Groove: September concert calendar

Performers coming to San Diego in September include Leon Bridges, Shakira, Smashing Pumpkins, Jason Aldean, and Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

9.1: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit 

The Alabama-born, former Drive-By Trucker is on tour with The 400 Unit Band in support of their 2018 Grammy-winning album, The Nashville Sound. The band is set to release a new live album, Live From The Ryman, on Oct. 19. Aimee Mann opens the show.

@ Copley Symphony Hall,

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.

(Danny Clinch)

9.1: The Vandals 

The veteran Huntington Beach punks haven’t released a studio album since 2004, but founding member Joe Escalante and longtime compatriots Dave Quackenbush, Warren Fitzgerald, and Josh Freese are still going strong in their 38th year.

@ Observatory North Park,


The Vandals.

(Lisa Johnson)

9.1: Slightly Stoopid 

Just here in June as part of 91X’s BeerX Festival, the Ocean Beach collective returns for what is sure to be a packed house (er, parking lot), after the races. Their ninth studio album, Everyday Life, Everyday People, was released in July.


@ Del Mar Turf Club,

Slightly Stoopid

Slightly Stoopid.

(Keith Zacharski)

9.1: Sam Smith 

Currently on his massive, 90-date The Thrill of It All world tour, the English singer-songwriter returns to San Diego in support of his 2017 album with the same name. The follow-up to Smith’s 4-time Grammy-winning 2014 debut, his latest 10-song collection debuted at the top spot of both the UK Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200.

@ Valley View Casino Center,

Sam Smith

Sam Smith.

(Michael Loccisano / )

9.1: Smashing Pumpkins

Not only are the Chicago-born alt rock vets celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, the band’s current tour marks the first time founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and James Iha have toured together in almost two decades. Their latest single, Solara, was released in June.

@ Viejas Arena,

Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins.

(Olivia Bee)

9.2: Ice Cube 

Taking a quick break from running the Big3 basketball league and making movies, the iconic West Coast rapper hits Del Mar for a show at the track. After first teasing it way back in 2012, fans are still waiting on new album Everythang’s Corrupt.

@ Del Mar Turf Club,

Ice Cube

Ice Cube.

(Chadd Cady / Union-Tribune)

9.5: Leon Bridges 

The songwriter and soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas, released his second studio album, Good Thing, in May. It debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and expands his debut’s retro sound by adding elements ranging from pop to R&B. Read more from the 29-year-old singer/songwriter here.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges.

(Jack McKain)

9.5: Shakira

After a three-year self-imposed hiatus, the Colombian superstar returned with her 11th studio album, El Dorado, last year. It features collaborations with Maluma, Nicky Jam, Prince Royce, and more.

@ Valley View Casino Center,


Shakira In Concert - New York City


(Noam Galai / Getty Images)

9.6: Pinback 

Last year was a big one for Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV. The iconic local indie rockers not only celebrated the 10th anniversary of their fourth full-length album, Autumn of the Seraphs, they also released Some Offcell Voices, a 9-track compilation of the band’s first two EPs. 

@ Casbah,



(Drew Reynolds)

9.8: Lee Fields & The Expressions 

The man who loves the soul and funk of James Brown so much they call him “Little JB” brings his high-energy show back to San Diego. Not one afraid to showcase his backing band, an instrumental version of 2016 album Special Night was released last year. 

@ Belly Up,

Lee Fields & The Expressions

Lee Fields & The Expressions.

(Sesse Lind)

9.9: Ms. Lauryn Hill 

The former Fugees singer has only released one studio album, 1998’s multi-Grammy-winning “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and nothing at all since 2013. But she’s taking a victory lap around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that seminal album this year and bringing Iman Omari, Protoje, and Kelea with her.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,

Ms. Lauryn Hill

Ms. Lauryn Hill.

