October brings a plethora of live music to the greater D.C. area, with enough music to fulfill your concert yearning practically every night of the week. From alternative to hip-hop, bluegrass to funky brass, and rock to, well, Hanson, there’s a concert out there for every music lover this month.
Thursday night at the 9:30 Club, the Australian-based group The Cat Empire will bring what they call their “jazz-soul-hip-hop-salsa-reggae-ska-jam-rock hybrid” sound to the stage. With a large following all over the world, The Cat Empire has put out two double-platinum albums, the second of which (Two Shoes) was recorded in the heart of Havana, Cuba.
On Oct. 11th, Lulu’s Mardi Gras Club will host a benefit concert for New Orleans hurricane Katrina relief, aptly named “Bail Out the Big Easy.” Headlining the show are New Orleans’ own Cowboy Mouth and Rebirth Brass Band, two bands known worldwide for their unique New Orleans sound. Fronted by drummer Fred Le Blanc, Cowboy Mouth’s eclectic sound of pop-rock and pure energy provide for a supercharged show well-known by New Orleanians and fans nationwide.
Similarly, Rebirth Brass Band’s show will be the most fun you’ve had listening to live music – ever. With booming tuba bass lines, heavy, funk-filled bass and snare drum street beats, and a literal wall of brass – trumpets, trombones and saxophones – Rebirth will blow you away. By purchasing a $30 ticket ($40 at the door), you will be benefiting both the Red Cross hurricane relief fund and the MusiCares foundation, which helps displaced musicians. Also, your ticket entitles you to a free hurricane (the sweet, highly potent N’awlins drink) as well as Budweiser Select all night long. For advance tickets, visit Lulu’s at 22nd and M streets, or go to http://www.lindypromo.com.
Perhaps the most popular destination for concerts in D.C., the 9:30 Club is hosting a handful of acts this month. On Oct. 8, Canadian based rockers Metric will hit the stage, just four days after the release of their new album, Live it Out. Catchy hooks combined with the sweet voice of vocalist Emily Haines should equate to a rockin’ show. The following night, 9:30 will host an early show with the folk-rock/bluegrass trio Nickel Creek and a later show featuring hip-hop acts Guru from Gang Starr and Kool Keith, two artists on the cutting edge of the experimental hip-hop scene.
Also appearing at the 9:30 Club are 90’s rockers Blues Traveler (See Blues Traveler, p. 9) on Oct. 11. The following night, chick-rocker extraordinaire Liz Phair will perform. Then, on Oct. 12, the electronic jam-band Sound Tribe Sector Nine will play their patented fusion of live instruments and electronica for the masses. Other shows at 9:30 this month include singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman (“Fast Car”) on the 17th; Minneapolis underground rap group Atmosphere on the 18th; and powerful soul singer Jaguar Wright on the 28th. And finally, Hanson (that’s right, Hanson) will grace 9:30’s stage with the Pat McGee Band on Oct. 30, this time armed with a new album, lower voices and shorter hair.
October also brings a few big-name acts the D.C. area. These shows are more expensive; perhaps an early birthday present from the parents is appropriate here. Some of these large arena shows include the legendary Sir Paul McCarthy on the 8th; Foo Fighters and Weezer at the Patriot Center on the 10th; Def Leppard and Bryan Adams at the Nissan Pavilion on the 14th; U2 at the MCI Center two nights in a row on the 19th and 20th; and Audioslave at the Patriot Center on the 26th.