The Best Free Concerts in L.A. This May
Photo courtesy of the artist
Friday, May 1
Phoebe Bridgers is one of the most dynamic young artists in the local scene, whether playing bass in violently theatrical and totally badass grunge-punk group Sloppy Jane or softly strumming an acoustic guitar, her voice vulnerable as her cadence lilts and wades through words about the darkness within herself as she asks, "Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?" "Killer," Bridgers' recent 7-inch, is as revealing as it is cryptic, as tranquil as it is trembling, and as inviting as it is isolated.
Local act Prettiest Eyes have got a loud, distorted, creepy-yet-beachy vibe — the kind that makes for the perfect moshpit. Or maybe just some really intense head banging. Either way, these guys are getting rave reviews overseas; one French blog claimed their latest LP, Looks, is "wild, crazy, hypnotic, mesmerizing and unpredictable... a bit like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall banged beef with Wire and Black Eyes combined." So, if you're curious to hear what that sounds like, we highly recommend you head down to Timewarp Records.
Monday, May 4
Not much is out there about Silver Lake indie pop duo Golden Coast, but man, we wouldn't mind dancing away a case of the Mondays to their infectious, smile-inducing beats.
Thursday, May 7
What do you get when you mix Los Angeles punk act Abe Vigoda, a gay bar, mix tapes, and downtown DIY venue the Smell? You get dream pop trio Roses, a band that formed after ex-Abe Vigoda guitarist Juan Velasquez met singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg at a gay bar, where they bonded over an obsession with alternative heroines like Yoko Ono and The Cranberries, traded mix tapes, and found a bassist in Victor Herrera, an old friend of Velasquez's from his stomping days at the Smell. On the heels of last year's glimmering, technicolored EP, Dreamlover, and April's split 7-inch with local indie rockers LA Font — which you can get for free at this in-store performance — Roses come to rock your world with rainbow colors. Show starts at 6 p.m.
Monday, May 11
Praised by Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick and Dave Grohl — who in 2013 claimed that “Dead Sara should be the next biggest rock band in the world"— Dead Sara are known for their potent performances, with singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley balancing each other's respective calm and fervor. Their 2012 hit "Weatherman" continues to blow audiences away at their live shows. Come catch Dead Sara as they perform tracks from their latest album, March's Pleasure to Meet You, and get your copy signed with proof of purchase from Amoeba. Show starts at 6 p.m.
Mayor Garcetti and Steve Aoki
Saturday, May 16
BROADWAY, DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Mayor Garcetti and Steve Aoki are besties — the picture proves it. As besties, Garcetti and Aoki are teaming up to give Los Angeles one of the best gifts ever: a free concert on the streets of downtown LA — a celebration of the release of Aoki's third studio album, Neon Future II.
Here's what the notoriously rowdy performer has to say about the event:
"My whole career was built in Los Angeles, so it only made sense to do the biggest show of my life on the streets of downtown, just blocks from my label Dim Mak's home base. Making it a free show is my thank you to the city that's given me so much, but I also felt it was important to encourage others to give back as well."
Thank you, Mr. Aoki, for the free show and the encouragement to give back. Sign up to learn more about Garcetti's Volunteer Corps to reserve your spot now.
Saturday, May 23 - Monday, May 25
DOWNTOWN HERMOSA BEACH
Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the largest arts and crafts fair in Southern California. There will be hundreds of handcrafters — painters, photographers, ceramicists, jewelers, sculptors — and music, music, and more music on two stages. The main stage features a lineup of rock tribute bands, while the second, located in the charity beer and wine garden, promotes rhythm and blues, country, and more good ol' rock & roll. And there will be fresh, hand-made guacamole. What else do you need?
Friday, May 29
Vinyl connoisseur Josh McClintock comes to Amoeba to show off his DJ-dexterism, slinging tracks from and inspired by his hugely popular '90s mixtape series "Acid Junky." One listen to McClintock's repertoire and you'll relive the days when Doc Martin ran the West Coast house scene with DJ Garth and the Wicked Crew.
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