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2018 is the first summer of The Anthem, D.C.’s newest mid to large size veue, the venue large enough to bring bands that would normally play outdoors to D.C. proper. The opening of The Anthem made October the best month for live music in 2017. It’s helping make summer 2018 better than any year in recent memory.

In addition to The Wharf’s largest venue, there’s great stuff coming to all of the surrounding outdoor venues, big venues, tiny venues, house venues, basement venues and more. What follows is a one pick for each day of summer.

June 27

Sean Barna and the Monogamists @ Songbyrd

It’s rare that troubadours with rough-hewn voices exist and thrive in the modern pop environment. However, hearkening back to the days of Bruce Springsteen, the singer-songwriter musical space has always enjoyed artists like Sean Barna. He’s constantly creating, bi-coastal, and living life in such a way that it lends itself to songs as brusque as they are beautiful. Pictures of an Exhibitionist was easily the most compelling album, story-song wise, released out of DC in 2017, and if 2018 is likely to show us anything, it’s that he’s improved. -Marcus Dowling

Read our 2017 interview with Barna

June 28

Ike Reilly, The North Country @ Jammin Java

Listen to The North Country’s Andrew Grossman on BYT Radio

 

June 29

Old 97s @ 9:30 Club

It has been 21 years since the Old 97’s “Timebomb” started ticking. The song off their third album Too Far to Care remains a staple in their sprawling set lists. The Old 97’s are now eleven records deep, not counting live sets and hit collections and the songs are as strong as ever. With so many songs in their catalog, the band’s live shows have the daunting task of putting it all together, but the Old 97’s never disappoint. -Rohan Mahadevan

DGDC Old 97s 5

June 30

Pylon Reenactment Society, Knife Wife @ Comet Ping Pong

July 1

Oso Oso @ Songbyrd

Oso Oso is a Long Beach, New York bred band led by singer Jade Lilitri. Oso Oso strike the perfect balance between the Barsuk and Saddle Creek catalogs with a little bit of Vagrant records thrown in. The band’s latest album The Yunahon Mixtape, but it is a tour de force of fist-pumping hooks and feel good anthems and one of the most slept on albums of 2017. -Rohan Mahadevan

July 2

Hotel Neon, Welch & Oshima, Low Red Moon @ Rhizome

July 3

Rare Essence @ The Hamilton

July 4

A Capitol Fourth

Featuring a parent friends mixture of artists, A Capitol Fourth has everything you need for a friendly family fourth of July. Instead of getting blitzed off cheap beer and screaming about the fireworks, join thousands of others as they get blitzed off sugar-y sodas and yell about fireworks in the company of America’s very own Dorian Gray, John Stamos. I’m mainly recommending this because Jimmy Buffett will be there and if you’re not spending your summer trying to see Jimmy Buffett as many times as humanly possible, what are you doing? -Kaylee Dugan

July 5

City Witch @ Slash Run

July 6

Pusha T @ Echostage

If you care at all about hip-hop and pop culture in the year of our lord 2018, then you’re probably paying more attention to Pusha-T than you have in the last five years! Thankfully all the Drake dissing is working in Pusha’s favor, regardless of your opinions on the beef, Daytona is a legitimately good album with some slick Kanye production. With Echostage’s sound system, I’m sure it’ll sound killer. -Kaylee Dugan

Read our 2013 interview with Pusha T

July 7

The Honey Dewdrops @ Hill Country

July 8

Ms. Lauryn Hill @ Jiffy Lube Live

20 years later and from Cardi B to Drake, Kehlani to SZA, and from Beyoncé to Jay-Z, artists are still grappling with the question of how one wins “when they ain’t right within” that Lauryn asks on her now quarter-century old single “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Yes, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill turns 20 this year and Ms. Hill is on a festival-style tour to celebrate. She might not arrive on time, and the songs will most assuredly not sound the same. BUT, in her voice, style, essence, and honesty still being in-arguably the most relevant notions driving urban pop in the modern era, this is a must-attend event. -Marcus Dowling

