Aug 7 – Aug 13 • Essential Weekly Concert Guide • L.A. Edition
An Evening with George Clinton at Grammy Museum | Aug. 8
Starting his career back in 1955 and spending it at the forefront of exploding musical movements like psychedelia, electronic, Motown, doo-wop, and so many more, there’s no question George Clinton has seen it all. Need more proof, the father of funk holds the distinction of being the most sampled musician of all time, with key rap figures like Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar using Clinton’s work to spice up their own productions. If that proves anything it’s that Clinton has had a profound influence on music for decades, and he continues to share that influence in his book, “Brothas Be Like, Yo George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir.” Clinton stops off at the Grammy Museum for a Q&A session, musical performance and signing for fans curious about one of music’s most honored living luminaries.
KRS-One and Slick Rick at The Novo | Aug. 8
Fresh off their appearances at Summertime in the LBC, hip-hop veterans KRS-One and Slick Rick make their way to the Novo for not only the best show you’ll see in a while, but the most fun you’ll have for $10. Both rappers have built a career on songs that stand the test of time, and so do their performances, whipping fans into a frenzy with their unforgettable beats and infectious lyricism.
Stu Larsen at The Echo | Aug. 8
Australian singer/songwriter Stu Larsen is always trying to draw up new blueprints for life. His music features uncannily pointed observations about the world around him, observations so pointed, in fact, they attracted Passenger’s Mike Rosenberg, who forged a fast friendship with the Aussie artist.
The Range at Resident | Aug. 8
James Hinton’s alias, The Range, relies on samples the producer scoured from the deepest, darkest corners of Youtube, creating a sonic showcase of some of music’s lesser known contributors. The album, “Potential,” is aptly named, as it shows the potential any aspiring musician really possesses. Jim-E Stack also joins the bill.
Two Feet at Echoplex | Aug. 8
R&B solo project Two Feet plays a very intimate show at Echoplex alongside mellow-wave artist Melvv, who featured Two Feet last year on track “Not Me.” Both collaborators take the stage together, and one can only hope they strut their stuff and play their collaboration together.
Lady Gaga at The Forum | Aug. 8 + 9
There’s going to see a show and then there’s going to see Gaga. Known the world over for making statements through fashion, music and performance, it’s almost impossible to watch Gaga live and not get blown away. A six-time Grammy recipient, it seems like Gaga has provided the soundtrack to a generation, and the pop sensation isn’t even close to being done. She plays two explosive nights at Los Angeles’ famed Forum. If your summer needs one last hurrah, you can never go wrong with Gaga.
Kendrick Lamar at Staples Center | Aug. 8 + 9 + Honda Center | Aug. 11
Hometown boy and seven-time Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar comes back to where it all started for two more dates at the Staples Center. Fear not, Orange County. Lamar follows his string of Staples Center shows with a date at Anaheim’s Honda Center. With Travis Scott supporting L.A.’s shows, and YG taking over the spot in Anaheim, Lamar’s “Damn” tour could become as unforgettable as its namesake album, “Damn,” which upon its release set the hip-hop community on fire.
Alt-J at Shrine Auditorium | Aug. 9
After a draining few years going through the motions of recording and touring, indie rockers alt-Jay just needed a moment to catch their breath. Clearly, as their return effort, “Relaxer,” more than makes up for the group’s absence, once again adding something to the alt-Jay sound we didn’t realize was missing. They are joined by Sohn at the Shrine for a sizzling Los Angeles performance.
Jay Prince at Roxy Theatre | Aug. 10
Prince executes adeptly written flows with the greatest of ease, drawing listeners in with his relatable rhymes and soulful beats. He really does have all the funk, and the rapper can only go up from here. He stops at the Roxy, and it’s worth seeing him now before he becomes something bigger.
Mon Laferte at Santa Monica Pier | Aug. 10
A platinum sensation in South America, Mon Laferte has the perfect voice to go with the poetry she imbues in her music. The acclaimed singer/songwriter joins talents with Caribbean-experimental pop hybrid Buscabulla for another free “Twilight Concert Series” show.
Steve Miller Band w/ Peter Frampton at Greek Theatre | Aug. 10
Two iconic rock forces decided to join up and rock the country one more time. Steve Miller and Peter Frampton’s paths have crossed dozens of times since their careers’ outsets in the 60s, and familiarity breeds chemistry. The Steve Miller Band and Frampton will share their distinct brands of rock with attendees before coming together and jamming on a few special tracks. It will be one night that the Greek won’t be able to contain.
Tyler Childers at The Echo | Aug. 10
Childers has spent quite some time honing his sound. Now the Kentucky-based singer/songwriter emerges with a full-length debut oozing with well-constructed stories. His debut, “Purgatory,” was produced by Sturgill Simpson, someone who helped Childers immensely in that illusive search for a distinct sound. Now Childers stops by the Echo to play cuts from his debut.
