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The fall concert season is the best concert season. Gone are the days of standing in a field, in the rain, waiting for the one act you like to perform in the middle of a festival. The return of autumn means the return of long sleeve shirts and high quality musicians performing under roofs. Last fall saw the opening of The Anthem. This fall will feature the opening of the Entertainment & Sports Arena. Another fall in D.C., another venue that can hold a few thousand people to see performers like Mary J. Blige. Nice.

September 25

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience @ Capital One Arena

You know the theme song. You know “The Rains of Castamere.” If you know anything else about this shows soundtrack, you’re going above and beyond and I salute you. This is the show for people who are still following GRRM’s blog. The show for the people who still think we might get a 6th book. The show for the people who are actually excited for the last season of Game of Thrones. Pessimistic ASOIAF fans need not apply. -Kaylee Dugan

September 26

Anne-Marie @ U Street Music Hall

September 27

Open Mike Eagle @ Songbyrd

Open Mike Eagle released one of the best songs of 2017, “Brick Body Complex.” Open Mike Eagle had one of the best sets at the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival. See him perform in an intimate setting and talk to him after the show about wrestling. -Brandon Wetherbee

September 28

Blood Orange @ Lincoln Theatre

I once heard a friend describe a Blood Orange concert as a “spiritual experience.” That was after Freetown Sound. Two years later, his Negro Swan tour promises to be just as moving. Politically motivated as always, Blood Orange’s fourth studio album tells a story of black depression and the struggles of growing up in the margins, feeling stepped on and pushed to the side. The whole thing is narrated by Janet Mock as spoken word is masterfully woven into almost psychedelic R&B sounds. Negro Swan is a powerful album, and this concert is sure to be that poignant mix of celebration and emotion that makes seeing Blood Orange live feel “spiritual.” -Afriti Bankwalla

bloodorange (10 of 26)

September 29

SHAED @ Rock & Roll Hotel

Indie pop trio SHAED is playing a pair of shows to celebrate the release of their second EP, Melt, another dreamy set of song. The group makes groovy music that pairs well with their neon-lit stage and lead singer Chelsea Lee’s powerful vocals. -Stephanie Brooks

September 30

St. Paul and the Broken Bones @ The Anthem

Read our interview with St. Paul and the Broken Bones

October 1

Tove Styrke @ Rock & Roll Hotel

It is a shame Tove Styrke isn’t more popular in the United States. The third-place finisher of Swedish Idol in 2009 crafts electropop with attitude. Styrke spent the first part of the year on tour with Lorde and Katy Perry respectively and is embarking on her headlining tour. Sway, Styrke’s third album, is full of would-be hits. “Say My Name” is a bouncy summer jam, built on a warped guitar line and 8-bit like drums. “Mistakes” changes Styke’s voice in autotune running her through the Matrix. The record closes with a cover of Lorde’s “Liability,” speeding the original up every so slightly making it all her own. Hopefully one day Styrke will be the most famous Tove on these shores. -Rohan Mahadevan

October 2

Hozier @ Lincoln Theatre

Just when I thought all hope was lost on hearing new Hozier music in my lifetime, he’s back. Hozier released EP Nina Cried Power in early September – which will be followed by a full length album some time next year. The tour is sure to be packed with revitalized energy with the leading song “Nina Cried Power” as a praise for activism from the perspective of an Irish-American musician who laid low and just watched everything catch on fire in the past few years. -Stephanie Brooks

October 3

Leon Bridges @ The Anthem

When Leon Bridges dropped his 2015 debut Coming Home, the collective sigh of relief in the music industry was indicative of how much emotional sway Motown’s legacy of soulful R&B still had. That debut was an introduction to an artist who did really well at tapping into the same vibe Raphael Saadiq tapped into on his 2008 The Way I See It, but who’s own success created questions about his next step. His next step, 2018’s Good Thing, was proof that Bridges’ talent extended far beyond nostalgia, delivering an album that introduced the artist from Fort Worth to a modern soundstage. Each track subconsciously falls into one of two categories: artistic guilty pleasures and Top-40 aspirations; combined you begin to see an artist whose identity is treading slowly into a amalgamation of all the things that matter in music. -Ruben Gzirian

October 4

Troye Sivan and Kim Petras @ The Anthem

Troye Sivan and Kim Petras is truly the tour of “twentygayteen.” Sivan’s second studio album, Bloom, is a masterful work of queer confessionals set to upbeat, irresistibly catchy music. Bloom has everything that makes a well-rounded album, from incredibly tender moments alongside light, carefree tracks to a blend of influences from pop’s past next to a very current Ariana Grande duet. And if you haven’t heard of Kim Petras yet you’re missing out in a big way. Petras’s music is hyperpop: fun, dance-worthy music that takes the pop genre to a whole new level. She’s a real pop princess from her lighthearted, girly sound to her colorful music videos and Barbie-esque aesthetic. The pairing of these two artists for the Bloom tour is a match made in pop heaven. -Afriti Bankwalla

