By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
When people think of music festivals, they usually think of alt-rock bands playing together at a concert with a silly name — Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo and Coachella all spring to mind.
The simply titled Watershed Festival, then, isn’t typical.
The three-day sold-out country music extravaganza will descend on the Gorge Amphitheatre this weekend, bringing together some of the biggest names in country music. The fun starts at 2 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday night.
Each night features a different tent pole name on the main stage. Friday it’s Tim McGraw. Saturday, Lady Antellebum gets top billing. And Sunday night will find Jake Owen wrapping things up.
Smaller names will people the Whiskey Dick stage, as well as earlier set times on the main stage. Fans will get a chance to hear a long list of acts, including Billy Currington, Justin Moore, the Eli Young Band and Cassadee Pope, among many others.
Tickets are sold-out but can be found at a mark-up at stubhub.com.
On this side of the mountains, the White River Amphitheatre will host classic rock icon Santana, when he brings the Corazon Tour to Auburn at 7 Friday night.
Led by the trailblazing Latin guitarist Carlos Santana, the group has had a very long run. Early success in the 1970s with singles like “Oye Como Va” made Santana into an unlikely hit-maker. Since then, every few decades, Santana experiences a resurgence, like in 1999, when the Rob Thomas-penned hit “Smooth” was inescapable.
The group is touring now behind the Spanish-language album “Corazon,” which hit No. 9 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year.
Tickets are $42 to $109.25 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Nickel Creek also will roll through the area at 7 Friday night, with a show at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.
The group, which made a name for itself with its blend of bluegrass and pop, has been enjoying the spoils of its 25th anniversary reunion. The band had gone on hiatus in 2006, and since then, its fanbase seemingly grew.
The group is touring now behind the comeback album “A Dotted Line,” a lively record that hit No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and topped the bluegrass charts in March.
Tickets are $43.55 to $66.10 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Chvrches, the Glasgow-based synth-pop band, is headed to Seattle for a two-night stand at the Showbox SoDo, with shows at 9 p.m. Aug. 7 and 8.
The band made a splash with its debut album, “Bones of What You Believe,” which earned raves from taste-making websites like pitchfork.com and fans alike. Then, lead single “The Mother We Share” helped the group catch on with radio-listeners, becoming a staple on the modern rock dial.
Tickets are $30 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.
A pair of shows at King County’s Marymoor Park rounds out the week ahead.
First up is a throwback, as Foreigner and Styx headline the venue at 6:45 Friday night.
Foreigner became a staple on the radio dial in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with hits like “Feels Like the First Time” and “Juke Box Hero” making the group an arena headliner.
The ’70s and ’80s were also kind to the stadium rock of Styx. The group’s radio-friendly prog-rock helped them find an audience with hits such as “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away.”
Tickets are $59.50 to $89.50 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.
Finally, Sara Bareilles will play Marymoor Park at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night as she tours behind her No. 2 album, “The Blessed Unrest.”
Bareilles began her career by straddling the line between pop star and indie rock, wearing both images with equal aplomb.
With increasing success, she has embraced her pop-bent, serving as a judge on the TV show “The Sing Off” and keeping her hits near the top of the charts.
Tickets are $39.50 to $59.50 at showboxonline.com or 888-929-7849.