9 concerts to see this week, including Mitski, Bailen, Moustapha Noumbissi and more - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Here are nine concerts to see in the next seven days. For tickets and more information on the shows, head to the WXPN Concert Calendar.

Tuesday 2/6 and Wednesday 2/7 Mitski at The Met Philly

The shows of the season are here — a two-night stand from celebrated art-rock singer-songwriter Mitski, amid the grandeur of The Met, one of Philly’s finest venues. Both shows are, officially, sold out…but what does “sold out” really mean, as LiveNation competes with StubHub and others with its own “verified resale” system, remarketing tickets at significant markups? What that means for you, non ticket-holding live music lover, is you can still see Mitski this week, for anywhere from the reasonable-ish cost of $116, all the way up to (as of this writing) the mind-boggling price of $8,291 for front row center. In all fairness, most seats hover in the $200 – $300 range, and also, capitalism run rampant is not Mitski’s fault. So let’s turn to the music, shall we? Her 2023 album The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We is a subtle stunner. In contrast to recent releases like Laurel Hell and Be The Cowboy, which grooved with pop energy and shouted in rock catharsis, this record (her seventh) is a slow burn; acoustic, cinematic, and breathtaking. Like Mitski’s best work, it’s existential as hell, thematically circling around desire, death, and humanity, but with all its thrills and chills, The Land is still full of warmth and empathy. When the album placed at number 8 in WXPN’s Best Music of 2023 MEGA-LIST, World Cafe’s Raina Douris wrote “She wonders at the far-away moon, at a crushed insect that looks like an angel, at the ways ‘memories snow and cover up the driveway.’ Like a great filmmaker, Mitski finds the symbolism in those details. That’s how she makes the big themes, like ‘love’ and ‘America,’ feel intimate and personal.” We’re exited to see the landscape come to life onstage at The Met, and whatever way you end up getting there (well, almost whatever way), it will be well worth the journey. // 8 p.m., $116 – $8,291 (verified resale), AA – John Vettese

Mitski - My Love Mine All Mine (Official Video)

Thursday 2/8: Sarah Jarosz at The Strand Theatre

If you were blown away by country / pop singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz at last Friday’s Free At Noon concert and couldn’t make it to her sold out World Cafe Live show that night, this week brings you a second chance to see her in Central Pennsylvania at York’s Strand Theatre. An Austin-rooted artist, Jarosz has been releasing music since she was 18, and is currently up to album number seven in an increasingly impressive discography. This year’s Polaroid Lovers rocks and twangs and raises the roof in glorious rootsy soul harmonies, moving her sound beyond her bluegrass roots and in the direction of pure pop. The Ballroom Thieves join Jarosz on the bill at this Thursday’s show. // 7:30 p.m., $35 and up, AA – J.V.

Sarah Jarosz - Columbus and 89th

Thursday 2/8: DJ Shadow at Union Transfer

Producer, wax-spinner, sampler-manipulator, and hip-hop soundscaper DJ Shadow is still innovating. His latest project, 2023’s Action Adventure, is a return to instrumental territories after his second vocal-forward project Our Pathetic Age from 2019. His mission was to go beat-first, music-first, rather than make music designed for vocals to fit in, and it finds him interpolating songs by Loudon Wainwright III and pedal steel player Eugene Bowen in the mix with his original compositions. The always vibrant Shadow will hold court in Philly this week in support of the new record at Union Transfer on Thursday; Portugal beatmaker and kindred spirit Miguel Oliveira, aka Holly, opens. // 8 p.m., $29.50, AA – J.V.

