Alive @ Five: Meet the headliners

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A bevy of rock, pop and hip hop acts will take the stage in downtown Stamford this summer as Alive @ Five kicks off on Thursday, June 23 in Columbus Park.

Concerts will begin at 5 p.m. and continue every Thursday until Aug. 4. Here’s a look at the line-up:

Formed in San Francisco in 1993, Third Eye Blind garnered legions of fans for its blend of gloomy lyricism and sunny melodies that became the soundtrack for high school proms and Hollywood blockbusters.

The band released its eponymous debut album in 1997, which gained platinum status on the strength of the singles “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Graduate,” “How’s It Going to Be” “Losing a Whole Year” and “Jumper.” They followed with “Blue” in 1999.

After five years of non-stop touring, the group went on hiatus, returning in 2003 with their third studio album, “Out of the Vein.” Following a six-year break, the group came back in 2009 with “Ursa Major.” Third Eye Blind performs June 23 at Alive @ Five.

A one-time paint salesman in his hometown of Mt. Prospect, Ill., Lee DeWyze saw his dream come true when he was declared the champion of the ninth season of “American Idol” last year.

DeWyze, 25, impressed judges and fans alike with his renditions of U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” His gravely baritone and rootsy guitar playing made him a favorite on the show.

After winning a recording contract with RCA, DeWyze recorded and released his major label debut record, “Live It Up.”  DeWyze performed the second single, “Beautiful Like You,” on the “American Idol” Season 10 Top 12 Results show in March. Lee DeWyze performs June 30 at Alive @ Five.

A rapper, dancer, actor and entrepreneur who has sold more than 50 million albums world wide, MC Hammer is one of the most-recognized figures in the world of hip hop.

A forefather of pop rap who earned praised for his unique dancing ability, Hammer released a string of successful albums from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. His biggest singles — “U Can’t Touch This,” “2 Legit 2 Quit” and “Pump It Up” — are pop culture ubiquities.

A much-publicized decent into bankruptcy did not derail his career. Currently, Hammer is the co-founder of Social Media destination Dancejam and executive producer of the A&E reality show “HammerTime.” MC Hammer performs on July 7 at Alive @ Five.

As the lead vocalist, keyboardist, accordion player, producer and writer of Styx, Dennis DeYoung became the creative force behind many of the band’s hit songs, including “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away.”

After a successful solo career that lasted through the late-80s, DeYoung reunited with Styx in 1990. He took a break from the band to join the touring revival of the stage musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” DeYoung rejoined the band in 1995, only to part ways with them again several years later.

He has since re-embarked on a successful solo career, staging a musical adaptation of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and performing songs from the Styx catalogue. Dennis DeYoung performs on July 14 at Alive @ Five.

Launched in 1991 as a folk duo comprised of Matthew Scannell and Keith Kane, Vertical Horizon remodeled itself as a pop/rock outfit at the turn of the millennium and earned major success.

Signing with RCA, the band scored a huge hit with “Everything You Want,” off their debut album of the same name (the second single, “You’re A God” also fared well). They followed with “Go” in 2002 and “Burning Days” in 2009. Neal Peart of the Canadian rock band Rush layed drums on three songs on the latter recording.

The band is currently working on a new album, which includes the recently dropped singles “Save Me From Myself” and “The Lucky One.” Vertical Horizon performs on July 21 at Alive @ Five.

Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik, better known by his stage name Five for Fighting, became known in the late 1990s for his piano-based rock and soulful voice.

He released his first album, “Message For Albert,” in 1997, but it wasn’t until 2000′s “America Town” that Ondrasik saw massive popularity. The album went platinum and spawned the single “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” his biggest hit. Ondrasik’s next album, “Battle For Everything,” also went platinum.

He dropped his latest two records, “Two Lights” and “Slice,” in 2006 and 2009, respectively. He also writes and co-writes music for other artists, including the Backstreet Boys and Josh Grobin. Five For Fighting performs July 28 at Alive @ Five.

One of the most successful bands to emerge from the era of American new wave, The B-52s are known for their quirky, upbeat, surf-tinged dance-rock that has drawn hoards of people to the dance floor over the past three decades.

The band, which formed in Athens, Ga. in 1976, took its name from the beehive hairdo sported by singers Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson.

After recording for nearly 10 years, the band produced “Cosmic Thing,” their mainstream breakthrough, 1989. The album produced their biggest song, “Love Shack.” In 2008, the band released “Funplex,” its first record of original material in 16 years. The B-52s perform on Aug. 4 at Alive @ Five.

Scott Gargan

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