Connect with us

Music & Concerts

Concerts: Strike up the band!

From gay-helmed S.F. orchestra to trans rockers and hip-hoppers, region ripe with queer music energy

Published

on

Chely Wright, Catie Curtis, gay news, Washington Blade
Chely Wright, Catie Curtis, gay news, Washington Blade

Lesbian singer/songwriters Chely Wright and Catie Curtis (left) are both expected to return to the region this spring. Curtis is at Wolf Trap. Wright plays a special show in Rehoboth Beach. (Photo courtesy Wolf Trap and Vanguard Records)

From hip-hop to Broadway, this season of performers brings such a diverse set of music that there’s room for all kinds of audience members.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington puts on a all-male version of “Xanadu” at Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St., NW) on March 15-16 at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance March 17 at 3 p.m. The show is based on the 1980 romantic film starring Olivia Newton-John. The main character Kira, a Greek muse, is sent to California with a mission: to inspire men. She inspires the creative genius of the film to create the world’s first roller disco! Tickets are $20-$55. For more information, visit gmcw.org.

The Washington Women in Jazz Festival kicks off on March 20 with Kimberly Thompson performing at 8 p.m. at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., NE). Tickets for this specific event are $25. The following evening on March 21 at 5:30 p.m. is the vocal showcase with Christie Dashiell and Jessica Boykin-Settles at Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). This event is free. The festival continues until March 27, including events such as the Young Arts Contest and Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. The festival concludes with jazz legend Geri Allen on the piano at 8 p.m. at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St., NE). Tickets are $35 for the finale. For a full a schedule and ticket prices for specific events, visit washingtonwomeninjazz.com.

Transgender performer Mykki Blanco comes to Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave., NW) along with Dope Body on March 27 at 9 p.m. This outgoing alter-ego to Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., is a New York-based poet and hip-hop musician. Dope Body is a noise rock band from Baltimore that formed in 2008. Their most recent album “Natural History” saw a change in sound with more big melodic hooks. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit cometpingpong.com.

Singer and lesbian activist Catie Curtis comes to The Barns at Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd., Vienna) on March 28 at 8 p.m. Curtis brings her stories about tackling personal and social justice themes that any audience member can relate to. Tickets are $22. For more information, visit wolftrap.org.

Country singer Chely Wright is the headliner for Rehoboth’s “Women’s Fest 2013” on April 12 at 8:45 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center (229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.). Wright became the first major country singer to come out as gay in May 2010, citing her concerns about bullying of gays as well as being true to herself. Tickets are $25. There are a limited amount of front table seats that are $100. For more information, visit camprehoboth.com.

Several big-name pop and rock acts are slated to play the region. Look for Pink at the Verizon Center on March 14, “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter at the Kennedy Center on March 23, Fleetwood Mac (which has a large gay following thanks to singer Stevie Nicks) at the Verizon Center on April 9, gay popster Mika at the Sixth and I Synagogue April 10, Motown/soul diva Gladys Knight at the Strathmore April 25-26, comedian/filmmaker and John Waters at the Howard on May 15.

In classical music, look for bi organist Cameron Carpenter at the Strathmore on April 12. He’s expected to bring a predictably unpredictable set and has been playing self-composed programmatic suites in recent shows. And under the gay leadership of Michael Tilson Thomas, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra plays Mahler’s 9th Symphony at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on March 23.

The Rock Creek Singers and Potomac Fever, the Gay Men’s Chorus’ two vocal ensembles, perform together on April 20 at 5 and 8 p.m. at Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., NW). The evening includes a dazzling performance from these two groups sharing the stage singing in a cappella and tight harmonies, spanning music styles from Broadway, pop and classical. Tickets are $35. For more information, visit gmcw.org.

The same evening, gay singer, pianist and music revivalist Michael Feinstein performs at the Music Center at the Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda). Tickets are $40 -$105. For more information, visit Strathmore.org.

The Cliks, with transgender lead singer Lucas Silveira, come to DC9 (1940 9th St., NW) on May 5, after their new album “Black Tie Elevator” is released. According to their website, the time of the event will be announced and it is a 21 or older event. For more information, visi thecliks.com.

Special Agent Galatica has monthly and twice-monthly engagements at a host of local venues — Black Fox Lounge, Nellie’s and Freddie’s. All details are at pinkhairedone.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnm0F3tldkU

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Music & Concerts

The Atlantis to showcase musical legends of tomorrow

New venue, a near replica of original 9:30 Club, opens next month

Published

on

A look at the interior of the original 9:30 club. (Photo public domain/Library of Congress)

A new nirvana for music fans opens next month adjacent to the 9:30 Club. Dubbed The Atlantis, this intimate venue embraces a 450-person capacity – and pays homage as a near-replica of the original 9:30 Club.

The $10 million venue comes courtesy of I.M.P., the independent promoter that owns and operates the 9:30 Club and The Anthem, and operates The Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The Foo Fighters will inaugurate The Atlantis on May 30, which is also the 9:30 Club’s anniversary. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl, during a concert in 2021, kicked off speculation that I.M.P was planning to open a new venue, noting that, “We’ll probably be the band that opens that place, too, right?”

Other big names on the inaugural 44-show run roster: Franz Ferdinand, Barenaked Ladies, Third Eye Blind, Spoon, and Billy Idol.

To thwart scalpers, The Atlantis utilized a request system for the first 44 shows when they went on sale two weeks ago. Within four days of the announcement, fans had requested more than 520,000 tickets, many times more than the total 19,800 available. All tickets have been allocated; fans who were unable to snag tickets can attempt to do so in May, when a fan-to-fan ticket exchange opens.

While I.M.P. oversees multiple larger venues, “We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other peoples’ venues for too many years now,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. “We needed a place that’s ours. This can be the most exciting step in an artist’s career.”