October 5

Florence + The Machine and Beth Ditto @ The Anthem

Of all the talent possessed by Florence + The Machine’s Florence Welch, her greatest is how she enconses raw emotional narratives of doubt, disillusion with love, and hope for hope’s sake all in a rolling thunder of a voice that cuts deep; carrying songs like “South London Forever” and “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” to climatic peaks few singers can ever hope to imagine. Since 2009’s Lungs, Florence + The Machine have slowly perfected their expansive soundscape that at times resembles something you’d hear on the latter half of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band mixed with the deep emotive lyrics of Etta James.

Florence + The Machine will be joined by Beth Ditto, which makes complete sense. Much like Welch, Ditto’s voice is a Southern renaissance that reminds me of the attitude you’d find on an old Tanya Tucker song paired with the fierce earthiness of Amy Winehouse. Each song, whether it’s the 2011 “I Wrote the Book” or 2018’s “We Could Run” is an expose of an artist comfortable in any skin; deftly jumping between the long traversals of sugary synth pop and the cavernous guitar riffs of indie rock. Throughout her career, Ditto has flourished as an outlier—first with the stripped-down punk band the Gossip and now as an individual artist—but as she gains notoriety for a talent as engrossing as her identity, her time on the fringes of modern music are numbered. -Ruben Gzirian

Also October 6


October 6

REZZ @ Echostage

She’s only 23, and opened for Skrillex before she was 21. The Canadian native, REZZ, comes back to D.C. on October 6 to melt our brains at Echostage. If you haven’t heard of REZZ, this is a show you definitely don’t want to miss. I was first introduced to her at a small Soundcheck show in October 2016, and this girl has blown up. Her deep and dirty dub is sure to please. Don’t believe me? Check out “Edge” and “Delusion,” and try to argue otherwise. -Sabrina Kent

October 6 and 7

All Things Go Fall Classic @ Union Market

D.C. festivals have come and gone, but All Things Go’s Fall Classic has not only persisted, it has also stayed in the District. Unlike the now shuddered Sweetlife festival or Trillectro, ATG is in D.C. proper, not at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Since 2014 the festival takes over the back lot of Union Market (aside from 2016’s very wet event at Yards Park). This year the festival has expanded from one to two days. Day one is special, as the line-up was curated by headliner Maggie Rogers and LPX brining a slate of all female and non-binary artists including rising popstars Billie Eilish and Jessie Reyez. Day two is for the gays, with headliner Carly Rae Jepsen (!!!!) and acts like Betty Who and the incredibly talented four piece The Aces. As usual, the festival is not all about music. ATG is brining specialty food vendors and art. The Fall Classic is the event of the fall. -Rohan Mahadevan

ATG (13 of 26)

October 8

Joey Purp @ Songbyrd

Joey Purp is a star. A member of Chicago’s Savemoney crew with Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa (among others), the rapper exploded onto the musical landscape with 2016’s iiiDrops (which sampled “You Make My Life a Sunny Day” better than and before Jay Z and Beyonce did), and reaffirmed his position with September’s more diverse, wilier QUARTERTHING. He’s someone who sounds equally good on swagged-out party cuts and on slower-simmering songs where he sounds stressed out of his mind, clawing his skin off. It’s not a combo many can pull off. Getting to see him at an intimate venue like Songbyrd is real treat – and one that probably won’t come again. -Phil Runco

October 9

Nine Inch Nails @ The Anthem

Can any other act that debuted in the 80s make their fans show up in rainy weather to purchase tickets for a show nearly a half year in advance? Who actually stands in the rain, early on a Saturday morning, to buy tickets for a concert? In 2018? Nine Inch Nails fans did around the country and around the world. There’s a good reason. Each and every Trent and friends tour is different. The last D.C. stop was at the now Capital One Arena. It featured screens and effects that have been borrowed by Beyoncé and U2. This tour has none of those effects. It’s a back to basics, let’s-play-a-rock-show in a rock club, not an arena. I’ll miss all the bells and whistles but am excited to finally hear “The Perfect Drug,” our favorite Nine Inch Nails song for the first time. They’re finally playing a song released 21 years ago. -Brandon Wetherbee

