Spring Concerts in Boston 2015
April 2015 Concerts in Boston
Ariana Grande’s boyfriend just released his third album, Dark Sky Paradise, which boasts guest spots from Kayne West and Drake. April 3, 9 p.m., Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington St., Providence, 401-272-5876. Purchase tickets here.
As R.E.M. followed Automatic for the People with Monster, so The Decemberists follow their folksy The King Is Dead with the new What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, a more conventional garage-rocking romp. April 3, 7 p.m., April 4, 6 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
That guy from the credit card commercial who dates Lena Dunham? The one who played Boston Calling? His band is coming back again: No, not fun., the other one. April 7, 6:30 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
“An Evening with Kathleen Hanna”
The queen of riot grrrl (see: Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Julie Ruin) is on the comeback trail—but tonight she leaves the band at home, and delivers a lecture instead. Yes, there will be a Q&A. April 9, 7:30 p.m., Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston, 617-248-9700. Purchase tickets here.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Twenty years or so after this downtown rich kid art schooler yelled “Bellbottoms!” and blazed the blues-punk path that led, inexorably, to The White Stripes and Black Keys, JSBX try to jump start the no-wave dance party with a new album, Freedom Tower. April 9, 8 p.m., Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-779-0140. Purchase tickets here.
The reclusive frontman of ’90s Seattle emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate makes a rare solo acoustic appearance. April 9, 9 p.m., T.T. the Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St., Cambridge, 617-492-2327. Purchase tickets here.
Last year, Miranda Lambert teamed up with Carrie Underwood for a crime spree worthy of Thelma & Louise in the video for bachelorette party-ready anthem “Somethin’ Bad.” This spring, the pistol-packing pop-country firebrand’s coming north with Justin Moore to douse the DCU Center stage in “Kerosene.” April 10, 7:30 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, 508-755-6800. Purchase tickets here.
The Cougs might be getting a bit long in the tooth, but he still brings plenty of muscle to his live show. Expect a setlist that serves up a little something from every decade of his nigh-40-year career. April 15, 7:30 p.m., Wang Theatre at Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-9393. Purchase tickets here.
Juliana Hatfield Three and Buffalo Tom
Why they’re making us drive to New Hampshire for this, we’ll never know—but here’s Boston’s best alt-rock bill of 1995, live and in the flesh. April 17, 8 p.m., The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 603-436-2400. Purchase tickets here.
The long-reigning guitar god decamps from Mount Olympus (or make that East Sussex, rather) for a night at the Orpheum. All hail. April 19, 7:30 p.m., Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston, 617-482-0106. Purchase tickets here.
Neutral Milk Hotel
Back in December, Elephant 6 megafauna Neutral Milk Hotel announced their 2015 tour in bittersweet fashion: “dear friends we love you but it’s time to say goodbye.” While you don’t need an aeroplane to catch Jeff Mangum & Co.’s “last tour for the foreseeable future,” you might need a scalper—tickets for their Lupo’s show are way sold out. April 19, 8 p.m., Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington St., Providence, 401-272-5876. Purchase tickets here.
Academic-turned-frontwoman Sadie Dupuis once had an all-girl Pavement cover band called Babement, and in Speedy Ortiz she’s reignited the fire and intensity of angular ’90s-style indie rock like nobody else this side of Parquet Courts. Which is why, even though Speedy is technically from Northampton, Boston’s claiming them the way we used to claim Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. April 22, 8:45 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200. Purchase tickets here.
They Might Be Giants
As far back as 1985, TMBG—the quirky, long-running duo featuring Lincoln’s own John Flansburgh—were anticipating the internet with their Dial-A-Song project, which broadcast new tracks directly to fans via telephone answering machine. The 2015 version has them releasing new songs each week via YouTube and Podcast. April 23, 8 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
Yes, your little sister’s favorite annoying YouTube star will “sing.” She’ll also perform magic tricks and read hate mail. April 23, 7 p.m., The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 603-436-2400. Purchase tickets here.
