Washington, D.C. may be the political center of the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking a great music scene. If you’re looking for a good concert to go to in our nation’s capital, you’ve got tons of options. There are plenty of upcoming concerts and events in DC, and we’ve picked some of the best ones happening soon. Check it out, and treat yourself to some good music.
with Christina Perri
Starting on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
English singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran recorded his first two albums when he was only a teenager before moving to London to focus on his music career. Through extensive touring and internet exposure, Sheeran built up a following and earned the support of artists like Elton John and Jamie Foxx. After appearing on Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red and penning songs for popular boy band One Direction, Sheeran was suddenly an international star. Now, he’s all over the radio and selling out huge arena shows. His 2014 album x reached the #1 spot in several countries and was recently nominated for two Grammy awards, landing Sheeran in a hard-earned spot among the music industry elite.
with Billy Wayne Davis
Starting on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, former leader of the roots rock band Sunday Valley, released his solo debut High Top Mountain in 2013. The album became a word-of-mouth hit, opening doors for him as an artist. The Kentucky native expresses his deep southern roots through his music, but wanted to experiment more with pushing the boundaries of the genre for his second album. Simpson released his sophomore effort, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, in 2014, which as the title suggests, is more experimental than his first attempt.
Armin Van BuurenTickets
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Dutch DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren is known for his progressive trance style as well as for playing extremely long DJ sets. In fact, he set the world record for longest DJ set in 2003, having played for over 12 hours straight. That’s not the only record he’s set though – he also holds the record for most times listed at the #1 spot on the esteemed DJ Magazine’s Top 100. Armin van Buuren has been voted #1 an impressive five times, which speaks to his incredible skills and clearly establishes him as one of the best DJs in the world.
Yo La TengoTickets
featuring Dave Schramm
Friday, September 25, 2015
Throw on your Autumn Sweater, because acclaimed indie rock act Yo La Tengo is coming to DC this fall. All puns aside, the band has been a critical success since the early ’90s, with a Velvet Underground-esque sound that’s had music journalists singing their praises for the last two decades. Last month, the band released a new album called Stuff Like That There, which features re-recordings of old Yo La Tengo songs as well as covers of The Cure, Hank Williams, and more.
with Bad Suns & Hunny
Starting on Monday, September 28, 2015
Alternative rock band The Neighbourhood made themselves known back in 2012 with their genre-defying combination of rock and hip hop beats. That year they released two EPs, I’m Sorry… and Thank You, both of which preceded their 2013 debut album I Love You. Soon, their catchy single “Sweater Weather” shot to the top of the Billboard alternative chart, spending several weeks at the #1 spot. The Neighbourhood will be releasing their sophomore album Wiped Out! on October 30.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
London-based alternative rock band Wolf Alice is widely regarded as a band to watch at the moment. The four-piece officially debuted in 2013 with an EP called Blush, drawing comparisons to female-fronted grunge bands of the ’90s like Garbage and Hole. In 2014, the band released a second EP, Creature Songs, as a lead-up to their debut full-length My Love Is Cool, which came out this summer.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Atlanta-bred rapper Future came to attention when he signed with Epic Records in 2011. The next year, he dropped his debut album Pluto, which spawned a number of tracks that made it to the top 100, including the platinum single “Turn on the Lights.” Future followed up his wildly successful debut with his sophomore record Honest in the spring of 2014. The new record features appearances from rap royalty like Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, and Drake among others.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Coming to the Verizon Center on October 3 is none other than American R&B icon Stevie Wonder. With over 30 top ten hits and several platinum albums, he is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. In addition to his impressive album sales and chart popularity, Stevie Wonder holds the record for the most Grammy Awards won by a male solo artist, with 22 wins to date. Over the last fifty years, Stevie Wonder has left a lasting legacy on the music industry. Some of his other awards and recognitions include a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Academy Award, and inductions into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks)Tickets
with The Intelligence
Monday, October 5, 2015
Earlier this year two great bands, Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, came together to officially form FFS, a supergroup of sorts that perfectly blends elements of each band’s unique sound. Though they’ve been recording together for years, the world still waited in anticipation for their first official release, and wasn’t let down when they dropped their eponymous debut album this summer.
