Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get to the show.
Arena rock, engaging and tuneful pop, heartfelt blues and deep funk are just some of the sounds explored by live acts playing in Asheville over the next 30 days.
Artist: The Struts
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $22 day of show
There’s a trend in popular music today, especially in rock: new bands that sound like old ones. Greta Van Fleet does a passable Guns ‘N Roses-meets-Led Zeppelin; Sweden’s Siena Root brings forth the firepower of Machine Head-era Deep Purple. And The Struts sound — just a bit — like Queen. Mostly, thought, they’re their own men, even if vocalist Luke Spiller sounds more like Freddie Mercury than Adam Lambert ever could. The thing is, The Struts have anthemic, fist-in-the-air singalong rock tunes of their own, and they put on a stellar, engaging live show that will transport you back to an era when hard rock reigned supreme. It remains to be discovered what their long-awaited sophomore release — Young & Dangerous, out two weeks after the show — sounds like. White Reaper and Spirit Animal open.
Artist: Active Bird Community
Venue: New Belgium Liquid Center
Date: Friday, Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m.
Brooklyn’s Active Bird Community has been together more than a decade, but each of the four band members is a mere 24 years old. Still, the group has released four albums, developing from a primarily-pop-punk outfit to one with a more nuanced approach, informed by exposure to indie and experimental acts. The band started out playing house shows and pop-up gigs, building its audience as it went along. Very popular at home — especially in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood — this is ABC’s first national tour.
Artist: Eilen Jewell
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show
When Eilen Jewell started out in music, she was pegged as a country/Americana artist. But the Idaho-born singer, songwriter and guitarist quickly proved that label wasn’t expansive enough to describe what she does. On her latest album, Down Hearted Blues, Jewell and her band (including husband Jason Beek on drums) tackles a passel of blues chestnuts from Willie Dixon to Betty James; Jewell makes the tunes her own, confounding those who would limit her to one genre. Her official bio quotes her in a moment of self-doubt: “Like, who am I to sing the blues? I’m a white girl from Idaho.” She need not worry. Hillfolk Noir and Carly Taich are also on the bill.
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Thursday, Oct. 18, 10 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $15 day of show
In musical notation, a ghost note is silence that nonetheless maintains a rhythmic value; it’s in keeping with the axiom that the space between the played notes is as important as the notes themselves. In the world of live performance, Ghost-Note is a side project of sorts featuring percussionists Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth, both of fusion/jam favorites Snarky Puppy. The group also includes inventive bassist MonoNeon, a collaborator of both Prince and Asheville’s own Jonathan Scales. Placing its emphasis on funk textures, Ghost-Note delivers conscious lyrics in its songs as well, showcased on Swagism, the group’s second and latest full-length release.
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