Memphis rejoice, for fall is nigh! The scorching summer temperatures in Memphis have most folks eagerly waiting to welcome an early arrival of hoodie season. No matter what the weather, September 22nd marks the first day of the long-awaited autumnal season, a.k.a Memphis’s peak live music season, and the entire month is packed with enough entertainment to double book yourself for thirty straight days. From funk to ambient hip-hop and shock metal, here is a preview of what you really shouldn’t miss in Memphis this September.
Thursday, September 8th at Railgarten
Ghost-Note is excellent musicianship on steroids. The heavy funk band is led by legendary Dallas-based drummer Sput Searight and percussionist Nate Werth, both of Snarky Puppy, plus Memphis’ own superstar bassist Mononeon.. Individually, the reputation of these band members precede themselves as some of the best in the business, and collectively they culminate to a SUPER-sized funky time on the stage. Ghost-Note’s 2021 fifteen track release The Breaks includes tracks titled “Ashley’s Roach Clip,” and the disco reminiscent “Dance To the Drummer’s Beat.” As if Ghost-Note’s music wasn’t already endlessly danceable, the band has also released a full-length DJ mix of the album. The band’s past performances at Railgarten have instantaneously brought the audience to their feet– and with the fall mood in full swing, there is much to celebrate!
Bailey Bigger (Headlining Cooper-Young Festival)
Saturday, September 17th at the Evolve Bank & Trust Stage
We have been following folk and Americana artist Bailey Bigger for the past few years, and have seen the young singer-songwriter really come into her own as an artist. In a city where soul, R&B, and other genres get a lot of earned attention, Bigger seems to add her own sauce to the genre that keeps her more Memphis than Nashville at heart.. And we LOVE that. Bigger will hit the Evolve Bank & Trust Stage at the notoriously LIT Cooper Young Festival as the event’s headliner, along with her brother Wyly Bigger on keys, bassist Mark Edgar Stuart, and drummer Danny Banks. To catch up or acquaint yourself with Bigger before this show, check out her newest full length studio album, Coyote Red, anywhere you download music.
Friday, September 16th at the Overton Park Shell
If you are unfamiliar with Don Lifted, get ready to meet your new artistic crush. I like to put music into three categories: good music, bad music, and high level concept art that blows my mind, and Don Lifted clearly falls into the third category. As part of the Overton Park Shell’s Free Orion Concert Series, the Memphis-based artist is playing his first big show since the release of his highly acclaimed 2021 ambient hip-hop album, 325i. A Friday night, outdoor concert featuring a hometown favorite is just about everyone’s speed– and according to a recent social media post made by the artist, he has some news to announce. New album? Big tour? I, for one, can’t wait to find out!
Saturday, September 17th at FedEx Forum
As far as country music Diva-dom goes, Reba McEntire is one of the best, earning first-name-only icon status in pop culture much like Aretha, Janet, Dolly, and Tina. The powerful singer and actress has reigned as a top female artist in the music industry for nearly four decades, earning four Grammy Awards, a ton of respect, and millions of adoring fans across the world. McEntire is also a vocal LGBTQ supporter and her raucous 2022 release, Celebrating Pride, is an homage to her icon status in that specific community. With 24 number one hits and a reputation for some impressive costume changes, there is truly no way this pick can let you down (fancy).
Tuesday, September 27th at the Orpheum Theatre
Well, it IS about to be spooky season, and we can’t think of a better way to kick it off than with a performance from the OG shock rocker Alice Cooper. In the 1970’s, when the culture of sex, drugs, and rock n roll was nearing the norm, Cooper still had the ability to titillate audiences with his horror-inspired live act . If you were too young to catch him during his heyday, then fret not because the heavy metal-inspired pop rocker is coming to the Orpheum Theatre on September 27th, and will be bringing his elaborate stage show with him. If nothing else, be there for Cooper’s banger sing-a-longs like “School’s Out For Summer”, “Welcome To My Nightmare”, and “No More Mr. Nice Guy”.