We know there’s a lot of shows to see in the summer. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve got My 5 Shows, a regular feature where we grill behind-the-scenes music-heads for their top 5, don’t-miss-’em live shows this summer.
Patrick McNamara is the — ahem — slightly sarcastic, but always spot on voice behind curated show listings site Oh My Rockness, which spotlights smaller shows and up-and-coming bands in Chicago, LA, NYC, and at SXSW. The website, co-founded with his then-girlfriend-now-wife, Claire, in 2004, has been at the forefront of What To See for almost a decade now (time flies!), so who better suited to tell you what to see this summer? Check out Patrick’s picks after the jump.
7/11 Protomartyr + Alvvays @ South Street Seaport
Two good bands. One solid outdoor spot. You don’t have to pay anybody money to go. IN. This free show will be a good one. Detroit’s Protomartyr make scuzzy punked out garage that still manages to sound melodic. I don’t know how they do it. But you will remember them. Toronto’s Alvvays play pop jingle-jangle that will ease you into the good sunshine vibes. Unless it rains. In that case, it’s a good thing Pizzeria Uno is nearby – because when you’re there, you’re a tourist.
7/18 Somos @ Saint Vitus
Boston’s Somos put out my favorite record of 2014 so far. It’s called “Temple of Plenty” and you know what? Forget the “so far” part. I’m just gonna go ahead and say it’s my favorite record of the year period. It’s pretty much pop emo punk perfection. If another amazing record comes along in, say, September or October that makes a fool out of me and my “record of the year” claim, well, so be it. That would be a fine problem to have. But I don’t hear that happening.
7/24 Veruca Salt @ Bowery Ballroom
I was right there with this fine Chicago band the first time around circa 1994. They were my Minty Fresh crunchy grungy hometown guitar heroes. They have recently reunited and it feels so good. Whether or not it sounds so good, I cannot yet say. Because I haven’t seen them yet. But if I were a betting man – and I am – I’d place money on this being a Top Five show of the summer. $100 says they start off with “Seether.”
8/7 Future Islands @ House of Vans.
If Baltimore’s Future Islands could floor David Letterman with their live show, just think what this band could do for regular Jills and Joes like you and me. You’re going to want to go to this. And not just because it’s free. You’re going to want to go to study singer Samuel T. Herring’s smooth dance moves and then cop his style at the danceteria of your choice at your earliest convenience. Watch the circle form. You’ll own the place.
8/9 St. Vincent @ Prospect Park.
Who’s cooler than Annie Clark? Nobody. And that I don’t back down from (she’s tied with Kim Gordon). This show is also free. And Prospect Park is also one of my very favorite venues to see an outdoor show. That I can also walk home from the place has nothing to do with my opinion on the matter. If it’s super convenient for me to see a true artist while sitting on the grass under the stars contemplating the cosmos, well, so be it.