Also October 10


October 10

Kali Uchis @ 9:30 Club

There’s something remarkably magnetic about Kali Uchis. The Alexandria, Virginia native is in many ways the distillation of her generation: multicultural, multifaceted, and pulling from the widest variety of possible references. The Colombian-American singer released Isolation, her first full-length record, earlier this year to critical acclaim. What struck me the most was how difficult it was to define the album’s sound, and how much better it was for it. Uchis played with pop, R&B, Latin, and funk expectations and gave us a record that showcases her skills and strong personality. It helps that she cut her teeth collaborating in the orbit of fellow luminaries Tyler, the Creator, Jorja Smith, and Kaytranada – among others – and you can look forward to more genre-bending, irrepressible tunes. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Also October 9

October 11

Years & Years @ Lincoln Theatre

When it comes to guilty pleasures, nothing really compares to expertly made pop music. I squarely live in the world of hip hop, but I’ve often found myself subconsciously seeking out Years & Years’ 2018 Palo Santo when I need a break from Young Thug. It really should not come as a surprise that this trio from London can make an album that strings together modern synth-pop production with just-deep-enough lyrics that the late George Michaels would be proud of; their 2015 debut Communion was so tailored that it was hard to differentiate when one one great song ended, and the next began. -Ruben Gzirian

October 12

Berndsen, Thunderpaw, Heavy Breathing @ Comet Ping Pong

October 13

OPUS @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

I love that D.C. is increasingly a destination for immersive, interactive art installations, and OPUS 1 might be the most impressive one of the lot. We were lucky enough to get a close look at last year’s inaugural festival, and the second edition – scheduled for October 13, again at the Merriweather Post Pavilion – promises to push the boundaries of audiovisual experiences in art further. It’s been described as “part Burning Man, part Big Ears, and part Art Basel”, but without the long lines (or pretension?). Avant-garde musicians Oneohtrix Point Never and Sudan Archives are charged with forging the soundscape, and the art promises to pose challenging questions, without easy answers -Jose Lopez-Sanchez


October 14

The Beths @ Songbyrd

The Beths, as the proverbial saying goes, got hooks. Hooks for days. Hooks on hooks on hooks. These infectious, resplendent things can be found on the New Zealand quartet’s August LP Future Me Hates Me – a record that would have sold approximately 2 million copies two-and-a-half decades ago. Over the course of 10 songs, singer-guitarist Elizabeth Stokes spills her guts – the insecurities, the self-doubt, the shakes – in the most winsome ways possible. It’s impossible to resist. Much like The Courtneys’ II (a record from a Canadian band, yes, but released on a New Zealand label), this is music made for road trips and group singalongs. At the very least, you can find the latter at Songbyrd when Stokes and her band of dudes visit on October 14. -Phil Runco

October 15

Trixie Mattel @ Rams Head Live

October 16

Brockhampton @ The Anthem

I wrote at length about the Brockhampton phenomenon earlier this year – how they were the band of misfits, outsiders, and fiercely independent creatives that your teenage brother was likely obsessed with. Things have changed a fair amount for the band in subsequent months: they signed with major label RCA Records in March, in May they kicked out founding member Ameer Vann after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, and they canceled a couple of high-profile performances in June. Understandably, audiences have begun to look at Brockhampton with a more critical eye, and there is a considerable amount of scrutiny directed towards the collective. There is a lot riding on Iridescence and their upcoming tour will likely define whether the group bounces back or fizzes out. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Read our feature on Brockhampton, “Boyband Interrupted”

October 17

Fred Thomas @ Songbyrd

“I don’t know what to say outside of that it’s really, really different,” Fred Thomas told me last September, discussing a then-work-in-progress record. “It’s sort of another chapter in the same kind of style that we’ve been talking about today. But it’s a real bummer.”

The “style” referenced by the former Saturday Looks Good to Me mastermind is essentially the marriage of emotionally raw songwriting and a sing-speak delivery. It’s something he unveiled on 2015’s All Are Saved and revisited two years later with Changer. Across those two records, it could be catchy and it could be devastating, sometimes simultaneously. All in all, it was worlds away from the submarine Spector ‘60s ditties that Thomas broke through with. And the idea that this new record was somehow the “real bummer” by comparison was hard to fathom. But the state of the world after November 2016 had driven him to a dark place.

“Everyone feels bleak in a different way, and those bleaknesses are intersecting,” he shared. “I was just looking at all of these darknesses, and if you can imagine a music personification of that darkness, [this album is] that. The songs are really long. The songs are really dirgey. They’re not about much more than memories of the past kind of reflected through the new lens of constant crisis.”

In mid-September, Thomas released the album: Aftering. As expected, it’s a fucking a doozy. I’m still unpacking it. I will likely still be unpacking it when Thomas visits Songbyrd on October 17. It’s a challenging record, and I am thankful to have it in my life. -Phil Runco

Read our interview with Fred Thomas

October 18

Tank and the Bangas and Big Freedia @ 9:30 Club

Having blown up on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest, Tank & The Bangas return to D.C. for two nights at 9:30 Club. The funk-soul group resumes their world tour in the District, bringing their unique fusion coast-to-coast by mid-November. If that’s not enough, the group is co-headlining with bounce rap artist, Big Freedia. Tank & The Bangas are in the midst of producing their latest studio album, so with any luck, we’ll get a sneak peak while they’re in town. -Sabrina Kent

Also October 19

October 19

Guided By Voices @ Black Cat

Robert Pollard’s Guided By Voices have been chugging beers and releasing records at a quick quip since 1983. The band has shuffled through line-ups and “broken up” multiple times, but like death and taxes, Guided By Voices persist. After 2010’s “classic” line up reunion, the band hit pause and reset in 2016, releasing four albums including this year’s surprising good Space Gun. Not slowing down, the band have announced two more albums coming in 2019 and 2020. This fall the band will embark on a short tour of the east and west coast. Expect a long set-list of fan favorites and many salty salutes. -Rohan Mahadevan

October 20

Kero Kero Bonito @ MilkBoy ArtHouse

London’s Kero Kero Bonito are coming back with a new album Time ‘n’ Place to be released on their new label Polyvinyl. Formed in 2013 through an Internet forum, the bilingual group make forward thinking pop that blends everything from 90’s teenybopper music to J-Pop and beyond. Beyond being catchy as hell, the band puts on fun live show. This time around the band have expanded to a five piece and rearranged their older tracks to fit the set up. -Rohan Mahadevan

October 21

Big Thief @ 9:30 Club

Adrianne Lenker voice alone is worth the price of admission: it is haunting, disarming, and piercing. She also happens to be an excellent songwriter and guitarist, and her work – as a solo artist, or as part of Big Thief – is consistently outstanding. They were the best live show I saw in 2017, and I’m certain that wasn’t by fluke. Go see this band and get ready to weep. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

October 22

Garbage @ Lincoln Theatre

Difficult to remember now, but Garbage’s sophomore effort Version 2.0 actually disappointed quite a few listeners when it debuted in 1998. It suffered the same stumbling block as Weezer’s Pinkerton — fans who (understandably) thought the self-titled debut album’s sound was unimprovable were wary about experimenting in round two. But time has (also understandably) been kind to 2.0, a fuzzy, jeans-ripping thrasher that hangs on ear-worm classics including “Sleep Together” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.” So the alterna-punk veterans have taken to the road for a 20th anniversary tour, call it 2.0 20, to celebrate the reclaimed LP. Here’s hoping they can still push it. -Tristan Lejeune

Also October 21


October 23

We Were Promised Jetpacks @ 9:30 Club

I was in college when WWPJ’s first album These Four Walls came out and I bought a ticket to see them in Boston the same day I heard the album for the first time. I dragged friends with me and by the end of it we were all jumping up and down, wishing we were Scottish. Ten years later, they’re still here, lighting up rooms and screaming about quiet little voices. -Tommy McNamara

October 24

Minus the Bear @ Fillmore Silver Spring

Minus The Bear is breaking up, but not before going on one last massive tour. They’ll dig back deep into their sizable catalog, paying tribute to their ravenous fan base of ex-hardcore kids, indie dance weirdos, and math rock heads. -Matt Byrne

October 25

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ The Anthem

One of the greats. I love this band and especially love the expanse of their musicality, having evolved from caustic, slightly frightening punks, to probable-murderers, to preachers. Now they’re slightly more mellow, more focused on density and hypnosis than loudness, but with fangs that still peek out. Seeing Nick Cave prowl across the stage in person is a much more exhilarating experience than it may seem, and he spends much of the show standing right at the lip of the stage, or in some shows, on a stage extension to place him basically on top of you. He gets the entire audience pulled in for the quieter tunes, and mutates into a werewolf for his older songs. At one of his shows everyone around me at the front talked about how exciting it is when he yells at you. They’re totally right. It’s amazing. -Vesper Arnett

October 26

Lee “Scratch” Perry @ Rock & Roll Hotel

Lee “Scratch” Perry’s influence on music cannot be overstated. He’s best known for his pioneering work as an architect of Jamaican dub reggae and but his continued presence as a singularly weird live performer, even as he enters his 80s, is just as remarkable. Ya gotta go see our man Lee. -Matt Byrne

