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Los Angeles Concerts

The Top 10 Memorial Day Weekend Concerts in L.A.

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Fri, May 24, 2013 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Fleetwood Mac -- See Saturday
  • Fleetwood Mac -- See Saturday

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Friday, May 24

Boris

ECHOPLEX

Japanese experimental rockers Boris have spent their entire 15-year career making sure that their fans are unable to predict what will come next from the band. One album could consist of thrashing heavy rockers (2011's Heavy Rocks), the next could consist of dreamy, atmospheric, shoegaze-laden pop. (Check Attention Please, also released in 2011.) Psychedelics are pretty much the only constant in each incarnation of Boris' musical output. The group will be doing two nights in a row at the Echoplex. The first evening (Thursday, May 23) will be an "all-time classics" set. For us, though, the real draw on Boris' trip back to L.A. is the second night, during which the band will focus on the heavy doom and drone-metal that first brought them attention by performing their 70-minute 2000 slow-builder, Flood. It will be a patience-testing set at times, but we're in it for the long haul. --Jason Roche

See also: How Boris Fucks With Their Fans -- In A Good Way

Lupillo Rivera

NOKIA THEATER

Talk about larger than life. Chicano singing star Lupillo Rivera, who rose from the absolutely nowheresville Long Beach barrio to conquer the highly charged realm of traditional Mexican corridos (managing it all with an admirable swagger and a set of powerhouse pipes), has survived both a devastating car accident and mysterious volleys of gunfire, yet he's never faltered. Along the way, his sister Jenni rose to an equal measure of fame, only to perish in that ghastly 2012 Monterrey plane crash. (Last month, Lupillo purchased several acres of land at the crash site to build a home for her children and erect a museum). It's all part of a wild, tragic, tuneful legacy that was begun by the Riveras' father, Pedro, himself an indie record man who spearheaded the narcocorrido genre and gave Lupillo his first crack behind the mic when a singer failed to make a session. But all that soap-opera tumult aside, Rivera remains a riveting stylist, one who imbues every song with an impressive sweep of expressive, emotional information, invariably put over with impressive polish and passion. --Jonny Whiteside

The Detroit Cobras

THE DOWN & OUT

Not since The Rolling Stones got their start in the early '60s has a mere cover band made as big an impact as The Detroit Cobras have. Of course, the Stones eventually went on to write their own songs, but the Cobras have zealously stuck to reinterpreting both certified soul classics and R&B obscurities. Guitarist Mary Ramirez doles out her riffs with punky, garage-rock raw power, keeping the Cobras' remakes from sounding nostalgic or wimpy. But what really makes The Detroit Cobras unique is lead singer Rachel Nagy, who belts it out with a fiery intensity like a grown-up-all-wrong hybrid of Little Eva and Dusty Springfield. When she's not purring like a hellcat, Nagy boozes it up and dispenses salty, sagely sarcastic advice like a modern-day Janis Joplin. Also at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Sunday, May 26. --Falling James

Saturday, May 25

Subhumans

THE VEX

In the early days of punk rock, two different bands with the same name emerged. Making things more confusing, both groups were fiercely radical, with ultra-leftist politics and lyrics, and both were massively influential in the punk underground in their own strikingly different ways. The Canadian version of Subhumans actually started a year or two earlier, in the late 1970s, but their British counterparts, who are invading town tonight, were no less subversive. Whereas a member of the Canadian Subhumans was part of a radical ecological group that bombed a munitions factory in Ontario, the British Subhumans, led by singer Dick Lucas, channeled their anarchist-punk activism into less violent approaches, decrying the endless futility of war on such albums as 1983's The Day the Country Died and 2007's Internal Riot. Lucas also is part of the more recent ska-punk band Citizen Fish, but he's at his most intense with Subhumans. --Falling James

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