July 9

Frog Eyes @ DC9

Veteran art rock auteurs Frog Eyes have spent the better part of the last two decades crafting twitchy, ravenous explorations of the most dramatic, out-there territories of guitar music. After eight albums, they’ve decided to hang it up, wrapping up their time together with one last frantic and intriguing album (Violet Psalms, which came out last month) and a short Summertime tour, ending in Washington at DC9. -Matt Byrne

July 10, 11

Taylor Swift @ FedEx Field

Either you’re a Swiftie or you’re not. Taylor Swift is certainly a polarizing pop figure but even those Swift skeptics know she puts on a hell of a live show. Openers Charlie XCX and Camilla Cabello (with her summer earworm hits “Havana” and “Nicotine”) help to bring the lady starpower. While Taylor’s Reputation tour, from outfits to songs, has been well documented so far, she always has some surprises up her sleeve with special guest appearances. -Diana Metzger

TaylorSwift-40

July 12, 13

Britney Spears @ MGM National Harbor

Britney Spears is one of the best performers on the planet. Who cares if she is singing? Her Vegas show is hit for hit with massive set pieces and loads of dancing. Now free from Vegas, Spears is taking her show on the road to venues across the country. Both shows are sold-out but if you are lucky there is always the secondary market and expensive VIP tickets. How much is the queen of pop worth to you? -Rohan Mahadevan

July 14

Now, Now @ Songbyrd

Now, Now spent years honing their post-emo sound, expanding to a three piece for the release of their beloved 2012 sophomore album Threads. That record is now six years old and Now, Now are a different band. Core duo Brad Hale and KC Dalager are still around but third member Jess Abbott has departed to focus on her own project Tancred. No longer mining Death Cab For Cutie albums, Now, Now have gone full pop. Take their lead single “SGL” a sugary rush made for night car rides. Saved is a stunner from start to finish and one of the best albums of the year. -Rohan Mahadevan

We also recommend Wussy @ Black Cat

July 15

The Get Up Kids @ 9:30 Club

If Summers feel nostalgic for simpler times there’s no better way to really get your emo fix that the men who brought us the lyric “summer swallowed us whole.” If the fact that The Get Up Kid’s album Something to Write Home About is about to celebrate its 20th birthday makes you feel old then look at this concert as a time machine where you can scream your heart out and then post all about it on your Livejournal. -Diana Metzger

The Get Up Kids

July 16

The Magic Numbers @ Union Stage

The Magic Numbers are two pairs of brothers and sisters from London. I can barely make it through the holidays with my family, but this quartet has stuck it out for five albums and sixteen years. The most recent example of the former came out a few months ago and is called Outsiders. I have not heard it. I didn’t hear the album before it. Or the album before that. It doesn’t matter. I’m still recommending this concert, because in 2005 The Magic Numbers put out a wonderful little album called The Magic Numbers that will forever endear them to me. I bought this record for myself. I bought it for my mom, too. It is full of sincere, zippy, twee, throwback pop songs, and it came out at time when those things were quite popular. Give a listen to “Mornings Eleven” and “Forever Lost”. If you’ve got an ear for that whole ’60s sound, you’ve found it. -Phil Runco

July 17

Serena Ryder @ Birchmere

July 18

Pearl Charles @ Black Cat

I’ve warmed up to the concept of ‘country disco’ over the last few years, partly due to the excellent music created by artists like Pearl Charles and Kacey Musgraves. Charles latest record, Sleepless Dreamer, takes the elements of her earlier work and infuses it with lush arrangements and delicate harmonies, all drenched in the saturated, sunny hues of the Laurel Canyon sound. I’m curious to see how it translates to the Black Cat – a club that has ups and downs when it comes to equalizing sound levels appropriately. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

We also recommend Petal @ Rock & Roll Hotel

July 19

Mourn @ DC9

One of the best new punk bands nowadays is Mourn. They are young, they are from Barcelona, and their songs have zero chill. Come to DC9 and give them the hero’s welcome they deserve. -Alan Zilberman