October 27

Dillinger Four @ Rock & Roll Hotel

October 28

Roky Erickson, White Mystery, Bat Fangs @ Black Cat

Roky Erickson’s journey through mental illness and hardship has come to define the latter half of his career, which began in the 1960s, through his work with the trailblazing psych rock band The 13th Floor Elevators. Joined by tour mates and fellow garage/psych explorers White Mystery, Erickson is a magnetic presence onstage, performing a mix of tracks from his wild solo catalog and legendary 13th Floor Elevators jams. -Matt Byrne

October 29

In Dreams: Roy Orbison in Concert – The Hologram Tour @ MGM National Harbor

It’s the future now so of course they’re touring around a Roy Orbsion hologram. I’m not sure what market research led whoever is responsible for this to land on Roy as the first major corpse to reanimate on this scale, but here we are. It’s gonna be weird, I bet! -Matt Byrne

October 30

Mom Jeans @ DC9

If you like house shows and watching Bob’s Burgers and Star Wars jokes and being that special kind of twee that involves drinking malt liquor and listening to The Front Bottoms on your best friends front porch, you probably already know Mom Jeans. For the rest of you, it’s basically the aural version of all of that. The recipe for enjoying this show involves 1. Ordering the cheapest combo on the menu 2. Doing that again and 3. Unleashing the most earnest version of yourself. -Kaylee Dugan

October 31

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ Howard Theatre

George Clinton, bandleader of the massive funk union of Parliament/Funkadelic, has kept a relentless touring schedule and rotating cast of collaborators over the last fifty years, capturing a totally unique, positive vibration that is undeniably appealing. Though in his late 70s, Clinton’s still an energetic and engaging live performer, hosting an evening featuring plenty of classics from the funk canon, plus plenty of grimy deep cuts for the true heads. -Matt Byrne

George Clinton @ 930

November 1

Ezra Furman @ U Street Music Hall

Ezra Furman, in his prolific career both as a solo artist and with bands The Harpoons and The Boyfriends has done the unthinkable: he’s made the harmonica cool again. Furman’s new album Transangelic Exodus, is a bonkers rock opera with vampires and angels. What better way to keep Halloween going into November? -Tommy McNamara

Read Ezra Furman’s Nightmare Gig

November 2

Cursive @ 9:30 Club

Long-running indie rock dramatists Cursive are back after six years of silence with a new LP, influenced by the uncertainty and nihilism that we all feel any time anything happens in the news ever anymore. It’s a bad world out there and our friends in Cursive are here to scream about it! -Matt Byrne

Read our interview with Cursive

November 3

The Twilight Sad @ U Street Music Hall

November 4

Christine and the Queens @ 9:30 Club

In 2014 synth-pop artist Héloïse Letissier released her first album, Chaleur humaine, as Christine and the Queens in her native country France. The album went on to sell like crazy and made her a star. Two years later, the album was released in America with additional English language tracks. Since then Christine and the Queens was afforded the space and financial stability to grow. Expanding her live show to include choreographed dancing and outfits, Christine and the Queens has become Letissier’s singular vision. With the new album Chris, Christine and the Queens are in new waters. Letissier’s first album dealt with gender and sexuality, but Chris take that to the maximum with Chris being an alter ego of sorts for Letissier. Her new image with shorter hair, and masculine clothes turns gender on its head. Chris is a stronger album pushing the boundaries of Letissier’s sound. -Rohan Mahadevan

November 5

St. Lucia @ 9:30 Club

Read our interview with St. Lucia

November 6

Yaeji @ Black Cat

Kathy Yaeji Lee is a Brooklyn DJ/producer that has been lighting up the house scene for the past few years. Raised in both the United States and South Korea, Yaeji sings in both English and Korean. While her beats are clean and crisp, her vocal delivery is what sticks. Take the single “raingurl,” a house hip-hop workout, with Yaeji whisper singing her vocals until the earworm chorus. Yaeji is known for putting on a hell of a live show, and performing rather than sitting behind a DJ booth. -Rohan Mahadevan

November 7

Tenacious D @ The Anthem

JACK BLACK. KG. ROCKING YOUR FACE OFF LIKE DIO. I saw them in high school and it was the perfect comedy concert experience: face-shredding and gut-busting and exhausting in the best way. I don’t know what their show will be like all these years later but I know it will be two of the funniest people in the world doing what they love to do. Plus we should support anything that keeps Jack Black from making a The House with the Clock in its Walls sequel. -Tommy McNamara

November 8

Slothrust @ Rock & Roll Hotel

A female fronted grunge band from Boston? Were Slothrust created in a lab specifically to make music that I would love? I was completely floored when I listened to their album Of Course You Do based on the recommendation of a friend who apparently knows me very well. Their new album, The Pact, is full of bangers, especially “For Robin”, which I’ve listened to 100,000 times this week. -Tommy McNamara

November 9

Je’Caryous Johnson and Snoop Dogg @ Warner Theatre

Also November 10 and 11

November 10

Pale Waves @ U Street Music Hall

Pale Waves look like mall goths, but don’t let the manic panic fool you, Pale Waves make 80’s pop numbers that wouldn’t be out of place in a John Hughes movie. Fronted by Rober Smith acolyte Heather Baron-Gracie, Pale Waves are signed to Dirty Hit, the label that’s also home to The 1975. The two bands share a sibling like connection, as The 1975’s Matty Healy and George Daniel produced the band’s first two tracks and took the band out on tour. This year, the band released their first EP All The Things I Never Said, and their debut album My Mind Makes Noises. Both have the promise of a young band finding their stylistic lane and one that is sure to stick around. -Rohan Mahadevan

November 11

6LACK @ The Anthem

My recent experience seeing DVSN and Miguel in early-September was just more proof that R&B was going in a new direction. Among the artists driving that pivot is Atlanta’s 6LACK. His refreshingly gloomy 2016 debut Free Black showed you could blend minimalist Atlanta production with a raspy voice to convey pain, fading empathy, and revenge with devastating accuracy. His most recent album, East Atlanta Love, paint a more retrospective 6LACK grapplying with fame and how to live a life that was almost preordained from age 4 when he recorded his first vocals in his father’s home studio. 6LACK’s growing influence in a genre with no margin for error is a testament to the cross section of his ability; songs like “Balenciaga Challenged” or “Switch” show off a quicker rhythmic pace, allowing 6LACK to vary how each bar encapsulates the overarching subject matter. These are faint details, but they are the type of details that make 6LACK a must-see act. -Ruben Gzirian

November 12

Low @ U Street Music Hall

Talk about an upgrade. Low have been consistently releasing albums since 1994 toying with post-rock and slowcore genres slowly evolving each record. Along the way they have released definitive albums like 2001’s Things We Lost in The Fire, but since signing to Sub Pop in 2006, Low have been mutating. Each album saw the band expand their palate whether it be more aggressive riffs or straight pop songs. With the band’s latest, Double Negative, Low have come into a new form, a rarity for a band that has been active this long. Produced by Bon Iver’s go to producer BJ Burton, who previously worked with the band on 2015’s Ones and Sixes, Double Negative is not only one of Low’s best albums but one of the best albums of 2018. Born out of the chaos of the 24-hour news cycle and political climate, Double Negative finds Low reducing their sound to digital decay. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s voices remain but behind them is a vast number of loops and processing. Double Negative is as haunting as it is beautiful and a record for the times we live in. -Rohan Mahadevan

November 13

Ron Gallo @ DC9

November 14

Louis the Child @ 9:30 Club

The Chicago based duo is headed on their Dear Sense tour – named for their summer collab with pop singer MAX. Best known for their production behind hit songs with artists like, Quinn XCII, Chelsea Cutler, and The Chainsmokers, Louis the Child is responsible for the pop/EDM songs I love. Their electronic beats paired with catchy pop ballads are the ultimate recipe for the songs that get stuck in your head for days. The group is headed on tour before the release of their EP, Kids at Play. -Stephanie Brooks

Also November 15

November 15

The Dodos @ Rock & Roll Hotel

The mid-to-late 2000s were a fertile time for eccentric indie rock bands. Most of them did not last. The Dodos did and have been consistently releasing interesting albums of textural, rhythmic songs that often transcend the very specific Animal Collective-wave vibe that followed the band for a long time. Their latest drops this fall on Polyvinyl and advance tracks have sounded super cool! -Matt Byrne

November 16

Mitski @ 9:30 Club

If you’ve read Pitchfork even once, you might have heard that Mitski’s new album is out. Be the Cowboy, with its amazing artwork and ear worm singles, is simultaneously an exploration of the bands poppier notions and a dive into Mitski Miyawaki’s weirder tastes. For a band that reinvents their aesthetics for each new album, I can’t wait to see how the Mulholland Drive vibe translate into their live show. As someone who has been seeing Mitski on and off since 2015, I couldn’t be more excited for shit to get weird. -Kaylee Dugan

Also November 17


November 17

Los Campesinos! @ Black Cat

It has been ten years since the Cardiff, Wales seven-piece Los Campesinos! released their first two full lengths and to celebrate the band are going out on tour. The band’s sound haven’t changed much since their beginnings. Singer Gareth Campesinos!’s hyper literate sing-shouted lyrics are still intact as well their twee/pop-punk arrangements. Both Hold on Now, Youngster… and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed are due for a critical revaluation, and ten years on Los Campesinos! may finally get their due. -Rohan Mahadevan

