Groove: December concert calendar


Top concerts coming to San Diego this month include Neko Case, Fleetwood Mac, Thom Yorke and John Legend.

12.1: Brockhampton

Back on the road after outing main rapper Ameer Vann amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, the self-professed boy band (aka Texas-based rap collective) seemingly hasn’t missed a beat. Their September-released fourth album, Iridescence, debuted at the top spot of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.

@ Valley View Casino Center,

12.2: Old 97’s Holiday Extravaganza

Bandleader Rhett Miller was here at the Soda Bar in March, but returns with his long-running band for this special Christmas-themed show. The group is winding down their 25th year together and released their 12th studio album, Love the Holidays, last month.

@ Belly Up,

12.3: Dweezil Zappa

The torchbearer of the Zappa legacy has performed his father’s music as Zappa Plays Zappa for years, but recently has gone with his full name on the marquee. The Grammy-winning scion is still playing family tunes, however, and calls this tour Choice Cuts.

@ Belly Up,

12.4: Mac DeMarco

The singer/songwriter and current indie-rock class president released the demos to his 2017 third full-length album, This Old Dog, earlier this year. Although he usually performs with a band, this will be a solo set from the Canadian multi-instrumentalist.

@ Music Box,

12.6: The Buttertones

The L.A.-based rockers with a penchant for saxophone and throwback sounds released their fourth full-length studio album, Midnight in a Moonless Dream, earlier this year. Former Corners frontman Tracy Bryant opens the show.

@ The Irenic,

12.7: Dom Kennedy

The 34-year-old, L.A.-based rapper has collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, DJ Quik, Rick Ross and many others. His sixth studio album, Volume Two, was released in September.


12.7, 9: Beach Fossils & Wavves

It’s a non-consecutive-day double dip of indie rock goodness as Beach Fossils and Wavves team up for a co-headlining tour. Brooklyn-based indie trio Beach Fossils pair with long-time San Diegan Nathan Williams’ Wavves, who played the Irenic the last time they were in town.

@ House of Blues,

12.8: Neko Case

After appearing in San Diego this summer as an opener for Ray Lamontagne, the singer/songwriter returns for a headlining show of her own. Case released her seventh solo studio album, Hell-On, in June. It was co-produced by Bjorn Yttling of Swedish indie trio Peter Bjorn and John.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.8: Fleetwood Mac

Mick Fleetwood and former Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito were in San Diego two years ago. Stevie Nicks brought The Pretenders with her when she was here last year. But Lindsey Buckingham was just here in October — which is good, because he’s been replaced by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn while the iconic group tackles their current farewell tour.

@ Viejas Arena,

12.8: Blues Brothers

Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, as Elwood and Zee (respectively) Blues, bring some of the bands greates hits to North County for a rockin’ night of of singing and dancing.

@Harrah’s Resort Southern California, 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Funner (previously Valley Center),

12.9: Kurt Vile & The Violators

Performing in San Diego last year with Courtney Barnett to promote the release of their collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, Vile heads back out on the road with The Violators after the October release of his eighth studio album, Bottle It In.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.9: Tony Bennett

This 92-year-old living legend has won 19 Grammy Awards and sold more than 50 million albums. What more is there to say?

@ Pechanga,

12.11: Aminé

The 24-year-old Portland-born, L.A.-based rapper scored a hit with the 2017 single, Caroline. In August, he released his second studio album, OnePointFive, which featured appearances from G Herbo, Gunna and Rico Nasty.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.13: La Santa Cecilia

The Grammy-winning, L.A.-based quartet has made frequent trips to San Diego in recent years promoting the release 2017’s Amar y Vivir.

@ Music Box,

12.14: Wrex The Halls

91X is back at it, spreading musical holiday cheer with their somewhat annual end-of-year fiesta. This year, Death Cab for Cutie, Third Eye Blind, Billie Eilish, Lord Huron, The Interrupters and Barns Courtney will all be taking part in the celebration.

@ Valley View Casino Center,

12.14: Lyrics Born + Zion I

Veteran Bay Area rappers Lyrics Born (Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura) and Zion I (Steve “Baba Zumbi” Gaines) join forces for a heavy dose of hip-hop. Gaines’ latest album, The Tonite Show with Zion I, as well as Shimura’s most recent, Quite a Life, were both released this year.

@ Music Box,

12.17: Thom Yorke

Sold out just mere moments after it went on sale, the Radiohead frontman returns to San Diego to play solo stuff and (we’re guessing) cuts from his October-released soundtrack to Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the horror film Suspiria.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.18: Ministry

The legendary industrial act is celebrating a few milestones this year. Not only did iconic front man Al Jourgensen just turn 60, the band’s breakthrough album, The Land of Rape and Honey, has now officially been around for three decades. Ministry also released their 14th studio album in 2018, the 9-track AmeriKKKant.

@ House of Blues,

12.21: Eric Rachmany

The lead singer of reggae rockers Rebelution has a go at it solo this time around.

@ Belly Up,

12.28: The Claypool Lennon Delirium

Like peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe that’s chocolate. Either way, Primus’ genius Les Claypool joining forces with the songwriting son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is a winning combination. The pair’s upcoming third release together, South of Reality, will drop in February.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.28, 29: Donovon Frankenreiter

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine!” The people’s favorite surfer/musician returns for yet another show at the Belly Up (whether or not he counts Spicoli as an influence).

@ Belly Up,

12.29, 30: X + Los Lobos

Two legendary Los Angeles-based bands, both (amazingly) still featuring all original members and sharing nearly 70 years of making music between them, join forces for a co-headlining night of tunes that will undoubtedly span a wildly diverse cross-section of genres.

@ Observatory North Park,

12.30: John Legend

The 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician and actor earned EGOT status — the name bestowed to winners of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — this past September after winning an Emmy for producing the best variety special winner, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (which he also starred in). His sixth studio album, A Legendary Christmas, was released in October and features appearances from Esperanza Spalding and Stevie Wonder.

@ Civic Theatre,

John Legend.

John Legend.

(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for Los Angeles Dod)

12.30, 31: Michael Franti & Spearhead

The tall, barefoot troubadour and KAABOO veteran was just at Humphreys on his Stay Human Summer Tour in June. He returns to the Belly Up for an intimate, double-dip New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

@ Belly Up,

12.31: Magic Giant

The L.A.-based indie-folkers released their In the Wind (Acoustic) EP in July. The 5-song set features stripped down versions taken from their 2017 full-length album of the same name.

@ The Irenic,