Dec 11 – Dec 17 • Essential Weekly Concert Guide • L.A. Edition
Luke Bryan at Belasco Theater | Dec. 11
The newest “American Idol” judge hasn’t let the reality show’s prestige slow down his songwriting momentum one bit. The country crossover superstar just came roaring back with his latest slick set, “What Makes You Country,” and he’s hitting the road in support. Catch him at the Belasco Theater as he fires through some of his catalogues biggest standouts and proves why he has crested the country and pop charts numerous times. It’s an intimate performance to celebrate the new record, so make sure you’re one of the lucky ones to have a seat.
Walk the Moon at Jimmy Kimmel Live! | Dec. 11
There’s no arguing with Walk The Moon’s blend of upbeat pop and the sentimentality usually mined from indie rock. They throw the two elements together to create a driving set of sonics that never fail to get a crowd onto the dance floor. You, too, can jive to their heartbroken anthems when they play a free show as part of Jimmy Kimmel’s outdoor concert series.
Wrabel at Peppermint Club | Dec. 11
A struggling writer whose fortunes turned when one of his songs landed on a Bud Light commercial, Wrabel has been moving up ever since. Since then he has collaborated with notable acts like Afrojack and Marshmello, working on his own music constantly. Now Wrabel comes to the Peppermint Club with a whole new bag of tricks.
LANCO at Troubadour | Dec. 11 + Jimmy Kimmel Live! | Dec. 12
Feel-good country with traces of blues and rockin’ riffs is the name of the game for Lanco. The band only have a handful of releases under their belts so far, but with each one their sound gets more polished and resonant. Let the good times roll when they play the Troubadour with Travis Denning.
Emily Haines at Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever | Dec. 12
Known for her work as the lead singer and keyboardist for Metric and the Broken Social Scene collective, Haines’ solo project, Emily Haines & The soft Skeleton, makes ample use of her impressive soprano range to create productions that are equal parts eerie and infectious. Just look at her latest album, “Choir of the Mind,” for an example of her poignant, thought-provoking productions. Haines has two shows scheduled for the same day at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, so make sure to grab a ticket to one show or both while you still can.
G-Eazy ft. Halsey at Jimmy Kimmel Live! | Dec. 12
With “The Beautiful and Damned” right around the corner, G-Eazy has a free outdoor performance scheduled courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live. These days it wouldn’t be a proper G-Eazy performance without girlfriend Halsey on-hand to perform the happy couple’s hit, “Him & I.” “They got that love,” after all.
Thom Yorke at Fonda Theatre | Dec. 12
The Radiohead mastermind has his sights set on the Fonda for a night full of his compelling solo compositions. There’s never any telling what Yorke’s going to pull out of his hat when he takes the stage, and considering he’s the man behind some of music’s most riveting albums, it’s a safe bet that you’ll walk out having experienced something truly life-changing. Christmas is coming early this year, so make sure to grab your tickets while you can.
Pussy Riot at Lodge Room | Dec. 12 + 13
The band that embodies the most anarchic spirit in the 21st century finally comes to L.A., and they’re planning on stirring up some chaos in typical Pussy Riot fashion. This is a band, after all, whose members were imprisoned for their radical ideas. Welcome radical social influencers and fiery flag bearers for the feminist movement to L.A. by rocking out at one of their two Lodge dates with openers Desi MO.
A Holiday Variety Show ft. Chvrches, Muna, Justin Long at Fonda Theatre | Dec. 13
A touch of future-pop with a message? That’s what you get when you go to a Chvrches show. Catch members of Chvrches participating in a stunning holiday-themed variety show with all kinds of other musicians, including members from Death Cab for Cutie, Jenny Owen Youngs, and comedic performances from a who’s who of funny folks including Justin Long. It’s a can’t-miss.
Jhene Aiko at The Novo | Dec. 13
Jhene Aiko titled her latest album “Trip,” and it’s an entirely appropriate name. Her voice gives way to psychedelic textures that threaten to drag you into a swirling vortex with only her vocals for company. Aiko’s vocal stylings are virtually universal at this point, even if you don’t quite know her by name. Her collaborations with heavyweights like Drake and Big Sean put her on the map, but her ability to find new ways to advance her style keep her there. Catch Aiko at the Novo with Willow Smith, Kitty Cash and Kodie Shane.