November 18

Wild Nothing @ 9:30 Club

There’s a dreamy, hazy quality to all of Wild Nothing’s music – a trait that endures from the band’s origins as Jack Tatum’s bedroom recordings while he was a college student at Virginia Tech. And though Tatum’s environment has expanded by multiple factors – moving first to Brooklyn and most recently to Los Angeles – the soothing, jangly sounds melt off of his guitar and wash over listeners with the same intimacy as always. It’s been a few years since 2016’s Life of Pause – an album I still listen to and love – and I’m excited to see what Tatum has up his sleeve. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Read our interview with With Nothing

November 19

Silver Talon, Speedclaw @ The Pinch

November 20

The Menzingers @ Black Cat

November 21

Tash Sultana @ The Anthem

November 22

No music, eat a turkey

November 23

oOoOO, Islamiq Grrrls @ Songbyrd Music House

November 24

Poppy @ 9:30 Club

I’m thoroughly fascinated, yet incredibly distrustful, of YouTube culture. From the horribly designed thumbnails to the memetic video subjects, the more I watch the more I hate it… But I still can’t stop watching. Part Britney Spears, part Bjork, Poppy is a… a girl? A robot A prank? Whatever the goal is here, her videos are expertly crafted and fascinating to watch. So much of YouTube thrives on making everything look spontaneous, so watching something as purposefully executed as Poppy is refreshing. Her music might be incredibly boring, but I’m almost certain this show will be the opposite. -Kaylee Dugan

November 25

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin @ Fillmore Silver Spring

November 26

Melissa Etheridge @ The Birchmere

Listen I know I’m supposed to write a fancy blurb here but “COME TO MY WINDOW” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!? -Tommy McNamara

Also November 27 and 28

November 27

Amine @ Fillmore Silver Spring

November 28

Shy Boys @ Songbyrd

November 29

Travis Scott @ Capital One Arena

I try really hard to avoid talking about the live performances of artists I’m previewing; I’ve learned through plenty of barren concerts by amazing artists that singing and performing are two different beasts. But with Travis Scott, it’s hard not to. Over the course of three albums, 2018’s Astroworld being the most recent, Travis Scott has created an artistic persona that bleeds into every bar, every song, every album, and every performance. He has done this, in large part, by taking the weird, eclectic coves of Kanye West, Kid Cudi, UGK, and Outkast and making albums that read like chapters in a Terence McKenna autobiography. When I saw Travis Scott in the Bronx in October 2017, I was absolutely astounded by his terrorizing performance—it was youth, energy, abandonment, and curation in one person. A person who is quickly climbing the later of greats. -Ruben Gzirian

November 30

Thom Yorke @ Kennedy Center

Someone decided to book Thom Yorke at The Kennedy Center. Why? I do not know, as anyone who listens to or knows of his current solo work knows it’s meant for dancing and singing along. It’s kind of a weird booking, but, thinking back to Solange’s show last year in the same Hall, its highlight outside of the songs may be the visuals and lighting by Tarik Barri. Either way, Thom Yorke is a strong musician and performer, and whatever comes out of that show is going to be worth seeing. -Vesper Arnett

Atoms for Peace 9/30/13

December 1

Soccer Mommy @ Black Cat

Soccer Mommy are having a hell of a year. The project of Sophie Allison released their first album Clean this past March and have been on tour almost the entire year sharing stages with Paramore and her spiritual godmother Liz Phair. Clean is a remarkable album that is one of the year’s best. Though the album deals with being a young woman in the world, the lyrics are relatable no matter where you are in life. Whether dealing with an emotionally abusive relationship (“Your Dog”) or finally accepting you are tying too hard (“Scorpio Rising”), Allison sounds wise beyond her years. -Rohan Mahadevan

December 2

Paula Abdul @ MGM National Harbor

“Vibeology” is one of the most underrated songs of the 90s. Listen to DJ Matt Bailer and I expound on its greatness on a recent episode of BYT Radio. -Brandon Weterbee

December 3

Robert Glasper @ The Birchmere

A known entity to your more artsy friends and your cool uncle who wears Kangol hats, Robert Glasper made mainstream waves earlier this summer when he accused Ms. Lauryn Hill of stealing music for her beloved record The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It was some seriously hot tea, and fans of the jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader likely nodded in contemplative agreement, while Lauryn Hill stans asked “Robert who?” Controversy aside, Glasper is incredibly talented and has spent the last twenty years pushing the boundaries of contemporary jazz and R&B, playing with style and modality in many innovative ways. Absolutely worth checking out. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

