Each Monday, the team at We Are Memphis Music makes our picks for the best upcoming live shows. This week includes an exhilarating mix of new school and old school talent. Let’s jump in!
8PM, Thursday, December 1st
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts
$26 – $122
The blues are alive in Memphis this Thursday night at Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Memphian Eric Gales is widely celebrated as a blues and rock guitar prodigy, and has released his 18th album this year. The album, titled “Crown”, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and is another example of Gales constantly reigniting his fans by evolving his songwriting and finessing his signature style. After 30 years of success in the music industry, Gales is still riding the wave of one of the cornerstones of Memphis’ musical legacy and it is the perfect time to celebrate that with him on stage at the Cannon Center.
8PM, Friday, December 2nd
Memphis is hallowed ground when it comes to American hip-hop’s cultural legacy, but some of the seeds that have germinated here have flowered into forms far removed from the menacing climbing vines of dread-soaked 90s horrorcore. The Flying V’s, in particular, aren’t dealing in gruesome and diabolical exposition so much as relatable struggle and candid observation. The flows here are smooth and effortless, backed by a jazz-colored soul/funk that calls to mind not just Stax (of course) but even My Morning Jacket at their most bedroom-eyed. It’s easy to forget that this city is expert at fostering innovative crossbreeds that ignore genre conventions entirely, and usually for the better, so make the most of your Friday by heading down to DKDC to see for yourself.
1PM – 11PM, Saturday, December 3rd
Crosstown Concourse has been open for five years as a multi-purpose vertical village of sorts, and has consistently kept music as a core focus in much of its space. Between two music venues, a state of the art listening room, a really dope recording studio, and Memphis’ WYXR, 91.7 FM radio station– it is surprising that there hasn’t been a full fledged music festival hosted in the space until now. WYXR is bringing a day-long music festival throughout the concourse and extending to Crosstown Brewery this Saturday, December 3rd and just like WYXR’s programming, there will be something for everyone. The festival includes seven FREE stellar live music acts, and a bonus fundraising after party show in The Green Room, featuring DJ group Bodywerk and Andrew VanWyngarden. As part of the event, Crosstown Theatre will host Big Star’s #1 Record 50th anniversary show featuring Jody Stephens, Mike Mills of R.E.M, Greg Cartwright, and more. Much of the festival is free, but the event includes two ticketed fundraising events. See the lineup below, and visit the station’s website for ticket options.
Mak Ro 1:30
Whelk Stall 2:30
Erin Rae 6:30
Crosstown Brewing Co.
Doll McCoy 4:00
Idi X Teco 4:50
Big Star’s 50th Anniversary of #1 Record 7:30
12PM, Saturday, December 3rd
Pay what you want
Lamplighter’s offering up something special this Saturday – a Food Not Bombs benefit show that’s fully stacked with Bluff City talent of wide-ranging genres. The serrated industrial noise-punk of whit3corset is already the stuff of local legend, rubbing shoulders this afternoon with the soulful folk-punk of Dinero Muerto, the latter providing songs about ‘existentialism, addiction, and anarchy’ for your weekend vibes. As far as Window goes, does an ear-melting fever dream from an impassioned cheerleader hell-dance strike your fancy? Hopefully so, because that description’s the highest of compliments. Best of all, all donations will benefit Food Not Bombs, aiming to provide the community with food donations and eliminate food waste. Pay what you want and come hang!