tracks like “Walk This Way,” “Crazy” and “What It Takes” establishing the group as enduring stars.
While its output has tailed off — “Music from Another Dimension!” in 2012 didn’t excite many — it remains a reliable live act thanks to frontman Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry.
Tickets are $76 to $157.50 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Back in Seattle, Ed Sheeran will draw a crowd to the WaMu Theater at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Sheeran’s star rose quickly after the 2011 release of his debut, “+.” His tuneful songwriting found him working with tween-friendly acts such as No Direction and Taylor Swift, even as his own songs — a stylistic hodgepodge of folk, hip-hop and pop — won fans in Pharrell Williams and Jamie Foxx.
He’s touring now behind his second album, “X” — pronounced “multiply” — which hit No. 1 in July, again showcasing Sheeran’s unique musical blend.
Tickets are $69.40 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Haim also hits Seattle, as the alt-rock trio plays the Paramount Theatre at 8 Friday night.
The group, made up of three sisters, has created its own sound by drawing on everything from Fleetwood Mac to Destiny’s Child. The group’s debut, “Days Are Gone,” featured one of the best pop rock singles of the last decade in “The Wire,” a song as clever and catchy as they come.
The band also has won accolades for its energetic live shows. Bassist Este Haim’s gnarly expressions — her so-called “bassface” — have even inspired a few internet memes.
Tickets are $30 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
A string of shows also will keep King County’s Marymoor Park busy in the coming week.
First up is Dirty Heads, the SoCal band that has found an audience with its fusion of rock, reggae and hip-hop, plays Marymoor Park at 6 p.m. Sunday.
The group, often called a latter day version of Sublime, is touring now behind its third studio album, “Sound of Change.”
Tickets are $28 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.
Another California reggae-pop group, Rebelution, hits Marymoor Park at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The act, known for a laidback sound that has a bit less bite than groups such as Dirty Heads, is touring now behind “Count Me In,” which reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200.
Tickets are $35 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.
Finally, alt-rock icon Beck will play Marymoor Park at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The singer is known for balancing radio-friendly outings like “Odelay” and “Midnite Vultures” with more mellow albums, including “Mutations” and “Sea Change.” Though most famous for early hits like “Loser” and “Where It’s At,” he’s remained a creative force thanks to that ability to mix things up.
Right now, he’s touring behind “Morning Phase,” one of his mellower albums, which finds the famed artist channeling California’s breezy folk and psychedelia.
Tickets are $54.50 to $79.50 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.