This is the week leading up to Outside Lands. Which means, of course, that you should be training. Listening to music at loud volumes, walking 7 miles a day, subsisting on beer and trail mix, etc. Of course you should go see a band a day until it’s time to spend three days in a park with, well, BANDS! So go see a few:
Thursday, July 31st
Tift Merritt, Chatham County Line at Freight & Salvage
There is something very wrong with a world where Tift Merritt isn’t a huge star. Her rich alto voice is one of the finest in the business, and there are few folks on par with her as a songwriter. Everytime I’ve seen her, she’s put on a gorgeous set of of heartwarming folk rock. She’s playing the most acoustically perfect room in town this night, so you really have no excuses not to attend.
Jay Brannan, Terra Naomi, Becca Richardson at Bottom Of The Hill
Friday, August 1st
Foxy Shazam, Stop Light Observations, Mystic Nights Of The Cobra at Slim’s
Foxy Shazam are, consistently, one of the greatest live bands in rock. Their frontman, Eric Nally, has the vocal chops of Freddie Mercury with the recklessness of Iggy Pop. There is no reason not go see Foxy Shazam live. It is simply the most enjoying rock show you will ever witness.
Xiu Xiu, Circuit Des Yeux, Father Murphy at Bottom Of The Hill
Saturday, August 2nd
Ceremony, Nothing, Dangers, Flesh World, King Woman at Rickshaw Stop
There are four qualities in a rock band that seem to go together quite nicely: heavy, loud, fast, and dark. Ceremony are the perfect synthesis of these four elements. Ceremony shows are a glorious and cathartic experience of ferocity that leave coated in sweat- both emotionally and physically.
New Edition, Joe at Oracle Arena
Sunday, August 3rd
Andrew Bird & The Hands Of Glory, Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors at Stern Grove
Andrew Bird has taken the art of whistling, and turned it into something majestic. The man creates the most beautiful music out of the most delicate of spaces. Put him outside in one of the most glorious spaces in the world. and you have a nearly perfect day out.
Monday, August 4th
Nickel Creek, The Secret Sisters at Mountain Winery
I don’t think anyone expected Nickel Creek to stay broken up for long. The seven years they spent doing much more low key musical endeavors has certainly refreshed the band greatly. Their set at The Fox earlier this year was a delirious, high energy romp. If you missed it last time, don’t be foolish this time around.
Tuesday, August 5th & Wednesday, August 6th
Beyonce, Jay-Z at AT&T Park
There is a lot of tabloid talk concerning this tour- the rumors of infidelity, the fight between Jay-Z and Beyonce’s sister Solange, the oft repeated divorce rumors, etc. That doesn’t change the fact that this will be one of the most spectacular shows of the year. These are two of the finest performers currently active, and, despite all the negative press happening, the tour has proven to be great.
Tuesday, August 5th
Michael McDonald, Toto at Mountain Winery
Wednesday, August 6th
The Good Life, Big Harp at The Chapel
Tony Bennett at Wente Vineyards