Jimmy Eat World
Sept. 29 @ The Wiltern
Every single one of us has a favorite Jimmy Eat World song. Yes, even you. Whether you come from the early Clarity days or were somehow living under a rock and didn’t come on board until more recently, the Jimmy Eat World dudes have written the songs that defined your youth and coming into young adulthood. And really, whether you’re in the former group or the latter for when you discovered that the band had torn pages from your own diary for their lyrics, “Sweetness” is still your jam. And if it’s not … well, you better learn to love it, since this is their Bleed American throwback tour. Not that you should need any convincing to love that album anyway, though.
Blink-182/My Chemical Romance
Oct. 1 @ Honda Center
Oct. 8 @ Hollywood Bowl
While the concept of either of these bands playing at the Bowl is a bit mind-boggling to me, really, it’s not like they haven’t both earned it by now. Much as some of us might like our mainstream punk rock in dark and intimate clubs, if ever there were two bands who put on a show that really needed arena-sized venues to try and contain it, it’s these two. Between the anthemic jams that make up the entirety of Blink’s body of work and My Chemical Romance’s mastery of stage theatrics and visual presentation, both of these bands are equally skilled in bringing the seedy punk dive venue to the massive stage.
Oct. 1 @ The Greek
For something a little different than what the rest of the show guide has to offer, we’re going to class things up a bit for a second. An Elbow show is not a raucous, uninhibited rock show. Nor is it a sad sack emo sob-fest, either. Instead, it’s calm and controlled, orchestral-sounding indie. The same variety as the more pretentious bands that one dude in your social circle drops when he wants to sound cool, except Elbow has been around long enough to actually have the musicianship to back up any hype that may surround them.
Oct. 5 @ Club Nokia
Another classic band, the fact that Blondie is still around is an amazing and not-unwelcomed fact. The band helped shape the face of rock, punk and pop music in its early days and has endured to still be worthwhile even in modernity. When pop acts seem to get younger by the day, isn’t it time we gave due respect to a band that proves there’s life and music after the age of 17?
Oct. 7 @ Fox Theater
Just listen to Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green sing live, it’ll change your life – or make you want to give up entirely on your pursuit of ever being that good of a vocalist. Either/or. Regardless, Circa has consistently managed to step up their game with each album they’ve released, having moved far beyond their roots in the Warped Tour post-hardcore scene to actually being a grown up sounding, indie-infused art-rock band. If only Circa would play Warped again, just once even … maybe some of the bands that have overrun that scene might take that aforementioned hint and actually quit.
Oct. 13 & 14 @ The Forum
Everyone should just see this band at least once in their lives. Even though they’re not an “old” band or anything, these guys just are rock ’n’ roll.
Death Cab for Cutie
Oct. 14 @ Fox Theater
Oct. 15 @ Santa Barbara Bowl
Ben Gibbard doesn’t put on bad shows. He doesn’t even know what they are. It’s a foreign concept to him entirely. Every single project he’s worked on has set the standard for the right way to be an indie band in a mainstream market, without sacrificing intellectualism. Do you think a Death Cab live show would be anything less than awe-inspiring, knowing that everyone in that band is just that good?
Foster the People
Oct. 15, 18 @ The Wiltern
Oct. 16 @ Fox Theater
Seriously, everyone you know is going to be at this show, or at least wishes they were going to be at this show. Do you want to be in the former category or the latter? At the very least, unlike other more pretentious indie scene darlings, the Foster guys will actually give you an engaging and worthwhile live show to go along with the cool points that attendance gives you.
Grieves & Budo
Oct. 20 @ The Troubadour
Seriously, mainstream hip-hop is such a downer right now, despite what hip-hop media says and … about half of Twitter. Everything is just “Me, me, me, sob, sob, sob, haters gonna’ hate.” Wash, rinse, repeat, with different Auto-Tune settings. Whatever. If you want something different in your hip-hop than the gruel that the mainstream outlets feed listeners, Grieves is your man. Fluent in the language of Real Talk with the sharp teeth necessary to deliver it, Grieves is a reminder that hip-hop is, at its core, a cultural statement above all else.
