This week’s list is dedicated to those “lesser-known” artists or bands that you should see live. To determine whether an individual or collective qualified as “lesser known”, they had to have fewer than 50,000 likes on Facebook – yes, Facebook. We didn’t know what other metric to use, so we went the easy route. So with that, we present to you five artists or bands that you should see live soon – like this weekend if you can.
This blues-rock trio has been electrifying intimate crowds throughout the year. For instance, despite having one of the first sets at this year’s Newport Folk Festival (early Friday afternoon no less), festival goers and reporters were still raving about Reignwolf’s set several days later. They also blew away soldout crowds in New York and LA. Frontman Jordan Cook, a native of Saskatchewan, oozes personality and coolness, and he’s one incredible guitar player. And if you go to a show, be prepared for him to be standing next to you.
Rich came up with the idea for this list after a full day of listening to Lambchop’s Live at XX Merge on repeat, so it’s only fair they make the list. When you first look at Lambchop on stage, maybe you’ll wonder why they made this list, as singer Kurt Wagner usually sits on a chair. But Wagner is one of the best storytellers out there, and he conveys so much love and passion for the music he’s performing it’s impossible not to be moved. Rich believes that their performance from Live at XX Merge ranks up there with other iconic live records including Live at Leeds and Stop Making Sense. Watch this incredible performance of “Give It” which actually features a tribute to one of the songs on one of those aforementioned live albums.
Whereas most people their age would be preparing for the sophomore and junior years of university, The Districts, from little Lititz, Pennsylvania, are instead touring around the world. They signed with Fat Possum Records, which marks a major step in the young quartet’s career. Live, they are spontaneous combustion, much like My Morning Jacket. Their sets are extremely energetic that frontman Rob Grote suffered whiplash once.
J. Roddy Walston and The Business
Baltimore’s J. Roddy Walston and the Business have become notorious for their raucous and energetic live shows, mostly thanks to their charismatic frontman J. Roddy Walston. J. Roddy Walston and The Business play some no-nonsense rock and roll, with Walston jumping from guitar to piano throughout the set, all while he has the crowd in the palm of his hand. It’s not just Walston who brings it, The Business are one of the finest backing bands in rock and roll. These guys are not to be missed, check out this live performance of “Don’t Break The Needle” where J. Roddy takes the keys and makes Elton John seem like grandma trying to remember how to play chopsticks.
If you have never heard of Kim Churchill, well take this as a brief introduction. Churchill is a one-man, roots rocker from Australia. Like Jordan Cook before his Reignwolf days, he plays multiple instruments on stage (guitar, harmonica, bass drum, and many others). And for one individual, his sound has a full-band effect and then some. While playing all the instruments may limit his movement on stage, watching him perform is a treat in itself and his music will have you moving.
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