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Music & Concerts

SPRING ARTS 2016: concerts

Spring concert schedule packed with tours of all sizes



spring concerts dc 2016, gay news, Washington Blade
spring concerts dc 2016, gay news, Washington Blade

DJ/producer Diplo plays EchoStage in June. (Photo courtesy MokiMedia)

Club icon David Guetta will be doing a set at EchoStage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd., N.E.) on Friday, March 4.

On Saturday, March 5, don’t miss D.C. legend Rich Morel and Jason Barnes (aka Pussy Noir) in their new collaborative project Sistr Midn9t. They’re on a bill with Prince Rama at Comet Ping Pong located at 5037 Conn. Ave., N.W.

Gay pop superstar Adam Lambert performs at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.) on Saturday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Openly gay singer and actor Troye Sivan will appear with the hugely popular gender-neutral rapper Shamir at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) on March 7-8.

The always-entertaining Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents “Boots, Class & Sass” at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.), with shows beginning on Saturday, March 12 and running through Sunday, March 20. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8. Tickets range from $25-63.

The legendary lesbian folk duo Indigo Girls perform at the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., N.W.), on Friday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. Visit for information. The show is sold out.

Rihanna, one of pop music’s biggest stars, comes to D.C. for her “Anti World Tour” on Tuesday, March 22. She’ll perform at the Verizon Center (601 F St., N.W.), at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30-515.

For a night of fierce diva realness, check out the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Broadway Divas at the Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md.) on Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. Divas from shows such as “Les Misérables,” “Dreamgirls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Annie,” and “Chicago” will perform and entertain under the direction of Jack Everly.

The world-renowned DJ TIËSTO will spin at EchoStage (2135 Queens Chapel Rd., N.E.) on March 25-26. Doors open at 9 p.m. for the 18-and-over event. Visit for information. Popular singer/songwriter Andrew Bird will perform at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., N.W.) on Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m., with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the prevention of gun violence.

The legendary Patti LaBelle, best known for her smash “Lady Marmalade,” will perform on April 7-8 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Tickets are $65-150.

Iconic ‘80s supergroup Duran Duran brings its tour in support of recent “Paper Gods” album to D.C. on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m., with disco legends Chic and Shamir opening. They’ll be at the Verizon Center. Tickets are $25-385.

Gay alternative rock legend Bob Mould returns to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. to support his new album “Patch the Sky.” Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Ted Leo, half of The Both with Aimee Mann, will open for Mould. Pop superstar Justin Bieber brings his “Purpose World Tour” to the Verizon Center on Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.50-126.

The always-popular Animal Collective will be back at the 9:30 Club on May 10-11, with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith opening. Openly gay Kele Okereke and his band Bloc Party will be performing in support of their new album “Hymns” at EchoStage on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m.

The 9:30 Club hosts two terrific shows on Friday, May 13. At 6 p.m., acclaimed indie-pop vocalist Grimes will perform. Then at 10, Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover) will deliver his high-energy electronic pop. Tickets to the two shows are sold separately.

You won’t want to miss “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons,” which will take place at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m. There will be an opening DJ set by Pearl, and then host Michelle Visage will introduce the most popular queens to have appeared on RuPaul’s show, including Alaska Thunderfuck, Miss Fame, Phi Phi O’Hara and winner Violet Chachki. Tickets are $37.50-299.

Trans rapper Mykki Blanco plays the U Street Music hall (1115 U St., N.W.) on Thursday, May 19. Tickets are $25. Details at

Current pop superstar Ellie Goulding will be at Merriweather Post Pavilion (10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.) on Monday, June 13 for a 7 p.m. show. Tickets range from $45-59.50. Three days later on Thursday, June 16, one of the most influential artists on the planet, Tame Impala, will also play a 7 p.m. show at Merriweather Post Pavilion, with acclaimed electronica group M83 opening.

Perhaps the highlight of the spring concert season is Beyoncé. She brings her Formation World Tour to M&T Bank Stadium (1101 Russell St.) in Baltimore on Friday, June 10 at 6 p.m. Grammy winning producer and D.J. Diplo, known for such hits as “Where Are Ü Now” (featuring Justin Bieber) and “Boy Oh Boy” with GTA, will have EchoStage booming on Saturday, June 18.

Alternative rock titans The Cure will perform on Wednesday, June 22 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The next night, Thursday, June 23, brings openly gay folk-rocker Brandi Carlile, with Old Crow Medicine Show and special guest the Dawes.


Music & Concerts

The Atlantis to showcase musical legends of tomorrow

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



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.

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Music & Concerts

National Philharmonic to perform classical, contemporary works

Violinist Melissa White returns



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.

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Music & Concerts

Bruce & Janet & John Legend, oh my!

Slew of iconic acts hitting the road after pandemic cancellations



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.

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;

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.

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.

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.

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