Thursday, July 26
Kristian Matsson is a singer-songwriter from Sweden, but he sounds straight out of America’s heartland. It might sound clichéd to compare any earnest, gravelly voiced songwriter to Dylan, but Matsson sounds pretty close. He’ll perform tonight as the “Tallest Man on Earth.”
7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Fort Reno finishes up early next week—you’ve got two more shows to enjoy free local music. Tonight, punk rockers Mobius Strip headline; More Humans and Grammar open.
7 PM at Fort Reno, free.
Friday, July 27
Is it just me or is this summer the best time to be a fan of ’70s and ’80s hard and/or soft rock musicians? Yet another legend stops by the Verizon Center—this time it’s Rod Stewart. He’ll be joined by Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, who’s back to flying solo after the band’s brief tour a couple of years ago.
7:30 PM at Verizon Center, $55 to $150.
Now for something decidedly new. Music bloggers All Things Go have shown they have impeccable taste with their All Things Gold concert series, which started a year ago. For their anniversary, they’re throwing one hell of a blowout at 9:30 Club, featuring New York’s the Knocks, who do some remixes and some electronic originals, and RAC, who has done remixes with the likes of Phoenix and Bloc Party.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
Saturday, July 28
Somehow, 311 survived the nu-metal disaster of the early 2000s and have managed to stay popular-ish. (The moral here is never go full screamy.) They blend reggae with radio-friendly rock, but you knew that already from their many hits. Expect, ahem, smoky air out on the lawn, especially with stoner reggae group Slightly Stoopid opening.
6:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $38 to $62.
Say what you will about J.Lo—the lady knows how to resurrect a career. Let’s see if Mariah Carey will follow the same path—take a job on American Idol, perform on the show a couple times, announce a tour, and then get the hell out. She and Enrique Iglesias share the stage Saturday night.
7:30 PM at Verizon Center, $40 to $221.
Toad the Wet Sprocket is the worst band at breaking up ever. They officially parted ways in 1998 but are seemingly always playing reunion shows. In 2010 they decided to call an end to the charade and announced they’d be a band again. No new album yet, but we’ll gladly take their hits from the early ’90s, which had to have paved the way for alt-poppers like the Gin Blossoms and Goo Goo Dolls.
10:30 PM at the Hamilton, $58.50.
The Fairgrounds just outside of Nationals Park is hosting the first ever Capitol Groove Fest, an all-day festival of local musicians. Don’t miss Redline Graffiti or headliners Drop Electric. Between the music, play cornhole and liquor yourself up at one of the many bars there. It’ll be nice to see non-cover bands finally take the stage.
Noon at the Fairgrounds, $25.
Sunday, July 29
Metalheads, rejoice: Anthrax, Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, and more are coming to Jiffy Lube Live for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. If you don’t like sick guitar solos, men in terrifying masks, or ridiculous beards, avoid like the plague. Otherwise, bring your headbanging hat and your brand new air guitar.
1:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $26 to $84.
Monday, July 30
In a past life, Santana was a mildly subversive guitarist who made songs like “Black Magic Woman.” Now he makes songs with Rob Thomas and Vanessa Carlton, but that’s okay—how could anyone hear “Smooth” and not sing along? His live performances are incredible and combine a little bit from all phases of his career, so you won’t be disappointed either way. Oh, and the Allman Brothers are playing, too, so if you like well-written, guitar-driven songs, this is one not to be missed.
5 PM at Merriweather, $45 to $125.
I warned you earlier: Fort Reno is done. Just like that—it happens every year. It comes and you’ve got a couple happy hours or dinner plans or something and you miss all of them. Here’s your last chance. The Mostly Bad Virus, who’ve been playing good old-fashioned rock-and-roll since 2005, headline this one.
7 PM at Fort Reno, free.
Tuesday, July 31
If you don’t know what surf rock is, listen to Dick Dale’s “Miserlou,” which you’ll instantly realize you’ve heard hundreds of times. Dale essentially invented the genre, and although he hasn’t released new songs in more than a decade, he can still shred with the best of them.
7:30 PM at Birchmere, $38.50.
Wednesday, August 1
Sometime in the past couple years, London’s Bombay Bicycle Club found the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and either gave them a stern talking-to or used their hipster nightsticks (are those cool now?) to knock them off their two-wheeled club throne. They play catchy, jangly indie rock that you need to check out if you haven’t.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
London deejay/composer Gold Panda puts out electronic music that makes you feel like you’re in space, or at least on an acid trip. But you can dance to it, which is what really matters.
9 PM at U Street Music Hall, $12.