We also recommend Japandroids @ Rock & Roll Hotel

July 20

Janelle Monáe @ The Anthem

It wasn’t until I saw Janelle in Hidden Figures that it hit me: I’ve never seen her live in concert, and it has been a decade since I first found her music. What have I been doing! I’m ready to get my black-and-white on. -Vesper Arnett

The EEPHUS Tour-27

We also recommend Arcade Fire @ Jiffy Lube Live

July 21

Animal Collective @ Lincoln Theatre

Animal Collective really had a sustained moment back there in the early 2010s, huh? They’ve still got their fair share of excitable fans, sure, but they’ve definitely receded in terms of like cultural impact or whatever, and it might be nice to go back and revisit that time during their run of shows playing their freaky breakthru LP Sung Tongs. See if you still know every hoot and chirp by heart, I bet you do! -Matt Byrne

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July 22

DC 101 Kerfuffle @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Music festivals scream summertime fun. D.C. has had a handful of decent festival type shows which have unfortunately gone the way of the CD player (RIP HFStival and Sweetlife). Thankfully, DC101 has Kerfuffle for those who want to combine a love of rock music and day drinking. -Diana Metzger

July 23

Sleep @ 9:30 Club

Charmingly single-minded stoner metal pioneers Sleep released an absolute ripper of an album, The Sciences, earlier this year, their first LP in almost 20 years. It’s insanely good and heavy and weird and you should absolutely go get your face smashed in by their massive live vibes. -Matt Byrne

July 24

Courtney Barnett @ The Anthem

One of the few musicians in the world that I would actually want to hang out with is coming back to D.C. She’s bringing two super-talented bands to open for her, Vagabon and Julien Baker, and therefore they are the triforce of music and you can’t convince me otherwise. -Vesper Arnett

CourneyBarnett-11

July 25

GoldLink @ U Street Music Hall

Over the course of three shows with three different themes, D.C.’s Goldlink will be laying bare his entire catalogue in what will probably be as much a show as a triumphant celebration of one of D.C. most popular artists. Up until his mega-hit “Crew,” Goldlink’s career was always teetering back and forth between hip hop artist, R&B artist, and something closer to D.C.’s version of Theophilus London. Since then, GoldLink has shown an uncanny ability to make refined songs laced with just the right amount of pop concentration, which makes these three shows feel like seminal moments in his budding career. -Ruben Gzirian

Also July 27 and 28

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July 26

The xx @ 9:30 Club

Since The Anthem opened last October, most big acts coming through D.C. have gravitated towards IMP’s biggest and newest venue, with fair reason – it’s gorgeous, significantly larger than the mid-size rooms in the city, and has state of the art installations for performers and patrons. However, the 9:30 Club remains at the emotional core of D.C.’s musical history, and the legendary venue still retains significant gravitational pull. The xx – who seem to have an affinity for continuing to play club shows, as evidenced by their seven night run at the Brixton Academy last year – are back in town this July for a three run stint at the 9:30. I See You, their 2017 album, has aged pretty well, as has the band – driven by more mature songwriting and innovative production led by sonic wizard Jamie xx. It’s going to be a memorable couple of nights, if their performance last year is anything to go by. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

Also July 25 and 27

DSC_0392 - Copy copy

July 27

Omar Apollo @ Songbyrd

Omar Apollo’s 2018 Stereo EP was a fine example of what a falsetto paired with a steady drum line and dreamy guitar-driven production can do when it comes to delivering heartbreak from someone too young to seemingly know its full manifestations. Apollo is only 20-years-old, but the connection between his musical talent, his pen, and and his lucid thoughts of lovesick torment point to a musician completely confident in their own fallacy. -Ruben Gzirian

We also recommend Raphael Saadiq @ Kennedy Center, The Smashing Pumpkins @ Royal Farms Arena

July 28

Beyoncé @ FedEx Field

Beyoncé is coming to FedEx Field in July, and Jay-Z will be there too, I guess. The Carters surprised everyone by releasing their first joint album in June during the European leg of their world tour. As usual, Bey is on fire with the costumes and dancing and music. Jay-Z is one of the kings. Though I can’t say I love the album, I suspect that their live show will smooth out the rougher edges. There’s nothing like going to see Beyoncé with tens of thousands of fanatics and honestly, with the way this year has gone, you deserve to be blessed by the Queen B. -Vesper Arnett

