Los Angeles and the surrounding area is never short of spectacular gigs, and 2018's lineup will continue that tradition. Here, we highlight 10 humdingers, but they represent only a fraction of what’s going on. Check out our concert calendar, as well as the websites for all local venues. A night doesn’t pass without something worth seeing. Damn, we’re lucky.
Jan. 25 @ Hollywood Palladium
Not a bad start to the year, as Annie Clark arrives in L.A. riding the wave of October’s tremendous Masseducation album. That’s her fifth full-lengther, and there appears to be no limit to her vision and brilliance. Clarke is at the top of her game — the top of anyone’s game — and this show at the Palladium will surely be a stunner.
March 9 @ The Roxy
The Only Ones might not be a name familiar to everyone on this side of the Atlantic, although the single “Another Girl, Another Planet” might be thanks to its use in commercials over the years. But this show provides a great opportunity to get acquainted. Perrett is a punk rock poet — sort of an English Tom Verlaine. This is a rare chance to see him strut and croon.
April 14 @ Staples Center
The New Zealand singer-songwriter is another artist who had a great 2017, thanks in part to June’s magnificent Melodrama album, her second. She is maturing into a genuinely impressive artist; having produced so much impressive work by the age of 21, one can only imagine what else she’s capable of.
April 22 @ The Rainbow
Party in the Parking Lot
The backyard parties at the Rainbow are always epic, with the first one of the year serving to usher in the summer weather. This year, the lineup features Lynch Mob, Faster Pussycat, Rough Cutt and Rhino Bucket, which is a stunning quartet of sleaze bands, particularly when considering that the show is free. Get there early to save your spot next to Lemmy’s statue.
May 9-10 @ Greek Theatre
Two dates at the Greek highlights just how far Khalid (not to be confused with DJ Khaled) has come in recent months. Still just 19 (though he’ll be 20 by the time these shows roll around), he’s been nominated for several Grammy Awards. His debut album, American Teen, came out in March and promptly sold more than a million units. Despite the title of his second single, one would assume that he’s no longer “Young, Dumb and Broke.”
May 12 @ The Observatory
Glasgow’s Franz Ferdinand seem to have gone off the boil a little bit in recent years following the immense success of their 2004 self-titled debut album and the accompanying “Take Me Out” single. But a spot on December’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas bills, plus a new album, Always Ascending, due in February has seen their stock rise. There’s still plenty of love for these Scots out there, and this modestly sized Observatory show will be worth catching.
May 15-16 @ The Forum
Yes, Bono has been known to spout a lot of crap. But still, is there a better arena rock band than U2 out there right now? The new material might not grab the attention the way that the classics did, but it's far from terrible. At the end of the day, a U2 show at a joint like the Forum will be immense, hair-raising and a lot of fun.
June 1 @ Greek Theatre
The Tull seem to break up and reunite more often than a soap opera couple. That said, the world is a far more interesting place with this band, and mainman Ian Anderson, in it. Those who have never seen a Tull show really should catch this one. Anderson will leap around with his flute (as much as his aging hips allow him to), and songs like the timeless “Aqualung” will doubtless get an airing.
June 2 @ The Viper Room
The king of California surf guitar at a tiny room like the Viper is irresistible. The guy is a local institution, and still a stunning live performer at the age of 80. It’s been a while since his last album of new material, but that’s OK. People will line up down the Strip to hear his 1960s material. In June, it’ll be perfect.
Aug. 8 @ The Forum
What a team-up! This could be the tour of the summer and the only argument is, who should be headlining? Between these two bands, there’s enough melodic, punky indie-rock material to fuel a full day of entertainment, but that’s unrealistic. Instead, be sure to be there, then sit back and soak it all in.