When a burly, scally-capped New Englander spits the words “tough guy,” this is the image he has in his head: Boston’s legendary hardcore group, not for the faint of mosh. April 24, 6 p.m., Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-779-0140. Purchase tickets here.
Long before she teamed up with Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein in Wild Flag, Mary Timony was an indie guitar hero in her own right. Now she’s back to leading her own group, with a garage-rock edge that’s even more accessible than her legendary Boston-based group, Helium. April 24, 10 p.m., Great Scott, 1222 Comm. Ave., Allston, 617-566-9014. Purchase tickets here.
May 2015 Concerts in Boston
“Super Freestyle Explosion”
The most underrated of ’80s dance music subgenres leaps back to life with the people who brought you electropop hits like “I Wonder If I Take You Home,” “Two of Hearts,” and “When I Hear Music.” The massive lineup features Stevie B, Lisa Lisa, Exposé, The Original Cover Girls, Trinere, Nu Shooz, J.J. Fad, Debbie Deb, Connie, and Stacey Q. May 2, 7:30 p.m., Agganis Arena, 925 Comm. Ave., Boston,617-358-7000. Purchase tickets here.
Pegged as an indie-folkie, Sufjan has often made his best work in ebullient, soulful, ambitiously arranged sonatas. But his new Carrie & Lowell is a stark, whispery, and foreboding concept album inspired by the death of his mother. May 4, 7:30 p.m., Wang Theatre at Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-9393. Purchase tickets here.
By the time teenage Hayley Williams came along, the line between emo and Top 40 pop was largely a matter of volume. Now it’s a distinction without a difference: She’s as comfortable singing atop a wall of guitars as on EDM one-offs. May 5, 8 p.m., Wang Theatre at Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-9393. Purchase tickets here.
Kiesza and Betty Who
They’re pop divas hailing from different hemispheres—not to mention different genres—but both Kiesza (“Hideaway”) and Betty Who (“Somebody Loves You”) share a local alma mater: Berklee, which is becoming something like the Julliard of Top 40. May 6, 7 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
The Lawrence-bred, platinum-selling hard rock group are promoting their comeback album, 1000hp, as a paean to the “streets of Boston,” and got Mayor Marty Walsh to proclaim a “Godsmack Day” upon its release. But their big comeback show will take place in Worcester, where their suburban thrashing has long had a bigger following. May 8, 7:30 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester, 508-755-6800. Purchase tickets here.
Before launching his celebrated art-pop ensemble in Brooklyn, Rhode Island-born and Massachusetts-raised Ellis Ludwig-Leone studied composition at Yale and apprenticed with Nico Muhly. The eight-piece ensemble returns behind a new disc, Jackrabbit, that’s drawn praise from unlikely corners, including the New York Times’ Paul Krugman. May 8, 7:30 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200. Purchase tickets here.
Yawlpy Brits with an irresistible sense of melody and terrible taste in haircuts, they peaked on 2011’s Junk of the Heart, but last year’s Listen won’t alienate the base. May 10, 7 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
Faith No More
In the late ’80s, this San Francisco funk-metal band set the stage for an alternative revolution. Nearly two decades after their swan song, Album of the Year, the Mike Patton-led incarnation of the group returns with a new album, Sol Invictus. May 11, 7:30 p.m., Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place, Boston, 617-482-0106. Purchase tickets here.
The singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield is releasing Ivy Tripp, her third disc of haunting, DIY folk and punk songs, on Merge Records—home to Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel. This tour also reunites her with her twin sister Allison, of the excellent Philly grunge group Swearin’. May 13, 7 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200. Purchase tickets here.
Following a brief detour into progressive rock, on their new Once More ‘Round the Sun the hirsute metal gods have—thank the beast—returned to the grinding, ungodly-heavy boogie that got ’em here. May 17, 6 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583. Purchase tickets here.
She’s from Australia, but Barnett ought to do well here: Her winningly affectless delivery, stream of consciousness lyrics, and laconic three-chord strum remind us a lot of the random, piercing brilliance of early Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. May 18, 7 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200. Purchase tickets here.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Extra-musical skirmishes have kept Neil Young out of this reunion—David Crosby didn’t help, calling Young’s new girlfriend, Daryl Hannah, a “purely poisonous predator.” The other three soldier on without him. May 19, 7:30 p.m., Wang Theatre at Citi Performing Arts Center, 270 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-9393. Purchase tickets here.
Boston Calling’s trademark is to put together a concert lineup so mind-boggling, it reads like some kind of absurd dream—and this year’s roster is perhaps their most absoludicrous yet: Beck, My Morning Jacket, The Pixies, St. Vincent, Tame Impala, Marina & the Diamonds, and Tenacious D are among the bands who’ll storm City Hall Plaza for this three-day fest. May 22-24, City Hall Plaza, Boston. Purchase tickets here.
Mighty is the country band that can break Rascal Flatts’ winning streak at the CMAs—which is exactly what Lady Antebellum did with their Vocal Group of the Year win in 2009. This spring, they’re bringing their Wheels Up Tour to Mansfield, along with Hunter Hayes and, uh, Sam Hunt (we sense a leitmotif here). May 30, 7 p.m., Xfinity Center, 885 S Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2331. Purchase tickets here.
June 2015 Concerts in Boston
Until the Gallagher brothers kiss and make up for the inevitable Oasis reunion, you’ll have to catch them in pieces. Tonight: a rare visit by Noel’s latest group, High Flying Birds. June 6, 8 p.m., Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, 617-259-3400. Purchase tickets here.
Tonight’s visit is courtesy of Bette’s 2014 girl-group tribute album It’s the Girls, which gets bonus points for digging past the obvious hits—Shangri-Las, Supremes, Crystals—to pick deep cuts from the Exciters and the Marvelettes. Maybe the best part? She adds TLC’s “Waterfalls” to the canon. June 12, 8 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050. Purchase tickets here.
Dave Matthews Band
Time to don your finest hempwear and strap on some Tevas—the Dave Matthews Band summer tour is upon us! This June, Dave and crew will bust out jams about getting laid, getting stoned, and getting great big existential crises over the idea that we’re all born alone, and die alone, and death is creeping ever closer. OK, turns out, some of the stuff off the most recent DMB album is kinda dark. We recommend packing an emergency hacky sack just in case you suddenly need to unharsh your mellow. June 13, 7 p.m., Xfinity Center, 885 S Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2331. Purchase tickets here.
Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa
Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa might seem like strange co-headliners, but FOB are no strangers to the hip-hop collabo—they’ve previously worked with 2 Chainz, Lupe Fiasco, and Jay-Z. The Boys of Zummer Tour also brings indie rapper Hoodie Allen to the stage. June 14, 7 p.m., Xfinity Center, 885 S Main St., Mansfield, 508-339-2331. Purchase tickets here.
Flogging Molly, Gogol Bordello, and Mariachi El Bronx
An Irish-punk band, a Gypsy-punk band, and a fake-Mexican-punk band walk into a bar. Actually, make that a waterfront shed. June 19, 7 p.m., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave, Boston, 617-728-1600. Purchase tickets here.
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the Rauschenberg of black metal, returns with The Ark Work, 57 minutes of uncategorizable symphonic apocalypse. June 21, 9 p.m., Great Scott, 1222 Comm. Ave., Allston, 617-566-9014. Purchase tickets here.
Geddy Lee, the George R. R. Martin of prog rock, gets the world’s wonkiest power trio back together to celebrate its 40-year legacy, from 1974’s seven-minute “Working Man” to 2012’s sci-fi concept album Clockwork Angels. June 23, 7:30 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050. Purchase tickets here.
NKOTB, TLC, Nelly
Thirty years on, Donnie Wahlberg’s Dorchester crew is still, improbably, hangin’ tough. June 24-25, 7 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050. Purchase tickets here.
—By Shaula Clark and Carly Carioli