Each week, the team at We Are Memphis Music takes a deep dive into all of the best upcoming live shows from the next 7 days. Here are our picks for the week kicking off May.
Flagman & Fearless Dave And The Tsunamis
7PM, Wednesday, May 3rd
Okay, elevator pitch time: what if Mike Patton and Les Claypool were trapped in a trailer park at the gates of hell and needed to thrash their way out to survive? I know it’s a pretty specific niche that’d be intrigued by this descriptor, but lucky for that niche, Flagman’s coming to town! The Orlando power trio pull off ‘unhinged’ quite well for a band as focused on technical precision and maximum impact as they seem to be. And Growler’s couldn’t be a more appropriate spot for them to work their specific brand of, um, magic. Let’s go with magic. Along for the ride are Memphian indie purveyors Fearless Dave & The Tsunamis, whose 2010s flashback reverbcore conjures the likes of Real Estate, at least when they’re not plunging into more funk-inflected or punk-informed waters. An intriguing pairing, then, that perhaps comes off a bit strange on paper but which I have no doubt will translate just fine in person. And really, how else would you be spending a Hump Day evening in Memphis in early May?
Beale Street Music Festival – Big Boogie
4:50pm, Saturday May 6th
Tom Lee Park, Bud Light Stage
Saturday night will see arguably the festival’s most anticipated performance: the return of Memphis’ own GloRilla. But she’s not the only hometown artist on the line-up that day. Leading up to her headlining set, the Bud Light stage will feature two other Memphis hip-hop artists, Finesse2tymes and Big Boogie. Big Boogie first came on the scene back in 2017, when he dropped his raw debut project Definition of Pain. Since then the rapper has signed with another Memphis heavyweight, Yo Gotti, and his CMG label. Known for his big beats, tough and edgy delivery, and energetic live show, Boogie’s performance is one worth checking out.
Tyler Keith Album+Book Release w/ Jack Oblivian and Silver Synthetic
9PM, Saturday, May 6
“Many of the songs on the album came out of the weirdness and lonely times of a world-wide pandemic. By the time we were able to get together as a band to make the album we’d only played two shows in two years,” local vet Tyler Keith says about his new album (and 14th overall) Hell to Pay. Over his many years on the scene, the blue collar rocker has earned a reputation for his moody style that encompasses many elements of various regional genres. In addition, Keith will also be celebrating the release of his Southern noir novel The Mark of Cain. Not only is this a great chance to catch Keith live for the first time in what feels like ages, it’s also an opportunity to discover new work from one of the city’s most important artists.
Beale Street Music Festival – Jazmine Sullivan
8:25, Sunday May 7th
Tom Lee Park, Bud Light Stage
There are exceptional vocalists and then there’s Jazmine Sullivan: whose flawless, velvety rich voice pushes her into a level on her own. Since her debut album was released in 2008, the Philadelphia singer has earned hit after hit thanks to her powerhouse vocals and painfully relatable lyrics. At the top of 2021, Sullivan dropped her highest-charting album yet, the phenomenal Heaux Tales, which saw her thoughtfully explore themes of feminism and sexuality. She’ll bring these stories and the rest of her catalog of hits to help close out this year’s Beale Street Music Festival. With a prime time slot on Sunday night, Sullivan’s set is a must-see.