The best upcoming concerts in L.A.
Though the much-loved 30 Days in L.A. series has left the city, the Red Bull Music Festival is back again—and boy does it promise an unforgettable lineup. Robyn, Trina, CupcakKe and others are all slated to partake in a month of concerts, conversations and installations spread across the city. Other highlights include a skate and film fest with Illegal Civilization, a showcase of the music from Red Dead Redemption 2 and a screening of Selena with Edward James Olmos and Jacob Vargas.
Since moving to L.A., multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird has been known to pop up every few months for small, intimate shows. The shows aren’t too different from his “Gezelligheid” tours; the name translates to “extra, extra cozy” in Dutch, an atmosphere Bird encourages at the intimate performances where he uplifts listeners before entering the dark winter. Expect a reworking of his impressive back catalog with a heavy emphasis on violin pieces, an instrument he’s been playing since he was four—plus songs from his newest album, My Finest Work Yet.
A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra's swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of Michael Jackson at his peak, making magic night after night with an accompanying big band.
The trip-hop icons celebrate the 21st anniversary of their Mezzanine album with what’s being billed as a totally new audio/visual production. Excitingly, they’ll be joined by Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, who sang on three Mezzanine tracks including the hauntingly beautiful “Teardrop.”
A clear-eyed West Coast MC, Staples eschews the glitz of mainstream hip-hop for biting critiques of life as a not-quite-famous rapper, backed by sinister beats from the likes of Kanye West, mentor No ID and electro crooner James Blake.
Most recollections of Bikini Kill—we suppose this one included—start with the trio’s legacy: their pioneering place among riot grrrl acts and the streak of fiery feminism they’ve inspired in music to this day. But the songs also stand alone; only a few seconds of female bonding anthem “Rebel Girl” is enough to convince you that Bikini Kill was onto something special. Bikini Kill will reunite for a select series of shows in New York and L.A. Frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail and bassist Kathi Wilcox (plus guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle) will play the Hollywood Palladium in April and early May. Outside of a small 2017 show, this’ll mark the band’s first major live shows together in two decades. Tickets for the final L.A. date go on sale Friday, January 25 at noon.
If you’ve noticed a lack of aughts indie favorites among this year’s music fest lineups, it’s probably because they’re all playing Just Like Heaven. Seriously, all of them. The inaugural fest features a lineup that’s straight out of an era when you stored music on an iPod: Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT and Beach House top the two-day fest, held on May 3 and 4 at the Queen Mary Park. You’ll also find additional sets from Miike Snow, Passion Pit (marking the 10th anniversary of Manners), the Rapture and Grizzly Bear. After tickets sold out startlingly quickly, a second date—May 3—has been added, with passes going on sale Friday, February 15 at 10am. Tickets start (a distinction that wasn’t entirely clear during the first round of sales) at $99 and VIP for $225. As soon as those are swooped up, the prices increase, ultimately to $170 and $270, respectively. Oh, we’re not done with the lineup, by the way—we just needed to take a breath before. Other performers include STRFKR, the Faint, She Wants Revenge, Peter Bjorn and John, Tokyo Police Club, Breakbot, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Miami Horror, Shiny Toy Guns, Ra Ra Riot, Tennis, RAC, Funeral Party and Greer. Like we said: It’s literally everything from your decade-old iPod.
Moby’s quiet roles as an animal rights advocate, vegan and blogger belie his fervent musical output: over a dozen studio albums that’ve jumped from hardcore and dance to blues and glam rock. The DJ (and local restaurateur) discusses the second part of his memoir.
Broken Social Scene hadn’t released an album together since 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record. Save for a couple of festival appearances, the band had pretty much ceased to exist since then. But that changed with the Canadian collective’s return to the tour and club circuit to promote the release of their excellent Hug of Thunder (and again in 2019 with the new EP, Let’s Try The After - Vol 1). Many things may have changed since 2010, but Broken Social Scene’s cool-yet-moody indie rock anthems—both old and new—are still just as timeless as ever.
Though locally born EDM juggernaut HARD Summer has hopped around Southern California in recent years, its dedication to bringing the biggest names in the hip-hop and electronic scene. Last year’s headliners included Marshmello, Travis Scott, Virtual Self and back-to-back sets from Diplo and Dillon Francis as well as Zeds Dead and Jauz.