IDLES perform at 9:30 Club on Oct. 17, 2021. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)
You’d be hard pressed to name a better or more electrifying live band right now than Bristol, England’s IDLES. Hard and fast enough for the punk fans, heavy enough for the metal fans and progressive enough for the indie fans, IDLES hit a sweet spot that no other band can touch right now at 9:30 Club in the first of two-sold out nights on Sunday. Their songs address a wide range of topics such as politics, depression, and toxic masculinity and more importantly give listeners the release that great live music demands.
Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie leads a performance at 9:30 Club in DC on Oct. 13, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
If you’re looking for an emotionally advanced live music experience, you might need to roll up your sleeves to actually enjoy it once you get there. Hell, you might need to just take your shirt right off.
And if you’ve been lucky enough to see the Philadelphia-based sensation Low Cut Connie in the flesh, you know you’ll witness sweaty clothes torn to shreds, scantily clad dancers, spilled drinks, middle fingers pointed at innocent bystanders and cuss words flung in all directions. Sex, drugs, rage, grief, pain, joy, lust, love, jealousy — no topic is off limits, no subject too risqué. That’s the mentality head singer and pianist Adam Weiner brings to the keyboard, and within that kind of environment is where his crew has been groomed to thrive.
Adam and Low Cut Connie brought their best to 9:30 Club recently, delivering a dripping set of music that was uncensored, remorseless, and lasting, even in a venue that hosts as much talent as this one.
Bahamas perform at 9:30 Club on Oct. 12, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Some recording artists deserve to be admired for their commitment to enhancing their songbook, continually challenging themselves to dive deeper into a creative process that the average person can’t even begin to imagine.
A gentleman out of Ontario named Afie Jurvanen has proven himself to be exceptionally dedicated to his craft, and he recently brought his musical vehicle, Bahamas, to the 9:30 Club for what was an impressive, charming weeknight reminder that he’s one of the best individual performers hailing from north of the border — some might argue on the whole darn continent, and his collection of Juno awards and nominations supports that notion.
Low Cut Connie (Photo by Cait Brady)
This past March, Low Cut Connie celebrated the 1-year anniversary of their acclaimed livestream show Tough Cookies, and in May released a new album to commemorate it called Tough Cookies: The Best of The Quarantine Broadcasts.
You can now see the high-energy rock ‘n’ roll act led by Adam Weiner in person at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Oh He Dead perform at 9:30 Club on Sept. 25, 2021. (Photos by Mark Caicedo)
“Poppy enough for ya…bitch?”
Those words, spoken in jest years ago between Oh He Dead’s CJ Johnson and Andy Valenti, actually signaled a dogged determination to never compromise on their dream. Saturday night, during their headlining 9:30 Club debut, the two Oh He Dead (OHD) founders related the story of demoing one of their new songs, only to be told that it wasn’t “pop” enough. That long ago, unnamed producer might be a little humbled to find that OHD has amassed an exhaustive repertoire of original and cover songs, has legions of fans around the world, and this past Saturday played to a packed 9:30 Club (only the first, no doubt, of many such appearances to come).
And judging by the crowd of swaying, dancing, and singing fans, not a single one would accuse OHD of not being “poppy” enough.
If you didn’t know better, Soccer Mommy, the stage name for singer-songwriter Sophia (Sophie) Allison, may bring about visions of minivans, orange slices, and participation trophies. Suburban tedium at its best. That couldn’t be further from the truth. During a recent show at 9:30 Club, Sophie and her indie rock band performed a set that was far from pedestrian.
Bob Mould performs at 9:30 Club on Sept. 18, 2021. (Photos by David LaMason)
Bob Mould showed what a pro he is at his show at the 9:30 Club Saturday evening.
Dr. Dog perform at 9:30 Club on Sept. 16, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
“All good things come to an end” has to be one of the most extremely overused, inflated perspectives on any favorable scenario, especially relationships, and it seems that statement is most often inappropriately used to sum up the end of relationships built around music.
But, nevertheless, the proclamation does tend to be true, as is currently demonstrated by the Philadelphia-based band Dr. Dog, a group that sold out consecutive gigs at the 9:30 Club Thursday and Friday — its last shows in the nation’s capital on what has been announced as its last tour together. [Parklife has learned Dr. Dog does indeed have one more sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Oct. 1! — Ed.]
Durand Jones and the Indications play to a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Sept. 11, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock.)
The line stretched around the corner and down the block from 9:30 Club the night of Sept. 11, and for good reason, as Durand Jones and the Indications came to town for one of the first major shows at the nationally recognized club since it recently began hosting shows in earnest and with safety protocols in place.