Kurt Vile & The ViolatorsTickets
with Waxahatchee & Luke Roberts
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Philadelphia-based musician Kurt Vile rose to prominence as a former member of the indie rock band The War on Drugs. After the band released their debut album in 2008, Vile left the group to focus on a solo career, wasting no time to issue his first solo record within that same year. He released another album after that and soon signed with the distinguished indie label Matador Records, through which he released his three latest albums. The band will soon be releasing theier latest record, b’lieve i’m goin (deep) down…, which is slated for a September 25 release.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Last time I saw Mac Demarco perform, highlights from his set included camouflage overalls, crowd surfing, and an ironically weak attempt at a Coldplay cover, so you can expect just about anything from this Canadian goofball when he comes to DC this fall. Though known for his stage antics, Demarco’s music alone is reason enough to see him. He’s a great guitarist with quite the voice and a talent for songwriting, having earned the attention and respect of some of the biggest music critics out there, so he’s one artist you should definitely check out.
with Avid Dancer
Thursday, October 15, 2015
B∅RNS is the solo project of musician Garrett Borns. Originally hailing from Michigan, he eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he signed with Interscope and released his debut EP Candy. The EP came out in 2014 and contains four songs that blend dreamy pop with electronic synths, folk, and glam rock. B∅RNS recently announced a debut full-length album called Dopamine, to be released in mid-October.
with Kali Uchis
Friday, October 16, 2015
Texas native Leon Bridges is a singer/songwriter who blends Southern soul and gospel. His sound has been compared to that of ’60s-era crooners like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. Bridges built up a local following in his hometown of Fort Worth before signing with Columbia Records in December of last year. Having wowed audiences at festivals like Sundance and SXSW earlier this year, Leon Bridges has made himself known as an up-and-coming artist over the last few months.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Halsey is the stage name of New York’s Ashley Frangipane. In true hipster fashion, the New Jersey native took the name of a Brooklyn L train stop to use as her musical alias. She self-released her first single, “Ghost,” and based on the strength and popularity of that song alone she signed a deal with Capitol Records-owned electronic/dance label Astralwerks in 2014. Halsey just released her highly anticipated debut album Badlands, which dropped in at #2 on the Billboard 200.
Starting on Wednesday, October 21, 2015
English electronic music duo Disclosure consists of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. Their breakthrough came in 2012 with the hit single “Latch,” which features vocals from Sam Smith. A year later, they released their debut album Settle, earning the Lawrence brothers their first Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album. Later in the month, the duo is set to release their highly anticipated sophomore album Caracal. The new record is due out on September 25 and features collabs with The Weeknd, Sam Smith, Lorde, and more.
Starting on Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Indie folk band Beirut, led by Santa Fe’s Zach Condon, rose to popularity in 2006 with the release of their acclaimed debut album Gulag Orkestar. Critics praised their whimsical and worldly sound that uniquely blends traditional Eastern European musical styles with more straightforwardly accessible folk rock. Several albums later, the band is still at it, having just released a new record titled No No No in August. Attending a Beirut show is like traveling the world without leaving the room, so don’t miss them when they come to DC this November.
Past Concerts in DC
The 1989 World Tour
Starting on Monday, July 13, 2015
Calling all lonely Starbucks lovers: Taylor Swift will be performing two nights at Nationals Park as part of her highly anticipated 1989 World Tour. Swift recently left her country roots behind only to emerge as a full-fledged pop singer. Having begun as a country artist, she was able to effortlessly cross over into the mainstream over the years by moving closer to a poppier sound with each album release. Her transition into a bona fide pop star is now complete, as evidenced by her latest album, 1989, which is chock-full of catchy, radio-friendly hits like the smash singles “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.” With multiple Grammy Awards, platinum album sales, a number of film and television roles, a ubiquitous presence on Top 40 radio stations, and nearly as many Twitter followers as Barack Obama, there’s no doubt that Swift has become one of the biggest stars of our time. Haters gonna hate hate hate, but it looks like that’s not about to change anytime soon.
with Coin & Fictionist
Monday, July 20, 2015
Though they have been a band for a whole decade now, Provo, Utah’s Neon Trees didn’t make it big until 2010 when they released their album Habits. The record delivered their breakthrough hit, the catchy alt-pop tune “Animal,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart. Since then, the band has churned out several new wave-inspired hits, becoming a strong presence on both mainstream and alternative radio stations.
