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Fall arts preview 2021: Top music picks this season

A photo of Rocket From The Crypt
Rocket From The Crypt
(Courtesy photo)

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.

Neo-soul champions Durand Jones and The Indications
Neo-soul champions Durand Jones and The Indications give a fresh heartfelt spin to musical traditions born well before the band’s members.
(Ebru Yildiz / Courtesy Pitch Perfect PR
)

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
Guitar great Pat Metheny will perform at the Rady Shell at Jacobs PArk with his new band, Side Eye.
(AFP via Getty Images)

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 vocal superstar and social activist Mon Laferte (center)
Chilean vocal superstar and social activist Mon Laferte (center) will perform at The Magolia in El Cajon on Sept. 30.
(Cortesía Mayra Ortiz)

Mon Laferte

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

Mdou Moctar performs at the 52nd Festival D'ete Quebec in 2019
Niger-born Mdou Moctar performs at the 52nd Festival D’ete Quebec in 2019. He and his band will perform at San Diego’s Casbah Oct. 1.
(Ollie Millington / Redferns)

Mdou Moctar

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
San Diego trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos will team with four top Los Angeles musicians for the kick-off concert of the 25th anniversary
Athenaeum Jazz at the Scripps Research Auditorium concert series.
(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

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

This Oct. 11, 2019 photo shows singer, songwriter John Hiatt
John Hiatt’s songs have been recorded by B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt and many more.
(AP Photo / Richard Drew)

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

Kacey Musgraves, left, and Willie Nelson in 2019
Willie Nelson (right) performs with Kacey Musgraves in 2019 at the 53rd annual CMA Awards in Nashville. Nelson is bringing his 2021 Outlaw Music Festival to San Diego State University in October, sans Musgraves.
(Mark J. Terrill / AP)

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

John Mayer, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir of Dead and Company
John Mayer, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir of Dead & Company, the Grateful Dead offshoot band that is taking COVID-19 very seriously on its current concert tour.
(C. Flanigan/ FilmMagic )

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.

John Reis of Rocket from the Crypt
San Diego music mainstay John Reis performs with his band Rocket from the Crypt.
(AFP via Getty Images)

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

Singer-songwriter Laura Marling
Singer-songwriter Laura Marling released her seventh album in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is now belatedly on tour to promote the album and is headed to the Belly Up in San Diego.
( Ian Gavan / Getty Images)

Laura Marling

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


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