Also July 27

July 29

The Final Warped Tour @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

The Warped Tour doesn’t deserve to keep going. As much as I enjoy the hit of nostalgia that fills my brain with sweet sweet dopamine whenever I think about it, it’s a garbage festival with garbage bands that wasn’t even that great during its heyday. Sure, shotgunning Monster and getting my body signed by various “alternative” bands was fun, but the fest felt like it was constantly plagued by sexual assault allegations and no one (not even the fans) was surprised. It’s certainly the end of a era, but it’s definitely an era that deserves to be put to rest. So grab your best Hot Topic gear (you know you still have some) and make your way out to Merriweather for the last weekend of pop-punk summer camp. We’ll miss you, but we won’t really miss you. -Kaylee Dugan

Beautiful Bodies

July 30

Rex Orange County @ U Street Music Hall

Listening to Rex Orange County (real name Alex O’Connor) reminds that in many instances “taking chances” or “being different” is really just a synonym for taking something old and making it relevant. A frequent collaborator with Tyler, the Creator, O’Connor’s music harks back to the soothing lounge vibes birthed by Hall and Oates, and realigns old school sensitivities with modern day lyrical brushstrokes only a 19-year-old from London could paint. -Ruben Gzirian

July 31

Rata Negra @ Slash Run

August 1

Rico Nasty @ Fillmore Silver Spring

The last time Rico Nasty came to D.C., she easily sold out U Street Musical Hall. Her sudden jump to recognition in a growing demographic (thank god) of aggressive female rappers pushing into the male-dominated trap/cocaine rap scene is of no surprise if you’ve been following her career since she dropped “iCarly” in 2016. Her last show sounded like a controlled riot, and that’s well worth the price of admission. -Ruben Gzirian

Read our Top 25 DMV Hip-Hop* Artists To Watch in 2018. Rico Nasty tops the list.

August 2

Father John Misty @ The Anthem

Father John Misty’s music has always sounded like what I imagine the God Complex would sound like if it had a soundtrack. Album after album pushed forward a concept, an idea, a musical direction that hinted at a more interesting reality that the person behind the music was nothing more than the human equivalent of a pyramid scheme. 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer took that scheme and made it into a narrative musical vehicle, taking insecurities, doubts, and self-reflection and translating them into tight-choruses, echoed-voice arrangements, and drum patterns that begged for your ear. -Ruben Gzirian

Father John Misty - 3.28.15

August 3

Lilac @ Slash Run

August 4

Jimmy Buffet @ Jiffy Lube Live

I don’t care what Marc Maron thinks and I don’t care what you think, Jimmy Buffett is the man. He’s managed to do the impossible and has based a long running and lucrative career off of writing fun, unchallenging songs about simple things he likes. He’s made a ton of money off of being fun and happy and he makes other people feel fun and happy too. Whether they’re enjoying a beverage at a Margaritaville resort, or they’re jamming out to “Cheeseburger In Paradise” on their drive to work, it’s truly impossible to listen to one of J. Buff’s songs without feeling some joy in your heart. Not everything has to be hard. Not everything has to be complicated. You have to leave some room in your life for levity. James Buffett is my levity. Also, “Fins” is a great song about how much it can suck to be a woman in the world and you’ll never convince me otherwise. -Kaylee Dugan

August 5

Bush @ Jiffy Lube Live

To prepare for writing this blurb I drank 3 glasses of whiskey and listened to Razorblade Suitcase and I can now say with full confidence that this is the best album of the 1990s. -Joe McAdam

August 6

Many Rooms @ DC9

August 7

Joan of Arc @ DC9

Restlessly experimental Chicago-based art rock collective Joan of Arc’s latest album, 1984, is an anomaly in the band’s catalog, one of the first to not prominently feature the band’s founder/creative center Tim Kinsella on lead vocals, in favor of those of multimedia artist Melina Ausikaitis. Now over thirty years in, the JoA project is as weird as ever, distilling their experimental recording processes into a more digestible but still out there live show. -Matt Byrne