with Gavin Degraw
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Rising to fame in the late 1990s, Shania Twain emerged to become one of the most successful female country artists in the genre’s history. By the time she released her multi-platinum second album The Woman in Me in 1995, she was a Grammy Award winner and a mainstream crossover success. Her next album, the astoundingly 20x platinum Come On Over, came out in 1997 and to this day still holds the record as the best-selling country album of all time. Flash forward to 2015, and Twain is headed out on the road for her first tour in 11 years, still rocking it at almost 50 years old. She has stated that she plans to release a new album once the tour wraps.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Sing it with me: “Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the furrrrrr…” Flo Rida was everywhere in the late 2000s, with big hit singles like “Low” and “In the Ayer” playing all over, from the radios to the clubs. His career hasn’t slowed down by any means since then, as he’s put out several more successful albums and collaborated with the likes of Akon, David Guetta, Sia, Robin Thicke, and plenty of others. He recently released a new EP titled My House, which he plans to follow up with a fifth full-length album soon.
with Prince Royce
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Formerly a Nickelodeon star, pop singer Ariana Grande left the network (and her squeaky-clean image) behind to pursue career in music. She released her debut album, Yours Truly, in 2013, showcasing her Mariah Carey-esque vocal range and featuring appearances from artists like Big Sean and Mac Miller. Her next album, My Everything, dropped a year later, hitting the number one spot in multiple countries. The new record features several hit singles in collaboration with artists like The Weeknd, Iggy Azalea, and Zedd.
with X Ambassadors
Monday, July 27, 2015
German duo Milky Chance is made up of Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch. The pair first met in high school and played together in a local band, and later decided to carry on as just a duo and formed Milky Chance. Their catchy debut single “Stolen Dance” became a huge international hit after the band uploaded it to their YouTube page. The song gained millions of views and went on to top the charts in several countries, opening the door for sold-out tour dates and live television appearances. Milky Chance followed up the success of their single with their debut full-length, Sadnecessary, in 2013.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Practically synonymous with NYC indie rock, Interpol was established as a successful band early on when they released their acclaimed debut album “Turn on the Bright Lights.” Hardworking and impeccably dressed, they set themselves apart from other bands at the time with their classy suits and mature music, distinctly marked by vocalist Paul Banks’ somber and instantly recognizable baritone. Despite the departure of bassist Carlos Dengler in 2010, Interpol now carries on as a trio with Banks, guitarist Daniel Kessler, and drummer Sam Fogarino still going strong. After a four-year hiatus, the band came back in 2014 with their latest album El Pintor, the title of which is a clever anagram for the band’s name.
Tony Bennett & Lady GagaTickets
Cheek to Cheek Tour
Starting on Friday, July 31, 2015
At first glance, it may seem like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are polar opposites – one is a young and provocative pop star with crazy hair colors and wild outfits, the other an 88-year-old man who sings traditional, old-school jazz. However, when these two came together, it became clear to all that they certainly have at least one thing in common, and that’s talent. What seemed at first like the unlikeliest of duos suddenly made sense once the world heard their collaborative performance. Anyone quick to dismiss Gaga as just another pop star and record label product would surely change his or her mind and recognize that she is clearly quite talented, and she and Bennett complement each other perfectly. Their joint album, “Cheek to Cheek,” features the pair singing classic jazz standards and earned the duo a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album this year.
with Joyce Manor and States & Kingdoms
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Desaparecidos formed in 2000 as the side project of Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst. The name is Spanish for “disappeared ones,” taken from the 1970s practice of forced disappearance by South American governments. Much like the band’s namesake, Desaparecidos’ lyrics often focus on themes of loss. Oberst announced the group’s disbandment in in 2002 due to the increasing success of Bright Eyes, but the band officially reunited ten years later. As of 2015, Desaparecidos is signed to Epitaph Records and just released a new record titled Payola.
Zac Brown BandTickets
with The Avett Brothers
Friday, August 14, 2015
The three-time Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum-selling Zac Brown Band is back with a fourth studio album titled Jeckyll + Hyde, released on April 28. The band has earned astounding critical and commercial success, which has led them to work with many big-name artists like Dave Grohl, Jimmy Buffett, and Alan Jackson. Over the years, the band has released 16 singles, ten of which made it to number one on the Billboard country charts, solidifying their status as country superstars. They’re coming to Nationals Park on Friday, August 14, along with folk rockers The Avett Brothers.