Each week, the team at WAMM brings you our picks for the best live music shows headed your way over the next seven days.
7:30 PM, Wednesday, December 7th
The big-hearted emo-folk of New Jersey group The Front Bottoms may immediately hammer that ‘nostalgia’ pleasure center in your brain, but when the music’s this slyly catchy, and the lyrics this perceptive and life-affirming, do the labels really matter? This sort of throwback pop-punk comes equipped with a bittersweet autumnal sadness, where failures big and small are frequent but hope never fails to ultimately lift one’s spirits. Growing up and getting older – we’ve all been there, and it hurts and heals in equal measure. We come to bands like The Front Bottoms for comfort and knowing nods of recognition, for sincerity that never dips into any Twee Overload. This is why we’re more than grateful that bands like this are still out there when we need them the most.
7:30 PM, Wednesday, December 7th
The Orpheum Theatre Memphis
Let’s talk about pop music. The Band Camino are hometown expats that are now based in middle Tennessee. Formed in 2015, The Band Camino is known for their catchy hooks and danceable beats. The bands’ 2021 self-titled release is their catchiest yet, receiving heavy radio rotation similar to bill partners Andy Grammer & Dermot Kennedy who have both charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in recent years. The Orpheum Theatre will be lit with teenage fanatics and adult electro pop fans alike– and who knows when Memphis will get to see the University of Memphis alum on the stage here at home again.
7PM, Thursday, December 8th
The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
The only thing more unwieldy than this event’s name is the sheer amount of local talent featured on the bill. This Thursday, join J.D. Reager for an evening of performances and conversations with some of Memphis’ brightest talents, including Bailey Bigger, Mark Edgar Stuart, Steve Selvidge, Josh Shaw (Blvck Hippie), chef/comedian Joshua McLane, and pro wrestler Trace Lee Hunt, with Jason Pulley as the house band. Like the holiday specials of yore, this one has a bit of something for everyone and is a great way to kick of the holiday season.
8PM, Thursday, December 8th
That name is a lot, sure. But it’s not an inaccurate one as shorthand to describe the music Rainbow Kitten Surprise offer. From the scenic hippie mountain town of Boone, North Carolina, RKS are drawn to the heady no man’s lands between played-out genre signifiers – indie-pop, hip-hop, jam band, whatever you may call it, it all fits to some degree. This music is often wistful and inspiring at once, bringing to mind early Bon Iver and the more songwriter-esque tendencies of Why?, while still retaining a bit of the stomp-and-clap cheer of prime 2010s indie-folk. The actual surprise here, then, is that there’s a little of something for everyone in this band’s brew, and the mood at Minglewood this Thursday should prove highly impassioned and celebratory as a result.
7:00 PM, Saturday, December 10th
$25 – $150
We wrote about this pick in our 5 Shows Not to Miss in December- Holiday Edition, but in case you missed it– here is your reminder that for some (I am some), it doesn’t get much better than arena level acapella groups singing Christmas songs in the style of pop music— and the opportunity doesn’t present itself often.Pentatonix is on the top of their game and are honing their skills even more during this North American Christmas tour just before they embark on a world tour in 2023. Catch them now, while you can!
7PM, Saturday, December 10
On Saturday night, two underground institutions will be joining forces to bring you a show that promises to bring the heat (despite this oppressive weather). Memphis Current, an arts and culture organization that publishes the excellent Memphis Current Magazine, is teaming up with Unapologetic. for a can’t miss evening featuring a headlining performance from AWFM and PreauXX, additional performances from Idi X Teco and RUDY, hot beverages from Cxffee Black, and live printing of UNAPOGETIC Garments in collaboration with Neighborhood Print Co. If weather permits (a big if), the event will take place outdoors, but will otherwise be held inside Memphis Current’s space at 497 N Hollywood.