Pixies at Hollywood Palladium | Dec. 13
Staples of the late 80s and early 90s, The Pixies took traditional musical conventions and threw them out the window, stepped on them and kick them into the street. Squelching guitars and jarring, oftentimes impenetrable lyrics endeared the band to countless fans. After a tortuously long hiatus, the band finally returned to the touring circuit in 2004 but waited until 2013 to bless the masses with new tunes. Catch these innovators when they play the Hollywood Palladium, where craziness is sure to follow
Grizzly Bear at The Wiltern | Dec. 13 + 14
Rich with dreamy testaments to BMX biking, rhythmic bliss and the usual tapestry of elaborate harmonies, Grizzly Bear find themselves as one of the indie sphere’s quintessential acts. After going on a hiatus to work on solo projects, it seems like collaborating is just in the band’s blood, finding ways to do so despite the distance that separated them. The result was 2017’s “Painted Ruins,” a return to form for the group that dares to move beyond. They have two dates at the Wiltern with serpentwithfeet.
Hieroglyphics at The Novo | Dec. 14
When the Hieroglyphics collective reunited for “The Kitchen,” their first album of new material in a decade, it was indicative of the burgeoning rap scene out of Oakland. The group had always served as a stirring force in the underground, and now that force was back in full effect. That iconic outfit comes to The Novo with The Living Legends and The Pharcyde.
N.E.R.D at Jimmy Kimmel Live! | Dec. 14
The gleefully eclectic project consisting of Chad Hugo, Shay Haley and the incomparable Pharrell Williams never stays in one genre for very long, instead paying homage to a huge array of different influences. It’s a real powerhouse of an outfit, and with their new album, “No One Ever Really Dies,” recently gracing music services, it’s the perfect time to catch them doing their thing as part of Kimmel’s outdoor mini concert series.
The Jesus Lizard at Fonda Theatre | Dec. 14
They’ve been described as abrasive and as atonal, but one thing that rings clear is the Jesus Lizard’s influence on the 90s underground scene. From drumming up swaths of interest in their noise rock sound to recording a split with a little band out of Seattle called Nirvana, the rocking act swayed indie-heads and mainstream music fans alike. The iconic outfit have a date set for the Fonda, so make sure to catch a seminal act before it’s too late. Make sure to check out openers Dead Rider while you’re there.
Julien Baker at Palace Theatre | Dec. 14
With stirringly poignant lyricism and eerie sonics dotting the entire work, Baker’s “Turn Out the lights” finds itself in the running for 2017’s best album. It’s cathartic music with a dash of jarring relatability. Baker brings those scintillating sounds to the Palace Theatre for a show designed to open up the eyes of her nonbelievers. Treat yourself and snag tickets to watch Baker do her thing live.
The Neighbourhood at El Rey Theatre | Dec. 14
For new album “Wiped Out,” The Neighbourhood go back to the hypnotic melodies and pulsing beats of their previous releases while dropping in some more summer-friendly vibes. But now that the L.A. weather is getting a little colder and sweaters are out in abundance, it’s only appropriate that the group that sparked an obsession with their 2013 hit “Sweater Weather” return to L.A. for a date at the El Rey Theatre. Get lost and bob your head to all the anthems these melody makers manage to dream up, and don’t miss Kid Bloom opening up the show.
The Album Leaf at Lodge Room | Dec. 15
Originally a solo project for Jimmy LaValle, The Album Leaf has turned into a kaleidoscopic embodiment of genre-defiance, with LaValle using all manner of sounds to create one entrenched sonic masterclass in variation. Put on a record from The Album Leaf and you’ll get lost in a litany of sounds from radio transmissions to every instrument under the sun. Catch them live when they hit the lodge Room with Collapsing Scenery.
The Dream Syndicate at El Rey Theatre | Dec. 15
A band heralded for their insistence on bringing the guitar back into vogue in an age where new technologies threatened to eclipse it, The Dream Syndicate stand tall as pioneer in the alternative movement. With a new lineup, The Dream Syndicate finally recorded a new album in 2017, keeping the group’s legacy accessible to a new generation. The group comes to the El Rey for a special date alongside Psychic Temple.
