Each week, the team at We Are Memphis Music brings you our selections for the best upcoming live shows for the next seven days. Here are our picks, which include plenty of outdoor options, for the week beginning May 15!
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening
8PM, Thursday, May 18th
The Soundstage At Graceland
Can we safely assume that some semblance of legendary talent must be passed down genetically? The ideal case study to support that thesis comes in the form of Jason Bonham, son of arguably the greatest contemporary music drummer that’s ever lived, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. In 2023, this is as close to experiencing his old man’s inimitable stick-work as you’re likely to get, so celebrate the waning days of spring with some familiar Zeppelin classics as interpreted by a literal link in the chain. Huge shoes to fill or not, the younger Bonham’s drumming is more than up to such a titanic task.
Overton Square Music Series: Bailey Bigger
7pm, Friday May 19th
Chimes Square, Overton Square
What were you doing when you were 14? I was probably racing off the bus to turn on TRL and log onto AIM. But Bailey Bigger? She started seriously writing and performing her own music and even released her debut single at 15. A feat that, compared to most, is wildly impressive. Since then, Bigger’s list of accomplishments has only grown. In 2017, she won “Memphis’ Best Song of 2017,” for her original song, “Wildflower.” She’s performed in festivals and shared stages with musicians like Sturgill Simpson and the Avett Brothers among others. This Friday she’ll bring all of her many talents to the Overton Square Music Series for a FREE show. Yes, free. So grab your friends, some chairs, and come enjoy a night of Bigger’s intimate yet powerful music.
DreamFest Weekend 12
4PM, Friday May 19 – Sunday May 21
Overton Park Shell
For the twelfth time, CLE Events will be bringing their weekend-long DreamFest back to the Overton Park Shell to kick off the venue’s Orion Free Concert Series. As always, DreamFest features a massive line-up of local talent encompassing soul, hip-hop, blues, electronica, and more. Divided into three themed days (“The Concert,” “Girlpower,” and “Loungin’ in the Park”) DreamFest is one of the city’s premiere annual events when it comes to discovering new talent and aims to promote unity, collaboration and community. But while most of the weekend’s performers are likely to be fresh faces to most attendees, there will also be a special guest performance from Three 6 Mafia’s La Chat, a pioneering figure in Southern rap. To learn more and to see the full line-up, visit DreamFest’s page here.
Overton Square Music Series: Jombi
7PM, Saturday, May 20th
Its been awhile since we first pegged Jombi as a new Memphis band to watch here at WAMM, and I think we can dispense with such qualifiers, as Jombi have evolved into one of the most compelling and intriguing Bluff City bands working today, full stop. They’ve more than earned such hyperbole, with their cosmic exploratory guitar work and sprightly, playful approach to melodic interplay. The free music series that Overton Square has been hosting is a wonderful chance to acquaint yourself with the work of this special outfit, so take the opportunity on Saturday to see what all the fuss is about.