Los Angeles is a hotbed of live music, and L.A. Weekly is here to help navigate this embarrassment of riches. From Dream Theater's prog metal to local punk experts Egrets on Ergot to Japan's Chai and Acid Mothers Temple, here are the 12 best music shows in L.A. this week!

fri 3/22

Dream Theater


Fans of prog metal, whether it be the bands at the extreme end such as Mastodon, or those at the more "hard rock" side like Dream Theater, tend to be a rabid bunch. Maybe it comes from the mentality of the old Rush army, but they will not hear a bad word said about their heroes. Loyal to a fault. To be fair, Dream Theater have earned that loyalty over a career that has stretched across 31 years (34 if you count the three that they were called Majesty) and 14 studio albums. The most recent, Distance Over Time, was released last month and, typically, it sees the band pushing technical boundaries without ever sounding stale. This is the second of two shows at the Wiltern, and it should be immense. —Brett Callwood

Cold Cave; Credit: Amy Lee

Cold Cave, Adult


"I prayed for warmth and peace, but some winters never end," Wesley Eisold murmurs darkly on Cold Cave's new single, "Promised Land." The synth-pumped passage is a fitting soundtrack to Southern California's recent endless winter. Cold Cave's latest, You & Me & Infinity, is similarly drenched in '80s-style synths and beats as Eisold croons with a shadowy iciness. While his version of post-punk is more retro-minded than his sonic inspirations such as Joy Division, who were trying to create bold new soundscapes, Eisold and company manage to create a convincingly nostalgic approximation of vintage synth-pop. Cold Cave's tourmates Adult are an artier duo, with Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus, and the pair's new single, "Subsurface," is a minimalist slice of electro-pop whose dour textures are brightened a little by Kuperus' enigmatic, low-key vocals. —Falling James

Egrets on Ergot; Credit: Kimberley Zsebe

sat 3/23

Egrets on Ergot


Our own Falling James named Egrets on Ergot "Best Punk Band" in last year's Best of L.A. Music issue, highlighting their "sense of overriding dread and urgent intensity," and he knows what he's talking about. If you're a regular attendee at punk shows in and around Los Angeles, you've likely already seen this band, among the hardest-working in the city, as they feature in a lot of bills. It's the gloriously uncomfortable dual vocals that will get ya — Atom and Crow Jane co-snarling through a post-apocalyptic, post-punk dream. This show is a fundraiser for the vitally important Transgress Fest (focusing on trans/gender-nonconforming bands), so there are plenty of reasons to be there. The Tissues, Trap Girl and Sector 7G also play, and there's a lip-sync set from Jeff & the Jerks. —Brett Callwood

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers


Laura Jane Grace is best known as the leader of the punk band Against Me!, but she reveals a different side of herself on her new solo album, Bought to Rot. She's backed by a new band called The Devouring Mothers. And while the project includes Against Me! drummer Atom Willard, Bought to Rot reveals a more interesting and diverse variety of styles compared with the relatively straightforward punk attack of Against Me!. Grace sounds happy and relatively relaxed on "Apocalypse Now (& Later)," a jangling indie-rock tune. "You make me walk away from the hate I carry," Grace confides as she revels in the "bliss of your kiss in the apocalypse." Other tracks range from the jaggedly grungy aggression of "China Beach" to the folksy ballad "Born in Black." —Falling James

sun 3/24

Summer Walker


Summer Walker is your favorite singer's favorite singer. Hailing from Atlanta, the singer-songwriter continues to unleash feel-good records that not only sound good but are extremely relatable to the masses. "Girls Need Love," which has amassed over 130 million streams, served as the soundtrack to our summer. This year, she follows up the momentum with a standout remix from Drake. Signed to LVRN/Interscope Records, Walker breaks down all genre barriers, combining the sounds of pop, R&B and alternative, and fine-tuning them with her own unique style. Her lyrics are a first-person perspective on real-life experiences, with an alluring power. —Shirley Ju

mon 3/25

Maggie Lindemann


According to her bio, Maggie Lindemann relocated to Los Angeles from San Antonio in 2015 at the age of 16, not an uncommon tale, as she searched for fame and fortune through music. And things are going well — she's playing at the Fonda with Sabrina Carpenter on the Singular Tour. "I always have something to say. Even if it gets me in trouble, I'm not afraid to say what I feel needs to be said. I'm not scripted. I don't censor who I am. I've been through some shit. I think it's cool I can fully be myself." Well, good. Outspoken artists who speak their mind are always the most valuable. Meanwhile, headliner Carpenter is worth a look, too. —Brett Callwood

