Boston Summer Music Preview!
by Lee Schlenker on May 16, 2013
Posted in: Concert, Folk, Hip Hop, Music, Pop, Rock
Radioland, I’m here to tell you something that may come as quite a surprise: Boston actually has a music scene, despite what bands like Aerosmith, the Dropkick Murphys or Guster do for the city’s reputation. All one has to do is peep this summer’s city-wide assortment of incredible live acts to legitimize such a claim. Although in summers past finding good live tunes in the 617 has usually been reserved for outdoor student gigs and infrequent or pricy large-scale concerts, these upcoming months prove promising and ear-tinglingly good for Boston’s previously scathed reputation. Below you will find Lee’s Five (or six or ten) Must See Boston Summer Shows–easily accessible anywhere from my house to beautiful Middlebury, Vermont. Check ‘em (!):
Boston Calling Music Festival — Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th, City Hall Plaza
Yes, you read correctly: Boston is finally home to a music festival – and an incredible one at that. In just a couple weeks, Bostonians will be able to hear great live music from The Shins, Dirty Projectors, Youth Lagoon, Andrew Bird, The National and many more without even having to enter another area code! Held over the course of two days, Boston Calling promises to be the fresh and invigorating dose of high-caliber music that Boston has needed for quite some time, incorporating many of today’s dopest indie acts with staples in the alternative scene. However, tickets are sold out! So, in order to enjoy the festival, you must either buy a VIP ticket, peruse online ticket sites, convince your smart friends who already bought tickets to go to Martha’s Vineyard with their grandparents instead or scope City Hall Plaza for scalpers (the latter of which neither I nor WRMC endorses – but, well, what happens, happens).
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti or Devendra Banhart — Friday June 7th, Sinclair Music Hall or Wilbur Theatre
Once again you have read correctly! Both Ariel Pink and Devendra Banhart will be in Boston on the same night, playing simultaneous shows in Boston and Cambridge, respectively. Neither of these acts any music lover should miss; so, if need be, buy tickets to both, go to the first half of one show, rush across the Charles River and catch the second half of the other show. It’ll prove a sultry, sweaty, summery and adventure-packed June night with friends, better than any night sitting out on porches, drinking ‘refreshments’ or watching re-runs of Fresh Prince could ever be. Oh, and if you want to ensure that you run into your handsome blogger that evening, choose Devendra over Ariel – I mean, have you heard that voice? Who could resist?
Big Boi — Wednesday June 19th, Paradise Rock Club
Go to this concert because Big Boi is a boss, it’s a Wednesday night and you have nothing else to do besides possibly get high, babysit your siblings or drive back from Bonnaroo (…what I’ll be doing that evening!). But seriously, Big Boi’s recent album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors hasn’t received the best reviews and I would be really sad if that influenced his concert turn-out. This dude can seriously rap, put on a mind-boggling show and leave you danced-the-f**k-out. If you have any doubts, listen to any Outkast album, the song ‘Shutterbugg,’ or ‘Shine Blockas’ featuring Gucci Mane. Then, after that, tell me you don’t want to go see Big Boi live on Wednesday night during summer vacation.
Belle and Sebastian with Yo La Tengo — Tuesday July 9th, Bank of America Pavilion
This next show is for any of you with an old heart and an ear for great 90s bands. Joining Belle and Sebastian on their international tour, indie legend Yo La Tengo will be promoting their new album Fade in one of Boston’s larger venues, promising to make for an unforgettable night. Rather than feeling sad about your lack of patriotic fervor post-July 4th, come out and hear some soothing, feel-good tunes to get your mind off of watermelon and salmon-colored shorts. Both bands have been known to do such things. Tickets will certainly sell out fast, so be sure to buy early and ensure you get to hear this once-in-a-lifetime duo! (Well, I guess it’s once-in-a-lifetime unless if you’re going to the Pitchfork Music Festival a week later…but that’s for another blog post).
Mac Miller with Earl Sweatshirt and Chance the Rapper — Thursday July 18th, House of Blues
Now, I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never been the biggest fan of Mac Miller. And, given the shit-show of a performance he gave last summer in Boston with Wiz Khalifa on their “Under the Influence of Music” tour–which lead Mayor Thomas Menino to publicly blame Miller for widespread brawling and general mayhem–it could be said that I’m not particularly jumping up and down for his return to Boston. However, bringing with him a slew of hopeful tracks off his upcoming album produced by Flying Lotus, Diplo and Pharrell Williams–along with a team of slick young spitters, Earl Sweatshirt and Chance the Rapper–Miller’s July performance at the House of Blues could be a don’t-miss. Plus, with a change of venue from last year’s City Hall Plaza to the respectable House of Blues, it’s likely that Miller’s show, featuring some of rap’s hottest talent, will be a more serious, music-driven performance. Or it could just be SmokeFest 2013. I guess you’ll just have to go to find out.