Johnny Lang at Grammy museum | Aug. 10 + Teragram Ballroom | Aug. 11
Johnny Lang’s brand of blisteringly beautiful guitar-playing has given him quite the career, and he’s only 36 years old, meaning he has a lot more music left in him. After the guitar prodigy went through a period of relative musical silence, he finally bounces back with “Signs,” the album he will be supporting on his upcoming North American tour. Lang will stop in at the Grammy Museum on Aug. 10 for a Q&A followed by a special intimate performance before he heads to Tera Gram Ballroom Aug. 11 for even more bluesy goodness.
Maggie Rogers at Teragram Ballroom | Aug. 10 + Fonda Theatre | Aug. 11
Rogers rose to success when she impressed producing mogul Pharrell with her track “Alaska.” That, as they say, is all she wrote. She blends folk and electronic sounds making for some downright pleasurable tracks. She has two L.A. dates this week where she will play tracks spanning her catalogue, including this year’s EP, “Now That the Light is Fading.”
Ed Sheeran w/ James Blunt at Staples Center | Aug. 10-12
It’s pretty remarkable how multifaceted singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran seems to be — not only does he seem to have both down pat, but he somehow seems to get better every album, managing to turn his refreshingly emotive storytelling into something accessible to listeners of all backgrounds. In short, Sheeran transcends and brings people together, and bring people together he will when he stops off at the Staples Center for three wild nights. With fellow crooner James Blunt also on the bill, these shows pose one strong triple threat for L.A. fans.
Neil Diamond at The Forum | Aug. 10 + 12
Neil Diamond is one of the bestselling artists of all time, and there’s a reason for that. The man can write a song. His songs move even the hardest of hearts, which is why Diamond earned his rightful place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame back in 1984 and in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Now the living legend himself brings his timeless catalogue to the Forum for a few shows never to be forgotten.
Amir Obe at Roxy Theatre | Aug. 11
Rapper, singer and songwriter Amir Obe first got bitten by the music bug when he started releasing freestyles on his Myspace account while still in high school. Using the moniker Phreshy Duzit, Obe released a debut EP before dropping the moniker and using his real name. It was his debut mixtape “The New Religion,” that really got the MC noticed, eventually landing him a deal with Def Jam. Now the talented rapper hits the Roxy for an intimate, jumping show.
Hans Zimmer at Shrine Auditorium | Aug. 11
Let’s face it. Your favorite movies wouldn’t sound nearly as awesome without Hans Zimmer helming their scores. He has worked on memorable scores like “The Lion King,” “Gladiator” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He stops by The Shrine to perform a two-part concert: the first celebrates his memorable scores while the second features various re-imaginings.
James Vincent McMorrow at John Anson Ford Theatres | Aug. 11
Irish singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has been having quite the creative flurry lately, with his last two releases coming within a year of one another. His latest album, “True Care,” takes a decisively more minimalistic approach, recording most things in one take and not bothering to, as he puts it, “smooth” out the “edges.” As part of his L.A. appearance, McMorrow will be playing “True Care” in its entirety followed by a set full of his earlier work.
KUČKA at Resident | Aug. 11
The pseudonym for singer/producer Laura Jane Lowther, Kucka’s vocals have been called hypnotic, ensnaring audiences with their unmistakable precision and charm. Her music is definitely a refreshment in the realm of experimentation. She is joined by supporting act Mobley for a strong night of music’s future.
Petit Biscuit at The Novo | Aug. 11
Teen electronic music sensation Petit Biscuit has a real knack for tracks with irresistible leads, making his music hard to deny. He brings his chopped and twisted tracks to the Novo for a night of some of the most pristine-sounding electronic music Europe has to offer.
The Avett Brothers at Greek Theatre | Aug. 11
If there’s one thing three-time Grammy nominees the Avett Brothers can do well, it’s put together a fantastic slice of Americana. They bring their signature songwriting and poise to the Greek for a night full of rippling emotion. Dr. John & the Night Trippers join the festivities for even more musical excellence.
Steve Earle & The Dukes at Troubadour | Aug. 11 + 12
Steve Earle has earned his peers’ respect and wooed his audiences with his songwriting and guitar chops. He effortlessly mixes country, folk, blues and hard rock influences into his sweeping musical scape, earning him three Grammy Awards and 11 nominations. He is joined by his backing band The Dukes for two rocking nights at the Troubadour with The Mastersons in tow.
Dreamcar at Fonda Theatre | Aug. 11 + 12 + 13
This special supergroup comprises No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Adrian Young and Tom Dumont alongside AFI’s Davey Havok. It’s not exactly the merger the world was begging for, but after checking out their syrupy-sweet and addictive 80s throwback sound, you’ll wonder if the world really knows what it wants.