Chai; Credit: Courtesy of the artist



Chai often are described as punk rockers, and the Japanese group's latest album is titled Punk (Burger Records). But such tracks as "Great Job" are more like fizzy electronic dance pop than raging hardcore-punk anthems. With its gauzy vocals and busy production, "Fashionista" is another glittery number that is closer to disco than punk rock. Singer-keyboardist Mana coos with a childlike fervor that's galaxies away from the aggression, provocation and anger of most punk rock. Since the lyrical themes on such airy, nonsensical English-language songs as "Choose Go" are simple and lightweight, Chai tend to be more interesting when their songs are catchy and poppy and the arrangements occasionally venture into stranger new wave–style affectations. —Falling James

tue 3/26

Acid Mothers Temple


You never know what you're gonna get with Japanese psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple. Since forming in 1995, the group have gone through a plethora of members and God knows how many different versions. There's Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO, Acid Mothers Gong, Acid Mothers Guru Guru and, best of all, Acid Mothers Guru Guru Gong. The connecting factor is that all of the various musicians involved will consistently go out of their way to create the most intensely brain-melting music imaginable. It's an acquired taste — it sure as shit ain't for everyone — but those who enjoy their music as deliciously awkward and ludicrously out of the norm as possible will lap this up. Also performing at this California Flashback night are Yamantaka, Sonic Titan, Kinski and The Mountain Movers. —Brett Callwood

Diana Ross; Credit: Albert Watson

Diana Ross


"I've created a stage that looks like a runway out into the audience … so that I can feel and be close to you," Diana Ross recently tweeted about her appearance at the Hollywood Palladium, which is billed as the singer's 75th-birthday celebration. Any visitation from the divine Miss Ross is more likely to feel like a royal coronation than a mere concert performance, and while it's not known yet which special guests will join her on her glittery runway, the singer is likely to draw from her extensive catalog of solo hits and Supremes classics — the kind of enduring love songs that have been burned into our collective consciousness for decades. The diva sounded in fairly fine voice when she pressed the flesh with the mere mortals in the crowd at the recent Grammy Awards. —Falling James

HR; Credit: Lori Carns Hudson

wed 3/27



As the frontman with D.C. hardcore punk pioneers the Bad Brains, HR (aka Paul Hudson, aka Human Rights) is partially responsible for some of the most inspiring, exciting and important music from that scene. The 1982 ROIR self-titled debut album is widely considered one of the best punk albums of all time, and for good reason. The blend of reggae and punk had never been heard before, at least not like this (Don Letts was spinning reggae in London punk clubs in the '70s, and ska was a thing, but this was new). His solo material is a little less intense, veering in a dub direction, but the man is always worth seeing. Downtown Brown also plays. —Brett Callwood

Lily & Madeleine, Vera Sola


Sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz move beyond their folk-pop roots into a lusher, more grandiose pop sound on their latest album, Canterbury Girls. Such tunes as "Supernatural Sadness" and "Pachinko Song" smooth out their close harmonies with glossy production and a dance-pop backing. But Lily & Madeleine are more compelling on austere, stripped-down ballads such as "Bruises," where the focus is more on their lyrics and unadorned vocals. The album's title track is a similarly moving and intimate exchange of hushed voices and acoustic-guitar plucking. Vera Sola stirs up a mysterious and timeless series of feverishly haunted balladry and dream-pop evocations on her recent album, Shades. The muted guitars of "The Cage" create a lurking, impending sense of restrained tension, while "Black Rhino Enterprises" is a solemn, star-flecked incantation. —Falling James

thu 3/28



Whether it's turning the sounds of an average refrigerator into music for the ages or just anticipating the helter-skelter welter of modern meaninglessness with electronic noises, Peter Rehberg — whom you may know as Pita — presents the possibility of the human spirit moved by technology in a way that might seem unlikely given the harsh surface of the sounds he makes. Yet somehow, someone once moved some colossal stones and wound up with Stonehenge, so stranger things have happened. For once, you'll be so absorbed by Rehberg's mastery of zeros and ones that you won't start thinking that he's just up there checking his email. Also tonight: Daniel Menche, the Portland noise artiste who has for the past 30 years specialized in a particularly organic kind of sonic brutality best be described as hot sauce for the ears. —David Cotner

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