Iron Butterfly at Whiskey A Go Go | Dec. 15
Spend your Friday night watching one of the bands that created the blueprint for your favorite psychedelic acts. Iron Butterfly set the template for experimentation and proved that progressive rock was a viable contender in the radio marketplace. Now it’s time to get lost in real musical history when they come to the legendary Whiskey.
REZZ w/ Haywyre, Mad Zach at The Novo | Dec. 15
Born and raised in the Ukraine, Rezz took to the EDM scene quite quickly, and as soon as she was able she was crafting powerful productions that shined despite their minimalistic nature. The Novo will turn into a dance wonderland when she and cohorts Haywyre and Mad Zach take over the place.
The Oh Sees at Teragram Ballroom | Dec. 15 + 16 + 29
The Oh Sees put a fresh bend on post-grunge, driving their not-so-elegant points home with razor-sharp guitars and sweeping synths fit for any rocking soiree. Imagine the freedom of jazz but applied to a frenetic garage rock series and you might have the beginnings of what this crew is all about. But don’t take our word for it. You have three chances to catch them at Teragram Ballroom, so don’t delay.
Brian Setzer Orchestra at Dolby Theatre | Dec. 16
The three-time Grammy-winner wants only to rock you into the holiday spirit, and there’s no better way to do that than with his exemplary flair for guitar backed by his 19-piece orchestra. Cited as one of the greatest living guitarists, Setzer will dive into blisteringly merry renditions of holiday classics while whipping up some originals, both holiday-related and the standard goodies. You’ll be donning a festive face before you leave the Dolby Theatre, guaranteed.
Louis the Child at Hollywood Palladium | Dec. 16
This duo fashions electronic pop just dying to be the soundtrack to your next ugly sweater party. With a sound that has been described as a more upbeat take on the Chainsmokers, Louis the Child compromise nothing in getting you ready to groove. The pair have collaborated with a who’s who of talented vocalists, including K.Flay, Icona Pop and Elohim. Now they’re trying to light up the Hollywood Palladium, one of L.A.’s foremost party destinations.
Mija at Fonda Theatre | Dec. 16
Come jive and vibe to a DJ who isn’t afraid to transcend genres, injecting all kinds of stylistic variability into her set. Mija’s Skrillex approved, having collaborated with the EDM staple and receiving a ton of attention because of it. This is the Saturday night out you’ve been waiting for.
Power 106 Cali Christmas ft. Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, Majid Jordan at The Forum | Dec. 16
Tired of the traditional holiday sing-along songs already? Us too. Thankfully, there’s a new kind of Christmas celebration in town when Power 106 throws down with its annual Cali Christmas, an event decked out with hip-hop’s finest. This year Chance the Rapper,, Travis Scott and more are cruising through to bless Inglewood with their signature brand of holiday cheer. It’s going to be quite the merry affair, so make sure to grab your tickets while you can, or win them by listening to Power 106.
Xavier Omar at El Rey Theatre | Dec. 16
A man of many monikers, Xavier Adams formerly went by SPZRKT before assuming the Xavier Omar alias. But where the name might be different, Omar still turns out mellow r&b perfect for getting listeners into a chill headspace. His songs are praised for a meticulous kind of craftsmanship that goes above and beyond. Here it for yourself when he comes to the El Rey Theatre with Iris Temple and pinkcaravan.
The Blind Boys of Alabama at The Theatre at Ace Hotel | Dec. 17
This legendary ensemble got its start in the late 1930s, touring the South and singing gospel as they went. Their sound served as the inspiration to a who’s who of chart-toppers, including Marvin Gaye. Despite several lineup changes, the group is as powerful as ever thanks to their enchanting harmonies. Don’t miss your chance to catch the iconic outfit when they play the Theatre at Ace Hotel as part of a very special Christmas celebration.
Buckethead at The Novo | Dec. 17
Buckethead has to be one of the most enigmatic players in the music scene, and that’s saying something. His command of the electric guitar is legendary, and his knack for experimentation is defiant in the face of stagnant musicians. Watch Buckethead’s frenetic fretwork for yourself when he takes over The Novo with Brain and Brewer.
Dead Sara at Troubadour | Dec. 17
Dead Sara keep the vicious spirit of grunge alive with their straightforward, driving riffs and full-throttle energy. They’re the perfect antidote to a low-energy afternoon, and the perfect catalyst for a high-octane evening. Jam to Dead Sara when they come to the Troubadour with Marc baker.