Oct. 22 @ Hollywood Bowl
While I admittedly wasn’t aware that Robyn had gone from kitchy, cult-following fandom status to being an arena-level headliner, I in no way have an issue with that transition. The girl is proof that not every pop artist is a vapid talking head and that some of them actually do have an understanding of musical artistry. And her songs just happen to also be really catchy and danceable. But that’s beside the point! Integrity! Creative control, etcetera!
City and Colour
Nov. 3 @ Orpheum Theatre
Nov. 4 @ Fox Theater
A lot of people like to get their emo-therapist on and say that it’s OK for dudes to cry sometimes, and while I err on the side of “Just get over it already,” a City and Colour show is an acceptable deal-breaker. If ever there was a man who could chisel his way into the dark and hidden corners of your soul via expert lyrical prose, it’s frontman Dallas Green. So take this moment and get your sob on, the venue full of similarly wibbling L.A. hipsters will, for once, not be in a position to judge.
Mayday Parade/There for Tomorrow
Nov. 5 @ House of Blues Anaheim
Pop-punk for grown-ups may seem like a contradictory, oxymoronic statement, but the truth is that there are indeed bands who can write infectious sing-along-worthy songs about the trials of young adulthood without pandering to clichés – that there is indeed potential for honest emotionality beyond the standard tropes of first world problems. Mayday Parade and There for Tomorrow are two such bands, who despite being young themselves aren’t afraid to show their musical maturity. There for Tomorrow has also put out one of the best albums to happen to rock music this year, showcasing intelligence and an ability to create sonic intimacy that is years beyond both their peers and their predecessors.
Nov. 7 @ Fox Theater
Equal parts infectiously fun and hauntingly dark, Lykke Li is one of very few who can walk that line of melancholic indie and mainstream pop, pulling the best aspects of each genre without any of the pitfalls. With her unique vocal style and visual aesthetic, the Swedish songstress brings a much-needed artsiness to pop music and flair for performing that makes sure an audience gets their money’s worth at her shows.
Nov. 8 @ The Mayan
Nov. 9 & 10 @ House of Blues Anaheim
In case you’re not aware, the new Thrice album is possibly one of the best things to have happened to music this year – nay, to the world at large. How many bands can effectively mix post-hardcore, art-rock, southern folk and modern indie into one genetically perfected stylistic niche? And in case you’re again not aware, Thrice is also one of the best live bands in all of rock right now. Put those two facts together, and the band’s fall tour promises to be nothing short of a life-changing experience. Even if you’ve already had frontman Dustin Kensrue change your life multiple times over the last decade that the band’s been active. Add in that the Irvine foursome have opted to take out worthy successors in the line of legitness with Moving Mountains, and you have one of the top-ranked do-not-miss shows this season.
Nov. 11 @ El Rey
Nov. 12 @ Fox Theater
It’s just not possible to feel anything less than completely and utterly stoked on life while blasting Jack’s Mannequin jams. Even when going into brutal honesty and unsettling vulnerability pulled from his firsthand experiences, front man Andrew McMahon never forgets to remind you of the pending light at the end. The El Rey show will also be his annual Dear Jack charity benefit show, so you can balance your illegal downloading karma by giving to a good cause.
Treasure Island Music Festival
Oct. 15-16 @ Treasure Island, San Francisco
With a lineup that would make even the most jaded hipster shout with glee, San Fran’s own Treasure Island Music Festival returns for two days of music, libations and that lovely bay area October cold. Resuming last year’s rave-y Saturday lineup, acts like Flying Lotus, Cut Copy and Empire of the Sun will keep everyone warm on the dance floor. Sunday will wind everyone down with some great indie performances from Death Cab for Cutie and Explosions in the Sky. Check out the entire lineup (and try to contain your excitement) at treasureislandfestival.com. —Zach Bourque