WAMM Recommends: Week of September 26

Each week, the team at WAMM brings you our picks for the best upcoming live concerts coming to the M-Town. This week is one of our best yet, featuring a slate of household names and indie darlings.

Beach House

8PM, Monday, September 26th

The Soundstage at Graceland

$35

Baltimore duo Beach House could be called survivors. Long after the mid-aughts tidal wave of crossover indie fervor has crested and receded, their eerily-beguiling dream pop continues to enchant and bewitch their followers. Though their essential template – woozy guitars and golden-hued organs blanketing the evocative voice of Victoria Legrand – has remained more or less unaltered, they’ve successfully drawn on an expanding spectrum of electronic and straight pop influences, growing into a more versatile and consistently-rewarding act in the process. Soundstage’s recent run of perceptive and exciting curations is continuing to fine effect as they host these fantastic and timeless indie lifers.

 

Alice Cooper

8PM, Tuesday, September 27th

The Orpheum Theater

$39.50

It may seem quaint now, but there was a time when Phoenix-bred Alice Cooper was the walking embodiment of controversy, the theatrical Gothic shock-rocker upon whom millions of fretting parents projected their misguided concerns about the occult-tinged listening habits of their children. While such overblown reactions sound laughably trapped in amber as of 2022, the man himself continues to persevere, successfully engaging with fresh trends and shifting listener habits as the decades have worn on. Shocking or not by this late in his run, Cooper is still an extremely-compelling live performer, and the ornate backdrop of the Orpheum is well-suited to a dark spectacle you’d be wise not to miss.

Memphis Songwriters Series Ft. Don Bryant, Greg Cartwright, & Alicia Trout

7 PM, Thursday, September 29th

Halloran Centre at The Orpheum

$5

Soul, plus punk, plus garage – sounds like Mark Edgar Stuart’s Memphis Songwriters Series is back at the Halloran Centre, and September’s lineup is very Memphis. Don Bryant, of first wave soul music Hi Records royalty, is a storyteller at heart. Bryant connects with his audiences by telling relatable stories that make anyone feel seen. Greg Cartwright has been a long time Memphis fixture, and his songs have been covered by The Black Keys, Early James and others. Alicia Trout (Alicja-Pop), is a rock guitar player, and a songwriter who has been fronting punk bands in Memphis for decades. Trout’s  influence on that part of Memphis music is ubiquitous. All three of these songwriters will sit the stage at the Halloran Centre this Thursday for an unforgettable performance and collaboration not to be missed.

Chuck Leavell

7:30 PM, Thursday, September 29th

GPAC

$25

Legends do exist– at 70 years old, keys player Chuck Leavell just finished touring with the Rolling Stones. Leavell’s sixty year career as one of the most sought after musicians in the industry has produced an intimidating resume beginning with Dr. John, leading him to a being a permanent fixture in 70’s era Allman Brothers, and continuing through the decades with artists like John Mayer, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton… No big deal. His GPAC show this Thursday is going to include a conversation with Grammy award winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang and cross your fingers that we will hear some really cool stories. 

The Black Keys (Mempho)

9:30PM, Friday, September 30

Radians Amphitheater

$95

With all due respect to Memphis’ many annual music festivals, Mempho Fest has emerged in recent years as arguably the best. The three-day festivals returns to the Botanic Gardens this year and offers up a killer slate of music featuring indie rock, jam bands, the blues, R&B, and much more. And while we are excited to catch many of the names featured at this year’s show, we’ve got the Black Keys circled in red ink. Since first emerging in the early aughts, the powerful duo has earned their reputation as one of the world’s best and enduring rock bands, and they continue to release chart-topping albums. Although they hail from Ohio, the group’s spiritual home is right here in the Mississippi Delta, where the hypnotic Hill Country Blues they’ve implemented so well was born. Now just cross your fingers that this fall weather extends into this weekend and we should be set for an ideal festival experience.

Ani DiFranco

8PM, Saturday, October 1

Minglewood Hall

$23

At the threat of aging myself, I first discovered Ani DiFranco in high school around the year 2005. As some of you will remember, this was at the height of the Iraq war and the country (and world) were embroiled in large-scale protests. I mention this because few if any artists spoke so passionately and eloquently about those troubled times than Ani DiFranco, who had been a feminist icon and revolutionary artists for nearly 15 years by that point. While she has been known as the “Little Folksinger,” her music has embraced punk, funk, hip hop, jazz, soul, and electronica, all to fantastic effect. Nearly 20 years after first discovering her music, I still remain a huge fan of the iconic songwriter and social activist, especially in times of renewed social unrest such as these.

 

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