Dianna Krall at Hollywood Bowl | Aug. 11 + 12
The Canadian jazz pianist with the most sultry vocals around takes the Bowl’s stage for two nights of stunning performances. This mesmerizing event comes on the heels of Krall’s latest album, May’s “Turn Up the quiet.” The Hollywood Bowl’s Orchestra will also be on-hand to set the mood with their signature selections.
Alphaville at Starlight Bowl | Aug. 12
In the 1980s, German synth-pop outfit Alphaville made quite a splash with singles like “Forever Young,” “Sounds Like a Melody” and the impossible-to-forget anthem “Big in Japan.” They stop by Starlight Bowl to play their classics along with selections from their latest album, April’s “Strange Attractor.”
B-52S at Pershing Square | Aug. 12
If you’ve ever turned on the radio, you’ve undoubtedly heard this band’s breakout tunes “Rock Lobster” or “Love Shack.” Those songs are incredibly fun and practically beckon fans to join in. These rock veterans take the stage at Pershing Square for a free show, but it’s easy to imagine this will quickly devolve into a rocking party. It’s the best way to enjoy a summer night.
Nite Jewel at Teragram Ballroom | Aug. 12
The alias of California native Ramona Gonzalez, Nite Jewel whips up some of the most satisfying dance pop around. From her 2009 debut “Good Evening” to her most recent effort, 2017’s “Real High,” Nite Jewel does a great job crafting minimalistic pieces while maintaining her pop sensibilities. She stops by Tera Gram Ballroom to make sure concertgoers will be humming her songs for weeks after they attend.
Sleigh Bells at The Theatre at Ace Hotel | Aug. 12
Following the Sundance Next Fest screening of “Bitch” with comedian Kate Micucci, Sleigh Bells caps off the event with a blistering performance. A concerted effort from producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells’ experimental pop has won over countless music fans with its crunchy cadences and loaded melodies. They stop off at The Theatre at Ace Hotel to play selections off their latest riotous effort “Jessica Rabbit,” as well as other gems from their illustrious catalogue — a perfect compliment to the “just grind” work ethic that permeates the Sundance experience.
Soulection Experience ft. SiR, ESTA., Lakim, The Whooligan, Joe Kay and More at Shrine Expo Hall | Aug. 12
A tidal wave of smooth tunes hits the Shrine Auditorium and its surrounding grounds when the first ever Soulection Experience hits L.A. ESTA., Lakim, Monte Booker, Sabrina Claudio and so many others will be on hand with live music while goers also hit the boutiques and pop-ups that will populate the event.
Yo La Tengo at Burton W. Chace Park | Aug. 12
This indie outfit has carved out a path for themselves with their sprawling instrumentation and constant focus on reinvention. From albums bookended by guitar jams that last over 10 minutes to composing scores for multiple films, Yo La Tengo have certainly done it all, and they will bring that brand of reinvention along with their propensity for covers to Chace Park in Marina Del Rey as part of their summer concerts series.
Summer Breeze Music Festival ft. Keith Sweat, Bobby Brown, Monica, Brandy and Faith Evans at Queen Mary Events Park | Aug. 12
What’s more easy and breezy than an afternoon buy the Queen Mary enjoying a headlining set from the incomparable Keith sweat? The Summer Breeze Music Festival brings Sweat to Long beach along with other R&B stalwarts like Brandy and Monica for the most relaxed festival this weekend.
Chris Botti & Jewel at Hollywood Bowl | Aug. 13
Jewel has dabbled in everything from pop to country, even releasing a collection of poems back in 1998. She and multiple Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti join the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for a set shedding new light on their music. This is part of the Bowl’s “Sunset Concerts” series, which has really given artists a canvas to do new things with their already established works.
Deep Purple & Alice Cooper at Greek Theatre | Aug. 13
The Guinness Book of Records once called Deep Purple the world’s loudest band. So, naturally, they’re the band to see on a balmy Sunday night. Their hits like the enduring classic “Smoke on the Water” and “Strange Kind of Woman” keep them in musical vogue even today. Shock rocker Alice Cooper also graces the Greek on this epic night of noise, doling out hits like “I’m Eighteen” and the world famous “School’s Out.” With Cooper’s theatrical live performances and Deep Purple’s expansive sound, this is a can’t-miss show for anyone looking for a classic rock throwback.
Electric Guest at The Theatre at Ace Hotel | Aug. 13
Sundance Next Fest caps off its movie magic with a set from L.A.’s own Electric Guest, who will play tracks off their captivating album, “Plurals.” The performance follows the L.A. premier of comedy “L.A. Times,” and the entire event will be hosted by acclaimed comedian and actress Natasha Leggero.