This Week's Best Concerts, in Handy Playlist Form

Marcel Dettman: see Saturday
Marcel Dettman: see Saturday
Photo by Flavien Prioreau

It's another great week for live music in Los Angeles, with the return of Silversun Pickups, AC/DC at Dodger Stadium, Duran Duran at the Bowl, and house saviors Disclosure playing one of just a handful of North American shows at the Sports Arena. Follow L.A. Weekly Music on Spotify for all our concert calendar playlists, and read below for more details on this week's concerts, festivals and other happenings.

Friday, Sept. 25

Chelsea Wolfe
The Regent Theater
The queen of doom and gloom returns with her fifth album, a dark travelogue through the soul that’s aptly titled Abyss. Aided by producer John Congleton and co-songwriter Ben Chisholm, Chelsea Wolfe stirs up a masterful blend of unsettling sounds, from the eerie combination of hollowed-out bass and disembodied vocals in “Survive” to the guttural synths of “Color of Blood” and aggressive catharsis of “Carrion Flowers.” Yet it never seems as if the L.A.-based singer is merely trying to shock. Instead, relatively stark songs such as “After the Fall” and “Grey Days” feel personal and vulnerable. Even as Wolfe tries to swim through waves of dread and sleep paralysis, “Iron Moon” segues from nightmarish storminess to a daydream-y gentleness and back again. — Falling James

DakhaBrakha, Huun Huur Tu
Royce Hall

The term dakhabrakha literally means “give/take” in Ukrainian. The band by the same name certainly lives up to the phrase, with its members giving their all in spirited, breathtaking fashion. The quartet’s self-described “ethnic chaos” begins and ends with traditional Ukrainian folk melodies (sung by all four with terrifying conviction), shaded with a myriad of folk instruments from around the globe, juxtaposed over earthy drum beats and cello bass drones. It’s minimalism with a saucy swagger, as if Philip Glass decided to write a Russian song-cycle for The B-52s. DakhaBrakha have become an international sensation, recently performing at Bonnaroo and getting some love from Rolling Stone as the festival’s “best breakout” band. Paired with them, very appropriately, are Huun Huur Tu, Tuvan throat singers from the Russian-Mongolian border, who are able individually to sing multiple pitches at the same time. — Gary Fukushima

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Sept. 26

All the Instruments Agree: An Exhibition or a Concert
Hammer Museum

The lineup for this two-day festival is pretty much a wet dream of advanced and experimental music: Kim Gordon presenting her new project, Glitterbust; Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle) rewiring all preconceptions; legendary local pioneers Los Angeles Free Music Society; Cairo-based ambientalist Hassan Khan; Palestinian “sound and image performance group” Tashweesh; art-rap project The Bushes, featuring the other Nick Lowe (the visual artist, not the musician), and so much more. It all adds up to the year’s unmissable happening for anyone interested in sound and all it does to body and soul, right in the city that brought you Brian Wilson’s Smile and Frank Zappa turning freaks on to Varèse. — Gustavo Turner

Marcel Dettmann
Lot 613

For roughly 10 years, Marcel Dettmann worked behind the counter at Hard Wax, the Berlin record store founded in 1989 by Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus of the cerebral dub techno pioneering duo Basic Channel. Curating mainly techno, house, dub and bass music, Hard Wax is regarded as one of the world’s premier specialty shops for DJs, and it played a crucial role in the exchange of ideas between Berlin- and Detroit-based techno producers such as Juan Atkins, a legacy that continues today. At 37, Dettmann’s deep knowledge of heady, groove-oriented techno and his fine-tuned DJ skills make him a figurehead of underground electronic music culture and one of the faces of Berghain, another one of the German capital’s lauded techno institutions, where he has held residency since the club opened in 2004. — Matt Miner

Thee Midniters
Bruce's Lounge

Thee Midniters are arguably the biggest and best-loved East L.A. band of the 1960s, which is great except that pretty much anytime you find one of their original records in the wild, it’ll be absolutely mangled from being played so often. But that’s better testament to their songwriting and staying power than just about anything else, isn’t it? Thee Midniters can and did do it all, which is probably why one of their albums was called Unlimited. Their repertoire incorporated everything from loopy psychedelia to sweet-at-heart love songs. In 2013, they did a no-horns, no-ballads show at the Echoplex — nothing but their rock & roll and garage smashers. This performance, however, comes with dinner and dancing, so expect more of the slow jams and soul heartbreakers — and maybe they’ll slip in “Love Special Delivery” if you’re lucky. — Chris Ziegler

Silversun Pickups: see SundayEXPAND
Silversun Pickups: see Sunday
Photo by Rebekkah Drake

Sunday, Sept. 27

Silversun Pickups
Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
“Another night alone, a temporary dream/I came in through your window sleepwalking,” guitarist Brian Aubert croons on “Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance),” from Silversun Pickups’ new album, Better Nature. A few lines later, bassist Nikki Monninger replies enigmatically, “Feel my body swoon to hear you say my name/I’ve got nowhere left to dream, so I’ll just stay awake.” Even as the singers rummage through the late-night shadows, the track glimmers with unexpected hints of hope and life, and should take on even greater resonance when Silversun Pickups perform in this graveyard hall for four nights. The group continues the theme of light versus darkness on “Nightlight,” when Aubert declares, “Turning our nightlights on in the daytime to scare … We only want it with the lights out.” Aubert’s power chords and Chris Guanlao’s thundering drums take the song to an anthemic level. Also Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 28-30. — Falling James

