Tennis -- See Saturday
Tennis -- See Saturday
Photo courtesy of Sacks & Co.

The Best Concerts to See In L.A. This Weekend

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Friday, January 10

Youngblood Hawke


L.A.'s Youngblood Hawke launched their biggest hit single back in 2012, and in the first days of 2014 it's still going strong. "We Come Running" is the kind of song that plays when you look up "anthemic" in an online dictionary. It's got every pop trick working at once, like the shoot-for-the-stars chorus and the chant-along whoa-oh-ohs and the church bells chiming every time a chord changes, and that doesn't even include the unassailably timeless message about never giving up or giving in or something similarly and relentlessly positive. (Does it make Foster the People sound like Black Flag's My War? Well maybe not quite, but...) They're teasing a new single online, and if that makes it out this year, it'll be on repeat play until at least 2016. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Youngblood Hawke Come Running

Michael Kiwanuka


Van Morrison, Terry Callier, Bill Withers and Otis Redding are some of the comparisons 26 -year-old British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka draws. Produced by Band of Bees' Paul Butler, his 2012 debut, Home Again, is vintage folk-soul-jazz realized through brushed drums, crisp strings and smooth woodwinds. Kiwanuka's gentle soul spirit and accessible lyrical sentiments make for a warm conduit to his old-school appeal, highlighted on the weathered "Tell Me a Tale." While "retro" has become a bad word where music is concerned, and granted, Kiwanuka isn't breaking any barriers, in its rootsy-cum-gospel setting, his sensitivity and earnestness ring true. Tonight, in a rare, intimate, acoustic show -- where Kiwanuka's talents and affability are best displayed -- he road-tests new material for his next album while he shops for producers on stateside coasts. --Lily Moayeri

Saturday, January 11



Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley don't overthink it. The husband-and-wife duo launched their Denver band, Tennis, through a series of deliberate decisions and have made a name for it through soft, simple and sunny melodies, the kind that invoke acts such as Vampire Weekend and Mates of State and things like the beach and lying on it. They fell in love in college, sailed the Eastern seaboard after graduation and captured the adventure for their nautical-themed debut, Cape Dory. Originally written for them alone, the album quickly found an audience outside Denver and inspired a follow-up, Young & Old, which was written for the wider world and emboldened via production by The Black Keys' Patrick Carney. Back in Colorado now, the couple and drummer James Barone changed pace, and record labels, in November with the release of Small Sound, a five-song EP that again rocks their retro-inspired boat without really tipping it over. --Kelsey Whipple

Spindrift, Spirit Vine


Ever since singer-guitarist Kirpatrick Thomas relocated his band Spindrift from his native Delaware to Los Angeles in 2001, the group's music has evolved and mutated, taking on the character of the Southwest. Thomas' songs are fused together from spaghetti Western films, hard-rock psychedelia and old singing-cowboy ballads with such a dramatic, cinematic grandeur that they become the perfect themes for imaginary Westerns (to paraphrase the 1969 song title by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown). But Spindrift soundtracks aren't completely imaginary, as their 2013 album, Ghost of the West, precedes the upcoming release of a movie filmed while the band toured ghost towns across the western United States. Echo Park enchanters Spirit Vine also have a trippy and heavy sound, although lead singer Jacquelinne Cingolani replaces Spindrift's tumbling tumbleweeds with spooky goth imprecations and stirring, hard-rock power. --Falling James

Sunday, January 12

Denny Laine


While not a marquee name, Denny Laine has earned the Rock Royalty tag for his connections to loads of great English classic rock dating back to the '60s. The Birmingham singer-guitarist formed Denny Laine & the Diplomats with future Move/ELO drummer Bev Bevan and then went on to form The Moody Blues, singing their smash hit "Go Now." When his old mate Paul McCartney asked him to join Wings in 1971, Laine was in, and during his 10-year stretch he played, sang and co-wrote many of the band's best tunes. Though he has performed in myriad other combos over the years, including a stint with Ginger Baker's Air Force, Laine is a bit more than a talented sideman; in fact, he's a singing-songwriting ace who's done several excellent (and underappreciated) solo albums. Tonight, he and his crack band perform Wings' Band on the Run in its entirety; there'll be an opening set by The Records' John Wicks and Debbi Peterson of The Bangles. --John Payne

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Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

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