(Scott Legato)

9.11: Bad Gyal 

First bursting onto the scene with a Catalan cover of Rihanna’s hit song Work, the Spanish reggaeton, hip-hop, and dancehall singer followed it with a pair of mixtapes and is currently racking up tens of millions of views on YouTube.

@ Music Box,

Bad Gyal

Bad Gyal.

(Irene Fernández)

9.12: Azealia Banks 

Unfortunately, the Harlem rapper has gotten more attention for her Twitter tirades than her music. But it certainly hasn’t stopped the singer and rapper from writing new songs. She released a new mixtape, Slay-Z, last year, and has dropped three singles – Movin’ On Up, Anna Wintour, and Treasure Island – so far in 2018.

@ Music Box,

azealia banks

Azealia Banks.

(Courtesy photo)

9.13: Rostam 

Rostam Batmanglij has been busy in the years since his decade-long stint in Vampire Weekend. He’s worked with Carly Rae Jepsen, remixed Ty Dolla $ign with Diplo, and has written original music for a Broadway play. He also released his own excellent studio debut, Half-Light, last year.

@ Belly Up,



(Nicky Rheaume)

9.14: Rascal Flatts 

The long-running, Ohio-born country trio released their 11th studio album, Back To Us, last year. It marked the group’s 12th top-10 entry on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

@ Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, live

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts.

(Courtesy photo)

9.14: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears 

On the heels of last year’s 11-track collection, Backlash, Austin, Texas-based blues collective Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears release their sixth studio album, The Difference Between Me & You, this month.

@ Casbah,

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

(Courtesy photo)

9.14-16: KAABOO 

It’s time to head back to the local music festival that doesn’t want to be called a music festival. And while the fourth incarnation of the event does boast even more non-music features than ever before, they’ve also assembled the best lineup of talent in their relatively short history. Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Post Malone, N.E.R.D., Robert Plant, Wiz Khalifa, Blondie, Gucci Mane, and many more are scheduled to perform.   

@ Del Mar Fairgrounds,


Fans at KAABOO Del Mar.

(Hayne Palmour IV/Union-Tribune)

9.16: Ghostface Killah & Raekwon 

Two of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most prolific MCs join forces, once again, to not only play hits from their pioneering rap crew’s extensive catalog, but from their solo and collaborative efforts as well. Ghostface released The Brown Tape album with Apollo Brown earlier this year, while Raekwon’s latest, 2017’s The Wild, featured collaborations with Lil Wayne, Andra Day, G-Eazy, CeeLo Green, and others. 

@ Observatory North Park,

Ghostface Killah & Raekwon

Ghostface Killah & Raekwon.

(Courtesy photo)

9.17: Miguel 

Last here in April, L.A.-based R&B singer-songwriter Miguel returns again in support of his fourth studio album, War & Leisure, released last December. It features guest appearances from Rick Ross, J. Cole, Kali Uchis and more.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,



(Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images)

9.18: The Distillers 

Also back from a show in April, front woman Brody Dalle and her band rocked the Casbah so hard they’re returning for the inevitable capacity upgrade. The L.A.-based punk rockers haven’t released an album since 2003’s Coral Fang, but the way things are going that could change very soon.

@ Observatory North Park,

The Distillers

The Distillers.

(Jay Blakesberg)

9.20: Chvrches 

Love Is Dead, the May-released third album from the Scottish trio, is the first they recorded away from their home country. The new 13-track collection finds the Lauren Mayberry-led threesome getting political and teaming with The National’s Matt Berninger on a song.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,



(Courtesy photo)

9.20: Dean Ween Group 

One half of the recently reunited vet rock duo Ween, Dean Ween (aka Mickey Melchiondo) goes back to carrying the torch alone for a while. The Dean Ween Group’s second studio album, Rock2, was released in March.

@ Belly Up,

Dean Ween Group

Dean Ween Group.

(Courtesy photo)

9.20: Jason Aldean 

The Nashville-based country music singer released his eighth studio album, Rearview Town, in April. It was Aldean’s fourth consecutive album to debut at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and features a duet with Miranda Lambert.

@ Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, live

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean.

(Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

9.21: J Balvin 

It’s hard to find an artist hotter than J Balvin right now. The Colombian reggaeton singer’s fifth studio album, Vibras, produced the worldwide smash, Mi Gente, and claimed the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. He’s also all over the charts on other songs, appearing on hits with Cardi B, Ozuna, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, and more.

@ Viejas Arena,

J Balvin

J Balvin.

(Courtesy photo)

9.23: Florence and the Machine 

The Florence Welch-led English sextet released their fourth studio album, High As Hope, in June. The powerhouse vocalist/bandleader produced the album with Kanye West/Eminem/ Lana Del Rey producer Emile Haynie.

@ Viejas Arena,

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine.

(Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Spotify)

9.24: Liz Phair 

Thanks to Matador Records releasing a 25th Anniversary edition of Phair’s debut album, Exile in Guyville, the indie rock singer and songwriter also released the demos she recorded as Girly Sound in 1991. Phair is also slated to release a pair of books in the next year.

@ Belly Up,

Liz Phair

Liz Phair.

(Courtesy photo)

9.24: Yuno 

The Florida-based singer and musician released his debut EP, Moodie, on Sub Pop Records in May. He self-produced and engineered the album, as well as playing every instrument on it. 

@ Casbah, 



(Courtesy photo)

9.25: Boy George and Culture Club 

Will you tumble for him? For anyone on the fence, the original Culture Club, as well as the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey will be there to sweeten the deal. New album, Life, will be released on October 26.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,

Boy George and Culture Club

Boy George and Culture Club.

(Courtesy photo)

9.25 U-God

That’s right. Another Wu-Tanger will be in San Diego this month. U-God (aka original member Lamont Hawkins) released his fifth studio solo album, Venom, in March. It features appearances from fellow Wu members Method Man, Raekwon, and Inspectah Deck, and was released in conjunction with the rapper’s autobiography Raw: My Journey Into The Wu-Tang Clan.

@ Soda Bar,



(Liam Ricketts)

9.26: Ben Howard 

Noonday Dream, the third studio album (and first in four years) from the British singer-songwriter, was released in June. Howard also plays in the band A Blaze of Feather.

@ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre,

Ben Howard

Ben Howard.

(Valentin Flauraud/EFE)

9.27: The Voidz

So, it’s still unknown if the Strokes will ever make another album, but in the meantime, Julian Casablancas is moving on with The Voidz. Their latest album, the 15-track Virtue, was released in March. 

@ House of Blues,

The Voidz

The Voidz.

(Courtesy photo)

9.27: Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band

Everyone’s favorite Beatle makes his annual pilgrimage to Shelter Island. And this time, Ringo’s All Starr band includes Men At Work’s Colin Hay, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Santana’s Gregg Rolie, and 10cc’s Graham Gouldman.

@ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay,

Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band

Ringo Starr.

(Scott Gries/AP)

9.27: Jay-Z and Beyoncé 

More than doubling the stops of their 21-date On the Run Tour four years ago, The Carters’ current OTR II tour will visit 48 cities before closing down in October. Read more about the power couple here.

@ SDCCU Stadium,

Beyonce And Jay-Z “On The Run II” Tour

Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment)

9.28: Devotchka 

After seven years since their last studio album, the Denver-based gypsy punk quartet returned with their first new collection, This Night Falls Forever, last month. Welcome back! 

@ Observatory North Park,



(Courtesy photo)

9.29: Little Hurricane

San Diego’s best rock and blues duo released their third album of original music, Same Sun Same Moon, last year. In June, they appeared on the single Isn’t It Great with show opener Small Culture. Carlsbad’s Trouble in the Wind is also on the bill.

@ Casbah,

Little Hurricane

Little Hurricane.

(Courtesy photo)


Spin cycle: September EDM and DJ performances

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