Hamilton Leithauser, who grew up in DC, performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
The pandemic has had a profound impact on the live music industry, unfortunately creating a dearth of opportunities for some artists, but concurrently providing inspiration and much-needed time for others to essentially hit the reset button.
A number of the tours assembled over the last few months, maybe more than usual, have been of the double-bill type, a benefit to cities along the way with venues considered must-stops.
One such an outfit to recently visit the area was the tantalizing duo of DC native Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby — a pair of accomplished musicians who set out in mid-October on what was dubbed the Fall Mixer Tour, a quest through 29 different cities that wrapped up last week at 9:30 Club with an abundant, exhilarating night of entertainment.
2021 Grammy nominee Hiss Golden Messenger are having a busy year! In June, the band released Quietly Blowing It via Merge Records, and they announced a tour that brings them to 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
Then, Hiss Golden Messenger released a Christmas album, titled O Come All Ye Faithful, last month also via Merge.
“You and I travel to the beat of a different drum,” the opening line of the Michael Nesmith-penned “Different Drum” goes. And so can be said for Evan Dando, the creative force behind The Lemonheads. From the punk leanings of The Lemonheads’ Hate Your Friends to the pop masterpieces on It’s a Shame About Ray and Car Button Cloth, Dando’s musical trajectory has never been beholden to anything other than Dando himself.
Synthpop trio CHVRCHES have took their impressive stage production on the road in support of their recently released, critically acclaimed album Screen Violence. The Scots play at The Anthem in DC on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Jacob Allen leads Puma Blue in a performance at the Miracle Theater in DC on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Musicians have such an arsenal of effective ways to reach potential supporters these days that genres and categorization become afterthoughts. And today’s resources are empowering a tremendous wave of artists who set out with no intention of adhering to any sort of conventions in the pursuit of their own organic sound.
London-bred singer songwriter Jacob Allen found his through making recordings in his bedroom, and he didn’t even need to leave the comfortable space to create a following. Since cutting and sharing a track called “Only Trying 2 Tell U” on SoundCloud back in 2014, he’s been able to steadily build that fanbase via his musical vehicle known as Puma Blue.
Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
“The tour must go on”…
Nitzer Ebb lead singer and cofounder Doug McCarthy was “being admitted to hospital [the previous night in Florida] and is now stable and undergoing continued treatment and observation suffering from complications from a pre-existing, non-Covid medical condition,” according to a press release.
“Doug expressed his wish that the tour continue with Bon [Harris] stepping in to perform lead vocals,” said the release — and that Bon did! Despite Doug’s absence, Nitzer Ebb amazed at Baltimore Soundstage recently.
Deer Tick performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 19, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
The Friend Ship tour, featuring indie rock bands Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, recently rolled into the 9:30 Club for an early split set. Each band performed an hour-long set before they took the stage together for an encore.
Fronted by John McCauley, Deer Tick hails from Province Rhode Island, and includes guitarist Ian O’Neil and half-brothers Christopher and Dennis Ryan, of neighboring Pawtucket, on drums and bass. The band’s unusual name comes from an experience McCauley, a lifelong outdoorsman, had while hiking in Indiana, when he found one of the titular pests on his scalp.
One of America’s longest-lived and best rock ‘n’ roll bands, Los Lobos, played the first evening of a two-night stand at City Winery on Thursday. Though they like to humbly refer to themselves as “just another band from East L.A.,” Los Lobos have been hailed by rock critics like Steven Hyden as one of America’s most underappreciated and important bands.