The best upcoming concerts in L.A.
Ride the monorail to the Getty on select evenings during the summer for this experimental series of ephemeral performances. Formerly known as Friday Flights, the monthly series includes live music and a cash bar, and it takes its name from an engraving that marks the entrance to Robert Irwin’s central garden at the museum: “Ever present / Never twice the same / Ever changing / Never less than whole.” Ever Present kicks off with a guided meditation from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith on the Getty’s sloping lawn (a limited number of yoga mats will be provided), plus an opening set by Cool Maritime and Emily Sprague.
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.
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.
For the inaugural fest, Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li has assembled an all-female lineup of musicians that ranks among this summer’s best festival lineups. In addition to Lykke Li, Charli XCX, Courtney Love and the Chateau Band, Cat Power, CupcakKe, Megan Thee Stallion and Ambar Lucid have all been tapped to play the single-day fest at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Yola Fest, which goes down on June 8, takes its name from Yola Mezcal, a female-run venture from Yola Jimenez, Gina Correll Aglietti and Lykke Li. Food vendors and activation announcements are still to come, as well as more performers. Though pricing info isn’t available yet, tickets for the 21-plus event go on sale Friday, April 5 at 10am. A portion of proceeds will go to the Downtown Women’s Center.
Mitski has a talent for swift transformation. Over the past several years, she’s rocketed from self-releasing her first two albums and playing DIY gigs to selling out major venues months in advance. Her latest collection, Be the Cowboy, continues that hunger for growth, veering from her recent penchant for dreamily yearning indie rock in favor of a multi-faceted synth pop.
If you’ve caught Jack White live recently, you’ve almost surely heard him play “Steady As She Goes,” the signature single from his side project, the Raconteurs. It’s been a long 11 years since the entire band assembled on an L.A. stage to tackle the track together, but they’re coming back for some more bluesy, pounding psychedelia. Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, Patrick Keeler and White will play the Greek Theatre this July—the Raconteur’s first L.A. show since playing that same venue back in 2008. As part of a larger world tour, the set will come on the heels of their forthcoming release, Help Us Stranger. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, April 12 at 10am, with a presale beginning Tuesday, April 9 at 10am. Each ticket comes with a physical copy of the new album. As is typical with White-related live shows, you’ll need to stash your phone for the performance: photo and video-capturing devices will be secured in a Yondr pouch for the duration of the show.
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. Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, RL Grime, Dillon Francis, Alison Wonderland top the lineup, with a slew of high-profile back-to-back performances: Excision and Nghtmre, Flosstradamus and 4B, and Zhu and Tchami, among them.
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.”
Vampire Weekend aren’t phoneys. Firstly, they chose their name before the whole prepubescent Twilight craze kicked off. What’s more, they all studied musicology, making them that rare thing on today’s rock scene: a band who know their shit. Their music, a hybrid of pop, rock and South African influences which they’ve dubbed ‘Upper West Side Soweto’, certainly reveals a careful craft and intelligence. See them play the Bowl in support of their latest record, Father of the Bride.
The great bard of Irish R&B turns up for a show at the Hollywood Bowl. You never know what you’re going to get from a Van gig—or what mood the famously prickly singer-songsmith will turn up in—but he remains one of the least contrived performers of his generation. While Morrison’s vocals might have diminished over the years, his penchant for thrilling improvisational risk remains very much intact.