How do you not get excited for the announcement of the perennial live music bargain of the year, where you can gorge on food truck fare and guzzle beer in a public park without getting a citation? I know, right?!
As it does every year, the Twilight Concert Series brings anticipation and, finally, fruition as we learn what we’ll be doing every Thursday night for two months. Not just that, but it’s also interesting to see how festival organizers at the City Arts Council will manage to bridge indie credibility and commercial appeal in their curation of the festival. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the series, and they really kicked it up a notch, booking an incredibly satisfying slate.
Below, City Weekly gives you the exclusive scoop on who’s gonna fill Pioneer Park with true notes and joy. Well, most of the lineup, anyway—Aug. 24 remains a question mark. “We wish we could [disclose the mystery act], says Arts Council Program Manager, Jesse Schaefer in an email. “That’s still in the works. Stay tuned, we hope to announce that ASAP.” Same goes for the slate of local openers—so far, they’ve announced only one, although Schaefer promises that, again, Twilight will feature local opening acts at all seven shows.
We’ll update you when they update us. In the meantime, click through this 2017 Twilight Concert Series playlist.
July 20: Little Dragon, Xenia Rubinos, Angel Magic
Twilight—actual twilight, not the series—and straight-up, starry nights is the perfect setting for Swedish electro-pop outfit Little Dragon and their dark, dreamy, soul-infused songs. They’re touring behind their upcoming fifth album, Season High (Loma Vista, 2017). Back in September, I wrote that Xenia Rubinos embodies jazz chanteuse Billie Holiday, indie folkie Jolie Holland and even a bit of bass-slinging funk mama Betty Davis asking, “Who on earth could conjure Holiday’s smooth, jazz vox, Holland’s adorable indie hipster croon and Davis’s funky swagger? She’s kinda goofy, totally adorable and fairly badass—a singer-rapper-instrumentalist straight from our subconscious dreams. Mmmm-mm! Homegrown electropop duo Angel Magic, recording for esteemed local electronica label Hel Audio, open the show.
July 27: Kurt Vile & The Violators, Whitney
August 3: Kamasi Washington, Antibalas
Is it me or is jazz is becoming less fringe, and at speed? I mean, would you have predicted a straight-up jazz cat like sax blaster Kamasi Washington would be a Twilight headliner? Even with his crossover cred from guesting on albums by Ryan Adams, Thundercat and Run the Jewels, or performing with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Chaka Khan and Suicidal Tendencies/Infectious Grooves frontguy “Cyco” Mike Muir, a night of Kamasi’s cool, Coltrane-esque instrumentals isn’t what you’d expect from the series. But it’s a fit, for sure—and he sounds so good, I’d sit through a front-to-back performance of his nearly three-hour album The Epic (Brainfeeder, 2015) under a starry sky. With afrobeat orchestra Antibalas as support, tonight’s show is gonna be all about atmosphere.
August 10: Solange, Kaytranada
August 17: Cat Power, special guest TBA
August 31: The Roots, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires