September signifies a lot of transitions. Students are headed back to school, the leaves are about to change as the weather cools (hopefully), and we leave summer festivals for crowded venues. Our team put together a list of concert picks to help smooth those transition. If you’re one of the students returning to 6 AM mornings, stop by Campfire Festival at Club Passim this weekend before your vacation truly ends. With four nights packed with local talent—artists perform with fellow artists in a series of rounds—audience members will be treated to unique pairings of musicians.

Saturday and Sunday, September 2 & 4

Pearl Jam at Fenway Park – Selected by Jacqueline

One year after their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam returns to Boston’s iconic baseball stadium. They had a huge debut in 1991 with the album Ten, and since then Pearl Jam has maintained a loyal fan-base in their decades-long career. The band is known for their monumental rock hits–such as “Alive,” “Yellow Ledbetter,” and “Corduroy.” They also have a specific sound, which mixes arena rock and punk influences. Pearl Jam has even remained devoted to social activism in their music and in practice, supporting causes such as environmentalism, women’s rights, and homelessness. Holding true to their musical style and their ideals, their concerts are both explosively fun and deeply moving.

Thursday, September 6

The Brazen Youth, Covey, and Spendtime Palace at O’Brien’s – Selected by Arielle

The Brazen Youth, a collective project of Nicholas Lussier and Charlie Dahlke, recently released Primitive Initiative, a lush album combining thought provoking lyrics, synth sounds and folk instruments. The band wrote and produced the album at a 300 year old Ashlwarn Farm in Old Lyme, Connecticut This fall, they will be performing said album on a US tour, accompanied by surf rock band Spendtime Palace from Costa Mesa, California, and Boston-based folk-rock band Covey. Clearly, the show at O’Brien’s is not one to miss.

Monday, September 10

Toe at Brighton Music Hall – Selected by Kevin

One of the world’s best and most under-the-radar post rock bands comes to Brighton Music Hall on September 10. Japan’s Toe features an endlessly evolving sound; including the trance-inducing crescendos of post rock, the intricate counterpoint guitar lines of math rock, and the mellow introspective tone of the late ’00s indie rock. Most of the band’s work is instrumental, and the few lyrics that do occur are mostly in Japanese. However, the words transcend any language barrier and leave the listener with an emotionally intense viewing experience. Toe’s last show at Brighton Music Hall sold out, so don’t wait on getting tickets to seeing some of the top musicians from Japan on full display.

Wednesday, September 12

Mashrou Leila at the Sinclair – Selected by Knar

If you don’t know Mashrou Leila, imagine if Queen performed at a Lebanese wedding that took place in the middle of a pride parade. Lead singer Hamed Sinno draws Freddie Mercury comparisons for a reason; his vibrato-filled operatic vocals are impressive, and the band that backs him equally talented. Expect a healthy dose of humor, blended with songs that tackle serious topics like shootings at clubs and the difficulties of being a woman of Middle Eastern descent. You won’t need to understand Arabic to feel the impact of Mashrou Leila’s songs—Sinno’s stage banter is mostly shared in English, and the universality of the language of music will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 19

Grouper at the Center for Arts at the Armory – Selected by David

If you’re haven’t yet scheduled your monthly dark night of the soul, may I suggest Grouper’s show at Somerville’s Center for Arts at the Armory. Grouper—Liz Harris’s experimental folk project—produces often unintelligible, yet thoughtful, lyrics sung by Harris’s soft voice over calming piano riffs. Harris’s restraint catches listeners off guard with its ability to evoke transcendence with such simplicity; few artists can command attention with such austerity. Noisey notes “she is squarely on the path if not already being in the place of being considered the kind of musical icon who commands concert halls and lofty audiences.” Her performance last night was every bit as immersive and transportive as a classical symphony.” Don’t miss the opportunity to attend something truly unique. Harris is touring in support of her latest album, Grid of Points.
 

Thursday, September 20th

Emma Ruth Rundle at Great Scott – Selected by Mary

Emma Ruth Rundle is a masterful gothic folk songstress who’s no stranger to the experimental and metal scene, having been a member of the post-rock bands Red Sparowes and Marriages. Her solo material is similar to that of Chelsea Wolfe or Zola Jesus: dark and brooding with experimental electric riffs and a sweeping, otherworldly vocal style. New Noise stated that her latest full length album Marked for Death (2016) “exposes the listener to the items haunting Rundle; grief, death, and a corrupted sense of self present themselves in this grim manner.” Rundle will be stopping by Great Scott in support of On Dark Horses slated for release on September 14th.

Saturday, September 22

Jedi Mind Tricks has steadily maintained their place in hip hop history as one of the most influential underground artists of all time, part of a balanced breakfast for dedicated hip hop fans. With deadly, soul-piercing rhymes produced purely for the love music, Jedi Mind Tricks comes up in the same conversation as all other classic underground lyricists from the boom-bap movement from the mid-90’s: Aesop Rock, Deltron3030, KRS-One, and MF Doom. Their second album, Violent By Design, ranked #11 on the Top 30 Underground Hip Hop Albums of All Time by Pigeons and Planes. This group will attract the cream of the Boston hip hop scene when they appear at the Paradise to promote their new album, The Bridge and the Abyss.

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