Cheers Elephant | photo by Matthew Shaver
21 concerts to see this week including Bob Dylan, CHVRCHES, Tasha, Cheers Elephant and more
We hope you got a lot of rest this holiday weekend, since December’s concert calendar is about to open in a big way. There are so many standout shows this week that we couldn’t narrow our list of concert picks any smaller than 21 — which means multiple options each day, and a particularly busy cluster of gigs on Saturday (and earlier in the week on Wednesday, too). Buckle in and get ready to check out a lot of music this week, beginning tonight with modern rock in Central PA and a boundary-shattering pop show here in Philly.
Sunday 11/28: Anthony Green at Phantom Power
On the heels of a stunning new EP with his primary band Circa Survive, modern rock singer-songwriter Anthony Green will bring his solo band to Central Pennsylvania tonight for a set at Millersville venue Phantom Power. Riveting as Circa’s epic atmospheric rock can be — and much as we hope to hear versions of songs from A Dream About Love at the show — Green’s work under his own name cuts to the feeling just as hard, with scaled-back and intimate instrumentation and a voice that will give you chills. // 7 p.m., $25, AA // TIX + INFO – John Vettese
Sunday 11/28: Leeyuh Neptune at MilkBoy
Tonight at MilkBoy, it’s a very exciting all-Philly bill of five artists who don’t let typical genre constraints define them. At the center of the party is Leeyuh Neptune, the ethereal space goddess and AnnonXL collaborator who straddles the world of hard-hitting dancefloor pop and shimmering synthesizer psychedelic bliss. Her single “WRLD Tour” is often in the mix on XPN Local, and she’s joined by rapper and singer-songwriter Mariah Geez, singer-songwriters Aleana, Ren of 4VR, and Beya. Arrive early, stay late. // 7:30 p.m., $15, 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Monday 11/29: Bob Dylan at The Met Philly
Seeing a Bob Dylan concert in 2022 is indeed a roll of the dice — will you get standoffish, moody Dylan? Or will you get transcendent Dylan? For what it’s worth, this writer has seen the bard three times, and he was outstanding once, very much not great once, and solid once; an average that suggests two nights of his Rough and Rowdy Ways tour at The Met Philly will yield more good than not. If a Monday concert’s not your speed, one of America’s greatest living songwriters returns to The Met on Tuesday the 30th for round two. // 8 p.m., $52.50, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Monday 11/29: Mary Lattimore at First Unitarian Church
Most shows at the First Unitarian Church are held in the basement, but not harpist Mary Lattimore’s, which will be showcased in the glorious upstairs altar illuminated by floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows. The in-demand, once-Philadelphia-area session musician has been building her solo repertoire with albums like 2020’s Silver Ladders, which features not only her beautiful harp playing but also experimental synth and guitar by Slowdive’s Neil Halstead. For a lovely Monday evening, there’s no better option than this celestial show. // 7:30 p.m., $20, AA // TIX + INFO – Paige Walter
Tuesday 11/30: Blood at PhilaMOCA Wednesday
While Blood might seem all about doom and gloom on paper, their music doesn’t match their calculated nihilism. Instead, the seven-piece band delivers industrial punk with lyrics that sound more like manifestos. Even the title of their last release, Why Wait Till ’55 We Might Not Even Be Alive hints at their intellect. Incorporating a trumpet and violinist into their live performance, you’ll come for the music but leave wondering what exactly the world is coming to. // 8 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFO – Samantha Sullivan
Tuesday 11/30: Hiss Golden Messenger / Rosali at The Englewood
Harrisburg University presents Hiss Golden Messenger and Rosali for this well-matched bill of alt-country rockers. The former stands out in the genre for his heartbreakingly tender acoustic style perhaps best-showcased on 2016’s Heart Live a Levee and extensive festival touring. Philadelphia-rooted Rosali was a force around town in her years living locally, playing venues like Johnny Brenda’s and working behind-the-scenes with the engineering team that produced records by Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs. Both artists will be celebrating the release of albums they put out in 2021, which stack up with some of the best this year. // 8 p.m., $26, AA // TIX + INFO– P.W.
