You've had a busy week: It can be tiring navigating work, then fighting your way through the mall for that last SNES Classic — only to then rush home to save your Amazon packages from front-door thieves. We suggest you take a respite in this busy week of live music, instead, one that boasts hip-hop superstars, big name alt-rock acts, and a hush-hush DJ party.
Best show to cater to its audience
Picture this: you walk into a large venue. The crowd is dancing up a storm, glow sticks are waving in the air, and people are having a great time. It almost looks like a rave. Only, someone hit the mute button — there’s no sound coming out of the speakers.
This is Silent Disco, where attendees get to choose the music selection from three DJs spinning on stage at a time. When they arrive, they receive a set of glow-in-the-dark headphones that will allow them to switch to the channel of a corresponding DJ and a different genre of music. Not a fan of Top 40? Switch over to the electronic channel. Fan of Latin or hip-hop? Switch over to that channel. The headphones light up a different color for the particular channel and sound.
Apparently, this type of party has replaced foam and blacklight parties across college campuses as the event du jour, which we can get behind. (Foam really hurts the eyes and tastes awful, right?)
Doors open at 7 pm for Silent Disco Holiday, at Revention Music Center on Friday, December 8. The event features 21 DJs, over the course of the evening. Tickets start at $15.
Best show for Maroon 5 fans...who like it dark
Moderate rock radio success The Neighbourhood brings their moody, atmospheric alt-rock to White Oak Music Hall this Friday. The band, fronted by smooth sounding, charismatic vocalist Jesse Rutherford, is touring behind the 2017 EP release, Hard, which hasn’t made much of an impact compared to some of their earlier hits, including “Sweater Weather,” which went to No. 1 on the Alternative Rock charts, and “Afraid” from 2013 album I Love You, the latter still being played on regular rotation at alt-rock stations. If you like a dose of goth mixed with the sugary sounds of Maroon 5, this is your kind of show.
They’ll be joined by fellow Californian band, HEALTH, who are notorious for making glorious, electro-driven noise, having had their remix of New Order’s “Blue Monday” being featured in this year’s action flick, Atomic Blonde. Lo-fi folk rocker Field Medic will round out the bill.
Doors open at 7 pm for The Neighbourhood, with HEALTH and Field Medic, White Oak Music Hall, Friday, December 8. Tickets are $40 in advance.
Best show to see a trap megastar
The story of trap rapper Gucci Mane is the stuff Hollywood dreams are made from. Finding early fame in the mid-2000s with his debut album, Trap House, he then faced a murder charge after associates of a rival rapper stormed into his friend’s house intent on killing him. After years of legal back and forth, Mane faced two years of prison for gun possession, but came out a new man, releasing two No. 2 albums, 2016’s Everybody Looking and this year’s Mr. Davis.
He’ll be in town to promote that album at the Rap Caviar Live show alongside Tory Lanez, Houston’s own Bun B and more. Fun fact: Mane shot the video for “Nonchalant” in the famed $500,000 closet of Houston socialite, Theresa Roemer in 2016.
Things get bumpin' at 8 pm, Thursday, December 14. Gucci Mane performs at Rap Caviar Live with Tory Lanez, Bun B and guests at Revention Music Hall. Tickets go on sale to the general public December 12, at the Revention Music Center site at 10 am, but you can get a promo code through Spotify, Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
Best bang for your buck
Holiday acoustic shows hosted by radio stations are as common as milk and cookies are to Santa, but they usually offer a great value for your ticket price with several up-and-coming artists playing a set they normally wouldn’t attempt on a regular tour.
The Mix 96.5 Acoustic Holiday Show will showcase a quartet of radio friendly artists “unplugged,” the most famous being the Jack Antonoff vehicle Bleachers. Antonoff, formerly of New York band .fun, and songwriter/producer for Taylor Swift and Lorde (and beau to Girls creator Lena Dunham), has seen his upbeat rock band’s profile rise with appearances on late night television and a few decent albums, including 2017’s Gone Now. He recently went acoustic with an episode of the recently resurrected MTV Unplugged.
He’ll be joined by emo leaning pop-punk act All Time Low, earnest, Mumford aping Phillip Phillips, and most interesting of the bunch, the progressive Canadian pop singer Lights, who released one of 2017’s finest albums in Skin & Earth, who will attempt to transform her acclaimed electronic tracks to the wood and wires of an acoustic performance.
Doors open at 7 pm for the Mix 96.5 Acoustic Holiday Show with Bleachers, Lights, All Time Low and Phillip Phillips, at House of Blues, Wednesday, December 13. Tickets start at $35.
Other shows of note
Friday, December 8
Poptone with Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins will play songs from their highly influential post-punk/goth bands Bauhaus, Love and Rockets and Tones On Tail with Diva with Geneva Jacuzzi at Warehouse Live. Advanced tickets are $27.50. Show starts at 8 pm.
Saturday, December 9
Grunge throwback Nashville Bully, led by Courtney Love vocal clone, Alicia Bognanno, is joined by Smut at Walter’s Downtown. Tickets start at $12. Doors open at 8 pm.
Sunday, December 10
Remember when the swing revival was the big thing for a few years in the late ‘90s? Personally, I’d rather forget, but one band that benefited was The Brian Setzer Orchestra. The former Stray Cats singer/guitarist will be at the Arena Theatre as part of the annual Christmas Rocks! Tour. Tickets start at $39.50. Show starts at 9 pm.
Thursday, December 14
Dust off those leather jackets and ripped jeans. L.A. Guns, the band that would inspire the formation of Guns N’ Roses, plays Proof Bar with Enuff Z’Nuff and Eddie Truck at Proof Bar. Tickets are free with RSVP, $30 VIP. Doors open at 6 p.m.