From the We Are Memphis Music team, here’s a mix of live music picks we think you can’t afford to miss out on this week.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters
8 p.m., Wednesday, October 13, The Soundstage at Graceland
Since the early 1970s, Elvis Costello has been one of music’s most prolific, innovative, and successful artists. His career includes multiple Grammys, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and inclusion on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, which leaves little else to be said. On Wednesday, Costello and his band The Imposters will be returning to Memphis for a must-see show at the former home of that other legendary Elvis. As the last few years have tragically illustrated, you gotta see the legends while they’re still around, so take advantage of the opportunity while you can. For further motivation, check out this badass live performance from the old Hi Tone!
Welcome to the Freak Show Extravaganza
8:30 p.m., Saturday, October 16, Black Lodge
No other Memphis venue is as synonymous with spooky season as Black Lodge, the combination video store and music venue that has a well-earned reputation for their Halloween throwdowns. This year, they are throwing no less than 5 (!!!) Halloween-related events, including their annual Freak Show Extravaganza. This year’s event is absolutely saturated with action, including circus performers, DJs, costume contests, and more. Costumes (and proof of vaccination) are required, so mask up (in both senses of the word) and kick off the season in style.
Adam Larson Quintet
7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 16, The Green Room At Crosstown Arts
Acclaimed composer Adam Larson originally hails from Normal, Illinois, but make no mistake – there’s zero hint of any bland normalcy in his vibrant, spirited take on saxophone-led jazz. A prodigious talent since the age of eleven, and boasting an academic musical record that’s simply dizzying, Larson’s won acclaim from no less of
authorities than The New York Times and Downbeat Magazine. His compositions scan as effortlessly smooth without ever veering into empty-calorie confections, improvisational and adventurous without leaning too alarmingly into discordance or unwelcome hepcat meandering. This is unpretentious and joyous jazz that lingers in some lovely golden clearing between unhinged experimental abandon and charmingly-melodious filigree, so if an evening of such colorful nuance and subtle sonic boundary-pushing strikes your fancy, be sure to head over to the Concourse on Saturday night for your fix.
Frank Turner/Nathan Gray/Louise Page
7 p.m., Saturday, October 16, Growler’s
Over at Growler’s, we find British folk-punk fixture Frank Turner drifting through town, late of London post-hardcore luminaries Million Dead and now capably blazing his own path with a peppy melding of anthemic pop-punk choruses and Ted Leo-like fist-pumping swing and swagger. Sharing the bill is Nathan Gray, another post-hardcore veteran best known for his work in political-tinged Delaware ragers BoySetsFire – his inspirational emo-leaning jams should pair nicely with the evening’s headlining attraction. From our own little corner of the world, hometown favorite Louise Page’s piano-led indie-cabaret grandeur is always welcome wherever she graces a stage. Growler’s continues to slay the live Memphis music dragon with diverse and intriguing bills, and this one’s another fine example. Whether it’s rousing catharsis or disarmingly-arch observational song-craft you crave, they’ve got you more than covered this Saturday.