DJ Shadow - You Played Me

Friday 2/9: Squid at Union Transfer

The British band Squid heads to Union Transfer this Thursday and if their recent KEXP performance is any hint — not to mention their 2021 Indie Rock Hit Parade set — it will be a spectacularly chaotic can’t-miss show. Their sound is slightly reminiscent of late 70’s art-rock and post-punk but with plenty of cutting edge contemporary twists. Free-flowing and explosive, the band creates self-described “anxiety rock” with squealing guitars, booming synthesizers, and a blaring trumpet. and At the group’s center is drummer Oliver Judge, singing and screaming as he performs. Squid released their first full-length project, O Monolith, just last year and represents a new wave of post-punk alongside bands like Black Midi and Black Country, New Road. // 8 p.m., $22, AA – Dylan Itkin

Squid - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Friday 2/9: Reef the Lost Cauze at Johnny Brenda’s

Rapper Reef the Lost Cauze was born and raised in West Philly and has been spitting rhymes on record and at battle rap competitions for the last two decades. His bars reflect battle-tested grit but his latest album The Triumphant is also plush with smooth samples and filled with introspective verses. In 2019, Reef performed a WXPN Key Studio Session with his longtime producer/right-hand man DJ Caliph-Now (check it out here) and they’ll take the stage together at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday. Get ready for the show by reading his recent interview with WXPN writer Melissa Simpson in which Reef discusses fatherhood, personal struggles, and brotherhood with Caliph-Now. // 9 p.m., $10, 21+ – D.I.

Reef the Lost Cauze - The Light Of Day

Saturday 2/10: Bailen at World Cafe Live

The New York trio Bailen makes gorgeous indie folk-rock that harkens back to the era of Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell. Their trademark sound centers around their three-part harmonies, inspired by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Tired Hearts, their 2023 album, further highlighted the group’s beautiful singing over sparse, stirring instrumentation. They have previously collaborated with Hozier, The Lone Bellow, and Philly favorite Amos Lee, and they’ll return to the World Cafe Live stage this Saturday for a headlining set. // 7 p.m., $25, AA – D.I.

Saturday 2/10: Band of Horses at Park Casino

Band of Horses encapsulates the essence of early millennial generational anxiety through their powerful and propulsive rock. With their latest album, Things Are Great, the band, featuring core members Ben Bridwell, Ryan Monroe, Creighton Barrett, and newcomers Matt Gentling and Ian MacDougall, dives into emotionally intense narratives, more autobiographical than ever. Bridwell’s high-flying vocals, coupled with the band’s raw emotion and punk-rock spirit, are set to deliver anthems that resonate deeply with fans, exploring the shifts and constants in life’s relationships. Check out these horsemen at Park Casino on Saturday.  // 8 p.m., $50 and up, AA – Izabella Patrizio

Band of Horses - Warning Sign

Saturday 2/10: Nels Cline at Solar Myth

Nels Cline will be at Solar Myth showcasing the vast talents of a guitarist whose career dabbles into jazz, rock, avant-garde, and beyond. Best known for his innovative work with the group Quartet Music, collaborations with artists like Thurston Moore and Gregg Bendian, and his significant role in Wilco since 2004, Cline will bring  a masterful blend of genres and styles. With a discography that reflects collaborations across a spectrum of music’s most creative corners, including his Blue Note debut Lovers and the eclectic Share the Wealth, the crowd can expect a night of intricate compositions and improvisations. Also, note the 3 p.m. start time: we love a matinee here at the XPN Concert Picks. // 3 p.m., $49.44, AA – I.P.

Nels Cline Concentrik Quartet @LPR in NYC 06-02-2023 Part 2

Saturday 2/10: Moustapha Noumbissi at Johnny Brenda’s

Up-in-comer and Philadelphia resident Moustapha Noumbissi is stepping on the Johnny Brenda’s stage Saturday with his experiences as a music teacher, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist in his back pocket. Stepping out with soaring Philly indie rock and a sonic touch of his Cameroonian roots, his growing discography features deeply reflective and dynamic singles such as “Stumble” and the vibrant “Gold” — as well as the new “Layla,” which this concert serves as a release show for. Collectively they present his fully-formed artistic voice, characterized by a passion for exploring connections, emotions, and identity. If you were disappointed he was cut cut from the XPoNential Festival due to weather conditions, Noumbissi’s performance weekend will make up for it. Nik Greeley (who did perform at XPoNential) opens the show, along with singer-songwriter and Key Sessions vet Ajay. // 10 p.m., $15, AA – I.P.

Moustapha Noumbissi - Good Life (The Key Studio Sessions)
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