Fall arts preview 2021: Top music picks this season
Choice options range from Willie Nelson, Laura Marling and Rocket From The Crypt to Mon Laferte, John Hiatt and Pat Metheny
One step forward, one step back. Repeat. Repeat again.
The fact that both the Belly Up and Humphreys Concerts by the Bay have had a record number of sold-out concerts since reopening this summer underscores our desire to experience live music, in real time, in person.
Alas, the same pandemic fueling that desire has led to a growing list of canceled or postponed tours, prompting some last-minute changes in our annual fall concert preview round-up. Sold-out shows are not included (take a bow, Camilo, Emmylou Harris, Harry Styles and nearly two dozen more).
Subject to change due to COVID-19. Please check websites for updates.
Durand Jones & The Indications
What’s a young Indiana retro-soul quintet going to do at SOMA, the all-ages club that once helped nurture young San Diego bands like blink-182? Create a non-stop dance party, in all likelihood. 8 p.m. Sept. 20. SOMA, 3050 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District. $30-$80. ticketweb.com
Pat Metheny & Side Eye
A 20-time Grammy Award winner, shape-shifting guitarist Pat Metheny counts David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock among his past collaborators. He’s now touring with his sizzling new trio, Side Eye. 7:30 p.m. Sept 30. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 200 Marina Park Way, downtown. $38-$90. (619) 235-0804; theshell.org
Chilean music superstar Mon Laferte is equal parts vocal dynamo and social activist. Her arresting new album, “Seis,” honors pioneering Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas and injects fresh verve into mariachi and banda music. 8 p.m. Sept. 30. The Magnolia, 201 East Main St., El Cajon. $35-$99.50. magnoliasandiego.com
Hailed as “the Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara,” Niger’s Mdou Moctar is a left-handed guitarist and singer who portrayed Prince in a Muslim film adaptation of “Purple Rain.” He’s a vibrant champion of the Tuareg style of music called desert blues. 9 p.m. Oct 1. Music Box, 1337 India Street, downtown. $22 (must be 21 or older to attend). musicboxsd.com
Gilbert Castellanos, Gerald Clayton, Anthony Wilson, John Clayton and Roy McCurdy
The Athenaeum Jazz at Scripps Research Auditorium’s 25th anniversary concert season will open with a talent-rich band formed specially for the occasion. It features top San Diego trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos with Los Angeles-based luminaries Gerald Clayton on piano, Anthony Wilson on guitar, John Clayton on bass and Roy McCurdy on drums. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Scripps Research Institute Auditorium, 10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla. $40 (members), $45 (general). (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org/jazz/#scripps
John Hiatt, The Jerry Douglas Band
Hearing either the superb singer-songwriter John Hiatt or master dobro player Jerry Douglas is a treat any year. Hearing both at one concert is too good to pass up. 8 p.m. Oct 11 and 12. Belly Up, 143 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $65 (general admission), $114 (reserved loft seating). (858) 481-8140; bellyup.com
Outlaw Music Festival, featuring Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers and Ida Mae
Willie Nelson is on the road again at 88. Having released five new albums in the past four years, this American cultural institution is clearly eager to keep forging ahead. 7 p.m. Oct. 17. Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU, 5500 Campanile Drive. $39.50-$129.50. livenation.com
Dead & Company
Touring has changed for jam-band favorites Dead & Company, which features John Mayer, 43, and three Grateful Dead alums in their 70s. Not only are their 2021 concert attendees required to show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test results, but fans with general admission tickets for the “pit” area in front of the stage need to show proof of completed vaccinations to access the “pit.” 7 p.m. Oct. 27. North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. $142-$177. livenation.com.
Rocket From The Crypt
The galvanizing annual Halloween shows by San Diego’s hard-rocking Rocket From The Crypt back in the 1990s have become the stuff of legend. With any luck, this year’s two-day early edition will as well. 7 p.m. Oct. 29. Observatory North Park, 2891 University Ave., North Park. $30. (619) 239-8836. livenation.com
English troubadour Laura Marling has seven increasingly assured albums to her credit, including last year’s captivating “Song For Our Daughter.” Warm and intimate, her slyly subversive songs pack a punch, often in their softest moments. 8 p.m. Nov. 30. Belly Up, 143 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $18; must be 21 or older to attend. (858) 481-8140. bellyup.com
Sign up for the Pacific Insider newsletter
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Pacific San Diego.