The 9:30 Club holds 1,200 people, while The Anthem has space for up to 6,000.

“This will be where we help introduce new artists to the world… our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully longterm relationship. Its stage will support bourgeoning artists and the legends of tomorrow,” Hurwitz said. Hurwitz and the team developed a tagline for the new venue: The Atlantis, Where Music Begins.

Hurwitz got his start at the original 9:30 Club, originally located at 930 F St., N.W. He was an independent booker of the club for the first six years and then he bought it, and managed the move from its original location to its current location in 1996. The venue first opened in 1980.

Audrey Fix Schaefer, I.M.P. communications director, provides further insight. “We were missing small venues in our umbrella. Big acts don’t start in stadiums. We need a place for emerging artists and for the community to discover new acts. The Atlantis can help new artists grow.”

While design elements are still coming into focus, Schaefer says that the space will be intimate, with almost no separation between the artist and the crowd. “There will be energy on both sides of the stage,” she says.

Although The Atlantis is set to be a replica of the original 9:30, I.M.P. has spared no expense. Schaefer notes that the sound and light systems use the latest available technologies, similar to next door at the current 9:30 Club.

The Atlantis takes over the footprint of now-closed Satellite Room. The venue will have at least two bars flanking the stage; cocktails but no food will be available.

Schaefer notes that since its early days, 9:30 Club and I.M.P. “has always been a place where people are welcome. People come and feel safe with us.” 9:30 Club has hosted several LGBTQ Pride parties, the BENT dance party series, and other events for LGBTQ patrons. Particular acts of note during the kickoff run include Tegan & Sarah and Tove Lo.

The Washington Blade was a neighbor to the 9:30 Club at its original F Street location back in the 1980s. Despite their proximity, noise wasn’t an issue for on deadline nights, when Blade staff worked late hours.

“We would of course work later hours back then,” said Phil Rockstroh, a longtime Blade staffer, in a 2016 Blade interview. “Everything was typeset and done by hand without computers and fax machines so getting through deadlines was much more time consuming.”

Rockstroh said the noise wasn’t a distraction.

“It wasn’t too bad as older buildings were constructed more solidly,” Rockstroh said. “There was only one entrance to the building and you entered so far to the elevator that went up to the other floors and then continued down the hall to the entrance to the 9:30 Club. Frequently at night if I was coming or going, there were people spilling out the doors.”

“The Blade has always had a friendly relationship with the 9:30 Club,” he added.

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

National Philharmonic to perform classical, contemporary works

Violinist Melissa White returns

Published

on

The National Philharmonic will host “Beethoven’s 7th” on Saturday, April 15 at 8 p.m. at Strathmore.

Past and present will collide in this performance of contemporary works and classical masterpieces. Maestro Piotr Gajewski will direct Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja, Anthem for Unity for Orchestra” Violinist Melissa White will also return to the Philharmonic to perform Florence Price’s sweeping, melodic “Violin Concerto No. 2.”

Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased on the Philharmonic’s website.

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

Bruce & Janet & John Legend, oh my!

Slew of iconic acts hitting the road after pandemic cancellations

Published

on

Janet Jackson is among the iconic acts touring this spring.

Pop and rock icons are releasing their pent-up pandemic frustrations by mounting huge tours this spring and summer. After three years of canceled and postponed shows, everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Janet Jackson is hitting the road at long last. But save your coins because the TicketMaster algorithms are driving ticket prices to astronomical highs. Here are a few highlights from D.C.-area venues this spring. Although some of the iconic acts aren’t coming until summer — Beyonce, Madonna, Pink — several others are hitting the road this spring.

ANTHEM
Betty Who plays March 10; Keyshia Cole headlines the All Black Extravaganza 20 Year Anniversary tour on March 18; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come to town on May 3; Seal brings his world tour to town on May 10; and the beloved Pixies are back on the road with a new North American tour stopping here on June 10.

9:30 CLUB
Don’t miss Gimme Gimme Disco, an Abba dance party on March 18; Inzo arrives on March 31, followed by Bent on April 1; Ruston Kelly brings his The Weakness tour on April 17 along with Purr; The New Pornographers show on May 19 is sold out but there are tickets available for the May 20 show; The Walkmen have added a fourth show on May 23 because the other three shows are sold our;

CAPITAL ONE ARENA
Living legend Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are back with a vengeance, playing one of four area shows on March 27. (They’re in Baltimore the night before.) If you missed out this time, don’t worry, Bruce is playing Nats Park in September as well as at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. April 1 brings the R&B Music Experience, including Xscape, Monica, Tamar Braxton, and 112. Blink-182 comes to town on May 23. And this summer watch for Sam Smith to continue his hot streak, bringing his “Gloria” tour to town on Aug.4.

JIFFY LUBE LIVE
Janet Jackson makes her highly anticipated return to the stage this spring, arriving in our area on May 6 along with guest Ludacris. The LGBTQ ally and icon has promised new music on her upcoming “Together Again Tour,” which follows the pandemic-related cancellation of her “Black Diamond Tour.” Jackson also plays Baltimore’s newly renovated CFG Bank Arena on May 13.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
John Legend plays two nights at Wolf Trap on June 2 and 3; Charlie Puth follows on June 4. Wolf Trap also hosts the Indigo Girls on June 7 just in time for Pride month. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Smithereens at the Birchmere on March 17. Fans of ‘80s alternative will be lined up for the Church also at the Birchmere at April 4, followed by Suzanne Vega on April 26. Amy Grant returns to the stage this spring and plays the Birchmere on May 2. Echostage plays host to a slew of buzz worthy shows this spring, including Ella Mai on April 8 and Fisher on May 12.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular