New Orleans is a jazz town with a fairly prominent rap/bounce scene and occasional fits of modern indie rock. Or so common logic says. In the next two months, whatever genre restrictions people perceive are being blown out entirely by the local concert calendar. With two major festivals sandwiched in between (Essence and Satchmo), concert goers can genuinely get whatever experience they want around the Crescent City in July and August.
Can’t miss for July/August
The biggest names are at Essence—Prince, Nas, Janelle Monae and the Roots to name a few. Or, wait, maybe the biggest names are oddly playing Champion’s Square: Boyz II Men, The Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton. Actually, step inside the Superdome and you’ll find inarguably the biggest trio of modern music… Beyonce, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake on two separate nights.
If you’re a diehard for any of the acts above, this is your chance to barely travel and shell out for some seats. But these crowds will be as epic as their sets, so other shows get preferential treatment in the next two months. Local Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band has a standing gig for just $10 each Sunday at Howlin’ Wolf. Legends like Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds or Wynton Marsalis unexpectedly pop-in too. And while it’s hard to argue with the intimate shows coming from buzzy acts like Gap Dream and Sylvan Esso, August marks the return of a modern rock hero with a passion for New Orleans. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah are touring off the heels of a new album and Alec Ounsworth’s intimate living tour (which stopped in New Orleans in February, see above). If that acoustic set was any indication, adding a slew of electronics and amps won’t dampen any of Ounsworth’s passion or reverence for a city he truly loves (he’s recorded here and talks about finding a place some day). Get to One Eyed Jack’s for a show, stay for a celebration of New Orleans set to a underrated new album.
If spending $50…
[Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, 8/13 at One Eyed Jack’s—$15] +
[Hot 8 Brass Band, any Sunday at Howlin’ Wolf—$10]
[Sylvan Esso, 8/16 at Gasa Gasa—$10] +
[Gap Dream, 8/30 at Circle Bar—$5] = $40, and $10 will probably get you to another Gasa Gasa gig too.
Air Sex Championships—One Eyed Jack’s (7/1) Tues
Essence Music Fest: Nas, Prince, Chic, Janelle Monae and more—Superdome (7/3-7/6) Th-Su
DJ Questlove (w/ DJ Soul Sister)—Tipitina’s (7/5) Sat
Hot 8 Brass Band—Howlin’ Wolf (7/6) Sun (*standing gig for Sundays through August)
Polyphonic Spree + Sarah Jaffe—Southport Hall (7/10) Th
Beyonce + Jay-Z—Superdome (7/20) Sunday
The Doobie Brothers + Peter Frampton—Champion’s Square (7/20) Sunday
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds—Jackson Center for Performing Arts (7/21) Monday
The Hood Internet—Hi-Ho Lounge (7/25) Fri
Steely Dan—UNO Lakefront Arena (7/26) Sat
Wynton Marsalis—Tipitina’s (7/27) Sun
Satchmo Summerfest (various local jazz acts)—Music at the Mint (7/31-8/3) Th-Sun
What Made Milwaukee Famous—Gasa Gasa (8/1) Fri
Justin Timberlake—Smoothie King Center (8/3) Sun
Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah—One Eyed Jack’s (8/13) Wed
Sylvan Esso—Gasa Gasa (8/16) Sat
Toto—House of Blues (8/18) Mon
Crosby, Stills and Nash—Saenger (8/23) Sat
Boyz II Men + En Vogue—Champion’s Square (8/24) Sun
Gap Dream—Circle Bar (8/30) Sat