August 8

Alex Lahey @ Rock & Roll Hotel

My favorite thing to do is to get into bands right after they play D.C. because my mind hates me and doesn’t want me to have any fun. I did this exact thing with Alex Lahey earlier this year. I didn’t start putting her album on repeat or humming “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself” compulsively until just after she played DC9 in November, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to redeem myself. Alex Lahey specializes in pop-punk adjacent jams that tap right into the things you don’t want to talk about. Those reckless behaviors you lie to your mom about and hide from your Instagram friends. I can’t wait to get a little too drunk and scream every word. -Kaylee Dugan

Read our 2017 interview with Alex Lahey

August 9

Wiz Khalifa @ Jiffy Lube Live

Wiz Khalifa has always been sort of a one-trick pony for me—I mean how many times can you make your entire song about smoking weed? Well, apparently a lot because I’m constantly meeting people that swear by this guy. And truthfully, even if Wiz Khalifa only exists in my mind as the guy who made the amazing 2010 mixtape Kush & Orange Juice, recent songs with Three Six Mafia legend Juicy J suggest that Wiz hasn’t let the monotony of his subject matter stop him from improving his craft and his showmanship. -Ruben Gzirian

August 10

Campdogzz @ DC9

Chicago’s Campdogzz play country-flecked indie rock, anchored by an engaging dueling lead guitar setup and the beguiling lead vocals of their frontperson Jess Price. It’s been a few years since they’ve put out any recordings, but any Chicagoan can assure you they’re the strongest they’ve ever been live. Their second album, In Rounds, hits shelves later this summer via Cursive’s new boutique label 15 Passenger Records, a perfect home for their bleak Midwestern jams. -Matt Byrne

August 11

Jeremih @ 9:30 Club

Jeremih comes from the school of R&B singers who can track their musical stylings to The Dream, who always reminds you of just how influential he is every time a Beyoncé or Kanye West album comes out. Much like his influence, Jeremih has a made career of using his seductive sly voice that floats in and out falsetto while traversing simple but effective 808-drum production. -Ruben Gzirian

August 12

Cher @ MGM National Harbor

The other night I had a dream with Cher in it. She was upset and being openly vulnerable with me. She’d just written the song “Believe” and knew the world wasn’t ready for it. In the dream it was 1992. The song wouldn’t be released until 1998. Cher had such comprehension of the human spirit that she knew to sit on a banger for 6 years for OUR sake. Because WE weren’t ready. Anyway that’s how the story went in my head and I choose to believe it. -Joe McAdam

Also August 4, 5, 7, 9, 11

Read our 2017 review of Cher @ MGM National Harbor

August 13

Shawn Mendes @ Capital One Arena

August 14

Roanoke @ Hill Country

August 15

Tongue in Cheek @ Bossa Bistro

August 16

Bat Fangs @ Rock & Roll Hotel

I don’t know if Bat Fangs is a side project or a proper project or a side project to a side project. Here’s what I know: Bat Fangs is composed of Ex Hex guitarist (and D.C. native) Betsy Wright and Flesh Wounds drummer Laura King, and just like those other bands, this duo rips. Not unlike Ex Hex, Bat Fangs slings an infectious, straightforward swirl of glam rock, punk pop, and metal. It put out a gem of a record this winter, and they’ll look to kick out all of its jams as part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel’s anniversary gigs in August. -Phil Runco

August 17

Tacocat @ DC9

If you’re looking to have a fun and dance-y time then look no further. Tacocat’s music always brings a smile to my face and pumps me the hell up with their high energy call and response choruses and fun pop culture references like “Dana Katherine Scully”. They know exactly who their audience is and what they like. -Kaylee Dugan