Monday, Sept. 28

Dodger Stadium

Casual fans probably won’t notice that longtime drummer Phil Rudd and founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young aren’t part of AC/DC’s latest tour. Rudd is dealing with legal problems and has been replaced by onetime AC/DC drummer Chris Slade. Young’s ongoing health issues prevent him from touring and recording, and his spot has been filled by his nephew, Stevie Young. Keep in mind that this is a band that actually became more popular after its first lead singer, Bon Scott, drank himself to death in 1980. Even if their 2014 album, Rock or Bust, was a bit of a letdown compared with AC/DC’s strong previous comeback album, 2008’s Black Ice, the Australian hard rockers still feature supreme showman Angus Young and the throat-shredding Brian Johnson, backed by an onstage arsenal of live cannons, bells and gigantic blowup dolls. — Falling James

Tuesday, Sept. 29

Gary Numan
Teragram Ballroom
Unlike so many of his late-’70s new-wave peers, Gary Numan continues to make interesting music instead of just coasting on his oldies. The former Tubeway Army leader still performs early songs such as the influential 1979 solo hit “Cars” and T.A.’s “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” but Numan’s recent set lists have been dominated by tracks such as “I Am Dust” and “We’re the Unforgiven” from his 2013 album, Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind). For fans of classic Numan, these three shows will be a welcome break from his newer material, as he performs three of his classic albums in their entirety, starting with Tubeway Army’s Replicas on Tuesday, followed by his 1979 solo debut, The Pleasure Principle (featuring “Cars”), and 1980’s Telekon. Also Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. — Falling James

L.A. Sports Arena

Two years ago, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence released debut full-length Settle, an album of house-music jams so fresh that people are still dancing to its signature tracks, “When a Fire Starts to Burn” and “Latch.” The latter helped launch the career of a young British singer named Sam Smith, part of an incredibly hip guest-vocalist lineup that also included AlunaGeorge and Eliza Doolittle. Disclosure’s second album, Caracal, drops just a few days before their stop at L.A. Sports Arena, and fans are already hyped thanks to this summer’s wave of singles. “Holding On,” featuring jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, is the deep house–tinged winner, closely followed by their pop-minded reunion with Smith, “Omen.” — Liz Ohanesian

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Marty Friedman
Whisky A-Go-Go
After guitarist Marty Friedman left heavy metal titans Megadeth in 2000, ending a decade-long run with the Dave Mustaine–led group, he moved to Japan and launched a fruitful career in J-metal. The breadth of his solo work is a far cry from the thrash bombardment of classic Megadeth. Living in Japan full-time since his departure, Friedman has become a fixture in that country’s scene by melding an ’80s Shrapnel Records–esque shred-guitar sound with a frenetic sense of J-pop catchiness. Albums such as 2006’s Loudspeaker and 2010’s Bad D.N.A. endeared him to audiences in that part of the world, but his latest work, Inferno, looks like an attempt to reintroduce Friedman to American and European metal audiences, with guest appearances from members of modern acts such as Revocation and Children of Bodom. — Jason Roche

Turbulent Hearts: see Thursday
Turbulent Hearts: see Thursday
Photo by Mathias Fau

Thursday, Oct. 1

Duran Duran
Hollywood Bowl

On paper, Duran Duran shouldn’t have worked. Apparently lifting their entire aesthetic from the already well-established Japan (the band) at the dawn of the 1980s, but with a frontman less pretty and less able than the latter’s David Sylvian, the quintet looked like a tired idea. But, crucially, the double-D had the songs — and still do, to judge by just-released 14th studio album Paper Gods. For all of their visionary grasp of music videos, famously suave fashion sense and swoon-inducing looks, it’s slinky tunes and arresting arrangements that have this band headlining the Hollywood Bowl. The electro-flecked, guest-laden Paper Gods (which features everyone from Janelle Monáe to Lindsay Lohan) is delightfully Duran-y: glamorous, worldly and replete with trademark ecstatic hooks, glossy production, kitschy glitches and Simon Le Bon’s imploring vocals. — Paul Rogers

Turbulent Hearts
Silverlake Lounge
Stomping southpaw guitar sizzler Suzi Moon may be young, but she’s been assiduously punking the rock — with much high adventurous verve, reckless drive and white-knuckle conviction — since her incendiary teenage start with femme fatale punk coven Civet more than a decade ago. Moon has long since ascended to inarguable status as a kick-ass, world-class rock & roll goddess, and she upholds that role with disingenuous charm and huge natural skills. Her songs, stance and approach are stunningly direct, letting fly with perfectly crafted trash-punk bombs that detonate with forceful, genuine expression and live-wire energy. Paragons of tight, high-velocity, relentlessly aggressive punk-rock tumult, Turbulent Hearts are unbeatable. — Jonny Whiteside

L.A. Weekly Music's Greatest Hits!
How the Hell Do People Afford Coachella?
The 20 Best Bassists of All Time
The 20 Best Hip-Hop Songs in History

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >