Summer concerts in Los Angeles: Critics' picks

Check out our critics' picks for must-see Summer concerts in Los Angeles, from big names such as Beyonce and Jay-Z to local favorites like Foxygen

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Karen O

Karen O Photograph: Courtesy the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Karen O at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

On September 9, Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O debuts her first solo album, Crush Songs, on Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas' Cult Records label. Recorded back in 2006 and 2007, the pretty, gritty, lo-fi songs are about, well, crushes, of which Miss O apparently had many. She'll tour behind the new record in only four cities—LA, New York, London and Berlin—and will perform three nights at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a venue that's fittingly intimate. 

  1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery 6000 Santa Monica Blvd
  2. Wed Sep 17 - Fri Sep 19
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Fatboy Slim

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Having conquered the world and its radio airwaves with his big beat antics (and by making Christopher Walken dance maniacally in one of his videos), Norman Cook has quite a track record. Considering the fact the top U.K. producer also doesn't play out much any more, tickets for this Shrine Expo Hall show are moving fast. "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" to his raucous blend of house, funk, hip-hop and electro as he plays behind his latest mix album, Fatboy Slim Presents Bem Brasil.

  1. Shrine Auditorium & Expo Center 665 W Jefferson Blvd
  2. Thu Sep 18
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Anthony Braxton, slated to perform at Angel City Jazz Festival in 2014.

Anthony Braxton, slated to perform at Angel City Jazz Festival in 2014. Photograph: courtesy of Angel City Jazz Festival

Angel City Jazz Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Angel City Jazz Festival presents every type of jazz you can think of, over two weekends at six venues across the city. Innovative jazz musicians from the West Coast and around the world will perform; the festival presents established jazz artists as well as lesser known emerging talent, with a focus on West Coast creative styles from some super cool cats. This year's fest also includes a performance by trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, who will pass through Los Angeles on his Acoustic Bicycle Tour—traveling to performances by bicycle alone—from Vancouver to Tijuana. The theme for 2014's festival is “Full Circle.” The festival ends with a blowout day of jazz at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater, where the first Angel City Jazz Festival was held in 2008. See other performances at LACMA, REDCAT, Blue Whale, the Colburn School and the Aratani Theater. Some concerts are free, and half-day and day passes are also available. Check the website for the full schedule, line-up and ticket prices.

  1. Various locations in L.A.
  2. Fri Sep 19 - Mon Sep 29
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Jazz at LACMA.

Jazz at LACMA. Photo courtesy LACMA

Jazz at LACMA

  • Critics choice
  • Free

One of LA's best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured such legends as Wayne Shorter, John Clayton, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, Billy Childs, Arturo Sandoval, Cannonball-Coltrane Project and Ernie Watts. Celebrating over twenty years at the museum, the program continues to be one of the museum’s most recognizable (and beloved) programs. It's a celebration of LA’s finest jazz musicians, and more than 42,000 visitors attend the program annually from April through November, making it a true LA rite of passage.

  1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 5905 Wilshire Blvd
  2. Fri Sep 19 - Fri Sep 26
More info
Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird Photograph: Cameron Wittig

Caetano Veloso + Andrew Bird + Devendra Banhart

  • Critics choice

Prodigious musical bravado comes to the Hollywood Bowl this fall by way of three first-rate acts. We start off with the hero of Tropicalia, who returns with a new album, "Abraçaço"—the fifty-second record for the Brazilian artist. Built on foundations of Tropicalia, Veloso's hypnotic style mixes Brazilian popular music, rock guitar riffs, funk Carioca and pop arrangements. He's joined by cassically trained violinist (in the Suzuki method), leftfield singer-songwriter, guitarist, master whistler and Chicago native Andrew Bird, supporting his most recent release I Want to See Pulaski at Night. Rounding out the trio is psycho folk Devendra Banhart, who, a decade since his first album, is no less wonderful and no less weird—the irresistible lead single from Banhart’s new album, Mala, is inspired by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century nun, mystic and composer. Catch these three for a unique evening of top-notch listening September 21. Tickets on sale May 4.

  1. Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info
Interpol

Interpol Photo courtesy Interpol

Interpol

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Now considered a legacy act of the early 2000s, Interpol quickly rose to fame with their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights, which was hailed by both NME and Pitchfork as one of the best of 2002. Since then, the band has struggled through unmet expectations, member splits, complacency, growing apathy and solo projects. But don't count them out: Paul Banks and his crew have a summer of festival shows behind them, their first global tour in three years ahead of them and a new record out on September 9, El Pintor.

  1. Fox Theater Pomona 301 S Garey Ave
  2. Mon Sep 22
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Temples

Temples Photograph: Courtesy Tempes

Temples

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Fronted by Marc Bolan look-alike James Edward Bagshaw, British psychedelic rock group Temples has won the admiration of Oasis's Noel Gallagher and Smiths man, Johnny Marr. The analogue fetishists play extremely retro psych-pop like a drier, more period-authentic Tame Impala. The released their Heavenly Records debut album, Sun Structures, earlier this year. Catch them play an intimate gig September 26 at The Glass House.

  1. The Glass House 200 W Second St
  2. Fri Sep 26
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Pixies

Pixies Photograph: Courtesy Pixies

Pixies + Gogol Bordello + Cat Power

  • Critics choice

Pioneering alt-rockers Pixies are back in LA to scratch and scream their way through selections from their four classic albums, in addition to a new release, Indie Cindy, their first batch of new material in over two decades. Neither Kim (Deal nor Shattuck) is with the band anymore, so the lineup now looks like this: Black Francis, David Lovering, Joey Santiago and Paz Lenchantin. The new EP and members have given some renewed purpose to the band's ten-year reunion tour. They're joined at the Hollywood Bowl by your favorite high-energy gypsy-punks, Gogol Bordello, as well as mysterious indie crooner Cat Power. Ticket sales begin May 4.

  1. Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave
  2. Sun Sep 28
More info

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