August 18

Sparta @ Rock & Roll Hotel

August 19

DC World Reggae Festival 2018 @ RFK

August 20

International Young Artist Piano Competition @ Millennium Stage

August 21

Alejandro Escoveda @ City Winery

August 22

Kenny Chesney @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

When the oppressive humidity of summertime rolls into town, you’ll only catch me listening to one thing. Some grade A+ pop country. While nothing quite scratches that itch for me like some good old fashioned Toby Keith (I grew up listening to his music, I can’t help the way “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” makes me feel), Kenny Chesney is a close second (or third really, but it’s all semantics). When I’ve had a stressful day, there’s nothing that makes me feel better than closing my eyes and popping on “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” with it’s lounge room tiki vibes and immaculate pop chorus. “Summertime” and “I Go Back” are on heavy rotation as well, but there’s a reason why Chesney’s most recent live album was called Live in No Shoes Nation. One hit of that good stuff, and I’m on island time, baby. -Kaylee Dugan

August 23

Danny Barnes @ Hill Country

August 24

High Command, Left Cross, Enforced, Execution Hour @ The Pinch

August 25

Beach House @ The Anthem

This band chose their name so well. Every time I hear new music from them I can just feel the gentle wind in the sun, and with their new album, they’ve made the sound of moonlight. Not just the beauty of the starry night, but the concentrated memory of a sandy shoreline at 11 at night, the sky lit entirely by the full moon. I can’t wait to see how they make that happen. -Vesper Arnett

Beach House-10

August 26

311 @ Jiffy Lube Live

I saw 311 last year. I thought I’d stay for 5 songs, have a laugh and leave. I stayed for the entire show and by the end of my two hour journey I bought an unlicensed shirt and saw 5 different people wearing 5 different ‘Investigate 311’ jerseys. I knew 2 of the songs they played and had a great time. An unironically great time. -Brandon Wetherbee

August 27

Chris Isaak @ Birchmere

August 28

New Order @ The Anthem

New Order have been around for almost 40 years (on and off) and like a fine wine, they keep getting better. Since reforming for the second time in 2011, the band has been full steam ahead. Though founding curmudgeon/bassist Peter Hook is no longer involved, longtime keyboardist, Gillian Gilbert, who left after Get Ready, has rejoined. Though this current reunion has been around since 2011, New Order haven’t been slouches. The band released the quite good album Music Complete in 2015 and have been touring the globe since. Live the band are a mind-blowingly good, with all the precision one would expect out of a legacy act. -Rohan Mahadevan

August 29, 30

Stevie Wonder @ MGM National Harbor

It’s crazy to even have to suggest Stevie Wonder because he is Stevie Wonder after all so I’ll leave you with everyone’s favorite conspiracy theory: Stevie Wonder isn’t actually blind. I say go for the music and stay to figure out if he’s really blind. -Jenn Tisdale

August 31

Niall Horan and Maren Morris @ Jiffy Lube Live

While Jiffy Lube Live is certainly a haul, it’s worth it for at least one show of the summer. Horan, former One-Directioneer, is probably the draw for many squealing fangirls and boys, but Morris is the one to watch. Known by most for her vocals on the song of the summer (and Target ads) “The Middle” she’s so much more than a one-hit wonder. In fact, her debut album Hero has already won her a fat stack of awards and with her blues-country sound she draws comparisons (and is a friend and collaborator) to Alicia Keys. -Diana Metzger

September 1

Garbagefest 3: A Food Not Bombs Benefit @ Black Cat

September 2

Wax Idols @ Songbyrd

Wax Idols are 100% one of my favorite bands, and I credit Newtown Radio for the initial discovery. (This is partially a plug for Newtown Radio. You should listen to Newtown Radio because it is the best radio station of all time, and can be streamed online.) HETHER FORTUNE IS MY PRESIDENT. -Megan Burns

September 3

Carolyn Wonderland @ City Winery

September 4

Miguel @ The Anthem

If Miguel’s recent performance at the Broccoli City Music Festival is any indication of this man’s confidence and ability, than this show is one you shouldn’t miss even if you have a faint interest in modern R&B. Not to sound like a Miguel Stan, but this guy has a profound ability to make zero missteps in his live performance. His voice sounds like it’s permanently contained in the studio, and his stage presence blends the contortions of Michael Jackson with the seduction of Prince. The Anthem, with its cavernous intimacy, will bend to Miguel’s every whim. -Ruben Gzirian