December 4

The Helio Sequence @ Songbyrd

Veteran indie rock two piece The Helio Sequence are celebrating the tenth anniversary vinyl reissue of their critically acclaimed LP Keep Your Eyes Ahead, a remastered 2LP set full of b-sides, demos, and other bonus tracks care of their longtime home Sup Pop Records, with a month long tour of the States. Each show will feature a performance of the album in its entirety, plus a few other classics from across their catalog. -Matt Byrne

December 5

Ministry @ Fillmore Silver Spring

Ministry are The Grateful Dead of industrial. They are never breaking up. They are on a never ending final tour. They are a friend of the devil. -Brandon Wetherbee

December 6

Kimbra @ Sixth & I

Kimbra’s proprietary blend of weirdo pop is a breath of fresh air. You might (and by might, I mean definitely) know her songs “Settle Down” and the incredibly overplayed “Somebody that I Used to Know,” but don’t let those tracks fool you into thinking she’s some sort of Regina Spektor knockoff. If you like dancing and feeling good, you could spend your money on far worse things. -Kaylee Dugan

December 7

Khruangbin @ 9:30 Club

I have nothing but love for Khruangbin. The Texas trio playing Thai funk came seemingly out of nowhere in 2016, and quickly gained steam – both critically and commercially. It’s easy listening that never becomes antiseptic: the liquid bass lines and deceptively simple drum patterns holding down the funk, while soaring, emotive slide guitar pulls at the heart on my sleeve. They also had one of the most adorable videos I’ve seen in a long while. Is their whole schtick tribute or appropriation? I’ll let you decide. But they’re still really, really good live. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

December 8

Rufus Wainwright @ Strathmore

December 9

National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Mahler’s First Symphony @ Kennedy Center

December 10

Gangs of Youth @ 9:30 Club

Ever what would happen if The National and The Hold Stead formed a band? There’s a good chance they would sound like Aussie rockers Gang of Youths. The five-piece’s sophomore album, Go Farther in Lightness, is a modern rock classic full of stadium worthy tracks. The record moves from the soaring “What Can I Do if the Fire Goes Out?” to the danceable “Let Me Down Easy.” The record hits every emotion from love gained to love lost and ruminations on death and being alive. Live, the band are a force to be reckoned with and are not afraid of giving everything they have. Hopefully when the band plays 9:30, the crowd will shut up and respect the band they are seeing unlike when the band played Union Stage earlier this year. -Rohan Mahadevan

December 11

Jorja Smith @ Fillmore Silver Spring

Jorja Smith’s 2018 album Lost & Found had all the profundity of an artist with a catalogue spanning decades. Each song exudes an aura hard to pin down as a singular theme or emotion; songs like “On Your Own” and “Goodbye” ghost through valleys of vocal inflections paired with production that treads softly as to never overshadow Smith’s layered voice. The comparisons to Amy Winehouse are inevitable—and fair—but that’s not a bad thing; Smith, like Winehouse, commands a presence through a natural ability to communicate heartbreak and self-doubt in such a way that the true story of what actually happened is left to the listener to imagine. By doing so, Smith connects in a way that few artists can; creating a body of work that’s expansive, sincere, and indicative of a talent only scratching the surface. -Ruben Gzirian

December 12

Charles Lloyd @ Library of Congress

December 13

Thievery Corporation @ 9:30 Club

December 14

Lindsey Stirling @ The Anthem

December 15

Born Ruffians @ DC9

December 16

Ryley Walker @ Songbyrd

In addition to being one of the funniest accounts on Twitter, Ryley Walker also absolutely rules at music. His psychedelic take on cosmic Americana and jam-addled indie rock makes for some reliably cool home listening, on a series of LPs for Dead Oceans that mine 50 years of experimental folk history, which incorporate influences like Tim Buckley, Jim O’Rourke, and Mike Cooper. Live, Walker and his band of ringers from Chicago’s fertile jazz and experimental scene, spread out the arrangements and really let the songs breathe, revealing new and exciting details every time. -Matt Byrne

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December 17

Songs of the Season @ Kennedy Center

December 18

Brentano Quartet with Hsin-Yun Huang @ Library of Congress

December 19

Good Old War @ Rock & Roll Hotel

December 20

Chely Wright @ City Winery

December 21

Snail Mail @ 9:30 Club

With its lyrics tinged with teenage yearning and its melancholy sound, Snail Mail’s Lush was the album of the summer for anyone who has ever been a sad teen (or in my case still identifies as a sad teen). Like mosquitos, these are the kind of songs that will bite you without notice and will have you itching days later. And by itching I mean listening? The metaphor doesn’t really work, but Snail Mail’s aesthetic absolutely does. -Kaylee Dugan

Read our interview with Snail Mail