Wednesday 12/1: Bleary Eyed at Ortlieb’s
It’s been a few months now, but the hype surrounding Bleary Eyed’s latest album, Guise, still hasn’t died down. A true punk-meets-shoegaze moment, they create a heavily distorted haze. Still, they live up to the buzz, with live performances that are doused in fuzz and make you feel like you’re lost in a video game. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – S.S.
Wednesday 12/1: Caribou at Union Transfer
From Animal Collective-adjacent indie-psych oddballs in the mid-00s to the rave tent-packing festival act they are today, Dan Snaith’s project Caribou has had a wild ride. They’ll be back in Philly for the first time in a minute this Wednesday at Union Transfer, with stellar Ontario artist Jessy Lanza opening, and if their Firefly this set this fall is any indication — so say nothing of their 2020 album Suddenly — you should arrive prepared to dance. // 8 p.m., $26, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Wednesday 12/1: Dweller at MilkBoy
It’s a strong local show to start out your December with trippy indie outfit Dweller joined by like-minded buds The Mary Veils and the entertaining cowboy-themed garage rock of Larlene. Dweller’s lively, askew debut Aquarium released last summer, and the band followed it up this summer with the one-off single “Crowbar,” which you can hear below. // 7:30 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Wednesday 12/1: Golden Apples at The Dolphin
Get to the Dolphin early this week, when Philly’s Golden Apples open this 4333 show with Pet Fox and Curse Reverser. The project of multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Russel Edling, Golden Apples makes fuzzy and introspective indie rock that channels personal neuroses into uplifting songs. Their 2021 record Shadowland is rooted in anxiety and isolation, but it positively shimmers; watch the “Tangerine II” video below. // 7:30 p.m., , 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Thursday 12/2: Darlingside at Ardmore Music Hall
Folk musicians are no strangers to existential, sometimes dark examinations of life. But Darlingside take their lyrics one step further; they’re an emo band masquerading as country-folk. The four piece string band aren’t shy about describing the grim sides to life, how the prodigal end-of-days may have already caught up to us. But Darlingside’s saddest lyrics are matched with upbeat strumming and beautiful vocal harmonies, showing the band also has a sense of humor. Their music is less tongue-in-cheek than say Father John Misty, but it tows a similar line, meaning audiences will leave slightly more comforted, if not still uneasy, about confronting the perils of our time. // 8 p.m., $22, 21+ // TIX + INFO – P.W.
Friday 12/3: Alexis Cunningham and Eric Bazilian at The Living Room at 35 East
Local singer-songwriter Alexis Cunningham debuted last year with a couple spirited singles recorded with her badass rock and roll band, Alexxis and The Medicine. The music was produced trans-continentally with collaborator Eric Bazilian, the Hooters frontperson who calls Sweden home these days. Bazilian is returning to the states this month for some gigs, both solo and with his band, and this Friday he’ll play alongside Cunningham at The Living Room at 35 East in Ardmore. Danny Black, the soundscaping project of the Good Old War guitarist Dan Schwartz, opens the show. // 8 p.m., $45, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Friday 12/3: CHVRCHES at Franklin Music Hall
Did Glaswegian electro-rock trio CHVRCHES go and lowkey release the best album of their career this year? Screen Violence finds frontperson Lauren Mayberry unafraid to stretch out with serpentine lyrics and vulnerable tales of loneliness, anxiety, toxicity and fear — writing on par with the complex, rewarding songs of the band’s acclaimed debut The Bones of What You Believe. But Mayberry and her mates don’t shirk the sophisticated pop production they’ve refined over the course of ten years and four albums, not in the slightest. Plus, who can argue with the Robert Smith collab “How Not To Drown?” // 8:30 p.m., $40.50, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Friday 12/3: Downhaul at Original 13
The Key’s Meghin Moore coined the term “yeemo” to describe what RVA band Downhaul is all about: a rustic, roots-leaning take on post-emo post-rock atmospheres. (Ruston Kelly’s “dirt emo” descriptor is also apt.) Part of the band’s heart clearly resides in the country, but part is right here in Philly, as they recorded their impressive 2021 album PROOF at Fishtown’s Headroom studio. Six months later, the band is playing it live in the 215 for the first time; get to know Downhaul in Moore’s interview from back in May, and see them this Friday at Original 13. // 7 p.m., $12, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Saturday 12/4: Cheers Elephant at World Cafe Live
Playful psychedelic Philly rockers Cheers Elephant are back in action. After spending much of the twenty-teens on hiatus following a transcontinental move and the birth of a new project from frontperson Derek Krzywicki (the very fun Secret American), the four original members of Cheers Elephant played a low-key reunion in LA just ahead of lockdown last year, and now they’re back to bring the goods to their hometown. Hope you’re ready to groove to “Leaves” and “6th and Girard” at World Cafe Live’s music hall this Saturday, but arrive early and with open ears, since the all-local bill also features The Extraordinaires and Kingsley Ibeneche. // 8 p.m., $20, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Saturday 12/4: Lady HD at World Cafe Live
Although local show-goers will recognize members of Lady HD from other powerhouse Philly bands such as Low Cut Connie, Trap Rabbit, and Taylor Kelly, this new project sounds nothing like any of those. And that’s a good thing. Band leader and songwriter Ciaran Wall channels his Latin roots into ambitious funk / psych polyrhythms that are masterfully treated by the talented members of his band. If you need further convincing that this show is worthwhile, watch out for Lady HD’s Key Studio Session debuting this week. // 8:30 p.m., $12, AA // TIX + INFO– P.W.
