Madrid is a city brimming with music. Concert halls, bars, and big clubs invite all kinds of acts to their stages, from freshly pressed indie bands to globally famous international superstars. To make sure you don't miss any of your favourites, including major festivals, check here for each month's top concert picks.
The Symphonic Orchestra of the Minsk National Opera, better known as the Strauss Festival Orchestra, is in Madrid's Auditorio Nacional, where the celebrated group rings in the new year with a new series of concerts. The production is the culmination of 26 years of performances in Europes main auditoriums, and includes a notable selection of waltzes, polkas and marches by the Strauss family.
Frontman Fructuoso 'Fortu' Sánchez is like the Spanish Ozzy Osbourne. He and the Obús bandmates Francisco Laguna, Fernando Montesinos and Carlos Mirat may have been a bunch of long-haired rockers back in the day, but nowadays they're borderline clean-cut. This year marks 35 years the legendary Spanish heavy metal band have been together, paving the way in the country along with Barón Rojo, Leño and Asfalto. Obús are back at La Riviera, where they recorded the great live album 'De Madrid al infierno' in 2012. This promises to be a three-hour-plus show where they'll play 35 of their immortal songs. Get ready to rock!
Londoner and pianist James Rhodes, at just 40 years old, is one of the best promoters of today's classical music. Brilliant and unorthodox in concert, and known for introducing and contextualizing – at times with humour – the pieces he plays, he brings back the transformative value of classical music and rebels against the excessive formality that often goes along with it. This is a don't-miss recital by the composer of one of the greatest literary hits of the year, 'Instrumental'.
After performing for the first time at the Mad Cool Festival in 2016, Scottish trio Biffy Clyro are back in Madrid to present in full their new album, 'Ellipsis'. This seventh studio album from Simon Neil and the Johnston brothers has been one of the best releases in recent years, hitting No 1 in UK sales with 40,000 copies sold in its first week. Pure unedited rock which will fit in with their greatest hits such as 'Many of Horror', 'Bubbles' and 'Black Chandelier'.
This wildly popular Spanish pop band are quite mainstream now but have never lost their indie spirit. Their new album, 'El planeta imaginario' (2016), takes them to the stages once again to delight fans with their live show. The tour kicks off in Madrid with two nights, and a hashtag (#vuelvelaoreja) that's already batting around the social media after their first single 'Verano' started burning up the charts.
'Reggae Ambassador' (2014) is Morodo's fourth studio album and one true to his style that blends rap, reggae and dancehall. Madrid's own Rubén David Morodo Ruiz, a big name on Spain's reggae scene, will be joined onstage by his band Okoumé Lions. It's been a while now since he released his first LP, 'OMZLStyle' in 2001, which was a huge hit thanks to its combination of various musical influences. In 2004 he brought us 'Cosas que contarte' and six years later Morodo established himself as one of the best working reggae artists with 'Rebel Action'.
This Portuguese alternative band has been working together for two decades. Their sound moves between pop rock and electronica, putting emphasis on elegant arrangements, from strings to subtle analogue synthesizers. Pioneers of the Portuguese DIY scene, The Gift (who, yes, also sing in English) are one of the most successful bands in their home country, where they've gone to No 1 with several hits. After having worked with producers such as Howie B and Ken Nelsen, they've been putting the finishing touches on what the band consider their best album to date, produced and co-written by none other than Brian Eno, and mixed by Flood. The album is set to be released in 2017, but for now you can enjoy the first single, 'Love without Violins'.