September 5

Mac Demarco @ The Anthem

Mac Demarco is like the chamomile tea of low-fi funk music. He’s the type of dude that makes the type of music that can be enjoyed while you shotgun a beer, shotgun a bong, or do nothing at all. The very thought of DeMarco filling every inch of The Anthem with reflective chilled-out vibes is already enough for me to send The Anthem even more of my money. -Ruben Gzirian

Mac DeMarco @ DC 9 (03/05/13)

September 6

Alanis Morissette @ Wolf Trap

The last time I saw Alanis Morissette live it was 1995 at the original location of the 9:30 Club. I was 15. I went with my mother. I am now 38. I could have a 15-year-old daughter to bring to this show but I don’t. In fact I may just bring my mom to keep it classic. Isn’t it ironic? I think? I honestly don’t know what ironic means. -Jenn Tisdale

September 7

Hatchie @ DC9

Brisbane Australia’s Harriette Pilbeam has dabbled in bands for years, but now she is the guiding light of her own band Hatchie. Adapting 4AD dream-pop ala Cocteau Twins and early 90’s stalwarts The Cranberries, Hatchie brings a fresh perspective to a classic genre. Hatchie released singles over the course of last year, including the stand out “Sure”, which also was aptly remixed by the Cocteau Twin’s Robin Guthrie, culminating in the release of their debut EP Sugar and Spice this past May. The EP deals in typical love/loss narrative but never feel tired or played out. Synths swell, guitars jangle, and choruses soar. Hatchie is the real deal; their time is now. -Rohan Mahadevan

September 8

Waxahatchee @ The Miracle Theatre

Since rising from the ashes of the cultishly beloved emo band P.S. Eliot, Katie Crutchfield, recording as Waxahatchee, has drawn boatloads of acclaim for her introspective songwriting and delicate, thoughtful arrangements across four albums of increasingly deep, reflective indie folk. 2017’s Out in the Storm was one of the most acclaimed records of the year, and her full-band live setup has never sounded more muscular or dexterous. -Matt Byrne

Waxahatchee

September 9

Still Corners @ DC9

September 10

First Aid Kit @ The Anthem

September 11

MC50 @ 9:30 Club

September 12

Drake and Migos @ Capital One Arena

Two of the biggest acts in hip hop at a moment when hip hop is reaching its zenith performing together? Yes, please. Drake weathered (sort of?) his beef with Pusha T, and with his new album Scorpion coming out on June 29, expect to see a side of Aubrey that’s even more in flux. As for Migos, I mean really? Quavo and Offset are already pretty much on every song that requires credibility, and Takeoff is poised to join them in 2019. -Ruben Gzirian

Also September 13

September 13

Let’s Eat Grandma @ U Street Music Hall

A name like Let’s Eat Grandma is just begging to turn heads. The duo released their debut album I, Gemini in 2016 while the band members were just 16 and 17 respectively. The record is deeply experimental, with flashes of brilliance like lead single “Deep Six Textbook.” Two years later, the band is back, a little older, wiser and with a couple of key collaborators in tow. I’m All Ears is a level up for Let’s Eat Grandma. The band worked with The Horror’s Faris Badwan and even got two cuts produced by pop-wunderkind SOPHIE, including the world-shattering single “Hot Pink.” -Rohan Mahadevan

September 14

Los Amigos Invisibles @ 9:30 Club

Los Amigos Invisibles have been around for over 25 years. To be honest, I was surprised they were still a touring band, but I am excited they’re coming to town. The Venezuelan acid/funk/disco band are known for their catchy rhythms and playful lyrics, and teenage me was particularly enamored with their biggest hit, “Ponerte En Cuatro” – a prime example of puerile wordplay that still makes me chuckle. I’m going to be lazy and call them the Latino Jamiroquai. Deal with it, and go shake your ass. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez

September 15

Alina Baraz @ 9:30 Club

Alina Baraz will be chasing your pretty thoughts at 9:30 Club on September 15. The singer/songwriter emerges on tour with her 2018 release, The Color of You, which is said to be a departure from her Urban Flora roots. Her latest project still carries the dreamy, whispery Baraz qualities we love, and with that brings a much appreciated new side to her artistry. -Sabrina Kent

September 16

Juggalo March Reunion

I attended last year’s Juggalo March. I agree with everything Juggalos stand for. I despise the music of Insane Clown Posse. Doesn’t matter. Standing with Juggalos is standing on the right side of history. They’re a fan base that’s usually passed over, full of misfits old and young that found family in each other. It’s beautiful. The soundtrack is horrible but it’s still beautiful. Is it dirty and smelly and a little druggy? Absolutely. It’s a real family. Be a Juggalo ally. Don’t dismiss the clowns. -Brandon Wetherbee

Juggalo March 2017-26

September 17

Michael Nesmith & The First National Band @ Birchmere

September 18

FIDLAR @ 9:30 Club

What has FIDLAR been up to? I assume they’ve been getting too high, very drunk and skateboarding / surfing around California for the last three years, but what do I know. FIDLAR is one of those specific bands that I love very much, but I also don’t ever care if they come out with a new album. Two albums is more than enough of their wall of sound surf punk, everything else is just icing on the cake. If you see me at this show. Take away my drink. Thanks in advance. -Kaylee Dugan

Read our 2016 interview with FIDLAR

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September 19

Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants, Don Babylon @ 9:30 Club

It is a gutsy move to follow-up a beloved album of new material with a reworking of an older album, but if any band could pull it off it would be Car Seat Headrest. Will Toledo signed to Matador Records in 2015, after releasing eight solo self-recorded full-lengths on Bandcamp. Teens of Style, the band’s first Matador release, is a compilation of reworked tracks from the Bandcamp era including the full band that makes up Car Seat Headrest now. After releasing an album of new material, Teens of Denial, in 2016, Toledo went back to one of his older albums, 2011’s Twin Fantasy, to create a full band rework. It’s a sprawling double album that documents the highs and lows of an adolescent relationship, adored by early Car Seat Headrest adopters. The rework breathes new life into Toledo’s expert melodicism becoming the fully realized vision he had set the album out to be. The band is currently touring with a seven-piece line-up including members of the opening band Naked Giants. The first show is sold out but the second one is freshly on sale. Pick up your tickets fast because this show is not to be missed. -Rohan Mahadevan

also September 20

We also recommend Childish Gambino @ Capital One Arena

September 20

James Bay @ The Anthem

James Bay’s new album Electric Light came out in May with emotional pop bangers like “Us” and “Slide”. Bring someone you have feelings towards. -Anna Stevens

September 21

Elton John @ Capital One Arena

This is Elton John’s Farewell tour and if you miss it, you’ll think about it for the rest of your life with regret. You’ll lie to your children and friends to avoid the shame of missing out on an entertainer of a lifetime. But they’ll see the darkness behind your sunken eyes. Think back to all the shows you missed and then a band broke up or an artist died. Elton has the good graces to tell you he’s quitting and there you sit… Astounding. -Joe McAdam

Also September 21

September 22

Trillectro @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

It’s been just over a half-decade since your favorite hypebeasts’ favorite bloggers became globally-renowned tastemakers putting on a festival that bore their Texas trill-meets-festival plurnt brand name. Trillectro has emerged from the rubble of redeveloping D.C. proper to being a suburban destination event at Merriweather Post Pavilion. If you’re a Trillectro regular, you’ve seen 75% of this festival when they were still breaking out on websites just like this one here. Now, these are all minor-to-mega pop music superstars doing the biggest things in the biggest places. If you slept under a rock for ten years and wanted to know about the most viral and cutting-edge things that had happened in music, a SOLID 75% of them — from 2Chainz and Young Thug to SZA, Carnage, and more, the gang’s (pretty much) all here. -Marcus Dowling

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