The District Sound

O.A.R

The 9:30 Club
Feb. 28 to March 1

Courtesy of Atlantic Records
O.A.R

If you don’t like Of A Revolution, more commonly known as simply O.A.R., don’t go to this show. You won’t like the loud, beer drinking fans having fun and dancing around to their favorite tracks by one of the decade’s biggest rock acts.

For the rest of you, this is going to be an amazing few nights. The band’s new album, “King,” is a follow-up to the band’s first studio album, “The Wanderer,” and the transition symbolizes the band’s growth since they first started playing together back in high school. This is going to be a fun show. Of course, you’ll hear favorites like “Crazy Game of Poker” and “Shattered,” but the real joy in O.A.R. shows is hearing low-key fan favorites like “I Feel Home” and “City on Down.” There are still tickets around for the third night, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the group’s “Heard the World Fund” for sustainable education programs around the world.

Score: Three nights. Fan favorites. Small venue. Dancing shoes.

Bore: Lots of bros.

Theophilus London

The 9:30 Club
Feb. 6

Courtesy of Jonathan Mannion/Warner Brothers Records
Theophilus London

Theophilus London offers a pretty fresh take on hip-hop, allowing flavors from around the world to influence his brew. Born in Trinidad but raised in the U.S., the heavy beats and powerful bass lines in his music have been driving audiences wild since his major label debut in 2009. Last year was a big time for London; performances at the Cannes International Film Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival made him into a darling of the music critic world, while his fantastic street style placed him in magazines like GQ and The Fader.

London is known for his captivating performances, and his dance moves are second to none, so you can bet this will be a high-energy show. He’s definitely a guy to check out while you can, because he won’t be playing small venues like the 9:30 Club for long.

Score: Dance music from a major up and comer. Tracks like “Flying Overseas” and my personal favorite, “Why Even Try,” are sure to get you moving.

Bore: It’s going be a hipster fashion show. If you’re not looking to get your game face going on a Monday night, this might not be the show for you.

Ryan Adams

Strathmore
Jan. 24

Courtesy of Pax-Am Records
Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams is a unique talent. When he first began playing guitar and singing two decades ago, he performed in punk bands, screaming his lungs out on stage. A few samples of these performances exist, and they give interesting insight into one of the artists who has helped shape the country-rock genre. He achieved notoriety as the lead singer and guitarist for Whiskytown, releasing two albums that gained massive critical acclaim for the band’s lyrical content as well as their effort to push the genre forward.

The band split at the dawn of the last decade, and Adams started to record on his own. The years since then have been filled with album after album, which were received with a mix of praise and criticism. In 2007, on a break from playing with his new band, The Cardinals, Adams released my favorite example of his work, “Easy Tiger,” featuring “Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.” and “Halloweenhead.” Following the album’s release, Adams admitted to serious drug problems, and a few years later, he retired from music. Thankfully, Adams came out of retirement last year with a new album, and the promotion tour is a huge chance to see one of the genre’s greatest in the flesh.

Score: Amazing lyrics – some dancing tracks and some thinking tracks – what more could you ask for? Also, he’s married to the gorgeous Mandy Moore. Awesome.

Bore: Many of the tracks may be from the new disc, which is not my favorite. Also, Mandy will probably not be in attendance.

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