Saturday 12/4: mewithoutYou at Phantom Power
Beloved Upper Darby post-rock five-piece mewithoutYou isn’t quite ready to leave us just yet. Though the pandemic sidelined their farewell tour plans, the band regrouped this summer after the great reopening for a run of dates to both say goodbye to their fans around the country, and to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their third studio album, Brother, Sister. The tour was extended into 2022, making room for their last hometown-adjacent gig this Saturday at Phantom Power in Millersville. Released in 2006, Brother, Sister is the record where mewithoutYou began to grow beyond its propulsive punk roots and toward the esoteric and electrifying Neutral Milk Hotel-via-Sufjan sound they adopted in the middle of their career; frontperson Aaron Weiss’ lyrics draw inspiration on it from nature as well as Hindu scripture. An added bonus to this gig is an opening set from former mwY bassist Dominic Angelella, who is joining his old buds on the road to play songs from his terrific 2020 album Poison River and beyond. // 7 p.m., $27.50, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.
Saturday 12/4: Destroy Boys at First Unitarian Church
Attending a Destroy Boys gig makes you feel like a badass. The San Francisco punk band unapologetically confronts all the locker room bullies, unrequited love, people that have put them down, and disparities in the music industry. Refusing to be silent, they’re upfront about the pain that they’ve transformed into power. // 8 p.m., $15, AA // TIX + INFO – S.S.
Saturday 12/4: Tasha at PhilaMOCA
Chicago-based Tasha has arrived with her most fully-realized album yet, Tell Me What You Miss The Most. The young singer-songwriter, who has enjoyed the journey of growing into her own sound, brings her soft, heartfelt music to PhilaMOCA on Saturday. For existing fans and newcomers, there’s a lot to love about Tasha’s music, including how her background as an activist influences her writing. // 8 p.m., $15, AA // TIX + INFO– P.W.
Saturday 12/4: Webbed Wing at Ukie Club
A biting blend of blunt rock and tongue-in-cheek social critiques, the modern rock by new local band Webbed Wing is entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time — and as their album title What’s So Funny? might suggest, it might leave you wondering what you’re laughing at anyway. Still, this undeniably danceable new album from members of heavy punks Superheaven and Daylight will make for a night full of fun, even if the joke remains unclear. // 8 p.m., $13, AA // TIX + INFO – S.S.
Saturday 12/4: American Trappist at Johnny Brenda’s
The release show for American Trappist’s The Gate has been a long time coming. Fans have been enjoying this record since last May, and as the fifth and most beautifully-produced American Trappist studio record, it deserves the most glorious of release parties. As the main voice in American Trappist, New Jersey based songwriter and engineer Joe Michelini shines so brightly in a humble identity that’s all their own. Newcomers in the audience will leave the show knowing they’ve just discovered the next big thing in indie music — or three, considering that AmTrappe’s impressive peers Grace Vonderkuhn and Lily McKown open the gig. // 8 p.m., $15, 21+ // TIX + INFO– P.W.